Product Engineering Partnerships: The What, Why, and How

Product Engineering Partnerships: The What, Why, and How

The wheels of modern technology are made of engineered products. Software product engineering has this innate ability of giving new direction to businesses. Consequently, digital enterprises are opting for more product engineering services today. A foundational product development strategy is the starting point for most. And, industry experts recommend a strong partner collaboration as the natural next step.

Imagine, you are setting up a superstore. You have already purchased the plot and invested in the construction. The next step is to have a process in place for smooth operations. First, you need resources and helping hands for inventory procurement and stocking. Further down the line, you also need billing personnel, helpdesk associates, and a packaging team. The need to expand and modernize will grow as you will keep scaling up. After a time, accomplishing everything will be beyond your individual capacity and expertise. Tying up with a manpower recruitment agency would be a smart decision at this point.

Software product engineering is similar in essence. But, it’s also a bit better. To deploy a robust product, you first need a robust product development strategy. A competent partner who is conversant with technology can help you here. This partner handholds you to reign in growth by turning your idea into an actual engineered product. But, more into that later – let’s start with the basics first.

What are product engineering services (PES)?

Product engineering services (PES) refer to solutioning that assist in the end-to-end lifecycle management of software applications. These services support a product right from its initiation to its post-deployment customizations. They leverage a sturdy combination of software, tools & operating systems, IT interfaces, and human ingenuity.

The product engineering market is defined by constant innovation and consistent competition. At the global level, the market is expected to rise to $1.4Tn by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7%.
Agile software product engineering is critical for standing out in today’s business climate.

The pace of growth can be unprecedented, however. It may be difficult at times to catch up with the speed at which the industry is growing. Keeping such exigencies in mind, a winning engineered product always starts with a winning product development strategy. But, how to get there? Collaborate with the right product engineering services partner.

Who is a product engineering partner/services provider?

A provider of product engineering services is an IT organization with the latest software development know-how.  This third-party vendor has specialized resources for futuristic software application development. Once assigned, it manages your product end-to-end from planning to on-demand customization.

How to know which software partner is best suited for you? The following parameters can be telling – skill certifications, understanding of legacy applications, process documentation capability, and budget compatibility.

Read why an ISO-13485 certification is important in product development.

Why do you need product engineering services?

  1.   Transform novel ideas into actual applications
  2.   Keep software products ahead of the competition
  3.   Customize products as per market dynamics
  4.   Leverage specialized know-how on product engineering
  5.   Ensure safe development and deployment of products
  6.   Minimize budget-related uncertainties

Innovation drives the modern business world. Today’s independent software vendors (ISVs) leverage cutting-edge applications for meeting business commitments. Alongside, they also need to stay on top of the technology game by transforming ideas into value-yielding products. A product engineering services provider fits these demands perfectly. Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits of tying up with such a service agent.

The six core benefits of product engineering partnerships:

1. Transform novel ideas into actual applications

An investment in engineered products in time saves nine. Modern enterprises need to keep disrupting technology for revenue maximization. Training your internal team on the evolving dynamics of IT is time-effective (especially, if you are a non-IT firm). Onboarding new staff, on the other hand, is both time- and cost-sensitive. Never let the dearth of infrastructure or experience stop you from having a product development strategy in action. Tie up with a provider of software product engineering services. They work alongside your team to oversee the holistic adoption of all your technical ideations. The best part? The ingenuity of PES is such that even if it involves outsourcing your IT needs you remain in much control.

2. Keep software products ahead of the competition

One of the biggest challenges of operating in the new-age software landscape is staying relevant. You may have a brilliant inflow of engineered product ideas that you desire to launch. But by the time you move them to production, someone else may already be deploying them. A long capability-development cycle and a longer time to market are growth impediments. Pair up with a sound product engineering services provider. Design your product development strategy, and set it into motion quickly.

