Executive compass | June 2010

BAE Systems invests in customer-focused testing for GXP software

Robert Cline

Rob Cline,
Product support manager

For the past 18 months, we have been working diligently behind the scenes to expand our global support and training assets. Recognized in the industry for unrivaled customer support, the BAE Systems GXP team has gone the extra mile to create an operation that mirrors the customer environment and emphasizes quality in the development and application of GXP products.

The GXP Product Support group, formerly known as the GXP Test team, has migrated from a traditional requirements-based testing program to one that focuses on customer-derived data and workflows to ensure high-quality product delivery. The Product Support group works closely with the Customer Support group, and directly with customers, to create and exploit a broad knowledge base for resolving unique issues. Customer feedback and issues uncovered using customer data and workflows are cycled into evolving test procedures for future product development.

To sustain its strong user focus, the Product Support group has expanded its staff to include new team members with real-world experience in image and geospatial analysis, GIS and remote sensing, systems engineering, photogrammetry, and automated testing, which allows us to quickly respond to customers’ requests. Many customers are industry drivers such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, ESRI, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, Fugro, Northrop Grumman, and others.

To create a more efficient and effective collaborative environment, we added a Product Support lab with an “open bullpen” area to encourage interaction and communication among the team. The lab has an independent network that allows for greater freedom when testing network issues such as latency. New servers with ample data storage were brought online to help store and easily exploit customer-derived data during testing.

Along with additional staff and a new lab, we have updated all hardware so that test engineers have the right equipment to get the job done. The group now has multiple machines to cover the complete range of platforms, operating systems, and classification levels on hardware configurations that closely mirror those of our customers. To maintain authentic customer configurations, development builds and additional software used in the engineering environment are not permitted on testing machines.

In addition to all of these accomplishments, there’s more to come. The next level of advanced testing includes a rapidly configurable virtual lab and automated test suite to focus on how customers use GXP products.

The Product Support group is pleased with these new directions that will elevate our support services to higher levels. Our goal is to make sure you have the highest quality software that’s right for the job, whether it’s SOCET SET, SOCET GXP, GXP Xplorer, or any of our future products.

Thank you,

Robert Cline

Robert Cline
GXP product support manager

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