MSTB Software Certification to Enhance Made in Malaysia Products

July 25, 2014 (Fri): The Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB) and the Korean Testing Laboratory (‘KTL’) recently met in Kuala Lumpur for the two-day Certification Decision Seminar as a platform to gather and exchange ideas and experience in software testing.

At hand to facilitate the workshop were Cho Won-Jun, the director of Software Evaluation Centre, Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL), and Dr Lee Soo-Yeon, Chairman of Certification Committee of KTL’s Good Software (GS) marks. GS is Korea’s national software certification scheme and KTL is one of the Certification Bodies for the scheme.

MSTB President Mastura Abu Samah says, “Malaysian software players must emphasise on the quality of their products if they were to remain relevant in the market. With quality, they can even prosper in the more lucrative global arena.”

“In fact, as market globalisation continues, Malaysian companies will have no choice but bring themselves up to the international level to survive. Having quality products will no longer be optional.”

Mastura further adds that having a national quality software certification scheme such as the QS would help inculcate the quality culture among Malaysian software companies and in turn, this will help grow Malaysia’s software industry. This has been proven by South Korea.

Based on reported figures for 2011, Korea’s domestic market for software was estimated to be worth US$ 5.9 billion while its software export was estimated to be worth US$ 18 billion. In 2001 the country’s software expenditures were reported to be worth USD 1.47 billion while the export was only USD$ 290 million.

Korea introduced its Good Software (GS) certification scheme in 2001 and it has proven to be an effective form of ‘intervention’ to seed rapid improvement in the quality of Korean-made software. Coupled with supporting policies set and practiced by the government, the GS scheme has been cited to be a contributor that helped grow the country’s software industry.

MSTB started to develop the software quality certification scheme based on international standards in 2010, and now the Board is gearing up for the rollout of the scheme – the Quality Software Product Certification (QS).

She adds that Malaysian software manufacturers and sellers can leverage on QS certification as an independent and Quality Assurance based on ISO standards for their products.

“QS certification would also enhance market competitiveness of made-in-Malaysia software in domestic and international markets. In addition, having a good quality products enable them to have better returns through reduction in costs of maintenance of the products as well as to manage and rectify after-sale customer issues related to poor quality,” she says.

“We hope to emulate the success of South Korea in propagating growth of its software industry through institutionalisation of quality certification scheme for software,” Mastura explained at the MSTB Certification Committee Seminar in Kuala Lumpur recently.

The two-day seminar was part of the final preparations for the rolling out the QS scheme and it was attended by MSTB Board members as well as members of QS scheme Decision Committee and senior managers. Much of the discussion at the meeting revolved around clarifying and refining various components of the certification process.

The seminar also featured a workshop session for the software evaluation team to sharpen their skills on software evaluation analysis and reporting, which is a crucial part of the certification process.

KTL’s involvement in the QS MSTB Certification Committee Seminar marked a continued collaboration between the two parties. KTL has been a collaborator in MSTB’s efforts to develop the QS scheme. MSTB and KTL initiated discussions on the collaboration in 2010 before signing an agreement in 2011. Since then, KTL has been sharing experience and transferring technical know-how to MSTB’s QS team on relevant areas of developing and operating a software certification scheme.

MSTB President Mastura Abu Samah explains that in the area of software certification, Korea probably has the most experience compared to any other countries. MSTB is fortunate to learn from the experience via KTL.

On a broader note, the collaboration between MSTB and KTL is set to move to a higher level as efforts are under way to establish a government-to-government level mutual recognition of the QS and GS schemes. Negotiations for the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) are currently been spearheaded by Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).

Author: Terry KS

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