The Benefits of Availing Product Engineering Services
Product engineering services have many advantages vis-à-vis in-house product development

3. Customize products as per market dynamics

Optimization is key to the product development strategy of engineered applications. A good product engineering services partner always starts with an initial MVP (minimum viable product). Based on the feedback received on it, the partner consistently updates the product till user acceptance is stabilized. Software product engineering is thus a process of consistent innovation and consequent improvement.

4. Leverage specialized know-how on product engineering

Robust product engineering services leverage the latest technology stack and also traditional best practices. For launching cutting-edge applications, your product development strategy needs the right skill sets. A PES partner is specialized in the nitty-gritty of these evolving technologies and the associated process flows. Pair up your requirements with their technical edge to launch game-changing engineered products.

5. Ensure safe development and deployment of products

A software product engineering project is a highly detailed one. It’s true in essence that an engineered product is always one wrong calculation/prediction away from being rendered futile. Read about the 5 most commonly faced software development challenges.

Collaborating with a product engineering services provider is a full-proof solution toward this. These vendor organizations take the end-to-end responsibility for the development of your application. They engage certified resources and SMEs for the safe and optimized deployment of the product. By outsourcing your product needs to them, you save a lot of time and effort to focus on your core activities instead.

6. Minimize budget-related uncertainties

A sound service provider always shares a well-defined cost estimate at the very beginning of the project. The estimates are well-documented and integral to the product development strategy. There are no ad hoc expenses for project digressions and experimentations. Such chances are generally higher when you take up a project in-house. A PES partner is well-aware of what it is doing and the methodologies it is leveraging for the software product engineering. Cost variations come into effect only when you need additional customizations for the engineered product.

How to set into motion a robust product engineering process?

A well-defined product engineering services plan includes the following:

Product planning 

The success of any product depends a lot on how you plan it. The foremost step is to know the mission and the expected outcome from the product you wish to develop. A product engineering services provider will go a step further and do a SWOT analysis to determine your product’s feasibility. It will define the product features and enhancements as per your business needs. It will also delve into thorough research of the ongoing market trends, competition, technology used, and target customer base. Finally, it will come up with a customized product idea as a part of your product development strategy.

Product conceptualization

It takes the right technology and skill to convert an innovative idea into an outstanding product. An expert product engineering services partner sets into motion a holistic product development cycle. It starts with selecting the right tools for designing the product architecture. Then, the partner moves to production where its specialist coders encode the product as per your requirement. The compilation is then subjected to quality tests for ensuring flawless operations. The final engineered product is then deployed either at the client site or catered to end-users. A good PES partner takes further accountability for the maintenance and continued user excellence of your product.

Top Capabilities of a Robust Product Engineering Services Partner
Key components of a product development strategy

Platform modernization and migration

Today’s modern IT systems need consistent, flexible, and innovative technology upgrades. A software PES partner starts with a detailed product development strategy. It includes a thorough assessment of your IT infrastructure and business processes. The next step involves a platform migration/upgrade as needed. Data archival/retirement follows from here for the safekeeping of legacy data. After the new engineered application is deployed and integrated, the PES partner continues to provide staff training, go-live support, maintenance services, and timely system upgrades.

Quality analysis and testing services

A well-accepted product is well-tested before deployment. A good PES partner identifies your testing requirements and includes them in the product development strategy. It designs a feasible test automation plan for you. It leverages best-performing automation tools to execute automated test cases for your engineered product (software, web, and mobile). Both analysis and reporting are made accessible in real time. The software product engineering partner also provides automation training to your software development teams. It further continues to provide maintenance support for the long term.

Did you know, agile automation testing today is heavily reliant on scriptless test automation (STA)? Most modern PES organizations are using the same to deliver customer success.

Information security and consulting 

Information security is critical for all data-driven businesses. A good product engineering services provider can help you assess the vulnerable areas in your enterprise where information needs protection. The PES partner offers a mix of technology solutions and governance practices to protect your information assets. It also designs an ideal governance policy based on your enterprise risk, security challenges, and compliance needs. The partner further trains your team and implements a program for long-term security maintenance.

