This startup is teaming up with Australia Post to bring it up to digital speed

Bugwolf CEO Ash Conway. Image: Supplied.

Australian startup Bugwolf has teamed up with Australia Post to accelerate the organisation’s digital product releases and help it become more agile as snail mail dies off.

The 36,000 employee goliath is entrenched with legacy systems and has been undergoing a restructure, led by CEO Ahmed Fahour, to bring it into the digital age. The letter business posted an annual loss of $328 million to June 2014 and that is expected to climb to $500 million this financial year, including $190 million in voluntary redundancies, spread over the next three years.

However, parcel deliveries are on the up, largely driven by a boon in online shopping.

Australia Post has to adapt quickly and the tie-up with Bugwolf is an example of corporate Australia working with startups in the hope they can provide a new insight on existing operations.

Bugwolf CEO and founder Ash Conway launched the bootstrapped startup in 2013 after working with a number of big tech companies and noticed the pain they go through during software testing. It now also has NAB, MLC and Treasury Wines Estates on the books and is working with them to increase test coverage, cut testing times and provide on-demand beta testing.

The company turns the bug testing process into a game, where users can compete and perform tasks on a new system just like customers, but in a secure, closed environment, recruiting software testers using the premise that they get to participate in software development before a product is released to the market. .

Australia Post receives as many as 10 million monthly visits to its site and wanted to find a way to reduce spikes in help desk volumes.

Melbourne-based Bugwolf has been working with them to test its customer-facing applications.

“In the real world users do not follow test scripts and the journeys our users take are varied and at times unpredictable,” Australia Post digital channels and innovation general manager Steve Maidment said. “We were looking for a solution to help us better manage spikes in application user testing, and a plug­-and­-play type service to act as an extension of our existing teams as and when needed.”