CIP Projects Fall 2022

The Mack Institute’s Collaborative Innovation Program (MGMT 892) connects students with business leaders and researchers in the study of innovation management and its practical application. Through this program, students collaborate with our corporate partner companies to address existing challenges within their organizations.

Find an overview of the Collaborative Innovation Program, a recording of a recent information session, a syllabus, and student experiences here.

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Deadline extended! Now due Monday, August 15, 2022

Fall 2022 Projects

To read the full project descriptions, click the titles.

1) Competitive Analysis: Digital Touchpoints across the Customer Experience

Organizational BackgroundCompany A is a biopharmaceutical company, manufacturing plasma-derived and recombinant therapeutic products and providing them to people in more than 100 countries. Its line of therapies includes products for the treatment of bleeding disorders such as hemophilia; primary immune deficiencies (PIDD); hereditary angioedema; inherited respiratory disease; and neurological disorders in certain markets. The company’s products are also used in cardiac surgery, organ transplantation, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic diseases in the newborn. Company A is also a leader in research and development in the Vaccines space.

Project Summary: Company A is currently scaling out an Innovation Model, while, at the same time, undertaking a digital transformation journey within its plasma business that will provide an activation of insights throughout the customer experience (plasma donation). The firm is looking to evaluate its current Innovation Methodology as well as its retail experience, focused on digital touchpoints (apps, websites, onsite interactive technologies) across both direct competitors (GSK, AbbVie, Bristol Myers Squibb, Takeda, Griffols) and ‘cultural’ competitors (i.e., Tempus, Flatiron Health, GoodRX, Amazon physical retail stores,  etc).

Objectives and Deliverables:

  • Analysis of the Innovation Model’s strategic approach towards scaling a sustainable strategic direction that supports the short-term and long-term goals of I&T and the Business.
  • Analysis of the current state of the firm’s customer journey pathway
    • What does plasma donation look like? Efficiency and efficacy of motivation, scheduling, visitation, intake, donation experience, output
  • What are the key indicators of success in the customer journey that will contribute to realization of value
  • What is the customer journey amongst other pharmaceutical competitors? Site visits to both CSL Behring donation sites and competitors are encouraged to experience each customer journey
  • Which competitors provide a nuanced and effective customer journey that encourages customer retention? What key factors are considered?
  • What might comparable ‘cultural’ competitors’ customer journeys look like? What are the key factors in those cases that promote customer retention and satisfaction? What are the qualitative and quantitative success factors that could be measured in this process?
  • Consider adjacent retail experiences like brick-and-mortar Amazon stores that are innovative and immersive

Qualification: Experience in or knowledge about bio-pharmaceutical segment is highly preferred.

2) Critical Digital Technologies to Scale up Insurance Business

Organizational Background: Coforge is a high growth, global digital services, and solutions provider, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey and India that enables its clients to transform at the intersection of domain expertise and emerging technologies to achieve real-world business impact. A focus on very selected industries (Insurance, Banking and Travel & Transportation), a detailed understanding of the underlying processes of those industries and partnerships with leading platforms provides us a distinct perspective. Coforge leads with its product engineering approach and leverages Cloud, Data, Integration and Automation technologies to transform client businesses into intelligent, high growth enterprises. Coforge’s proprietary platforms power critical business processes across its core verticals. The firm has a presence in 21 countries with 25 delivery centers across 9 countries. 

Project Summary: The Insurance industry is changing. Insurers today are under tremendous pressure to attract customers, and even more to retain them. Rising expenses, increasing customer expectations and an ever- increasing threat from competition makes it even harder for insurers. Insurers are observing behavioral change in the mindset of customers and accordingly building their solution to run and grow by transforming the new age technologies. All this has given a reason to the Insurers to explore these technologies and realize them to the fullest.  

Insurance is one of the largest verticals for Coforge. Our portfolio consists of a mature set of offerings and solutions, which has helped insurers to modernize legacy systems, re-engineer business processes, consolidate and optimize core insurance platforms, accelerate digital transformation, implement intelligent process automation using AI/ML, reduce time to market, and implement cost takeout initiatives. Our Digital technology solutions have transformed the world and increased customer expectations within tight budgets. We are beyond digital, and our services stack enables businesses to strategize, build and leverage emerging technologies to create market-ready solutions with radical benefits. Sharply focused on select verticals, we leverage our world class industry expertise to amplify digital experiences of our clients and their customers. 

