Sunday, 25th February 2018

Capgemini Group Releases Much Anticipated World Quality Report

Posted on 19. Jun, 2011 by in Blogs

wqr

The World Quality Report is a result of ongoing collaboration between Capgemini Group (Capgemini and Sogeti) and HP Software. It presents findings from the 2011 global survey completed online by over 1,200 CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, IT directors and managers, and quality assurance (QA) directors and managers around the globe. The goal of this report is to examine the state of application quality and testing practices across different industries and geographies. Each year, this report looks at current trends in software quality and analyzes emerging tendencies that may affect the future of testing. Survey respondents are asked to provide insights into the state of QA budgets in their companies, answer questions about their testing organization and its relationship with the business, describe their testing practices and methodologies, and share their plans for migrating applications to the cloud. This year, the survey also zeroes in on outsourcing, security testing, and test data management.

The research reveals a number of key findings:

1. The recession has energized IT modernization

  • Most companies are coming out of the recession with plans to modernize their IT landscapes – rather than continue spending a large portion of their IT resources on maintaining obsolete and redundant systems.

2. Emerging markets are investing more in quality and the cloud

  • Not only are China and Brazil leading the way in increased QA spending, they are also heavily investing in new technologies. The cloud is attracting organizations of all types and sizes. Large organizations are investing primarily in setting up a private cloud as part of their IT modernization initiative. Smaller companies use the public cloud infrastructure and services to gain a competitive edge without having to build large data centers, and host and maintain their IT systems.
  • China and Brazil are among the fastest adopters of the cloud infrastructure. Over a third of Chinese companies (37%) are planning to migrate between 11% and 25% of their applications to the cloud in the next year, and a further 40% are making arrangements to do so.

3. Technological innovation and geographical & sector priorities are driving the future spending of QA

  • New technologies and initiatives are increasing the workload for QA teams, but budgets are not growing to support the added pressure. Over half (58%) of surveyed companies say that their QA budgets have stayed the same, decreased or there is no dedicated budget for testing at all, while only 5% report significantly increased budgets.
  • These significant increases in QA budgets are predominantly in  emerging markets such as China (83%) and Brazil (56%), suggesting that emerging economies view the investment in QA as strategic for future growth and competitive advantage.
  • We also see strong budget increases in specific sectors such as Energy & Utilities, Health & Life Sciences and Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment, fuelled by market drivers such as smart energy, healthcare reform and increasing consumerization of mobile technologies.

4. Testing Centers of Excellence (TCOEs) have yet to be fully leveraged

  • The concept of TCOEs has been around for almost 20 years, but only a very few mature organizations (10%) have operational centers that are close to being truly industrialized. For the rest, there’s a mixed message.  Almost half (45%) of companies are striving to achieve this operational excellence by building or planning to build a TCOE, while the remaining 45% have no plans at all. The power of this crucial component of QA best practice is still underutilized.
  • However, we do find that emerging countries are in the lead for centralizing and consolidating their QA practices. The growing popularity of TCOEs in emerging markets suggests that companies that are just developing their QA processes and infrastructures want to get application quality correct from the start.

5. Generating business value is QA’s Achilles’ heel

  • Companies are making a concerted effort to capture and measure the state of quality of applications, with a migration from a qualitative supposition to quantitative measurement. As a result, QA teams that are better equipped at quantifying their value to the business are reaping the benefits of increased budgets and more importantly, improved quality.
  • The report finds that more than 80% of companies now collect and report QA metrics.  However, out of this number, only 24% use professional business intelligence tools for an automated and real time measurement.  Most importantly, 16% of the companies still do not consistently collect and measure QA metrics.  This is strongly linked to companies that struggle with proving the value of QA to the business (13%) and those that are inconsistent in their approach to quantifying the business value of QA.
  • Interestingly, as above, 13% of companies also indicate that they do not have a dedicated budget for QA teams.  This is not surprising when QA teams still struggle with estimating QA efforts; only 22% use proven industry estimation standards.  Dynamic test automation is still generally a work-in-progress with the majority of companies executing up to 50% of their tests without any automation.

