Delivering for our customers

Meet Manisha Devi, who spearheaded the rollout of a new digital platform under pressure

3-minute read - , February 14, 2024

This story is part of our 2023 Annual Report. Read the full report.

"Every few months, I have been given a new challenge to extend myself."

 

After joining ASML four years ago, Manisha Devi led a team of engineers in the roll-out of ASML’s digital platform to customers in 2023. Aware that any mishaps could lead to unplanned downtime that may cost customers millions in lost revenue, Manisha knew the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Finding your passion

I have always been inspired by the quote from Marie Curie: “I am among those who think that science has great beauty.” As a child in a small town in North India, I dreamed of a career in science and technology. And I took every opportunity to make that happen. I left the comfort of home to study at a premier science & technology institute before starting work in the telecoms technology domain, growing with each new role and responsibility. ASML then gave me the chance to test my skills in the semiconductor industry. I joined as a software tester and am now a solution test architect – determining test and integration strategies for new solutions.

Unlocking the code

There is a huge amount of software inside ASML’s systems, and we are continually developing more. That software is critical to the operation of the system and the economic success of our customers. Any unintended downtime can cost our customers millions in lost revenue. So, ASML isn’t just investing in development, it is also investing in quality – to ensure all that software works together seamlessly and doesn’t cause unplanned stoppages in production.

 

Like most software-enabled systems, ASML’s products have a huge amount of legacy code. You can’t just reengineer that every time you want to make an update or add a feature – you need to develop new software in such a way to ensure that it doesn’t break the legacy code. To streamline the process, ASML has recently switched to a platform development approach: Instead of delivering a single software package for the scanner, we deliver a series of options that all work together. Part of this transition is to update all installed systems in the field with an entire new software stack. I was asked to lead the team responsible for qualifying and integrating that new stack. As someone who loves a challenge, I jumped at the chance.

 

Replacing all the system software is a daunting prospect, so quality was essential – we had to get it right first time. To make that possible, ASML has recently introduced a new methodology for software development. Of course, we make use of the standard approaches like Lean and Agile, but we take the parts that work best for us and our customers, then combine them with new ideas. For example, for the new stack, we used a ‘shift-left strategy’ where testing and quality evaluation starts much earlier. Having the development team involved in testing end-to-end helped us bring the software to the required quality level faster.

A customer-first approach

Throughout the development of the new software stack, we were guided by our customers’ needs. ASML is in constant contact with its customers, and regularly asks them for feedback. In this case, our customer representatives provided continuous feedback on the features customers will want in the next 9-12 months and customers’ specific use cases. This helped us better understand which software configurations do and don’t work.

 

We started rolling out the new software stack to customers in 2023. The goal is to do this without downtime – this was the most nerve-wracking part of the process, certainly for our customers. There are always things that can go wrong when you go-live with such complicated software, but we had done so much preparation, studying each customer’s use case, so we could be one step ahead. That’s not to say that issues didn’t crop up, but we were always ready with the solution when they did. Our customers may not have been smiling when we arrived, but they definitely were eight hours later when their system was running the new stack without problems. And now they can be confident about adding new options equally painlessly in the future.

This story comes from our 2023 Annual Report which features people at ASML and the impact they are having on the company and society.

 

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