Saturday, February 24, 2007

Testing MiFID

There is an amusing if slightly dated article on MiFID at Silicon,com - some extracts are shown below.

What have giant killer plants got to do with technology?
You're thinking of Triffids. MiFID stands for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. Having said that, the way some companies are reacting, you'd think they were being chased by roving mutant vegetables. But if they aren't careful, some firms might feel its sting.

What's the big idea?
The directive will allow companies to provide services across borders and establish branches in other European states. It also does away with the idea that all share trading had to be done through exchanges. Many banks deal 'off-book' which means they shift shares they are already holding between the customer that want to buy and sell, which is easier than going through the exchanges.

Sounds okay so far. Where does the IT come into this?
Firms will have to be able to prove 'best execution' on deals - which is likely to have to take into account issues such as price, venue, cost and speed. And they will have to keep records for five years.
Lots of the firms that currently trade off-book just don't have the systems to record and store this information and prove that they are providing best execution.
Firms will also have to publish much more information than before which will mean new communications infrastructure. And they'll have to build new business processes to deal with all this. Analysts are predicting £10m for IT and £12m for new processes - costing the industry around £1bn.

I'd rather fight some killer plants instead
Many investment banks would agree.

Software testing MiFID compliance

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Telecom software testing

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Risk based testing services

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Managing remote workers

There is an interesting article on managing remote workers in VOIP for enterprise. The five key points it makes are:
  • Set clear expectations. Is it a job that must be completed from 8–5 or can your employee work on his/her own schedule? Defining productivity standards and expectations can eliminate many performance-related issues down the road.
  • Touch base regularly. Let your employees know that are still a part of the office and that you are available to help resolve issues and see that things are running smoothly. Utilize instant messaging for employees that you need to contact throughout the day. An employee with an active, supportive manager is much more likely to perform better than one who feels disconnected from the office.
  • Use technology to streamline processes. Of course a remote-seat dialer is necessary for basic out-of-the office functioning, but don’t forget about the many other ways that technology can connect remote workers to the office. Web-based applications allow for workflow and workforce management. CRM tools keep customer data in order and make sure that all team members are on the same page. By providing remote access to ftp sites and internal application you can ensure that everyone has access to the most current versions of software and documents.
  • Conduct Quality Assurance monitoring. Chances are if you have one remote worker, you have many. Ensure high performance, accountability, and uniformity by conducting routine QA monitoring. If your office is not large enough to support a full time QA position, consider utilizing an outside partner to develop and execute a quality QA program.
  • Utilize performance reviews. Let your remote workers know what they are doing right and what needs improvement. Reward a job well done and give them the tools that they need to improve on areas that may be weak. By showing your employees that you are invested in their success, they will be more likely to give you their best effort.

Risk-based testing services