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Case Studies : Personal Computing Device System Workshop

Customer: Startup
Industry: Mass-market personal computing
Solution: System workshop

Customer Profile:

Our customer creates a comprehensive, easy-to-use software application suite capable of running on low-cost hardware. Their company goal is to provide a simple and cheap way to get onto the Internet and perform core computer tasks, including word processing.

Technical Challenge:

The customer's 1st generation product consisted of an application suite running on top of a proprietary OS. They saw many potential advantages of moving to a Linux OS base for their 2nd generation product, but wanted to be able to leverage their extensive application investment and minimize the overall disruption caused by migrating to a new platform. They come to Blue Mug with their key questions:

  • What is the performance impact of using Linux?
  • Is such a migration technically possible?
  • How much work would it take?
  • What would the results look like?

Blue Mug Solution:

Blue Mug held a 5-day intensive System Workshop with our customer to address their questions about their project.

We first distilled discussions about the overall project into clear goals which would both clarify the process as well as serve as a roadmap. This process also aired many concerns, ranging from technical obstacles to cost-of-goods to the difficulty of precisely defining the range of target consumer experiences.

Once we had created clear goals and a draft functional spec, only technical concerns remained. The Blue Mug team outlined the key technical risks of migrating to Linux given both the hardware and codebase. These included OS modifications, key driver issues, upgrade path options, project management, and custom tool-chains.

By the end of the week, Blue Mug had provided our customer with a clear roadmap of the challenges and how to deal with them. After the workshop, we summarized the architectural decisions and provided a rich, in-depth report of the meeting and other topics of investigation.

Benefits to Customer:

Blue Mug dispelled our customer's fears by defining every aspect of the up-coming project. We helped the customer determine exactly what they wanted to do, then explained the technical risks and how to overcome them. We provided accurate metrics for the project scope, including performance and size. We outlined the migration process and estimated the project scope. By the end of the week, our customer's enthusiasm for their project was at an all-time high and their engineering team was able to proceed with a clear plan of attack.