Branch said the Shure systems engineering department is tasked with "gathering inputs from marketing." As such, the group performs market research by touching base with customers and doing "day-in-the-life type research," she said. "That input is brought back in-house and organized. And one of the tools we use to do that is CaliberRM. Once we receive the information into Caliber, we look at that and try to figure out, How does that figure into a product requirement? Those product requirements are then traced from the customer feedback and then down to technical specifications that actually comprise the basis for developing the product itself.""And its not like the testers have to go out of one tool and into another," said Branch. "You can actually see the content from one database to the next." Although Shure builds actual electronics and accessories for producing and enjoying music, software is a major part of the business, Purnell said. "Youd be pretty surprised," Purnell said about the amount of software Shure develops. "We do a lot of software development here. We do embedded software development, development in microphones [and development] in our signal processing products. There is a lot of software that people would probably be pretty shocked to find out about. There are a lot of programmable chips that are in our products. And we had to find a way to manage all of the software that we develop." Purnell said Shure recently launched its UHF-R wireless microphone, which has proved to be one of the companys most successful wireless microphones to date. "There is a lot of software in that product," Purnell said. "Youve got your wireless components, youve got to translate the audio signal [and youve got to] send it wirelessly. All that is software or has software pieces in the chain. So to be able to reuse the development that weve done with previous products was one of the reasons why that product was so successful." Next Page: The development process.
Meanwhile, Shure integrates Borlands CaliberRM with the companys preferred testing tool, Mercury TestDirector from Mercury Interactive, of Mountain View, Calif., Purnell said. He said that the integration has been helpful.