Predicting software quality as perceived by a customer may allow an organization to adjust deployment to meet the quality expectations of its customers, to allocate the appropriate amount of maintenance resources, and to direct quality improvement efforts to maximize the return on investment. However, customer perceived quality may be affected not simply by the software content and the development process, but also by a number of other factors including deployment issues, amount of usage, software platform, and hardware configurations. We predict customer perceived quality as measured by various service interactions, including software defect reports, requests for assistance, and field technician dispatches using the afore mentioned and other factors for a large telecommunications software system. We employ the non-intrusive data gathering technique of using existing data captured in automated project monitoring and tracking systems as well as customer support and tracking systems. We find that the effects of deployment schedule, hardware configurations, and software platform can increase the probability of observing a software failure by more than 20 times. Furthermore, we find that the factors affect all quality measures in a similar fashion. Our approach can be applied at other organizations, and we suggest methods to independently validate and replicate our results.
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