course and present it themselves, for a much lower royalty fee instead of a course fee. In other cases, vendors may provide web-based live customized training, which can later be viewed by others, at a nominal charge per view.
During the 3rd generation and into the 4th, tools will evolve so that the training is fully integrated with the tool, and in such a way that the organization can control the content. For those vendors looking to training revenues as a significant source of revenue, don't rely on your basic user operation courses any more. Sure CM is still a complex business, but the ease-of-use has got to be there regardless. That means smarter technology, and in-tool process-guidance.
Reliability, Availability and Performance (RAP)
Your solution won't work if you can't show me better levels of availability - can you?
Good question, especially if your tools rely on infrastructure in the layer below the CM functionality. As the project scales, will the vendor solution continue to perform well and reliably. Can consistent backups be done without affecting availability, even on very large projects? If there's a need to switch CM/ALM tools once again because of performance issues, the costs have just doubled.
What happens to multiple site operations when networks go down? Is data still available? And what happens when the network is restored? What happens when a disk crashes, or a disaster takes out one of your data centers? Non-availability of data is not an option in some projects, even if users have to cope with a no-update capability for a couple of hours. What about during an upgrade, or an upgrade of the infrastructure layer? Is data still fully available? What if there's a need to switch from a Linux architecture to the next OS or to Windows, or to different hardware? Or what if the vendor software has a problem? What if there's data sabotage from within the project? The easier it is to cope with these changes, the less it will cost down the road.
A related issue is security. Is data availability easily restricted? Can multiple contractors work on the same project without seeing one another's work, while the integration team sees all of it?
Better Processes Mean Higher Quality
Can we continue to evolve our process to improve more and more over time with your solution?
How is your solution going to affect our product and process quality?
Software CM varies considerably among developers. This is not just because different tools are being used. It's because different market and contract demands require differing processes: Agile, Regulated, Mission Critical, Safety Critical, One-time deploy, Aircraft/Vessel Deployed, COTS, etc. These practices all have differing process requirements. And the process changes from the beginning of the release cycle to the end of it. Continuous improvement is more and more critical both to remain financially stable and to remain competitive. When organizations switch infrastructure, they'll be looking for CM/ALM tools that support the processes they need.
3G Features and Ease-of-Use
What are the productivity improvements that I'll see that I haven't seen before?
How will our users react to the proposed changes? What about our managers and executives?
Software CM is complex. This complexity, along with the traditionally technical user base, have resulted in complex tools and processes, with long learning curves. Tools which are easier to use will have a definite competitive advantage in any churn of the CM market. And tools that can let managers and even executives have easy access to project information so that timely decisions can be made, will have a further advantage. The rest