By JO TIMBUONG
KUALA LUMPUR: Custodian of the MSC Malaysia initiative, the Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) will create its own standards certification to help ensure products developed by MSC Malaysia-status companies maintain a high quality.
This is being done to supplement its efforts to transform Malaysia into an ICT (information and communications technology) hub. MDeC has tentatively labelled its certification standard as the MSC Solution Certified.
MDeC chief executive officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said MSC Malaysia-status companies have been wanting a common standard to which the quality of their products and services can adhere to and be recognised for.
"This will bring an assurance to both buyers and sellers that the commercialised product is of a high quality," he said.
According to him, existing standards do not necessarily take into consideration some factors that may be just as important, such as the usability of a particular product.
"Usability means different things to different people. With our certification standard, we hope to make it so clear to buyers that they'll know immediately how the product or service can be usable to them," he said.
Badlisham said the MSC certification will also give manufacturers of IT solutions and software a huge boost when marketing their products.
He said MDeC has noticed that the companies whose products bear a standards certification tend to do well in the marketplace.
MDeC is drafting its standards certification and has roped in Germany-based international certification body - TUV Rheinland - to help ensure that MSC Solution Certified includes the best practices and elements of other internationally-recognised standards, like ISO and CMMI.
"We want to make sure that what we are developing is on par with global standards," Badlisham said.
This is also being done with the aim that MDeC's standards certification will eventually be accepted internationally.
Under MSC Solution Certified, Badlisham said, products will be evaluated based on 12 major criteria, as well as more than 400 sub-criteria. The products will also be rated on an 80-20 rule, where 80% of the score is for the product and 20% is for the development process.
MDeC will apply for its standards certification to be accepted as a Malaysian standard by year end, and then it will push for global recognition. "We'll leave it to Sirim, the Malaysian standards body, to decide on this. All the proper steps have been taken," he said.
Badlisham was speaking at press conference to announce the MDeC's goals as the MSC Malaysia initiative enters its third phase this year. The initiative was kicked off in 1996 to leapfrog the country into the Information Age, and to develop its knowledge economy.
The third phase, which ends in 2015, will see the MSC Malaysia move to increase its contribution to the national Gross Domestic Income by 21%, which is from RM34.6bil to RM42bil. There are now 2,088 MSC Malaysia-status companies.
MDeC is also working to create 160,000 new jobs in the ICT sector; increase the export of locally developed and manufactured ICT products and services by 75%, which translates to RM58bil in sales, compared to RM33bil now.