ABC university, as of Jan 2011, had a total of 685 benefitted employees, 150 adjunct professors under contract with the number changing each session, 8100 students attending both in class and online, a changing number of registered alumni estimated in the 1000s. The institution has two distinct areas of functionality that is administrative and academic. Each room has its own set of business processes; for example, administrative procedures include; student registration this where registration for courses or reporting for a session takes place, financial aid where students can get aids and grants for their studies, centre for learning innovation and foundation that works to solicit funds from donors and alumni. the academic processes include exam registration, sitting for cats, class attendance, library services and lectures. From the information provided in the case study, I recommend that some of the processes or services that are offered by the university be moved to a cloud service due to the following reasons but are not limited to the ones listed below:
- Service provision will be more accessible through the use of cloud services.
- The management will be able to manage and plan for the ever-growing population.
- Data storage will not be a bother if all data is stored in the cloud instead of manual storage.
- The university will cut its operational costs by almost half since most of the processed will be automated.
- The university will have minimal errors when it comes to processing data.
- The university will have carried out large intakes of students without the risk of having a logistical nightmare.
From the above information, most of the processes that are carried out in the university can be carried out off-campus without necessarily being present physically. One of the primary cloud services that would go a long way in making the administrative processes simpler would be establishing a website. A website would need no special software. Some of the organisational processes that it would be carrying out include advertising, such as essential memos, job adverts, or even crucial links such as downloads. Apart from the website hosting the processes mentioned, it can also act as a gateway to students and employee portal to get information that they would have obtained from the head office on campus. For example, in the employee’s case, they can download their payslips, work schedules, or even request leave or sick days online. As for the students, the student portal will enable students to report for a session, access their grades, register for units, access their fee structure, book for hostels and also view their academic calendars.
All this and more can be made possible through cloud servicing, and this can be made possible by identifying different departments that can use cloud services such as the finance department to carry out accounting, exam department to post students results on the cloud, library department to ease with borrowing and returning of books and even the catering department to enable meal preparation for students and employees on campus. The campus also needs specialized software to allow them to carry out the various processes since there is a need to have custom software tailored to meet the institution’s needs. Also, there will be no need for separate data storage since all data will be stored in the cloud makes it easier to store and retrieve data as long as one has reasonable internet connectivity and passwords. Also, cloud data storage is safe from malicious attacks and hence no need for separate data storages to act as backups or for security purposes.
With the need to have cloud services at ABC University, I propose Digitech solutions to implement the transition to cloud services in the university. This business plan will show why they’re the best for the job.
Instructions: Company Description
Company Description Worksheet
|Business Name||Diginet solutions|
|Company Mission Statement||Diginet solutions is a company that deals with software engineering and cloud services to make life easier in this era through technology.|
|Our core values are Honesty, integrity, and innovation which our business philosophy is founded on.|
|Company Vision||To become a widely sort after tech company that offers customer satisfaction and a leader when it comes to innovation.|
|Goals & Milestones||
|Target Market||Our target market is any organization or institution that has services that can be offered via the internet without necessarily getting the service from the premises of the institution or organization.|
|The industry is growing day in day out and with the rise in acquiring cloud services in organizations, the business has become competitive and innovation is key if one still wants to remain relevant. The industry is a viable industry in the short and long term since people are embracing the idea of cloud servicing hence|
|Diginet solutions is a partnership company between two firms one being a software engineering firm and the other an internet provider firm with both firms having an equal share in Diginet solutions. The company has no investors and depends on the jobs they are given to serve as capital and meet operational costs.|
Product & Service Description Worksheet
|Business Name||Diginet solutions|
|Product/ Service Idea||Provision of cloud services to ABC University in both administrative and academic processes for example financial accounting, online tests, data storage, linkages, advertisements, recruitments and many processes that can be carried out online.|
|Special Benefits||The benefits that this service brings to the university is that there will be no need of physically being in the premise of the university to carry out some of the processes that one is required to participate in.|
|Unique Features||The unique feature that Digitnet solutions will provide will be a customization of the universities portal and also service cloud whereby it will look like no other and will aim to make service delivery on the part of the management easier.|
|Limits and Liabilities||The limits of cloud service are restricted to only processes that can be performed online and only through the internet hence individuals without the internet connection or slow internet connection might not be able to use the service.|
|Production and Delivery||The production of the service begins right after the contracting of Diginet solutions in providing cloud services to ABC University and the production will take place in stages, for example, the development of software and their approval by the universities and also the pilot stage to its optimization to full implementation which will take roughly 6months.|
