Recently, I got an opportunity to have a discussion with Partha Pramanik,Vice President, Product Development, Fluent Technologies. Couple of weeks back we posted the first part of the interview. Today we have the last part of the series.
Som: What are the major operational challenges that an ISV is facing today?
Partha: The major operational challenges facing us as a ‘SaaS’ provider are in the areas of providing the proper infrastructure to support the business continuity demands of our clients as well as coming up with the appropriate model for providing support to them.
Som: What is your view on globalization of R&D services? Do you have distributed development team?
Partha: I have experimented with globalized R&D services and did not find the option very effective. As the synergy between technology and the business knowledge is crucial to our development efforts – inculcating the proper philosophy proved to be the biggest challenge rather than the adoption of new technology itself.
Som: What are the business drivers behind setting up a global team?
Partha: The main business driver behind setting up a global team is economics. With the cost of outsourcing increasing in a slow but steady pace commingled with the high unemployment in the US and the corresponding political fallout, the future in this area seems uncertain.
Som: What kind of challenges do you face to manage your team which is globally distributed?
Partha: Apart from the challenges mentioned earlier, on a personal level I found time management and coordination an issue with the 24 hour research and development cycle.
Som: What kind of value do you expect from your global partner?
Partha: I expect to see such a partner having a sense of ownership in the activities entrusted to them rather than a simple project execution.
Som: What kind of engagement model would evolve post recession
Partha: I believe that by the time US comes out of this recession the political fallout from the high unemployment rate and the ensuing protectionism might make the future of global development very uncertain.
Som: What are the major technology trends do you see today that is affecting ISVs?
Partha: As a ‘SaaS’ provider we are looking at low cost distributed deployment models with seamless load and data sharing. Our clientele is not comfortable with the cloud computing model due to the nature of the data.
Som: Do you think that cloud computing as a concept will change the ISV landscape like SaaS has done?
Partha: I believe that cloud computing in the non-sensitive computation areas will bring about the biggest change in the near term.
Som: What is your view on mobility? Do you see mobility as a delivery platform for enterprise products?
Partha: With the recent advances in mobile technology, I believe, our clients will demand that we make our services available in the mobile platform so that they can meet their business needs in a seamless manner. I see that all enterprise level products and services (including ours) will be available on mobile platforms in the near future and within a decade it will become a de facto standard to provide mobile support for any new entries to the enterprise world of computing.
Som: According to you, how critical is usability for the success of a product?
Partha: Although CHI (Computer Human Interaction) and usability engineering have been there for more than three decades, software development is yet to adopt usability engineering as a core component. From my perspective usability study is one of the most crucial areas of a development effort and is one that distinguishes a successful product from a failed one.