Product upgrades for digital media production, management and distribution
A US company develops and markets a range of software and hardware products for digital media production, management and distribution. The company has two principal business segments covering video and audio. The video products enable users to manipulate moving pictures and sound in a faster and more creative manner, while the digital audio software applications and hardware systems allow users to edit and process sound in an integrated manner.
The company wanted a single offshore partner who could provide a one-stop solution for all its product upgrade and improvement needs. This included support for hardware, software, and firmware updates. To deal effectively with competition, the company wanted to reduce its cost of development.
The products developed by Infosys were to reach the client's customers, who required premium quality. To ensure that the development was of a high standard, Infosys had to handle the following issues:
- Software was just one of the deliverables and Infosys had to ensure that the firmware and the hardware products were updated carefully to guarantee that they performed immaculately.
- The client was facing problems in controlling the sustenance costs related to its existing product lines and Infosys was asked to ensure a dramatic reduction in maintenance expenses.
- The development costs for the new products had to be cut down. This was simple to do as a standalone mandate, but this was also tied to reducing the cycle time for development.
- Infosys had to deliver using multiple technologies in various areas, and this called for multidimensional skills, with depth of knowledge and expertise in handling different domains and platforms.
To ensure the twin advantages of low costs and quick turnaround time, the Infosys team, consisting of over 35 personnel, leveraged the Global Delivery Model and completed all the client's imperatives within three years.
Meticulous planning ensured that there was a clear idea of timelines and deliverables, including enhancements to product lines. Once this was in place, the multi-skilled Infosys team vigorously tackled all the client's mandates.
The drivers for the video and audio processing boards were developed for both Windows and Macintosh environments. After this, enhancements were applied to the hardware boards. Next, software for the audio and video codecs (coder decoders) was developed, followed by the firmware for the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) boards.
This was a highly technical project and the Infosys team had to deal with media formats such as DV25, DV50, MPEG-IMX (Integrated Multimedia Exchange), JPEG, and High Definition. The operating systems involved included various versions of Windows, Mac OS9, and Mac OSX. Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), a type of gate arrays that are programmed in the field rather than in a semiconductor fab, were also used.
In spite of the intricate technology, Infosys was able to deliver high quality because the lucidity of thought in the planning stage was effectively translated into action. Thus, Infosys was able to create a series of new products, which were delivered on time and within the budget. Overall development was achieved at a mere fraction of the price that previous versions had cost to produce.
The Infosys development efforts delivered the following benefits:
- Using the offshore development model dramatically reduced the total cost of operations
- Cycle time for development of new products was slashed by an impressive margin
- Intensive delivery planning meant that the client could get the products quickly and fulfill commitments to customers
- Lower costs of development ensured that the client could sell the products at a cost lesser than that charged by its competitors