Posted on Friday 10 January 2014 by Ulster Business
Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir launched the new product with James Hunter and Heidi Nicholls from JAR Technologies
As digital trade continues to grow, slow, dysfunctional websites are simply unacceptable for a consumer who enjoys a crowded marketplace. Website functionality is the customer service of the digital store; as such businesses must be prepared for increased traffic peaks to ensure maximum revenue generation.
That's where Belfast company JAR Technologies comes in. It has launched a new testing solution called JAR:Load, which uncovers problems that could cause failures in web applications.
JAR:Load throws thousands of virtual users at an organisation's online web services until they reach a breaking point, with the aim of uncovering weaknesses and bottlenecks in the web infrastructure.
James Hunter, CEO of JAR Technologies, explains: "Organisations place so much importance on making their websites accessible for e-commerce, but there isn't the same awareness or importance placed on performance related testing and this is a vital component for ensuring success and growth."
To help Belfast companies involved in web-based products or sales understand how customers interact with their websites, JAR is offering them the chance to use their new tool free until the end of January for up to 100 virtual users.
JAR:Load allows businesses to cut the risk of losing customers because of slow response times and site crashes. It ensures that their software and infrastructure can cope under the stress of hundreds or thousands of customers.
The load testing market is predicted to become one of the fastest growing sectors of IT, and is attracting investment. US cloud testing firm SOASTA, for example recently raising a funding round of $30m.
With most of its competitors focused on the US market James sees big opportunities for the company in Europe and Asia, particularly markets such as India, where it partnered with IT giant Wipro on the beta testing of JAR:Load.
JAR has already closed two investment rounds and with the launch of JAR:Load, its CEO expects to double the size of the business in 2014.
"We have very ambitious targets. Our strategy is to have £15m revenue in year five – 2019 - and that's what we are focused on achieving. I think it is a realistic target for a company in this field. The load testing market will be worth an estimated $2.2bn in 2016 according to Garner. If we could even get 1% of that we would be huge."
JAR Technologies has been in the market for some time and has enjoyed success with its JAR:Emulate range of WAN Emulators - network products for application performance testing. While that product currently brings in revenues from customers in countries as diverse as Japan, Russia and India, James expects the cloud product to be the driving force behind the company's growth.
"Other people in the market are using legacy systems that are harder to configure and offer a poor user experience. We are the only company doing what we do. We have zero installation cost, it is all automatic and can be accessed anywhere in the world, from any web enabled device. That is one of the major things that sets our performance testing tool apart," he adds.
James spent 10 years with audio software specialists APT before founding JAR Technologies. He sees JAR:Load mirroring the export success of the JAR:Emulate product, with over 95% of sales outside the UK and Ireland. In addition James plans to reinvest revenues back into R&D and sales.
"The tool has lots of potential customers," he explains. "People who are developing their own websites and want to know at what point it will fall over in terms of high usage; people releasing new web based products who maybe want to know how many people can shop at one time; and companies who test on behalf of other companies who may want to replace old tools, which allows us to position ourselves as a middleware provider. The market is potentially massive."