The current situation has changed the experience of customers, agents, brokers, underwriters, claim adjusters, etc. To address the challenges, insurance carriers are having to find new ways of operating their businesses; both AR/VR and Quantum Computing have the potential to play a significant part in this. 

Objectives & Deliverables:  

  • Identify the B2B customer needs in the Insuretech space while driving growth and profitability.  
  • Understand and analyze what are the top players in the insuretech space and their sales profitability 
  • Research the various technology trends in this industry and provide an analysis of how they are driving growth 
  • Provide a detailed analysis and overview of how InsurTechs are disrupting the sector and how can Coforge be an entrant and leader in the disruption. 
  • To share recommendations, comprehensive strategy and a Go-To-Market plan on how Coforge can be a leader in this space 
  • Share Business Plan for Coforge to implement that includes competitor analysis, customer segment analysis with gap assessment and scenario analysis on options or recommendations provided.   

Qualification: Experience in or knowledge about the insurance industry is highly preferred. 

3) Creating an Innovative Customer 360-degree View

Organizational Background: Company B is a large information management and digital services company which connects technology, processes, and people to help businesses work smarter, makes data accessible faster and with more actionable insights. Company B serves 21 of the 32 largest non-profit hospital systems, 9 of the 11 largest for-profit hospital systems, a large number of leading university hospital systems and the U.S. Veterans Administration in the U.S. 

Project Description: Currently, Company B does not have one place where our Sales Reps or Technicians can track the activities like quotes, orders, Service Requests, or any concerns raised by customers. Information is scattered in many systems; user should have the access and know the navigation to get the information needed. Availability of this information in one place will provide clarity to Sales Reps to sell the solution and to technicians to service the equipment/solution. The “customers” for this solution are Company B’s internal sales representatives. 

We are looking to build a new system where users can see the below information based on their role: 

  •       Ability to see all Opportunity Details which are in the pipeline
  •       Ability to see Quote with the status
  •       Ability to track the Order and fulfillment of the order
  •       Ability to subscribe for the notification (users can subscribe to get email notification when Order Status changes)
  •       Ability to see all invoice information
  •       Ability to see Service Contracts/Entitlements
  •       Ability to see all Service Requests
  •       Ability to see all Customer Issues reported by Customer
  •       For Sales Reps and Technicians, access of the data should consider territory management
  •       Ability to filter the data by date range
  •       Dashboard which shows various stats

Deliverables and Outcomes: 

  • Work with Product owners to understand requirement and groom user stories 
  • Develop an innovative solution that address product design and user interface 
  • Develop high-level requirements & solution documents and flow diagrams 
  • Develop a project plan with the consideration of 2 or 3 weeks of sprint cycle. 
  • Plan for minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Construct data model and build UI framework with the consideration of re-usability 

Qualification: Product UI/UX design skills or course/work experience in product design is highly preferred. 

4) Mobility in North America: Business Case & Strategy for Electric Vehicle Charge Points

Organizational Background: Company C multinational software company serving more than 437,000 customers in over 180 countries. It is a market leader in enterprise application software, providing the intelligence to bring together operational and experience data. By leveraging innovative technologies in the domains of machine learning, IoT, and advanced analytics, COMPANY C aims to help the world run better and to improve people’s lives. With over 100k employees, the company is a market leader in enterprise software applications. Its technology enables customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. Specifically, the company launches products that accelerate the world’s transition to a profitable, sustainable, and convenient electric mobility. 

Project Summary:Company C has a best of suite charge point backend system solution that enables charge point operators (CPO) and e-mobility service providers (EMSP) to run and monitor their charge point infrastructure. The solution enables charging at home, charge at public and charge at work scenarios. The tight integration of the solution in the company’s existing architecture scales value through sound and holistic processes across billing, invoicing, reimbursement, and real estate management and many more business processes.  

Archetypical competitors often struggle with these integrations as they are small young firms, however they have positioned and branded with craft-custom solutions and well produced software demonstrations which are often effective despite untested, “clunky” software. In this environment, there are many emerging players as the opportunity is an emerging, fragmented market, which is driving significant M&A, and, while Chargepoint has established itself as a major player, market clarity is at a premium. 

The firm has a growing European eMobility practice with many lessons learned, but in a very different operational environment. How might the company see success within the North American market? 

