Company and product news briefs

Wells Fargo tech leader moves to Appvance, plus Northbit, Xamarin, ARM

Larry Schmidlin, former vice president of technology at Wells Fargo, has joined Appvance, the California-based test automation specialist, as vice president of engineering. Schmidlin told QA Financial that his experience working on the buy side of software has made him aware of the efficiencies banks and other financial firms can achieve with automated testing. “These companies can save a huge amount of money and time by simplifying how they create and maintain tests and by combining the functional, load, performance and security testing into one platform,” Schmidlin said.

Northbit ties with HP

Northbit, an Israeli mobile testing app developer, has struck a deal with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise to help develop an automated mobile testing product.  The start-up had previously developed HPE’s Mobile Center testing software, which allows companies test their mobile apps throughout the whole spectrum of different operating systems and mobile brands.

Microsoft buys Xamarin

Microsoft has acquired Xamarin, a company that provide platforms for building mobile apps and also well as cloud based app testing services. The company has offices in San Francisco, London, Buenos Aires, Singapore and has more than 350 employees. Xamarian has previously worked with Microsoft to provide tools that enabled developers to use Microsoft’s C# language to develop apps on competitors’ operating systems like iOS or Android. The deal reportedly cost Microsoft between $400m and $500m.

Stanley ARM test

In a trial that may prove to be bad news for Intel, Morgan Stanley is testing a server with ARM processors for use in its data centres.  Speaking at an event in California organised by ARM, Bert Shen, vice president in charge of technology business development at Morgan Stanley, told the audience that:  “[ARM] “ran a very relevant columnar database benchmark for us and got a five times performance improvement per rack compared to an Intel Haswell EP solution.” While the  test is limited in scope for the time being, “We’re excited about what the results might end up being but we’ll have to wait and see,” Shen said. He also said that the opportunity to diversify its base of technology vendors was another factor behind Morgan Stanley’s trial of ARM.

The news is a boost for ARM’s stated ambition of achieving a 25% share of the market for processors in servers, a market dominated by Intel. Up to now, ARM processors have been  better known for their use in tablets and smartphones.

Card automation

FIME, the French card and mobile payments specialist, has launched an automated testing tool for the integration of EMV — EuroPay, Mastercard and Visa — terminals. According to FIME, it is the first such tool to provide complete end-to-end project automation across multiple payments systems, connecting managers of terminals to FIME’s simulator, enabling instant analysis of test results.

“Testing and certifying EMV terminals is challenging as terminals must accept payments from a number of different payment brands, each with its own technical standards,” said FIME vice president for financial services, Xavier Giandominici.

Procurement hire

Markit, the data and information vendor, has hired Livingstone, the London-base software asset management services firm, to support its programme of risk reduction and compliance in IT. Markit says that Livingstone will work with internal teams on software procurement and deployments as well as other IR related IT activities such as server configurations and technical architecture. Livingston will help Markit identify areas where it may be over-licensed, driving cost reduction and risk mitigation.

Roy Flint, managing director of group technology services at Markit, said: “The effective management, control, protection and optimisation of our software assets are key areas of focus.”

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