Orange France S.A. (the former France Telecom), has always been at the forefront of technology development. In the 1980s, it pioneered the concept of online computer information sharing, via its Minitel service, and the multinational telecommunications corporation has been a champion of technology innovation ever since. Given its critical role in national communications, it’s no surprise that the firm is wholly committed to software productivity measurement.
“We use Software Intelligence from CAST as a means to transparently measure software quality, application security, function points and productivity,” says Jean-Claude Burtin, Director of Strategy, Quality, Support and Rapid Developments at Orange S.A. France. “We’ve been working with CAST for several years, originally to analyze software quality based on industry standards. Now we are focused on function point analysis to benchmark software size and the productivity of our development activities.”
Software Productivity Measurement: Under the Hood
Often, software development is performed in a vacuum. An organization has little insight into how well its teams are stacking up against their peers in the industry, in areas like maintaining legacy systems and creating and maintaining overly complex code. But software productivity measurement ensures that a development team is providing the best value in the shortest amount of time. It can help an organization determine the amount of required input to complete a software project.
Specific areas of focus can include:
- Evaluation of current productivity levels
- Pinpointing bottlenecks
- Recognizing underutilized resources
- Evaluating Vendor-supplied value
- Streamlining programming operations
- Assessing quality of delivered code
- Rationalization for additional investment
Tech and Business Stakeholders Embrace Software Intelligence
Burtin says that the firm has analyzed about 10-15% of its software portfolio using CAST–about 20 applications. For Burtin, Software Intelligence holds equal appeal among project teams who are monitoring applications daily via CAST, as well as among the CIO and other executives who govern the company’s digital strategy.
“We’re using function point analysis to measure our legacy modernization effort, but we have adopted a more Agile mentality for software quality, security and future areas for investment,” says Burtin.
Software Productivity Measurement Results for Orange
Orange has several flagship projects. “I personally like to use CAST to measure projects that are mostly outsourced and operated by third parties. The Software Intelligence provided by CAST helps us to consistently measure the output of these partners based on the security, robustness and overall quality of the output for full supply chain transparency. This allows us to identify partners who work well overall, despite their average daily rate being at the upper end. We’ve been pleasantly surprised with some of our findings in this area.”
Burtin also points out that “teams are not naturally accustomed to being benchmarked and to having their productivity controlled. But once they used to the new processes, the advantages become clear. Then it’s much easier to get everyone motivated together along continuous improvement objectives.”
Establishing Clear Business Value of Software Intelligence
“On a more global level for the company, we’ve found that CAST’s benchmarking feature helps us measure our productivity levels against the broader market. More specifically, CAST’s inclusion of other firms’ anonymized measures helps us show our business and financial stakeholders that we’re using our IT sources wisely and efficiently to deliver quality products. We’re proving ourselves as a profit center—not a cost center.
Learn more about Orange’s journey with CAST here.
Erik Oltmans, an Associate Partner from EY, Netherlands, spoke at the Software Intelligence Forum on how the consulting behemoth uses Software Intelligence in its Transaction Advisory services.
Erik describes the changing landscape of M & A. Besides the financial and commercial aspects, PE firms now equally value technical assessments, especially for targets with significant software assets. He goes on to detail how CAST Highlight makes these assessments possible with limited access to the targetâ€™s systems, customized quality metrics, and liability implications of open source components - all three that are critical for an M&A due diligence.