Making Space for Testing at Ricoh Spaces

Rapidly scaling ‘startup-within-an-enterprise’ learns to sprint with Testlio

Sprint Cycle

Smarter, fuller testing approach has helped Ricoh achieve release cadence.

Full Coverage

Rapid expansion has led to exponential coverage needs — all met through Testlio’s networked testing approach.

Supported engineers

Grew their engineering team from 10 to 38 people and needed testers to match.

The client

As enterprises continue to re-establish workplace norms, expectations for the office aren’t what they were before the pandemic. Many companies are embracing remote and hybrid operating models that drop the name placards off desks and use tech to manage building access, parking, floating desks, and meeting room scheduling.

Ricoh Spaces provides an easy way to optimize desk bookings, space bookings, wayfinding, workplace insights, and more. Ricoh’s B2B customers like EasyJet and Visma | Raet rely on Ricoh Spaces to ensure 70 employees don’t show up for 50 desks in a new hybrid working environment. 

Company stage

Acquisition by Ricoh in 2017, growth into Spaces today

Industry

IT Services and Consulting
Building and Asset
Scheduling / Management

Products

Ricoh Spaces App and Platform

The challenge

Rapid growth compounds the need for comprehensive testing

Growth presents significant challenges for development teams when it comes on rapidly. When Japanese office hardware giant Ricoh acquired the UK-based software consultancy that became Ricoh Spaces, it quickly built a cornerstone product in Ricoh’s effort to pivot into leadership as a digital services organization focused on in-office environments. A few years post-acquisition, the app and its mission were clear: use tech to make experiences in the office better in one centralized place.

The existing enterprise-level relationships Ricoh fostered allowed the Ricoh Spaces team to expand its customer base rapidly — including some of the largest and most complex brands in the world — all with a team of less than 20 at the time.

“Before we knew it, we had 50-something customers in many different languages and regions, and we suddenly needed to be able to scale up. Scaling isn’t necessarily easy.”

Nathan Thomas, Head of Product

This global client base grew to include 18 languages and 24/7 operations — yet the testing and QA space on the team was limited to two people, limiting the capacity for regression and other testing and moments of underperformance or issues making it through QA as the product grew.

Top challenges:

  • Rapidly scaling into very large, complex environments
  • Maintaining quality during rapid growth without significant team growth
  • Global operations and app experience
  • No cost-effective way to build out a testing team to cover all potential scenarios

THE SOLUTION

Testlio’s networked testing approach as a partner in rapid development and deployment

Testlio and Ricoh Spaces began their relationship amidst a time of considerable pressure on the team. Proper release practices and schedules had become untenable, with QA and post-release issues playing an outsized role in slowing development. 

Testlio’s networked testing approach provided flexibility, options, and solutions to Ricoh Spaces. It allowed them to test in multiple languages and regions with various hardware and software combinations. More importantly, it helped the team to finally start sprints to answer customer and market demands for rapid expansion and deployment of Ricoh Spaces’ services, including complex partnerships with hardware manufacturers and others.

“Without Testlio, without hiring a bunch of people, we wouldn’t be able to get into this kind of move/sprint cycle.”

Nathan Thomas, Head of Product, RDx

The partnership has also helped the team spend less time on QA and instead focus on experimenting while prioritizing and releasing new code regularly.

“There are a lot of experiments that we want to give our customers, and that our customers ask us for. Sometimes it’s a small change; others, a new feature.”

OUTcomes

Smarter testing. Happier customers.

With a growing base of 100 active customers and nearly 70,000 users, Ricoh Spaces has continued to grow rapidly. Partnership with the expert manual testers in the Testlio network has allowed the team to expand and improve what they do at scale. 

“The nature of Ricoh Spaces means that people are using this app in their businesses every single day. They book their desks; they book their meeting rooms. Our customers rely on our solution to have the right workspace for them when they arrive to the office to start working.”

The core premise and adaptability of networked testing — a combination of people, methodologies, and systems — has and will continue to be critical to flex to the needs of the Ricoh Spaces QA team as it pursues an aggressive growth path, including a forthcoming APAC and AMER launches.

“Expansion means our testing becomes even more important. For us, it’s unrealistic to build a massive test team that we can scale up or down. Working with Testlio has worked well, which means extending that capability is a no-brainer. And then the ability to move into more accessibility testing, usability type testing, and other Testlio capabilities made Testlio the clear choice and a great partner.”

Nathan Thomas, Head of Product, RDx

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