Problem 1:

Stage one:

  1. Establish the business goals and objectives (ROI, %market share, revenue, and growth aspirations).
  2. Determine the technology strategy and product market strategy for the company.
  3. Define the overall development goals and objectives to align business goals, technology, and market strategies.
  4. Develop the functional evolutionary maps of the markets and industry in which the company is embedded. Create functional maps (time-based evolutionary maps) for technology, product market, and manufacturing strategy of the firm. These maps will be useful in the process of assessing and creating competitive strategy.

Stage 2: Industry Analysis

  1. Perform the structural analysis of the industry in which the company is either an active competitor, or a new entrant, or a substitute. A convenient form for performing this analysis is the table below. We have indicated a few simple examples of what the entries in this table might look like from the viewpoint of a new entrant. (Note that a sixth force, influence of competitors has been included. For a discussion of this force, see Ghemawat, 1999).
  2. Determine the existing competitive strategy of the company within the industry.
  3. Determine the relationships between the company and the other players in the industry.

Stage 3: Assessment and Evolution of the company’s strategy within the relevant markets and industries

  1. Using the functional maps of the overall markets and industry in which the company is embedded, as well as the company specific functional maps, assess the evolution of the company’s competitive strategy.
  2. Decide on what the company’s future competitive strategy should be, and the corresponding technology strategy, product market strategy, and manufacturing strategy.

 

Problem 2:

Microsoft would like you to provide them with a clearly structured report that must include 3-5 specific recommendations for what their business, technology, and product/market strategic focus should be for the next year. Your specific (properly justified) and properlu justified (with the appropriate maps, facts, and data) recommendations would essentially help the company to decide which products and technologies it should develop, which market it should target. etc.

 

Problem 3:

Now identify 3-5 strategic initiatives actually taken by microsoft since 1995 and compare these to your recommendations in 3. Hopefully you came up with better initiatives thant those that Microsoft followed, and you can explain why your initiatives are better.

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