BBC hands digital testing contract to Mindtree

Multi-million pound contract awarded under the terms of the BBC Digital Services Framework initiative

The BBC has signed a multi-million pound contract with services supplier Mindtree to test a range of digital products.

The contract forms part of the BBC’s Digital Services Framework (DSF) initiative and will cover applications and websites running across a number of platforms including desktops, mobile devices, the cloud, integrated digital TV, IPTV, terrestrial cable, and satellite and the web.

According to the BBC, almost 300 other suppliers have been selected for the two other rosters of the framework, covering design and development. The framework was opened up for tenders earlier in 2014.

Mindtree will provide functional and non-functional testing and test management; exploratory, automation and load testing; test design, delivery and analysis, project and programme management, and other associated services.

Mindtree's senior vice-president and and head of technology and media, Ramesh Menon, commented: “We are excited to be part of the BBC digital services framework. Millions of citizens globally benefit from BBC and we hope to enrich their experience with our superior digital testing capabilities.”

The non-exclusive agreement will run for a two-year minimum, said Richard Smith, BBC Digital Media head of market engagement, and covers a number of BBC teams, not just BBC Online.

“The independent digital media sector plays an essential role in helping the BBC deliver better value for money for the licence fee, as well as supporting continual improvements in the quality of our online services,” Smith wrote in a blog post. “These new agreements and procedures allow us to engage with the open market more efficiently and effectively.”

Smith noted there was an intentional degree of overlap between the three frameworks, which was intentional on the BBC’s part, since it anticipated specialist requirements or capacity issues might lead it to procure from the DSF and not the other two dedicated Agreements.

Some higher value projects – worth more than £50,000 – might fall outside the scope of the three DSF frameworks, he added, in which case they would be advertised either on the BBC’s BravoSolutions site, or its regular commissioning site.

The full list of suppliers will be made publicly available in the near future.

The BBC has been in the news recently after former CTO John Linwood, sacked over the corporation’s Digital Media Initiative, won his case for unfair dismissal after a tribunal found in his favour, agreeing that Linwood had been made the “fall guy” for the failed project.

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Shouldn't they diversify their choice and augment it with crowdsourced and beta-testing? Not only that could be a money saver, they'd have a feedback from the user base.
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