HA NOI (VNS)— While CMMi (capability maturity model integration) is helping software firms increase their competitive edges, the requirement for a CMMi certificate is a big obstacle for software firms.
Most of the small and medium firms can't afford the $25,000 they have to outlay to get one and so they become second rate companies, with the bigger firms getting all State business, company leaders said.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communication, CMMi would help software and digital content firms standardise production processes and quality management and help improve competitiveness.
With more enterprises having CMMi, Viet Nam would become more competitive in the world market.
Since 2010, the ministry has run the VND60 billion (US$2.8 million) State-funded project to support enterprises building up to apply the production process in accordance with CMMi standards.
Every firm joining the project can send its staff to the CMMi training courses and receive the prop-ups of $25,000 to be spent on the building and implementing of production process in accordance with CMMi standards.
Fourteen enterprises obtained CMMi certificates level 3 in 2010-12 and one obtained CMMi level 5 (TMA Solution).
However, $25,000 only covered 50 per cent of the total businesses had to outlay to obtain a CMMi. Most small and medium enterprises could not afford the other $25,000, because they were small and medium in size.
The CMMi once again came under the spotlight as the ministry made public the draft regulation on the procurements for State budget-funded projects.
The draft regulation says projects would give priority to software products made by the enterprises which had one of the certificates: ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and CMMi level 3 or higher.
Nguyen Van Hien, director of iNet Solution, said the regulation would "kill" small information technology firms, give big firms the opportunity to dominate the market and install barriers which may impede the development of the Viet Nam's information technology.
Others also warned that if Viet Nam attached too much importance to the requirements in certificates, enterprises with the most certificates would win most of the bids, leaving no opportunity for enterprises with fewer certificates.
Once big firms won the bids and got contracts, they would outsource to smaller firms which would act as the sub-contractors. As such, small firms would remain "small" forever because their financial capacity did not allow them to obtain certificates.
Hien said only new software outsourcing firms needed a CMMi as a document to prove their professionalism to the clients who placed orders. It was because the firms which did the outsourcing did not master source codes; therefore, the customers needed to consider the professionalism of the partners before making a decision for easier management and development in the future.
Meanwhile, the companies which made software and did trade with their software products needed to find optimum quality processes for themselves, with no need to have CMMi. Most of the big software groups in the world do not much care about CMMi, he said.
Pham Hong Quang, director of CadPro, while agreeing that CMMi was very useful, said there were many things Vietnamese firms needed to receive support for, other than CMMi, such as making better products. — VNS