Objectives and Deliverables: 

  • The key performance indicator in this space is about scale. How should the company scale this business? 
  • Assess the market potential in North America for mobility solutions. Identify the key players and their go-to-market business strategy. What should the business strategy be for COMPANY C based on your recommendations? Include an investment and ROI scenario.  
  • Provide insight into sub-segments that COMPANY C should focus on based on the segments outlined below:  
    • Fleet operators: different companies own and manage their fleets in various industries to run their business applications, such as telecomm, utility, transportation, and CPGs to name a few. 
    • These fleets are converting ICE (diesel/gas) trucks towards EVs. How rapidly are the fleet operators electrifying? What is the vehicle charging process and how is it being managed? What business model are they using (outsourcing or managed in-house)? Assess the level of investment in infrastructure (if any) of the charge point operator segment? 

5) Telecommunications, Media, and Tech: Disruptive Technology and Risks on the Horizon 2023

Organizational Background: Company D is a British-American multinational risk management, insurance brokerage and advisory company. The firm is the third largest insurance broker in the world. It operates in more than 140 countries and has a workforce of more than 45,000 employees. 

Project Summary: The list of disruptive technologies is seemingly without limit. Machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing are three popular examples many companies are considering today. While any technology has the potential to be “disruptive”, some stand out from the others. Truly disruptive technologies are considered innovative and have the potential to dramatically change how a business operates, interacts with customers, or completes the sale of a product or service. These are major evolutions to a business that can create brand-new revenue streams — or help streamline current processes that save time and/or money. 

Of course, the catch is that disruptive technologies are known to be both expensive and difficult to implement. If this weren’t the case, everyone would do it. Therefore, it’s important to remember that disruptive technologies are not for the faint of heart. Yet, if properly planned, a successful implementation can be a true game changer. 

Aspects of disruptive technologies: Digitalization, business models, data, regulatory & compliance strategies 

Examine the issues and explore the strategic role, responsibilities, and opportunities for tech companies, their technology customers, insurers and investors to identify how disruptive technologies will impact technology, media, and telecommunications companies and their customers over the ‘to be defined’ time horizons with the aim of WTW helping clients effectively address system-wide disruptive technology risks across the spectrums of Regulatory, People, Risk, and Capital risk.  

Objectives and Deliverables: 

  • State of the Disruptive Technology Ecosystem (within the Tech, Media, and Telecommunications industries) – What are the significant disruptive technology trends, pressures and industry response overview (The Immediate Horizon vs Longer term and ‘Sci-Fi’) 
  • What are the key pressures, primary barriers as well as key opportunities for the technology industry and technology dependent industries related to disruptive technologies over the immediate vs longer term horizon (see slide 4)? 
  • What approaches should they deploy to address these pressures? 
  • What actions must they deploy to make these approaches realistic? 
  • What challenges will they encounter in deploying these actions? 
  • How should/’must’ the technology industry respond to the ‘predicted’ the future? – Identify high-level framework and recommend/suggest (different) strategic actions. 
  • How is the sector currently thinking about/responding to forced/disruptive technology change challenges across the dimensions of Regulatory, People, Risk, and Capital? 
  • Disruptive Technology: Understanding the Risks and Rewards – Risk can never be fully eliminated. 

6) Exploring New Market Opportunities for Digital Compensation Platforms

Organization Background: Pave is a fast-growing real-time compensation platform that helps organizations plan, communicate, and track employees’ compensation. This platform allows users to make smarter comp decisions and eliminate spreadsheets, powered by real-time integrations with HRIS, ATS, and Cap Table. The company was founded in 2019 and currently has 150 employees and more than 5,000 customers. Pave has raised $163M to date and is valued at $1.6 Billion in the most recent (Series C) round of fundraising. 

Project Summary:Compensation management has been increasingly digitized to make it easier for organizations to plan, communicate and track employees’ compensation. In addition, the compensation data accumulated in the compensation management platform enable organizations to make faster and smarter compensation decisions. As a new entrant to the space, Pave is now laser focused on serving private, venture backed technology companies in the United States. While that is an attractive and strategic first industry to go after, the real potential of Pave is appealing to every single enterprise in the world. In ten years, every single company in the world will be using Pave to optimally compensate employees. Pave believes that the future strategies will be vital to prioritization decision-making over the next 1-to-2 years. There are some big questions and assumptions that have not been fully researched or answered but are backed into the broader company thesis. 

