- Comprehensive analysis and specifications for the evaluation and rating of software services and the providers
- Insight into new and creative approaches at the steering of IT services
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In recent years many companies have gained experience with outsourcing but there is still a high percentage of businesses which do not gain the benefits at all or provide significant room for improvement. One question which has to be addressed from every company, sooner or later, is how to identify the right service provider with the right characteristics. To support this process pliXos recently developed a free B2B Marketplace (www.plixos.com/market) which is focused on outsourced software development (Application Development & Maintenance). The Marketplace connects businesses at all sizes with IT Service provider from all parts of the world (India, South America, Eastern Europe as well as Central Europe or the US).
Figure 1: Theoretical model for the Rating
In the last few months, as part of an scientific thesis at the University of Bamberg, a Rating system was developed which allows to compare the performed quality of the service providers at one glance. The first step of this development was to analyse the current state of research through an extensive literature research. After that the determined models were compared and with the help of a criteria catalogue reviewed for suitability. In the third step, a theoretical model was developed (see Figure 1) which considers the specific characteristics of outsourced software development (for more information see: http://www.plixos.com/en/plixos-blog-2/235-rating-system-for-sw-service-providers). Afterwards the weights of the dimension were determined by a public survey.
The Rating system, which is based on the theoretical model, can be divided into two parts. A differentiation is made between the direct feedback from customers using this provider (“Customer Feedback”) and a more comprehensive and neutral the by pliXos (“Rating (by pliXos)”). Each part of itself is a self-contained rating system and has to be examined separately. The Customer Feedback is a lean system which offers an evaluation of the service provider’s quality to the customers of the marketplace. The development was significantly influenced by the aim to minimize the required time of an execution to ensure a high participation rate. In contrast to this, the Rating (by pliXos) presents itself much more detailed. It can be only activated through the service provider and includes a questionnaire for the service provider as well as for stated reference customers.
Figure 2: Rating profile (Service provider view)
The results of both systems are pictured separately through a five-star scale. To ensure a high anonymity of the individual answers the service providers are only able to look at their evaluations in summary form (see Figure 2). In order to be able interpret the results the service providers can see the overall average of the marketplace.
Figure 3: Detailed version of Customer Feedback
In contrast to that customers of the marketplace have far more possibilities. On the one hand they can access the rating profiles of all registered service providers, on the other hand it is possible for them to enter more detailed versions. The detailed version of the Customer Feedback is divided into two parts (see Figure 3). The first part shows in the case of a self-executed evaluation the past result as well as the overall result of specific service provider. Moreover the number of included evaluations and the overall average of the marketplace are visible. The second part is dedicated to the stated comments. To put the comments in context each evaluation result is shown next to them. The detailed version of the Rating (by pliXos) still shows the normal rating result but also the results separated into the three dimensions of the theoretical model (see figure one) including a short description. In addition to that the customers own the opportunity to customise the rating result in order to match with the specific demands.