6. China and Eastern Europe are challenging India for outsourcing dominance

  • The businesses’ reliance on outsourcing continues to increase. Larger companies seem to be more comfortable with the concept of having their QA resources located away from their office facilities.  Globally, there is still a strong preference for co-location and nearshore resources (51%).
  • However in outsourcing resources, we are starting to see a significant shift. China and Eastern Europe have seen the largest increase in outsourcing preference over the last year. Specifically, within the Manufacturing and Energy & Utilities sectors, China is now by far the leading offshoring location for QA.  The outsourcing preference for North America continues to be dominated by India (18%), with China (12%) becoming a preferred alternative location.  Western European companies are quite different in comparison, preferring Eastern Europe (12%) followed by China (7%).
  • Companies are no longer looking to outsource only manual activities such as test execution. We are seeing an increased demand for resources with well-rounded or specialized skill sets in testing strategy, requirements definition, functional automation, performance testing, user acceptance testing, and security testing.

Opportunity Knocks

Posted on 02. May, 2011 by in MARKETING, OPERATIONS

Opportunity Knocks

May you live in interesting times.” It’s an American maxim often mistaken as a Chinese curse. It is used to imply that the current times we live in are unprecedented and chaotic in nature. Surely, since the great depression no age has been more fraught with insecurity than our own present time. The economic crisis that originated from America’s recent financial meltdown has left the US business landscape in a precarious state, but, it is from this uncertainty that some of our greatest opportunities may arise. At this very moment, China, that rising star in the East, is fertile ground for American businesses to find what they are after.

Unless you have been in a cryogenic slumber since the year 2000, you already know that rapidly growing China is one of the most important markets in the world. But how can an entity located in the Metro DC area benefit from doing business with China? We hope that the following will guide you in understanding the possibilities and opportunities of doing business with the new land of opportunity.

As we see it, there are four possibilities for your business:

China Expansion
Unless you are a large to enterprise–size company with deep pockets that can afford to ride the slow boat of success in China, this is not for you. Many companies as big as Vodafone, Best Buy, Google and Barbie have tried and failed to succeed in mainland China. The only thing that should interest you in this article is the mistakes made by these well–known companies. They all thought that they could take their cookie–cutter business template that worked in the western hemisphere and apply it to China. They were wrong. When doing business in China, one needs to listen rather than talk.

The need to crack open the China market has become a matter of life and death for some companies. Take for instance, Groupon, whose management feels that if they don’t enter the Chinese market now, they will fail to become a global entity and possibly soon face much larger competitors from China.


Getting Your Feet Wet
You are a small to medium size company with a unique service, product or a solution and you would like to learn more about its potential in the fastest growing market in the world. If John B. L. Soule were still alive today, he would no doubt say, “Go west, young man, and grow up with the country.” Nothing can educate you better than visiting a place and meeting locals (but of course reading this magazine is a great start). “But how do I go to China?” you might ask. Being located in DC, you are in luck. You can contact the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, which offers affordable ways to visit China. You can pay as little as $2200 for a 9 day trip that includes airfare, food, tours and 4 to 5 star accommodations spanning 4 cities. Trips like these will help you become more comfortable with visiting China and help you identify your opportunities without having to spend large sums of your hard earned money.

Useful Contacts for Americans in China

Beijing:
United States Embassy Ambassador Jon Huntsman
No. 55 An Jia Lou Lu 06003 Beijing 100600, PRC
Tel: (86) 10 6532 3831
Fax: (86) 10 8529 6929 3297
Website: www.usembassy-china.org.cn

Hong Kong:
U.S. Consulate General
Christopher J. Marut, Acting Consul General
26 Garden Road Central, HK, China
Tel: (852) 2523 9011 Fax: (852) 2845 1598
Email: information_resource_center_hk@yahoo.com
Website: http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov

Shanghai:
U.S. Consulate General Beatrice Camp, Consul General
1469 Huai Hai Zhong Road Shanghai 200031,
PRC Tel: (86) 21 6279 7662
Fax: (86) 21 6279 7603
Foreign Commercial Service
Tel: (86) 21 6279 7630
Fax: (86) 21 6279 7639

Made in China
You had your Eureka moment. You are certain that your product idea is the best thing since the fortune cookie. You just need to find a place where you can affordably manufacture your product. USA’s manufacturing output is 25% of the world and declining whereas China’s is around 35% and growing fast. China’s wages are a fraction of the salaries of U.S. workers even in the high tech field.