Estuate has dynamic and customizable product engineering solutions in its ambit

Our experts work closely with business teams to understand their requirements and develop customized high-performing products. Design and launch game-changing software products and applications with our innovative solutions.

We cover all major quarters of product innovation:

  • Product planning
  • Product conceptualization
  • Platform modernization and migration
  • Quality analysis and testing services
  • Information security and consulting

So, if you are looking for dynamic product engineering solutions, let innovation drive your business. We are right here to help.

Do you think it is necessary to collaborate with an external product engineering firm for deploying robust products? What difference would it make if you develop the products in-house?

Lightweight Testing Automation Framework – A critical component of your digital journey

Every organization runs its business using software, and such softwares should be thoroughly tested before it gets released into the market. At this stage, automation testing is essential for the rapid release of effective and secure software products. To achieve this, the testing team adopts automation frameworks as it helps them to manage complicated testing tasks within the PDCA (Plan-DO-Check-Act) cycle even with less experience.

Automation frameworks form an integral part of any automation testing process. It acts as a pillar in the successful completion of automation projects. The framework helps the QA team in their testing efforts, improves test speed and accuracy, and increases test efficiency by providing a high return on investments (ROI). Framework implementation reduces overall maintenance costs and optimizes the agile testing process. Ideally, lightweight test automation frameworks are considered as they are designed explicitly to automate the regression tests.

Let’s understand the Lightweight Testing Automation Framework

Lightweight Testing Automation Framework (LTAF) is a tool designed to perform integration and regression tests by enabling web browser scripting to perform subsequent actions against the application interface. LTAF simulates operations similar to an actual user action, such as texting, clicking links, scrolling the page, submitting buttons, and simultaneously verifying the expected results in the browser window. LTAF is termed as lightweight as it involves relatively simple programs or less code. The lightweight automation tool is predominantly associated with the agile software development method.

You can consider a variety of automation framework approaches for your industry. To list a few, we have open-source, commercial, and heavyweight test automation frameworks. Compared to all of these, Lightweight automation framework implementation is quicker, with significant benefits. Lightweight frameworks are used to ramp-up the regression test, which involves testing an application to ensure that the existing functionalities are not affected due to the introduction of new code updates or enhancements.

Test Automation Framework benefits:

The automation tools are essential to improve the efficiency of testing processes. Its implementation strengthens the testing process enormously, ensuring:

Code Reusability – Allows quick re-use of existing code or functions to create a new program without re-writing it again.

Cost-effectiveness – Cloud-based automation frameworks enable you to execute unlimited projects that are made available worldwide to unlimited users.

Customizable UI / Features /Reports – Customizable frameworks help in creating user-friendly reports.

Flexible to add new features – Integration of manual test case with the automation tool allows the QA team to make quick decisions about test cases requiring automation.

Fast and easier implementation – Simple architecture and design make it easier for tool implementation.

Maximum test coverage – Improves testing consistency by optimizing code coverage and providing test cases for all functionalities of the program.

Less maintenance and dependency– Frameworks aids with quick test script creation. Test scripts generated are independent of platform and test applications.

e-TAS – Web Automation Tool

Estuate has developed one such robust, in-house lightweight web automation tool called eTAS (Estuate Test Automation Solution). eTAS is a highly efficient and customizable tool with convenient features that delivers quick and precise results with minimal manual intervention. The tool uses a parameterized – keyword driven framework to automate regression tests for an application.

Some of the eTAS features include:

  • Script-less automation – Adopts scriptless automation approach for automating test cases. This approach helps the QA team to embrace automation without worrying too much about scripting.
  • Simple architecture – A simple design that requires limited human interaction for its operation. The tool helps in creating useful automation scripts that are independent of the test application.
  •  User-friendly graphical results – Generates accurate and real-time test reports leading to improved software quality.
  • Smooth test execution at client systems.- Ensures faster, low-cost test execution and aims to achieve faster results.
  • Global and local object repository – Supports both the default and shared object repository. 
  • Multi-browser compatibility – Compatible with other open-source software and applications, and also supports various browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft IE, Apple Safari, and Mozilla firefox.
  • Open-source selenium as a platform – The keyword-driven framework uses Selenium and Java as its base, which makes it easier for testers to build code with minimal coding skills.

