Are our software products world class?

By : |November 29, 2000 0

NEW DELHI: The software industry has to wake up to the fact that just
attaining CMM level certification will not ensure sustained growth. At the end
of the day, it is world-class products that will ensure healthy bottom lines.
While the CMM certification is only a benchmark of the processes being followed
within the organization, there are no processes that would monitor the quality
of the product, which is in fact the goal of the processes. Industry experts are
of the opinion that just as there are benchmarks for software processes like CMM
certifications, there ought to evolve standards that would determine the quality
of the products being developed.

Emphasizing the need to have quality products, Alan M Davis, President of
Omni-Vista, USA, says, "India has established itself in the software
development world. But in order to have sustained growth in the industry, it is
time to focus on the quality of the product that is being churned out. Although
there are no evolved standards, the best way to assess the quality of the
product is customer satisfaction." Elaborating on the concept of customer
satisfaction, Davis says that sometimes even the best-developed product may not
be successful if it does not fulfill the criterion of appropriateness.

Appropriateness is the criterion that refers to what the customers want and
not what is necessarily the best available.



Companies can broadly follow three parameters to assess the quality of their
products: whether the product sells well or not; whether the product has been
developed within the budget, and whether the product has been developed within
the time limits. It is important that companies negotiate with clients on these
three parameters before closing a deal. And organizations that have achieved
higher level of CMM certification are usually those that are better placed to
make more accurate predictions in terms of the budget and the time required for
the project.

Colorado-based Omni-Vista is a consultant to software organizations, helping
them understand clients’ need and aligning the development of the product to
suit those needs. The company has developed `On your mark-Pro’ which enables
organizations to monitor the quality of developed products. Davis is currently
in the process of negotiating with distributors to launch this product in India.
Priced at $499 per seat, it also includes support and maintenance for a year at
an additional cost of $90.

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