SaaS – Disruptive but Positive

By : |May 9, 2010 0

Has and how much the so-called recession-triggered shrinkage in s/w R&D spends, affected the OPD industry? Is the ISV side bouncing back on NPD? What new flavours can we expect to come about next?

Yes.  The recession-triggered shrinkage had a fair share on R&D spends and OPD industry.  While the overall shrinkage was in the range of 10 to 20 per cent, it is not fair to generalize it across segments. This is because large players in recession proof sectors continued to weather the storm relatively easier as compared to other mid-size and small players.    Having said that, we do see symptoms that indicate positive trends. The new flavors are going to be centered around themes that involve optimization and green computing.

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What drift (and at what levels of penetration) is the focus on ‘usability’ and the emerging demands for ‘interoperability’ giving to OPD industry, if any?

Usability has been a focus area for more than a decade in our industry.  However, considering the emergence of virtualization and cloud computing, ‘interoperability’ and ‘usability’ have become the imperatives.   This requires strong focus on both of these factors across all phases of Software Engineering.  This trend will continue.  

  
Would the advent of hosted software vis a vis on-premise/off-the-shelf solutions, be a disruptive force to OPD?

Yes. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Software as a Service (SAAS) have emerged strongly. Almost all product companies do have focus on releasing products that support such paradigms. Besides, virtualization has spanned several avenues from Operating Systems to Application portfolios. In order to leverage the benefits of these technologies the volume of business in selling off-the-shelf or on-premise product license will reduce and the volume of hosted software licenses and related business models will increase. This will benefit several small and medium business by making niche products affordable by means of transaction based license fee or similar models. This is a disruptive but positive trend.

 
What implications have internationalization and localization of s/w products brought on to OPD players?

The implications of internationalization and localizations of s/w products were manifold. These features opened up new market segments and geographies. Global players emerged from various geographies as consumers and providers emerged from different parts of the globe. This was the need of the hour for the user community across the globe during early 90s when Internet was new to several countries across the globe. Business applications and products thrived with features that supported internationalization and localization. Applying the right context of Time, Currency Exchange Rates, Local Holidays, etc., enabled several new applications and helped industries such as Travel and Transportation. Also, applications such as email and social networking have seen tremendous growth because of internationalization and localization.  
 
Have hybrid pricing models started being a mainstay?

Hybrid pricing models are at a nascent stage. Pricing Model is not a standalone factor. It depends on several factors and one of the key factors is Service Offerings. Certain types of service offerings favor certain types of pricing models and provide a win-win proposition to both provider and consumers. In this context, while hybrid pricing models continue to evolve the earlier models will continue to stay wherever they apply optimally. 

Would de-coupling of design and development; and commoditization change the DNA of the industry? How?

In fact design and development are coupled together in the context of Agile Software Development. In OPD we do not see de-coupling of design and development. In case of engagements in which onsite designers do high-level design, offshore developers do play the role of designers in terms of understanding high-level designs, asking relevant questions and breaking such designs to low-level implement able pieces of work. In fact this has conserved or even enriched the DNA. Developers need to know the dialect of designers and collaborate with them to write code. This is mandatory to ensure speed to market and high quality in OPD space.
 
How would you differentiate yourself from other competitive forces like Persistent, Symphony, and Cybage?

We are different in several ways right from our Mission, Vision, Values and DNA.   In OPD space we do serve a broad range of clientele that includes several Fortune 500 customers as well as mid-size product companies and niche players.  This has happened through our enriched offerings as well as delivery experience. Also we do invest in creating and maintaining solution accelerators the benefit our customers.   Our industry leadership in Software Testing and Test Automation in OPD space is unique. Also we continuously invest in adopting methodologies such as Agile Software Development and Distributed Agile in order to deliver high quality products to our customers.

ISVs face special challenges like shrinking product life cycles or Go-to-Market issues or slow recognition-cum-resolution of product defects? How does OPD come into play here?

These are real challenges in the industry and OPD continues to be the predominant success factor of ISVs because of two key reasons. The ‘Follow-the-Sun’ model has helped ISVs work with OPD in increasing their speed to market as well as their ability to make upgrade or patch releases at a faster pace. Also, in several cases we have deployed offshore engineers onsite during critical phases such as major release cycles or acceptance testing in order to provide real time support. We do invest in building deep technical as well as domain capabilities. It is a well-known fact that the origination of OPD happened because of ‘cost-effectiveness of off shoring’.    However, we continue partner with customers in creating a win-win proposition in order to ensure success in ISV space.