The Qualysoft's R&D department has been running innovation projects since 2006. The main objectives of these projects are to maintain the quality of our projects and increase the price/value ratio we can offer our customer. We achieve this by increasing efficiency and enhance quality in our products and service offerings. The most important challenges of the Qualysoft as a general provider is, setting the proper focus both technically and professionally.We’ve studied the Qualysoft portfolio and past projects and it’s heterogeneity was a surprise. We had multiple EAI, integration projects and Infinica projects during the last 3 years, but most of the projects were unique. The international competition is increasing, most of the upcoming enterprise projects are based on some kind of special applications or environments. Without specialization and reusable codes you can’t produce these projects efficiently. The first project in a specific area needs usually investment and is not necessarily profitable.The QS Innovation will not have it’s own staff and we utilize our budget very lean spending most of the budget directly to the innovation purposes.We don’t maintain local subsidy administration knowledge but we are partnering with the local subsidy consultants.
We were successful by involving R&D funds, especially in the worst years of the crisis.In a yearly volume of 2000 man-days could be booked to R&D projects and it financed the marketing activities in a huge portion in the last years.It’s not secret, that we have experienced all the possible challenges of these projects.
What were our main challenges? Innovation is hard and very complex.In the early years we struggled finding the proper funding, that’s why the development often suffered from breaks and restarts and unexpected changes in staff. Then the development part of the innovation often needs more specialized teams then expected, and this is just the easiest part of the game. For example it happened, that we struggled with the development of an application for 18 months and a freelancer finished it within 5 months.Further problem can be that the right feature development needs very specific skills. This is a part, which we receive mostly from our customers and tend to think that it’s easy.We summarized our lessons learned, and solved the first three challenges, but we still struggle to find the proper business positioning of our R&D activities. Management meetings, brainstorming and also a mini competition have not been resulted any viable concepts. This is the main challenge now, that our future efforts should solve.Even the best R&D ideas will die, if the corporate strategy can’t support it.
You won’t believe, but the most innovations are made by accident at the most cases and at the most companies. Which is fine. I’ll tell you examples also within the QS. The challenge is that we have to recognize, that there has been born something new in that case. Because it’s quite easy just let the case past on. We want to investigate the suddenly successful projects and understand the key of their success.But beside recognizing the accidentally invented achievements and generalize the way we did it and incorporating in our processes, we would like to generate innovations on purpose by targeted activities. That’s why we are developing our innovation process framework. Innovate on purpose is also a title of a book written by Jeffrey Phillips. You can read it on your Kindle. The resource management in Austria applied small changes this year which resulted unexpected boost in sales success. I am sure you are taking your chief architect to the customer before preparing an offer to their problem. But it was not usual taking the recruiter to the customer while receiving their staffing needs. Partly because of lack of sales, partly as an experience we applied this practice taking the recruiters to the customer meeting while talking about resource needs, which resulted a huge quality boost in the forwarded candidate acceptance ratio.Anyway the Qualysoft was born by a revolutionary business model, that seasoned project managers went to the customer receiving their resource needs and held most of the interviews with candidates. Which used to be a very different service quality to the selection by non-IT educated recruiter ladies.
We can see, that we have to identify exactly, what we do, what is our real product or service to sell and improve and what are the key quality properties.For example there are other resource management service firms offering shorter application to contracting process. Or they offer online invoice transparency and e-invoicing for freelancers provided to the customers. We are planning to draw a QS Process Map visualizing the main Business Processes we are executing daily and which are influential to our proceedings.The Innovation department will try to initiate innovation at many areas always involving the proper departments.There is not many reasons why Qualysoft should not be ten times bigger than now, if we compare it with other similar companies. Product and service quality, efficiency and business models and channels are always the main reasons influencing customer decisions. Being competitive at so many areas than we are acting on, needs a bigger size. I do not know what would be the right size of the Qualysoft, but being not so dependent on unique personal achievements will need definitely some growths. Performance and efficiency is a huge issue. We are winning projects, huge part of the project challenges were never delivered yet by the Qualysoft. Risks and learning curves are easy to underestimate and we start to build up the necessary knowledge. Innovation of systems, platforms or form product packages are related partly to the business model, because it makes our offerings more tying and available for more interfacing solutions.I would like to cooperate with the PMO for measuring the product quality of the delivered projects. All three factors, customer satisfaction, user experience and technical quality should be measured.
