Standardize Or Perish

DQC News Bureau
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One of the biggest challenges that small and medium businesses face when

dealing with small and medium solution providers is consistency in delivery and

consistency in quality of delivery across different customer sets.


Corporate customers want the same experience from their solution provider,

whether a network is being set-up in Hyderabad or Indore. That is because the

customers' customers want to have the same experience whether they are accessing

services in Delhi or Lucknow.

Productization or standardization of IT service offerings is the new mantra

that is likely to be taken up by entry and mid-level solution providers. There

is no dearth of examples to show that even small time players actually ensured

that consistency in quality and delivery is achieved before they started growing

and some became even big.

According to industry pundits, such as IDC, to standardize or to achieve 75

percent repeatability of services delivered is a good benchmark, and if that is

achieved then productization is successful.


Clearly, solution providers looking for an edge, and keen on beating

competition, will now strive to productize. The success mantra for the next 24

months for bagging new as well as repeat orders and enhancing profitability will

surely be standardization.

The advantages are for the solution providers too. Market research and

surveys clearly indicate that service-level agreements (SLAs) between the

vendors, solution providers and the customer, is likely to be the order of the

day in near future. It will not work without standardization.


Surely, challenges for solution providers, who are already undress pressure,

will go up. Standardisation would require higher levels of expertise from

partners to implement and maintain the solutions. But we must not forget that

while the small players try to win big customers, the big players are now

increasing focus on SMBs, who increasingly want 'productized services' and fast


According to IDC, “The market spending on system integration services in

India for 2007 is expected to be around $872 million growing at 19 percent and

contributing to 21 percent of the total IT services market. This change in the

delivery model will not have a huge impact on spending, but will definitely

improve vendor earnings and client confidence from the standardized services


Ibrahim Ahmad