It’s quite a challenging task to select an appropriate automation tool or framework for your project from a wide variety of unique featured tools. While choosing an automation tool, you need to evaluate if it meets your particular tool requirements and accordingly narrow down your search for a suitable tool that satisfies your needs. It is imperative to note that the tool vendors can provide continuous maintenance, upgrades, and support throughout the project completion. 

Estuate’s eTAS favors testing teams to design and execute UI and functional tests through web and mobile applications, and it offers a robust framework and stable support for the development and maintenance of automated test projects.

Your Five Step GRC Implementation Roadmap

The concept of Governance, Risk and Compliance has been around for some time. Although there is no single, universally accepted definition for GRC, it is basically a comprehensive business strategy that aims at ensuring corporate governance and mitigating enterprise risk while staying in compliance with regulatory policies. It establishes clear guidelines for operations and a mechanism to prevent and fight business risks. It comprises of three main pillars.

Governance, ensuring business processes and corporate policies are practiced throughout the organization.

Risk, identifying the potential areas of risk and preparing the organization to minimize and prevent them.

Compliance, the ability to comply with legal and regulatory requirements and business policies.

For years, businesses have followed old school ways of implementing GRC programs using traditional methodologies such as spreadsheets and in-house tools. However, with emergence of breakthrough technologies like AI, Cloud and automation, the concept of GRC has evolved and modernized.

Although we have been slow in adopting technology-driven GRC practices, lately there has been a significant shift towards businesses leveraging automated GRC strategies at enterprise levels. So much so, that the global GRC market is expected to reach $64.61 billion by 2025.

Today, all modern enterprises need to let go of traditional GRC practices and modernize their approach. But how do you get there? How can you adopt a winning GRC strategy? Here is a five-step GRC implementation roadmap that can help you plan, strategize and implement modern GRC practices effectively in your organization.

Revisit your GRC framework

To start with, you need to review your existing GRC framework and identify the gaps that technology can fill. It would mean redefining what governance, compliance and risk means for your enterprise. A clear understanding of your key business objectives and important business processes will help you adopt the right GRC technology and develop appropriate policies, procedures and guidelines for your business.

Select a GRC Solution

In order to ensure effective functioning of a GRC initiative, it is important that you pick the right implementation partner and an ideal GRC solution for your enterprise. There are tons of GRC tools and hundreds of vendors in the market.Cloud based GRC solutions are most popular nowadays. MetricStream, BWise, SAP, Riskonnect, RSA Archer etc. are some market-leading GRC products available today. Go for a solution that comes with all the features you’re looking for. Also, do your research and select an experienced vendor that can implement GRC within a reasonable time-frame with maximum efficiency.

Project Planning

This step involves chalking out a well-defined GRC implementation plan. A business analyst or project manager appointed by the vendor visits your premises and spends time understanding your existing business processes and policies. He also conducts a risk assessment of your business and identifies areas that need to be protected.

He then develops an integrated GRC plan that best suits your organization, including a detailed demo of the selected GRC product, assigning roles and responsibilities and defining project timelines.

Implement GRC Practices

Once a detailed plan is developed, the next and the most crucial step is implementing GRC practices at your enterprise. Today, most GRC programs are Cloud driven and automated. Implementation involves policy and document management, operational risk management, IT risk management and corporate compliance management. It also includes spreading awareness about the new GRC policies and training people within the organization to practice them.

Monitor and Improvise

Implementing a GRC program is not a one-time activity. It is a continuous business practice and must be followed every day across all departments. It is therefore important to closely monitor and ensure that GRC practices are well followed within the enterprise. Also, since the business world is highly dynamic, you must modernize your GRC platform and revise your policies regularly to match business, industry and regulatory requirements.

