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VISESH INFOTECNICS

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DQC News Bureau
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Bagging and implementing an unique project is every solution provider's

dream come true. DQCI presents a new column where it profiles some unusual

deployments executed by partners. We start with Visesh Infotecnics, which bagged

the coveted award for the 'Best Deployment' during the first DQCI Excellence

Awards held last month.

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New Delhi-based Visesh Infotecnics decided to focus on solution providing

early on, as it knew this was the way the channel was going. It has executed

several prestigious projects for national and overseas companies. Its claim to

fame is its ability to provide reliable and cost-effective software solutions to

organizations globally in addition to leading edge solutions. It has even set up

state-of-the-art software development facilities at Bangalore and Gurgaon.

Visesh recently bagged the prize for the 'Best Deployment' during the

DQCI Excellence Awards held on 15 January 2005, for a project that it

implemented for the Revenue Department of The Royal Thai Government. It is one

of the few solution providers that had ventured overseas for deployment of

full-scale projects.

The project, valued at Rs 4.18 crore, was for the value-added tax (VAT) and

special business tax (SBT) of in Bangkok and 23 other districts of Thailand. The

Revenue Department (RD) is the highest tax collection agency under the Ministry

of Finance in Thailand. Its responsibilities are to collect and administer the

taxes. The RD has been using IBM mainframe for past 10 years for their IT

requirements.

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SANJIV BHAVNANI



Be ready to get unexpected surprises while deploying projects overseas

These applications were developed using Cobol and SQL/DS. The existing

applications operate in batches and do not provide much data retrieval

capability to assist auditors in data processing or audit criteria to tax

returns. The Government embarked on a program to modernize the Revenue

Department by employing new technology.

MEETING PROJECT CRITERIA



Visesh redeveloped two of the applications, VAT and SBT, in J2EE environment.
The project involves full software development life cycle i.e. Requirements

Study, Detail Design, Development, System test and Implementation. The system

requires handling of large volume of data related to filing of tax returns.

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For this purpose, the project requires a specified performance criterion to

be met. Tax calculations are complex and the system requires interfaces with

various other applications. The prototyping approach has been followed for

capturing the user requirements. As these applications are for the Government

department, the user interfaces (screens and reports) are in Thai language. The

project involved translation of user interfaces in Thai after the development of

the system in English.

Visesh designed the application and developed it based on multi-tier

architecture, using a browser-based thin client that displays forms and menus.

The client forwards all its requests to the web server, which services the

request related to the display using either Java Server Pages (JSP) or HTML

files. The requests that relate to database processing or application logic are

forwarded to VAT/SBT application server. This server uses Enterprise Java Beans

(EJBs) to service these requests. In case the business / application logic

require access to the data, the data is accessed from the database server using

JDBC.

Visesh used Rational Rose application development tools for system modeling,

analysis and design in the project. Software configuration and version

management was done with Rational Clear Case, while an IBM WebSphere server with

an MQ series integrator. Other IBM products were used for application

development environment and backend database for storage of complete application

database.

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The IBM WebSphere application development environment is fully compliant with

the current J2EE specifications. The WebSphere server is a comprehensive

application server.

CHALLENGES IN DEPLOYMENT



Deploying projects for an overseas invites several challenges, especially

with respect to the linguistic differences. Surmounting the language barrier was

the most difficult task for Visesh. For starters, it had to decipher 40,000

pages written in Thai, which explained the existing IT setup. The company

employed six translators and outsourced some more work to two translating

houses.

Another challenge was managing funds, as when it bagged the contract, Visesh

had partnered with a local Thai company, but had not taken complete ownership of

its operations. And the local company was unable to arrange for funds internally

and Visesh could not invest beyond a specified amount, as decreed by the country's

laws. But this was taken care of once Visesh took over the company soon.

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Visesh also had to deliver the project, which would ordinarily have taken 55

man-years, within 24 months. Of this, one month was lost in the translation of

documents.

Getting people was also a tough task, especially as Visesh had to employ 60

people for this project. Of these 20 were Thai nationals who looked after the

administrative operations and for interacting with the RD authorities there.

Visesh sent 40 more people from India to design and deploy the project at

Bangkok. They were accommodated in over 20 apartments that the company rented

for a long term.

The most surprising challenge was handling the dietary issues that came with

the relocation of Visesh's Indian personnel in Bangkok. Smiled Sanjiv Bhavnani,

MD, Visesh Infotecnics, "Since we had people from diverse communities and

not all of them were comfortable eating Thai food, we had to find and appoint a

caterer who would provide Indian food, which was something we had not

expected." He now advises all companies who want to deploy projects

overseas to be ready for some unexpected surprises.

VINITA BHATIA

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