|Suppliers||The suppliers for both the software and internet provision will be provided by Diginet solutions with an aim of fast-tracking the process by reducing the time that would have been spent in sourcing for software and internet providers.|
|Intellectual Property Special Permits||Intellectual property in this project will be the customization of the universities software that they will use for example the employees and students’ portal, the accounting software, the exam coordination software and the timetabling software among other software and hence cannot be shared or copied by unauthorized parties.|
|The service entails making ABC University a digitized entity with almost all its functions and processes being carried out online without being in the premise of the school and also to enhance service delivery and efficiency.|
Instructions: Marketing Plan
SWOT Analysis Worksheet
|Product/ Service Offering||Cloud service will enhance service in the university||Only applicable with the availability of the internet and limited to processes that can be carried out online||There are opportunities in unexploited fields such as online tutoring, university expansion, and management.||The service can be used negatively to the disadvantage of the institution, for example, hacking to get exam answers and also fraudulent activities in accounting.|
|Brand/ Marketing||No branding or marketing needed since the university is a ready market.||The university may not like some of the brands such as the software that the company may provide.||There is room for the brands provided such as soft wares to increase market competitiveness.||There may other better brands from other companies or competitive marketing trends.|
|Staff/HR||An advantage for the university since most of their services will be automated hence no need many staff.||The staff may not be conversant with cloud servicing hence training is needed to make them knowledgeable.||There is an opportunity to develop a staff that is competent in handling cloud servicing hence the university becomes independent.||There may be layoffs after cloud servicing since most of the jobs done by individuals will be automated.|
|Finance||The project will reduce operational costs immediately upon its implementation.||The service is capital intensive and plenty of funds will be required to implement the whole project.||The university has an opportunity of making more money through cloud servicing by reducing costs of labor required to carry out processes hence more cash for expansion.||The system may be prone to hacking attempts by outsiders and also fraudulent activities by those operating the system hence the need for more investments in the defense of the system.|
|The operations of the cloud service will be carried out on campus and outside the campus in the Diginet solutions office for monitoring purposes.||The management of the cloud service may take a long time before it is fully encompassed by the universities system.||The university has a chance of enhancing service delivery and easy management of its affairs through the use of the cloud services.||Service delivery may be affected when there is a system break down or system upgrade hence normal operations and management are affected.|
|Market||Ready market since institutions will want to adopt cloud service in their operations||There is a limitation in the market in areas where the internet is not applicable or available.||There is an enormous market in the digitization of services in organizations and institutions
|Fierce competition from rival companies that provide the same services.|
|Can any of your strengths help with improving your weaknesses or combating your threats? If so, please describe how below.|
|Based on the multiple strengths and weaknesses present when using cloud servicing, the strengths such as reduced operational costs, reduced staff, efficient service delivery and lack of branding and marketing will mean that more time and resources will be available to combat threats such as hacking attempts and system failures to promote effective service delivery.|
|Based on the information above, what are your immediate goals/next steps?|
|A priority on ensuring that there are no hitches in any of the services in the cloud and making sure that customer satisfaction is maintained at all times.|
|Based on the information above, what are your long-term goals/next steps?|
|Long-term goals include but are not limited to creating a brand that is known to be consistent in service delivery and a pacesetter in innovation.|
Product/Service Features and Benefits
Cloud service means anything that can be done over the internet, and judging from the data given, the various forms of services that can be offered include;
- Website creation will be vital in automating most of the administrative duties that need to be carried out and ensure efficiency and professionalism.
- Student and employee, portal-the service portal, will act as an administrative office just a click away. Thus, there will be no need to visit the administration’s physical office.
- Alumni database-the alumni database will help track former students and also serve as linkage purposes.
- Data storage-the university will minimize the use of paper and also will have a much easier time with their data storage situation since it will have been taken care f
- Accounting services- through the development of software and programs, the university will account for its finance and enable timely updates on the institution’s financial state.
- Software creation-creation of software to suit the universities need, for example, software that can process vast amounts of data without crashing.
- Center or learning and innovation-creation of a virtual learning environment where students will interact with their professors without necessarily being in the exact location.
Some of the After-sale services include:
- Product delivery-during or before the agreed delivery time.
- Warranty –a warranty of two years is given, and any technical hitches that crop up, the company fixes them for free.
- Ongoing support training- The company trains the universities staff to understand how the system works.
- Refund policy-the company has a refund policy if the client’s expectations are not met.
- Target customer
The cloud service business targets higher learning institutions or organizations with processes that can be carried out online, such as registration, data storage, and other cloud services.
The following variables create a demographic profile of the target customer groups that are likely to use cloud servicing.
- Location-anywhere with internet
- Income-not applicable
- Education level-basic
- Industry-organizations and institutions.