GRC is essential because it brings about a stability in the way a business performs. It improves the quality of people, processes and information within an organization providing meaningful insights for better decision making. It is not just a good initiative anymore, it is an essential business requisite. Adopting a modern GRC program leads to a remarkable organizational change. However, the key to successful implementation is to have a clear strategy and take one step at a time.

Patient Centricity and the Digital Transformation in Healthcare

The initial move towards the Digital Health Revolution is that healthcare providers are now recognizing that the industry is shifting its focus to patient care, who is now the customer, and that they need to utilize the technology to improve the patient experience. HealthTech services, explicitly, set the standard for dynamic healthcare experience and conventional medical organizations are concentrating on the benefits of engaging with patients in new, technologically-enabled ways.

With the latest developments in healthcare and technology, patients have access to information and services that allows them to make decisions and determine the type of medical treatment they want to receive. Many medical experts approve the patient-centered approach broadly as a very qualitative method with positive results.

What is patient centricity?

“Patient centricity” can be outlined as the process whereby a service or solution is designed around the patient. A patient-centric approach is a way of establishing partnerships among physicians, patients, and their families in the healthcare system to align decisions with patients’ desires, requirements, and preferences. It also involves providing detailed information and support patients’ needs to make these decisions and be active in their treatment.

Why is it necessary to have a patient-centric approach?

A patient-centered approach is evaluated as a gateway to effective healthcare.

Healthcare experts believe that patient-centric care can bring significant benefits to both the business and the medical sector.

  • On a business front, patients who report positive experiences have more trust in their providers and are less likely to switch physicians, allowing continuity of their health care and contributing to patient retention.
  • From the medical perspective, it shows that patients respond better to medications, have fewer symptoms, and often have reduced risk of relapse or hospital readmission.

Patient-centered health-care benefits include:

  • Continued interactions between patients, health care professionals, and other stakeholders make patients aware of their health conditions and treatment possibilities leading to improved care.
  • Engagement, coordination, and cooperation of health care experts with patients make the decision-making process more timely and effective.
  • Improved treatment efficiency and increased patient satisfaction with the health care services received.
  • Increased competitive edge among hospitals based on cost and quality of healthcare provision.

Challenges involved in implementing the patient-centric approach:

The evolution of a patient-centered approach demands both time and cost, but the main difficulty lies in changing the existing culture. The healthcare systems must ensure that doctors and their staff are well-prepared, adequately trained, and proper expectations are set across the organization. Patient-centric care may bring financial pressure to healthcare organizations.

How digital health leads to patient satisfaction?

As patients presume the role of a healthcare customer, focusing on the services they provide to their patients becomes very much essential for healthcare providers. Digital health simply involves enabling patients to connect to their physicians and personal data remotely by using a digital channel. When these digital health technologies are effectively implemented, it becomes a critical factor in ensuring patient satisfaction.

To meet the ultimate objective of patient centricity, organizations should incorporate innovative technology and resources to assist people and implement processes to deliver customer satisfaction goals. Healthcare systems must adequately utilize data and digital technologies to improve the patient experience.

The Importance of ISO-13485 in Product Development

ISO 13485 is the standard for the quality assurance of medical devices, which provides comprehensive guidance across the value chain. It allows an organization to demonstrate commitment and ability to deliver devices that consistently meet regulatory standards.

ISO 13485: 2016 explicitly addresses how companies are implementing a management strategy that focuses on safe and effective products.

The new standard requires a higher degree of responsibility to be in the management’s hands by setting out detailed guidelines to create a more reliable system of quality management (QMS).

ISO 13485 requires developers to look closely at every evaluation made during the process of design and development. This process includes diminishing waste during testing and development as well as bettering risk management.

ISO 13485: 2016 standard entails

  • Places the charge of regulatory requirements on management by documenting and managing a Quality Management System (QMS).
  • Implements control during manufacturing and testing to ensure product safety.
  • Requires complete record-keeping of the design process for data analysis.
  • Enhances communication by making documents comprehensive, systematized, and straightforward to read.
  • Ensures a focused risk management approach.
  • Increases cost-efficiency by early recognition of any design flaws and challenges
  • Standardizes how documentation occurs, specifically for implantable devices and sterile medical devices (such as implementing control of contaminants and creating health requirements, clothing, and personnel cleanliness requirements)
  • Diminishes any schedule delays and compromises in design.
  • Implements a QMS where each problem is imagined, planned for, and prevented.
  • Evaluates and validates any changes ahead of implementation.
  • Ensures that the design, production, and dispersal of the product are safe and effective.

