Invited speaker: Prof. Soren Lauesen, University of Copenhagen
Talk: COTS acquisitions and requirements - the customer's view
When a customer buys a large software system, he will rarely get a tailor-made system developed particularly for him. He will
usually have to choose between COTS systems with some additions made particularly for him. Examples of such COTS
systems are SAP, BAAN, and Navision for general business solutions. Many software houses add to these basic COTS
systems to make more specialized COTS systems for specific business areas, and they may add a few more things for the
specific customer. Often the customer selects the supplier through a tender process where he has to write the requirements
before knowing what the suppliers can offer.
Requirements for this situation are hard to make. The customer may easily write too detailed requirements that none of the
COTS-based product can meet, although very expensive tailor-made systems could. Or he may write too vague requirements
that don't ensure that he gets what he needs. The trick is to write requirements that invite the supplier to specify his solution in
such a way that the customer can identify the best supplier. In this presentation we will see how to do this for the user interface
requirements as well as the interoperability requirements (the requirements that ensure that the new system can be integrated
with other systems).
Throughout the presentation, we will draw on examples from large government projects and from industry.
Soren Lauesen is currently professor at the IT-University of Copenhagen. He has worked in the IT industry for 20 years and
has been a professor at the Copenhagen Business School for 15. He has been co-founder of three educational and two
industrial development organizations. He has been a member of the Danish Research Council for Science (4 years) and the
Danish Research Council for Technical Sciences (8 years).
His industry projects have encompassed business applications, compilers, operating systems, process control, temporal
databases, and software quality assurance. His research interests include human-computer interaction, requirements
specification, object-oriented design, quality assurance, marketing and product development, and interaction between research
and industry. He has a broad range of other interests ranging from biology to folk dancing and foreign cultures.