Motherwell-based Edge Testing expands to save clients on edge of IT breakdown

A SCOTTISH software-testing company will this week open its first office south of the Border as demand for its services soars following a series of computer system blunders involving Facebook, Knight Capital and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Motherwell-based Edge Testing – which lists Heineken, JP Morgan and Martin Currie among its clients – will create 20 jobs when it opens its base in Birmingham.

Susan Chadwick and Brian Ferrie, who founded the business in 2007, already employ 34 staff in Scotland and grew their turnover by 50 per cent last year to £1.65 million. The firm is targeting revenues of £2.4m this year.

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Profits grew from £558,000 in 2010 to £719,000 last year, giving the company the financial firepower to mount its expansion south of the Border.

Chadwick said a series of high-profile software “glitches” had helped to drive demand for Edge Testing’s services.

Social networking website Facebook’s $104 billion (£66bn) flotation in May was marred by software “glitches” on the Nasdaq stock exchange, which investors claimed cost them millions of dollars as they were left “flying blind”.

June saw millions of NatWest and RBS customers locked out of their bank accounts for days, triggering problems as clients tried to access their money or pay bills. The lock-out persisted for customers in Northern Ireland for several weeks.

Last month, Knight Capital Group racked up losses of $440m “following 45 minutes of software-induced mayhem”, which led to investors pumping $400m into the ailing share-trading firm to keep the business afloat.

Chadwick said such instances demonstrated the need for “robust software-testing” and that “prevention is better than cure”, with the cost of testing software usually cheaper than fixing problems after programs go wrong.

She said she was “excited” about opening an office in Birmingham and added that her company also plans to continue expanding its operations in Scotland.

Edge Testing last year signed a three-year deal with the Scottish Government, making the company one of the SNP administration’s suppliers for computer applications and web development services.

The business’s other clients include Baillie Gifford, Kwik-Fit Insurance and Robert Wiseman Dairies, as well as public sector bodies such

as Business Stream, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and the Student Loans Company.