BAE assesses off-the-shelf application lifecycle management

BAE Maritime Systems is assessing new tools from Serena Software to support mission-critical software development

Defence contractor BAE Maritime Systems has been working with Serena on a replacement to its TeamPoint software change and document management tool.

The company is looking at using change management and orchestration tools from Serena Software to provide workflow for operational requirements with integration to SharePoint and other software development environments.

TeamPoint was developed over 15 years ago to manage software projects for naval command and control systems.

Software and hardware form part of the large project BAE delivers to its customers. The IT constituents of these projects come under engineering development, rather than as a function of the IT department.

“IT at BAE is focused on internal IT projects to deliver systems and solutions to the business," said David Bodrell, IT engineering manager at BAE Systems.

However, the TeamPoint source code, change and document management tools required for naval command and control systems were developed internally by IT. 

“The cost of the in-house system is too high – we have to be leaner,: said Bodrell. "To stay ahead of the competition, we needed a toolset that can manage a complex change control process."

When TeamPoint was originally developed, he said commercial software that suited BAE’s requirements did not exist, but now the off-the shelf market has matured there is a good range of products that can do the job.

In the defence sector, products tend to last decades, so the company needed a product with longevity. 

“A key criteria for BAE was we wanted to use the most commercially viable company," said Bodrell. "However, if you use a mature product, with industry-standard features, and don’t take it not too far off track, even if the product becomes unsupported [in the future], you can still export the data."

Moving forward, Bodrell said BAE would like to use off-the-shelf software wherever possible, rather than reengineer products unnecessarily.

Serena Software has introduced a suite of tools to support the software development process. These tools manage workflow and provide source code control.

 “There is a large variety of tools which need to be knitted together to provide transparency and visibility,” said David Hurwitz, senior vice-president of marketing at Serena Software. "Serena Software uses the term 'orchestrated IT' to describe workflow across development and operations teams. It is this type of workflow that BAE Maritime Systems is looking at implementing to replace the processes it uses in its own TeamPoint tool.

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