Our guess is that you will look for a manufacturer in China for your product. But where can you start? We suggest that you begin with the several free resources available, which include government organizations like The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and The China Chamber of International Commerce. You can also use commercial websites like AliBaba.com which provides you with thousands of options. Once you select several candidates, travel to China and visit the factory floors. Meet the people and make sure that they are who they say they are. Cross check business cards, addresses, phone numbers. In China, “Non-disclosure Agreements” mean very little. Most experts recommend the use of “Terms of Engagement” and an “Authorization to Manufacture” instead. And always ask for references.

Attract investment
The economy is getting much better in the U.S.. Banks are even starting to loan money to businesses once again. But the recent economic crisis left a lasting mark on our nation. There is no shortage of money, but most U.S. companies, including the VCs, are investing abroad. China on the other hand is high on American ingenuity and is investing heavily on U.S. companies. There are Chinese sovereign wealth funds, large financial institutions, large corporations, indigenous investment funds and high-net-worth individuals, each of which is making investments. Many Chinese firms, flush with cash or squeezed by competition, are also casting abroad for new markets, technology and product lines. This year Chinese companies are expected to make more than $5 billion in U.S. direct investment. Being close to DC, you are in luck. You can start your research at the Chinese Embassy. If you can sell the value of your company to them, they will help you attract potential investors to your company. You can also work with The Virginia Economic Development Partnership that also has an office in Hong Kong. The partnership recently worked closely with Governor McDonnell to attract $21.2 million investment to Virginia. Another great resource is the Maryland International Incubator that opened its doors in 2009. Partner companies include Shandong Province Liaison Office which looks to identify businesses in Shandong as candidates to establish operations in the U.S.. Perhaps a direct investment in your company is a viable option for their candidates.

Regardless of what you end up doing, take your time and remember the Chinese proverb “He who hurries cannot walk with dignity.”

Great News Gathering Software for Your iPad Reading Pleasure

Posted on 12. Mar, 2011 by in Blogs

flipboard-ipad

I recently read a Wall Street Journal article “A Digital ‘Magazine’ With One Subscriber” on March 10th, 2011 where Katherine Boehret reviewed two news gathering software for your iPad, Zite and Flipboard. Having been a journalist in the past and an avid reader of news, I decided to download the them to my iPad and try them out.
I currently receive paper copies of Wall Street Journal as well as the Financial Times delivered to my house daily. I also subscribe to numerous magazines such as The Week, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The Economist to name a few. Every day, I also read the news on Huffingtonpost.com and two Turkish newspapers Hurriyet.com.tr and Milliyet.com.tr. So I consider myself to be well informed. However, having the subscriptions to so many news outlets is costly as well as time consuming. I like receiving the paper copies of newspapers and magazines because it allows me to cut out interesting articles and save them in my “Red Book of Ideas.” However, I spend 2 hours a day (mostly at night) fast reading the articles.
Reading the Huffington Post has been fun and beneficial, but it has mostly been fun. The news are delivered with a bias towards their point of view and also there is an emphasis of covering life style issues. So how about Zite and Flipboard?
I found Zite to be easy to set up and use. I chose to enter my Facebook and Twitter account information so they can get a sense of my taste in issues (I discovered that my taste on Facebook and Twitter is slightly different than reality). I then selected my sections such as Business and Investing, Entrepreneurship, Food and Cooking, Luxury Lifestyle, Mac, Philosphy and Spirituality, etc. Zite than searched millions of websites and gathered a potpourri of news to display on my iPad monitor. I clicked on news that interest me to read. In order to further laser focus on my interest areas, each news item is displayed with thumbs up or down feature. Over time, Zite learns from my behavior to further customize my news.