I would like to make clear the distinction between R&D and innovation. We ran R&D projects in the past, just to find the blockbuster software concept that we can sell to all the multinational enterprises and get good rich. R&D must result something new. If it is well positioned and maintained successfully it results lot of cash 6 years later. Only in the case, if the company can keep up following this strategy.Innovation targets something, which is not necessarily new, but seems to work immediately or seems to work better then before. Innovation can be groundbreaking as well, but it is mostly incremental.The R&D activities are a part of our innovation program.
Our Innovation Process Framework follows the most popular innovation processes of IT literature.You can see, that all these activities are not isolated activities of the QS Innovation, but interlocking cooperations of all QS participants.It is expected that we have a supportive culture and we do not fear to ask what is wrong?External consultants can be very vitalizing at all the Generate phases and at the Planning phase, you don’t need many of them catalyzing some thinking and bringing new viewing aspects. There are process gates between the phases and there is a budget gate at the Develop phase and an even bigger at the Launch.
Our current attention is focused to the following topics.Resource Management topics are the most relevant business area of the Qualysoft and we can see, how much progress can we achieve with tiny improvements.Demonstration techniques and visualization is a very customer centric area which can support our professional introduction at many extent. We could observe, that business breakfasts, professional shows, presenting at symposiums are much more influential to our customers than advertisements and other marketing events. We are selling the expertise of our employees, or at least the promise of it. Business tablet usage is a solution enabler topic, this is the front-end or a part of the front-end of many back-end applications, but very good entry topic nowadays.We still work on the current subsidy topics and try to suit them to the current needs. (There might be 18+ months difference between the planning and funding of these projects, so they need lot of update, but we have to push the original objective during the whole project.)We have some further topics in our Think Tank which will be updated regularly and I hope that we’ll gather many further topics as well.
*We can involve even customers into these, although we must not forget: Good to listen to the customer (what problems he has), bad to ask it what he needs. (Because he will not know it. Only thinks knowing it.)Many projects struggles of the lack of innovation capabilities of our customers. It’s a distance goal, that we should be able to support them and provide product development or innovation consultancy services.
This is the expertise map of the Qualysoft shown in the background of the new Qualysoft website. It is based on the skill database of the GSDU.While planning innovation at Qualysoft is the same, as designing this graph. This graph should be of course extended by non developer skills as well.
1. QS Innovation Start with a vision, continue with passion, be driven by knowledge. Jozsef A. Bayer, Head of R&D, QS Holding
2. Objectives Improve efficiency by Improve efficiency niche segment preparation and enhance quality in our applying reusable codes products and services gaining specific domain experience Setting focus: specialization to specific answer to the general areas provider challenge2
4. Challenges Specialized Product development development team knowledge Business Proper demand & funding funding Innovation should meet success4
5. Innovate on purpose Innovate accidentally New Breakthrough Game Technology Changer Recognize and adopt /Success story Near to Existing Incremental Breakthrough Innovate on purpose Need of Innovation Near to New Existing Process Framework Business Model5
6. Innovation areas Enabling processes Product performance / efficiency Business model and channels Product quality Experience and image Key to success:Quality, efficiency, business Platforms, systems, packages model6
7. R&D vs. InnovationR&D: Innovation: That’s new! That works! Strategic enhancements. That works better! R&D is only a part of the Immediate benefit. innovation7
8. Innovation Process Framework Voice of Employee Strategy Generate customer Idea Tank, derivation Partnerships Brainstorm Collaborative Capture Mindmap Idea DB Bugs me box Trend scan Evaluate Ranking OOTB Intern. Road- WW search Communic. mapping Iterate Develop Planning Prototyping Pre-selling Portfolio Funding building Incubate Program QS PM+ Sales8 Launch management delivery campaigns
9. Current focus1. Recruitment & RM2. Demonstration techniques and visualization3. Business tablet and Smart use cases4. Available subsidy topicsCurrently in the Think Tank: ... EnterpriseMashup, Ins. job delegation, Smart topics w.Morvay, etc.9
10. Planned actions1. Personal interviews with active idea producers2. More support for BUMs3. Think tank filling*4. QS processes map5. QS knowledge map (w. GSDU)6. Measure Quality (w. PMO)7. Spreading important knowledge across the QS8. Innovation image for the QS10