- Location-anywhere with internet coverage
- Size-any size
- Stage in business -(startup, growing, mature)
- Annual sales-not applicable
Just like any business, there is competition and cloud servicing is no different. From research within the firm, two companies seem to pose a threat in the kind of services we offer, and this is Albano software in New York. Playtech solutions in Chicago these companies compete with us in software engineering and internet service, respectively. Still, they offer their services separately, unlike us in Diginet solution, where we offer both software engineering and internet provision in the same firm. This covers our direct competitors, with our indirect competitors being mobile application firms that develop applications for institutions and organizations like us.
Competitor Data Collection Plan
|Price||Albano software charges according to the kind of software that they engineer for an organization or institution.||Pytech solutions charge its customers depending on the kind of internet package they want. There rather cheaper as compare to other internet|
|Benefits/Features||Albano is really good when it comes to software engineering and their clientele is satisfied with the kind of work they do.||Pytech is reliable when it comes to providing a good internet connection and thereafter service is one to be reckoned with.|
|Size/profitability||Though not a big firm due to its lack of specialization, Albano software is profitable due to the referrals it gets from its clients.||Pytech is a large firm with offices vastly spread in the country and profitable judging by its size.|
|Market strategy||Highly dependent on referrals as a marketing strategy with few on no adverts in the online platforms or social media.||Pytech has a heavy presence in the social media and online platforms and uses the internet as its biggest marketing tool.|
Competitive Analysis Worksheet
For each factor listed in the first column, assess whether you think it’s a strength or a weakness (S or W) for your business and your competitors. Then rank how important each factor is to your target customer on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = significant; 5 = not very important). Use this information to explain your competitive advantages and disadvantages.
|Importance to Customer|
Digitech solutions having an office near ABC University would go a long way in providing the best it can offer. Due to its location, the universities servers and data storages can be housed in our offices, thus minimizing the costs of hiring a server host. The nearness of the firm to the university can also make it easier to respond to any issues that the university may be facing about its cloud services; hence, the university is assured of a standby technical team to deal with any shortcomings in the system.
The pricing for services offered by Digitech solutions is relatively fair and based on the client’s need, in this case, ABC University. The pricing for any cloud service depends on the kind of services they want to be done for them, such as internet provision, software engineering, or even maintenance services. The services’ pricing falls under two packages where we have the special box and the multiple packages where the client can have a whole package. For example, internet installation, software customization, maintenance package deal would be cheaper as compared to single services since there will be a value for more for less
Pricing Strategy Worksheet
|Business Name||Digitech solutions|
|Which of the following pricing strategies will you employ? the other|
The costs of making/obtaining your product or providing your service, plus enough to make a profit
Based on your competitive advantage and brand (perceived value)
Other: satisfaction based.
Based on the kind of package that the client will choose to be it the single or multiple packages.
|Provide an explanation of your pricing model selection.
My selection of the other model of pricing is solely based on the company’s policy in providing multiple services at a package cost since the company offers different services and it would like the client to get all their services at a reduced fee without extra costs.
Instructions: Operational Plan Production
The provision of the cloud service will be through the contracting of technicians to work on the benefits that the university wants to be rendered to them. The methods that will be used to provide the service will be both mechanical and technical, depending on the stage of production. As for the costs, the multiple packages will cost the university approximately 1.3 million dollars for a complete cloud service set up.
Quality control is at the heart of Digitech, and one of the ways that we will ensure that quality control is maintained is by conducting random checks and tests to see if the cloud services that we have offered are working the way that there supposed to.
The legal environment, in this case, does not affect the cloud service implementation in the university since there are few or none requirements to be filled. The only primary requirement has to do with copyrighting the soft wares for privacy protection.
The kind of employees needed in the implementation of the cloud service will be the employees of Digitech solutions and ABC university staff to act as a user, and there will be little training on how to use the new system. There will be no need for licenses or specialized education. The use of freelancers and independent contractors to review the system will not be necessary.
Due to the nature of the business, Digitech solutions does not have any policies on credit. Thus, it requires that all its clients, new and old, pay for their service beforehand to facilitate service delivery and avoid disconnection or delay in services since most of their payments go into production costs.
Instructions: Management & Organization
|Bio/s||The Digitech solution has twenty-six employees with vast experience in their various fields, the company is headed by a CEO who is in charge of the day to day running of the company. The CEO has a vast knowledge of cloud services and cloud security and it is through his technical know-how that we have managed to become one of the best providers of cloud servicing providers.|
|Gaps in Management or Experience||Gaps in management or experience in the course of the project will be addressed with the hiring of new employees with similar or a bit more experience from the previous employee.|
|Advisors||the company has members that make up the professional/advisory support team, and they include
3. Board of directors
4. Advisory board
5. Insurance agent
8. Mentors and other advisors