Flipboard was also very similar to Zite. It had a better GUI than Zite to display the news. The prominent articles received a larger portion of my monitor’s real estate which made me feel like I was reading a real magazine. I guess the comparison of Zite to Flipboard would be best described as New Yorker to Atlantic in terms of look and feel. They are both fantastic magazines and you should select the one that appeals to you the most.
We live in Washington DC and Washington Post is really our local newspaper. They are also working on their version of a news gathering site and application. It will be released soon and I will update you when it is available.

Creating Strategic Alliances

Posted on 25. Jan, 2011 by in LEADERSHIP, OPERATIONS

str_all1

CREATING STRATEGIC ALLIANCESStrategic alliance relationships are supposed to follow the 1+1=3 formula. You are supposed to combine and align your expertise, solutions and contacts with one or more companies to achieve greater business results than you can on your own. This sounds good in theory, but as you may have heard before, “Results may vary from company to company and there are no guarantees with alliance relationships. Side effects may include headache, nausea, heartburn…” But we all want increased predictability in our businesses and there are 10 steps that we can follow for better outcomes in our alliance relationship efforts. The following steps should apply to you whether you are a small business entrepreneur or a corporate executive.

Be selective.
Don’t have a shotgun approach to building alliances. Just like you would be selective when hiring someone, you should equally be careful about starting alliances with other companies. Diligently research your alliance partner candidates and slowly get to know them to make sure you have the same business goals, virtues, style and culture. For example an Annapolis startup that I am familiar with found a partner that was already an approved Federal government contractor. This allowed them to sell their software through this channel immediately which significantly reduced the time it would be needed for them to become an approved Federal contractor.

Patience is a virtue.
The definition of this saying is to tolerate delay. This implies self control and forbearance as opposed to wanting what we want when we want it. Alliance relationships will require time to develop trust, understanding and alignment between the two companies. You will need to spend quality time together (action oriented meetings) and diligently follow up on what was discussed. Showing that you deliver what you promised will go a long way in building trust with your partners.

Set out to support your business objectives.
Before you select partners as well as during your alliance relationship, keep your business objectives at the forefront of your actions. This may mean growing revenues by 15% or acquiring 25 new customers or to penetrating a new region. Regardless of their nature, your new alliances should be designed to support your objectives. Remember that alliances should help you open new doors that you could not otherwise do on your own.


Set realistic goals and strict rules of engagement.
If you are starting a new alliance relationship, know that progress will come slowly and in smaller increments. If one of your objectives is to grow your overall revenues by 15%, perhaps you can set your alliance goal to contribute 1 to 3% of that total. If your goal is to acquire net new customers, then you can set your goal to promote your company to 25 new customers with 2 alliance events. Rules of engagement will become very important when you start to acquire your new customers. Ensure an upfront and clear understanding of follow up procedures and revenue splits to avoid embarrassing litigation later on. Don’t forget that business needs to travel both ways. Often each alliance partner thinks the other will bring them business, leaving each partner wondering where the leads are. This often leads to frustration, dissatisfaction and potential ill will. The partnership must recognize early on the working model of the relationship – establish and agree upon expectations, goals, and measurements.

Bring value to your customers.
Customers are looking to do business with companies that can provide the greatest value to their business needs. Think about customer needs that your company does not directly address and offer combined solutions to meet them with your alliance partners. One good example that I recently noticed was legalzoom.com, a site that specializes in incorporation services and also offers virtual telephone operator solution from one of its partners. Most people who need to form a new company will also need to set up phone services. It makes sense and it brings value to the customers in the form of a “one stop shop.”

Fully incorporate alliances into your sales cycle and align, align, align.
There are two ways to set up alliance partnerships—the right way and the wrong way. The right way is to realize and understand that alliance partnerships are part of every sales cycle regardless of the size of deal and the type products/services involved. The wrong way is to think that your company’s sales cycle is somehow separate and siloed from its alliance efforts. This lack of institutionalization of alliances will ultimately lead to unfulfilled objectives, frustration and failure. Even when we execute the right way, we need to make sure that we are fully aligned with our partners and that we speak the same language to our mutual customers. You don’t want to look like a bunch of amateurs when so called alliance partner’s communicate different messages to mutual clients.

