“The S. Korean software market should change its mechanism from ‘brand-centered’ to ‘technology-centered’.”
There is a huge brand power disparity in the Korean software market. The tendency to put a high premium on brand awareness, rather than product excellence, has resulted in fewer opportunities for homegrown less-known software products of good quality to prove their worth. Evidently, strong brands do not always guarantee product quality.
Unlike other certification systems that revolve around paper-based evaluations, the GS certification system thoroughly conducts software testing based on “real operating environment” test beds. Thus, software products bearing the GS mark is flawless in terms of product quality since they have passed product-specific, strict tests leveraging TTA Software Testing & Certification Laboratory’s testing techniques in a wide range of evaluation categories.
The GS certification system has led to numerous success stories. The GS-certified products, developed by Korean software developer WareValley, have been making a good showing in overseas markets. What’s more, though Samsung SDS and TmaxSoft have their own in-house quality inspection teams, they have made it a rule to ship their products only when TTA have completed its evaluations of their software. Also, once domestic software products have been GS-certified, their unit prices can be set and they can be listed on Korea On-line Procurement System. As a result, GS-certified software products are given a better chance to appeal to consumers.
TTA’s another system that helps boost the competitiveness of domestic software products is the Software BMT (Benchmark Test), which objectively compares software products of the same kind to allow consumer to comparison-shop and to help software developers to clearly see the strengths and weaknesses of their software.
Saying, “There is not a single piece of the software pie left in the domestic market,” Vice President Shin underlined the importance of domestic software developers’ overseas market entry. In order to help competitive domestic software developers make inroads into overseas markets, TTA is also furnishing domestic software exporters with software internationalization and localization testing and consulting services.
Each nation’s linguistic and cultural differences should be taken into account in the process of developing software. It is called internationalization (i18n) and localization (L10n). However, software developed by small-sized domestic software developers often failed to find favor with overseas consumers because they had been developed without proper overseas marketing strategies. That’s why Vice President Shin is providing global-minded domestic software developers with consulting services on software internalization and localization and with various tools for software localization testing, other testing tools and localization experts.
Such efforts will eventually enhance the perfection and competitiveness of domestic software exports. Furthermore, the time and cost required for internationalizing and localizing software will be much reduced.
Backed by TTA’s such efforts, the GS certification system is taking root in the domestic market. But Vice President Shin is not content with the status quo. He is now determined to nurture the GS certification system into an internationally acknowledged one. Since Thailand, Vietnam, India and many other nations want to adopt the GS certification system, he is now considering either exporting the standards and evaluation categories of the GS certification system in a bundle or offering consulting services in the hope of signing MRAs (Mutual Recognition Arrangement) in the future.
“Another option is to build local testing labs in overseas markets to fast-track the process of having software GS-certified. But this option has many problems in terms of cost, budget and manpower. So we need to overcome many obstacles beforehand,” Vice President Shins mentioned. He also said that he would continue his endeavors to make the GS certification system go global.
By Kim Yu-na(firstname.lastname@example.org)