The purpose of this project is to research the following dimensions: 

  1. Market Dynamics. What are the market dynamics across other industries and verticals as it pertains to compensation practices, existing solutions/competitive dynamics, pain points, etc.? For instance, what are the typical compensation tools, benchmarking datasets, and comp-related workflows found at a European CPG company and how does that compare to an American tech company? 
  2. What’s next. What are the most strategic industries to go after next and why? 
  3. Timing. At what point should Pave fight the “next battle” and expand to another industry? 

Objectives and Deliverables: 

  • Develop a framework for how to break down different customer segments (geography, industry, etc.)  
  • Consider the key dimensions to research in each of these industries 
  • Develop a holistic set of primary and secondary research methods to gather information 
  • Create a presentation which answers the “market dynamics”, “what’s next” and “timing” questions for CEO of Pave 
  • Summarize the key findings in the presentation into a white paper.  

Qualification:
Experience and skills in SaaS product development and/or human resource management are preferred. 

7) Strategies to Drive Mindshare and Wallet Share in the Metaverse (Digital Services Provider)

Organizational Background: Coforge is a high growth, global digital services, and solutions provider, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey and India that enables its clients to transform at the intersection of domain expertise and emerging technologies to achieve real-world business impact. A focus on very selected industries (Insurance, Banking and Travel & Transportation), a detailed understanding of the underlying processes of those industries and partnerships with leading platforms provides us a distinct perspective. Coforge leads with its product engineering approach and leverages Cloud, Data, Integration and Automation technologies to transform client businesses into intelligent, high growth enterprises. Coforge’s proprietary platforms power critical business processes across its core verticals. The firm has a presence in 21 countries with 25 delivery centers across 9 countries.

Project Description: The landscape of technology is ever changing.  Coforge clients are looking for thought leadership and higher value-added services from Coforge to grow and propel their business further.  The expectations are true to our vision of “Engage with the Emerging” and to drive thoughts, new ideas, new areas that can drive short- and long-term benefits to our clients.

The spotlight is on Metaverse – a technology that is emerging as the next major computing paradigm and promises to transform the way we work, live and interact. Coforge aims to be at the forefront of this immersive experience and the possibilities it offers. While the contours of the metaverse are still emerging, there are few concepts that are already available, including (but not limited to):

  • Virtual Spaces: Virtual campuses, virtual meetings, and events (meetings, training, employee/user/client onboarding, conferences, expo events, community events, team building, etc.)
  • AR/VR/MR/XR: Multi-user gaming, exploration of a place through one’s avatar and interacting with others there, overlay of virtual assets in the real-world, remote assistance, dis-assembly /assembly guidance, e.g. in MRO, etc.
  • Virtual Storefronts, offices, and bank branches
  • Virtual Assets Marketplace: NFT-backed assets (Virtual or real-life objects) like art, memorabilia, images, video, music, etc. and the facility to buy/sell these assets while maintaining ownership provenance using Blockchain. The marketplace can facilitate the participation of various stakeholders like sellers, buyers, auction houses
  • Scenarios that emerge when connecting these capabilities with existing solutions like Simulations, AI/Cognitive, Analytics, etc.
  • Metaverse training:  Impact of AR/VR allowing learners/trainees to gain hands-on experience in remote, risk-free environments and enabling participants to problem solve more effectively in a variety of scenarios that can be set for them, etc.
  • Metaverse marketing:  The ability to leverage highly interactive and trackable marketing experiences for clients to bridge the gap between interaction/experience and calls to action, combined with a more accurate way of measuring marketing effectiveness and monetization throughout the different virtual worlds.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Identify the potential of metaverse including but not limited to current areas of AR/VR
  • What are the core building blocks of metaverse?  How do they compare and contrast with B2B and B2C models.
  • How can Coforge build both mindshare and wallet share leveraging metaverse for its clients
  •  What should Coforge invest in the form of playbooks to yield results from metaverse
  • How should Coforge prioritize and monetize with metaverse
  • How can metaverse be used to build competitive advantages and moats
  • Provide a detailed analysis and overview of how start-ups are disrupting the sector and how can Coforge be an entrant and leader in the disruption
  •   How should Coforge leverage metaverse for its own employees and workforce.
  • How can Coforge be a leader in metaverse – share recommendations, comprehensive strategies, and a tactical Go-To-Market plan on how Coforge can be a leader in this space
  •   Share Business Plan for Coforge to implement that includes competitor analysis, customer segment analysis with gap assessment and scenario analysis on options or recommendations provided
  • What challenges should Coforge be mindful of when embracing metaverse