Software Selection – The Cubiclewallah’s Perspective

How do you select a software??
Any cubicle dweller in the world knows exactly what is a mid – week crises. Any cubiclewallah will also tell you the 101 ways to avoid this eye of the storm kind of situation. It’s simple, just engage in idle gossip half- hiding, half-crouching behind the company water cooler with a more earnest looking colleague.
I don’t hide or crouch though, I stare across the premises as if everyone is invisible and I am alone at the water cooler. Enter: Our earnest product manager Wilson who has just come out of explaining why customers should go for our software. A perfect companion for idle gossip….. After a good half hour of yammering on software selection procedures and how we can predict it, being a software manufacturing firm ourselves, Wilson shrugged off to his cubicle and I trudged back thinking HOW DO PEOPLE SELECT THEIR SOFTWARE? And I don’t mean choosing between windows or linux for their desktops, but choosing the backbone technology that eventually runs their firm. How many of them actually run the risk of losing a spine. Since we are a global firm nothing short of the whole world will do. So let me break it up geographically. Since we’re always looking for something different, I’m taking the initiative and starting a new topic in a similar pattern—how do people in different regions select software? The United States: In order to select software, Americans need a lot of time and talented people to create derivative selection instruments, key performance indicators (KPIs), and even standards for software selection. After that, they will outsource the rest of the work to China and India. The Middle East: In the Middle East, this is how it is working:
  • They will have a selection process to select the selection consultant.
  • They will bargain with the selection consultant for 1 year to make sure that the selection project is done in a month.
  • Then it takes them 3 years to negotiate the contract with the vendor.
  • Once they know everyone is ready, they cancel the project because it took too long to go through the selection and everyone is afraid of the implementation.
Germany: In order to perform the most precise software selection, the German selection engineers have developed a selection model that includes 100 modules with 1,000 selection criteria for each module. This selection model gives the best results in the world. The only problem is that the cost of selecting the software is usually higher than the price of the software being selected. Japan: The Japanese adopted some software selection methodologies that were originally created in the US. These methods weren’t popular in the US at the time, but the Japanese managed to use these methods to make their selection processes very lean. They also invented a portable device called “Selectman” that can perform 50 selection projects using two AAA batteries. China: Although China is not the best in the world in terms of selecting software, it receives massive amounts of selection contracts outsourced from all over the world. When foreigners complain: “can we find any lousier software selection service?”, the Chinese will showcase the selection projects they have done for themselves, which are even worse. India: The Indian method is jugaad: when eventually the decision is made, between cost effectiveness and competence of software always compromise on the competence if you are getting it cheap. Believe it or not I checked the North Pole too. At the North Pole, no one does software selection yet, but wait until the ice melts and they start drilling for oil! The places I did not cover need not be covered I guess. However it seems that the above nations have found software selection as a hard nut to crack. More on the individual perspective of being a software selector in part 2 (yes it has a sequel too!) of the ramblings of your cubiclewallah.