How compliance with ISO 13485 can help organizations attain success

ISO 13485 shows that your company can be relied on by authorities, officials, and other key industry players to achieve quality standards at any time.

Working with a technology partner that has ISO 13485 certification helps you to:

  • Develop, produce, and prototype innovative products faster.
  • Achieve efficacy and cost-effectiveness without conceding quality.
  • Expedite FDA approvals and potentially beat market competitors.
  • Go forward with the ambitious projects confident in the quality regime.

Organizations that have complete accreditation in all phases of medical device commercialization truly ensure compliance. Anything less brings complexity, ambiguity, and a higher risk of adverse events that could end your business plans prematurely.

Having certified with 13485: 2016, Estuate commits to fulfill the essential requirements to prove its competence in product development from initial to end.

It also demonstrates its efficiency in management practices that actualize quality products and maintain a sustainable, satisfactory relationship with its customers.

If you’re looking for an enterprise that offers the type of quality assurance that puts you in a state of ease as an investor or client, you can be confident that any company with a certification for ISO 13485: 2016 will be a right choice.

Testing as a Service – a Booming trend with Benefits

Need an enhanced product that is competent enough with no compromise on quality? Or do you want to deliver a software product with no in house testing team? All this requires technical expertise that experts can provide. However, what if the technical experts you need aren’t on your payroll?

Well, that’s why firms are embracing this Cloud model QA -TaaS. It brings a new dimension to the software community. The enterprises which implement this model enjoy on-demand and versatile access to services at the right time at a reasonable price.

What is TaaS?

Testing as a Service (TaaS) – is a model in which the testing process is outsourced to the service provider or a third party company, who specializes in creating test environments, perform testing, and deliver test results as per client requirements. TaaS has proved significant benefits over conventional testing environments in the past. The TaaS model comes with a lot of advantages.

Benefits of adopting the TaaS model into business:

  • Reduces cost – Requires fewer investments in setting up servers, tools, operating systems, and so on.
  • Offers a Pay-per-use service – Pay only for the services opted.
  • 24X7 service availability – Services are accessible anytime, anywhere.
  • Customizable – Flexible enough to meet the constantly changing needs of cloud QA.
  • Highly scalable – Ensures rapid test results through rapid procurement, project setup and testing.
  • The entire infrastructure is hosted on the Cloud- Centralized test environment that eliminates hardware and software investments.

Avail various types of tests on your application with TaaS, for instance:

  • Functional – checks for feature functionality
  • Performance – checks for system speed and response time
  • Load/Stress – checks for system performance in unfavourable conditions
  • Regression – Iterate functional and non-functional tests.

So how important is testing in the software process?

Testing is imminent if your application involves the latest techniques and technology. Nowadays, customers have the flexibility to rate your application. So one bug reported will stand a chance to lose all your potential customers. To overcome this risk, you need to have a quality product that is bug-free released into the market. It requires a stable and dedicated test team whose main focus is to deliver High-quality product, which is very crucial for your company.

Is your company ready for TaaS?

Unlike booming social networking sites like Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, and all software companies do not have enough privilege to test their products with real-time customers. They must invest time and money on resources and infrastructure, which is not feasible.

So what do you bring home when you engage in an Estuate’s cloud QA?

  • Get an end product that fulfils your requirements.
  • A high-quality product that is reliable and error-free.
  • Customer appreciations leading to business optimization.
  • End to end testing service management to reduce costs with software maintenance.

With the increasing demand for testing, it is challenging for smaller enterprises and software companies to have a full-fledged team and environment deployed for the testing process. No matter how big or small is the company size, TaaS can be tailored to any size.