Aim for greater openness.
Much like in your personal relationships, the better you know your alliance partners, the more you will trust them and open up your company’s books. In ideal partnerships, parties involved will invest in each others’ solution development, share sales pipelines and go to market together to address specific sector or customer needs. This will take time, but it is important to keep it as a goal in the back of your mind to guide you as you select you partners and build alliances.

Trust but verify.
This Russian saying was made famous by President Reagan as he worked to develop an alliance relationship with the Soviet Union President Michael Gorbachev. As in any relationship, test your partners’ allegiance before you share too much information with them. Take baby steps in establishing ties and go for few quick wins before investing more into the relationship. Those early wins are important in building confidence on both sides of the fence and they will become your stepping stones as well as references to increased success in the future.
Know when to sever your ties.
Much like in life, some relationships will not work out or last long. Be able to detect problems early and if they cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, sever your ties with your partner. Also, it is a good idea to run an automated internet alert to detect any important developments about your alliance partners. The last thing you want is to be associated with the wrong type of crowd.

Stay friends.
Even when you sever your ties with companies, continue to invest in your human relationships. Stay in touch with your former alliance partners and keep them updated on your progress. You never know when former ties will appear in front of you again. When that time comes you want them to be your allies rather than your enemies.

TURKEY: The Next International Opportunity

Posted on 25. Jan, 2011 by in MARKETING

turkey3
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

John Feffer, Co-Director of Foreign Policy in Focus, recently wrote, “If superpower status followed the rules of real estate—location, location, location—then Turkey would already be near the top of the heap” in a June 14th, 2010 dated blog on HuffingtonPost.com (Stealth Superpower: How Turkey Is Chasing China to Become the Next Big Thing). And if you and your company do not have a strategy to trade and grow your personal fortune with the fastest growing economy in Europe, you may be missing the next big boat.

Turkey has inherited its superb real estate, sitting over Europe and Asia, within earshot of the oil and gas rich Middle East and the Caucuses, from the Ottoman Empire. A secular Republic since 1923, up until the mid 1980s, Turkey effectively used its location to develop its military capabilities with full membership in NATO (Turkey has the second largest army in NATO after the US). Starting with then prime minister, the late Turgut Ozal, Turkey opened its economy, signed a free trade agreement with the European Union (EU) and reaped the benefits in the form of tremendous economic growth ever since.

Goldman Sachs predicts that Turkey will be one of the top 10 largest economies by 2050. A candidate to become a full member of the EU, Turkish sails are full of positive winds waiting to carry passengers onward to new riches. So, while doing business in Metro DC what can you do to take advantage of this opportunity?


TURKEY AT A GLANCE
* Recently named the hottest investment property
market for 2011 (delivering 6% rental
yields)
* 6th largest economy in Europe
*$22 billion in direct foreign investments in 2010
* 2nd fastest growing Economy in Q1 of 2010 among G20 (11.7% Year over Year)
* Turkey’s economy predicted to increase 5% year over year until the year 2013.
* Easy access to Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa
* 16th largest economy in the world, with Goldman Sachs predicting it to be in top 10by 2050

(more…)

Take your junk e-mail seriously, you may have an e-mail from Mark Twain .

Posted on 23. Sep, 2010 by in Blogs

spam

Email from Mark TwainYou know, I never look at the emails in my junk inbox. What a mistake. One quick glance at it tells me that I have been wrong. Look at all of the things that I have been missing:

