As I watched my travel itinerary emerge from the printer tray, I stopped to think how we have begun to take a lot of internet enabled conveniences for granted. I remember how, more than 15 years ago I had to drive down to Kaveri Bhavan at Bangalore and wait in the queue to get my Indian Airlines ticket; and God forbid have to make this pilgrimage again, if I needed any change in the itinerary. Today every conceivable service or a product can be purchased through the net. It is all about enabling the end customer to make an informed buying choice and convenience to consume a product or a service. As the Wipro's current marketing mantra goes, it is all about 'doing business better'.
If every service is 'going online', can Testing Services be far behind? After all, testing has huge business potential due to ever increasing complexity in system architectures and disparate systems having to inter- work together. As testing becomes more and more segmented and specialized, enabling the customer to browse, buy and possibly even 'consume' the service through online channel becomes an immediate imperative. Also, we have been receiving a high of volume of web leads for our certification services. Conventional response to these web leads needed to be replaced with an online response system so that overall sales and service cycles times are kept low. Thus was born the concept of Testing-as-a-Service portal wherein customers can browse our productized services, choose the service and service parameters, request for a commercial quote, pay online and in some select cases even consume the services online. Of course this is easier said than done as a lot of background work needs to be done in terms of clarity and organizational readiness.
Customers buy outcomes and not activities. We thus needed to define the 'product' or rather the 'productized service' that the customer will pay for. If we define the outcome of testing to be assurance of readiness, then that is the 'product' we need to sell. So began the exercise of diligently defining each service in terms of what readiness it assures and then deriving the various service parameters that the customer can choose. Thus, the TaaS portal was born. More on this later….