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Applying "Mass Customization" to Software

Mass Customization has revolutionized the way that most products are manufactured and sold. For example cars, computers, refrigerators, TVs, mobile phones, and airplanes come in product lines with a vast array of formats, features, options, and colors in order to satisfy very specific customer preferences. Manufactures have developed techniques that allow millions of possible product configurations to be created while maintaining the efficiencies of mass production.

Paradoxically, software is one of the most malleable and easily modifiable products, but it is one of the most difficult and least likely products to be made available in a product line with an array of features that customers can choose from.

This presentation will examine the implications of applying the concept of mass customization to software, both from an engineering and a business point of view. Results from companies such Nokia and Hewlett-Packard suggest that a new revolution is on the horizon.

About the Speaker

Charles Krueger, Ph.D., CEO, Big Lever Software

Charles Krueger is the founder of Austin startup BigLever Software, the leading provider of technology and services for software product lines and software mass customization. He is a well known speaker and author in the emerging field of software product lines, recently serving as an invited columnist for the IEEE Software special issue on software product lines (July/August 2002) and a panelist, speaker, and author for the 2nd International Conference on Software Product Lines in August 2002.

Dr. Krueger has worked in a diverse set of Austin companies over the past decade, transitioning advanced software engineering ideas, technologies, and techniques into commercial practice. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. E-mail ckrueger@biglever.com or visit www.biglever.com for more information.