  • Apparently I have a friend in South Africa who has been trying to get in touch with me to wire $2.5 million for the last 6 months. What was I thinking to ignore this nice man? There is even an attached document from the government of South Africa.
  • Jane Robson wants me to contact her ASAP. I don’t know Jane, but it sounds urgent. Maybe she has something that she wants to sell me. Like…
  • Cheap Rolex at 50% discount…
  • Acai drink to flush out 20 pounds…
  • A miracle drug to add 3 more inches to you know what….
  • I am also not a Citi Bank customer, but they keep sending me an e-mail with the subject line “ID#2118 Important Information Regarding Your Account.” I really want to click on that URL.
  • The most interesting one is the e-mail that I received from the IRS offering me cash for Participation in “Member Satisfaction Survey.” What a country ha? I love America.
  • I know that we are all very cynical about these types of outrageous offers, but is this a new phenomenon? What about the early settlers in the US? Take a look at the following ad by Mark Twain to attract people to his lecture:

    MARK TWAIN

    (Honolulu Correspondent of the SacramentoUnion)

    Will Deliver A Lecture on the Sandwich Islands…

    A SPLENDID ORCHESTRA

    is in town, but has not been engaged;

    also

    A DEN OF FEROCIOUS WILD BEASTS

    will be on exhibition in the next block.

    MAGNIFICENT FIREWORKS

    were in contemplation for this occasion,

    but the idea has been abandoned.

    A GRAND TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION

    may be expected; in fact, the public are

    privileged to expect whatever they please.

    Doors open at 7 o’clock The Trouble to begin at 8

    I wish that my junk e-mails were as entertaining.

    VA 267 HOV killing the environment softly

    Posted on 23. Sep, 2010 by in ENVIRONMENT

    267

    VA 267 Toll Route6:50AM, I leave the house to attend a Technology Marketing Alliance meeting in Tyson’s Corner. The topic is “Straight from the Board: Corporate Board Members Tell What They Really Want from the CMO.” It is a breakfast event from 7:45AM and 10:00AM. I take the VA 267 toll road.

    7:00AM, I pass the first toll booths without any problem.

    7:01AM, I am sitting in bumber to bumber traffic, 10 feet passed the tolls.

    7:10AM, I can still make it to Tyson’s Corner by 7:45AM, right?

    7:15AM, I think we moved about a mile, I can now see the HOV lanes coming out of the airport.

    7:20AM, I moved 1/2 mile, maybe. I am listening to CNBC on XM Radio. They say the price of oil is rising again. I don’t know about you guys, but when the price of oil gets closer to $100, I start to pull for oil. I want to see it break the record. Americans love an underdog, don’t they? (Click read more to read the rest)

    7:30AM, I am still in a bumber to bumber traffic. I can see Fairfax County Parkway exit now.

    7:31AM, I am thinking now. Hey, why not? I have nothing else to do. There must be tens of thousands of cars in this traffic. The HOV lane immediately to my left is fairly open. Some cars zoom by. Some but not too many. Maybe hundreds, maybe few thousands.

    7:35AM, The double lane HOV that comes out of the airport is wide open. Few thousands cars are using it. Wow, we are really saving the environment with this HOV idea, aren’t we? Here I a sitting idly in traffic for hours along with tens of thousands of drivers. All that smoke is going up and polluting the environment. 3 lanes of HOV are fairly open and un-used. They are being patrolled by 3-4 highway patrol cars to catch the offenders. I am sure we can find better ways to leverage our police force, but we can’t because we are saving the environment with our HOV lanes.

    7:45AM, I decided to take the Fairfax County Parkway exit and use Leesburg Pike. Maybe the side roads are open.

    7:55AM, I am sitting in a bummer to bummer traffic, on Leesburg Pike.

    8:00AM, I cannot make it to this meeting on time, why try. There goes $85 down to the garbage (non-recyclable).

    8:05AM, I turn around at the first traffic light. I am going back home.

    8:30AM, I am back in the house in a lighter car, 1/4 tank lighter. I burned my $85, wasted my time, polluted the environment, be unproductive at work….Please, can someone explain to me how the HOV lanes fit our American life style? How am I supposed to use HOV on my way to a personal meeting? Why am I paying over $3 for a toll road, just to sit in traffic for 90 minutes. Isn’t this road privately owned? I don’t put up with the long lines in retail store checkout. Why do I have to put up with it here? I have a topic for them to discuss “Straight from VA 267: Citizen Board Members Tell What They Really Want from VA toll road management.”