Company: Silverline TechnologiesCustomer: MightyWordsSubmitted by: Silverline TechnologiesDate: Summer 2001(USA) MightyWords is the Internet’s premier seller and distributor of mid-length, must-have, need-to-know digital content in the business and technical categories.
The company has created The Mighty Network by enabling distribution partners to seamlessly offer their own collections of MightyWords titles from their websites, effectively helping them earn non-advertising-based revenues. Business and computing professionals can browse the MightyWords’ website (http://www.mightywords.com), purchase eMatter—a term coined by MightyWords to describe business, computing, market research, and professional information that is between 10 and 100 pages, longer than a magazine article but shorter than a book—download it directly to their Windows, Mac, or UNIX PCs, and read it on the screen or print it out.
Challenge: eCommerce Website Requires Fast, Thorough QA Testing
MightyWords is blazing a new trail in the digital publishing world by providing digital content that is not available from any other source, accessible online 24×7, and easy to download and print. “We wanted a completely digital and completely automated online collection and distribution system,” said Hawke Robinson, CTO for MightyWords.
“We wanted authors and other content providers to be able to upload their publications directly from their computers to our database, and allow buyers to easily download, ‘unlock,’ and read the copyright-protected publications after purchasing them online. In addition, we wanted to develop a worldwide channel of distributors who could co-brand and sell our products through their websites by downloading a catalog template from our site, customizing the catalog to meet their needs, and using our site as their ‘backend’ fulfillment and purchasing system.”
Time and Money Were Riding on the Decision
“Our website, which went live in December 2000, is very sophisticated,” continued Robinson. “We realized we needed to do a thorough QA test to ensure that we delivered a high-quality user experience to our customers. The QA review would include our newly developed digital rights management (DRM) feature—a software ‘lock’ which protects our authors’ and publishers’ copyrights, and prohibits illicit redistribution of our eMatter content. Because our website is our business, time and money were of the essence.
The code that we needed to test was mission-critical so a lot was riding on our decision. We interviewed more than a dozen consulting companies to find a group that had the methodologies and self-discipline to keep us on track. Only one company, Silverline Technologies, really stood out from the crowd.”
Silverline Solution: Offshore Center Delivers Superior Quality at a Low Cost
Silverline, an international software development and integration services firm, has more than 2,600 software professionals located around the worldwide. Their offshore software development center in Chennai, India performed all the testing and QA on MightyWords’ website and DRM software.
“Silverline set up a dedicated quality assurance testing team for us in less than a week,” noted Robinson. “Their experience, knowledge, adherence to process and detail, and project management skills were just what we needed. In short, Silverline’s QA review was invaluable.”Silverline delivers its services through a global network of software development centers. At the heart of this network are ISO 9001 and SEI CMM Level 4-certified offshore centers in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai, India, and Cairo, Egypt. These centers support regional development facilities located close to clients throughout North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Silverline uses this Global Delivery Model to provide superior service, accelerated delivery, and significant cost savings to clients around the world.
Support Calls/Sales Ratio Drops Dramatically
“Silverline established a very efficient working relationship from the beginning,” noted Robinson. “Because of the time difference between India and our location on the West Coast, Silverline’s QA testers were able to do their work during the night Pacific Standard Time (PST). When we arrived in the morning, we had a checklist of bug fixes to work on each day. Our team and the Silverline team fell into a nice rhythm and together we produced a lot of quality work fast.
Thanks to their QA testing, our support calls/sales ratio dropped fifteen-fold.”According to Robinson, other vendors he researched would have charged up to three times as much as Silverline but wouldn’t have delivered the same quality work. An added bonus was the friendly working atmosphere. “Their offshore team kept us on track and helped us deliver an extremely complex product in a very short period of time. On top of that, they’re very professional and a pleasure to work with.
Silverline First in Line for Future Projects
MightyWords’ QA testing was originally budgeted as a temporary assignment, but Silverline quickly proved their value and Robinson not only extended their testing contract but is considering them for future development work. “Silverline is first on our list for any new projects,” said Robinson.
• Silverline set up a dedicated MightyWords QA testing team in its Chennai offshore software development center in less than a week.• Because of improved site quality, MightyWords’ support calls/sales ratio dropped fifteen-fold.• Silverline delivers the best price and quality combination.• Silverline established an efficient working relationship: its offshore group did the testing at night (daytime in India) and sent MightyWords a list of bug fixes, which they corrected the next day.• Other vendors would have charged up to three times as much as Silverline and wouldn’t have delivered the same quality work.• The offshore team kept MightyWords’ team on track, helped the company deliver an extremely complex product in a very short period of time, and was a friendly, professional group to work with.