CIP Projects Spring 2024
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.
Spring 2024 Projects
To read the full project descriptions, click the titles.
1) Generating Value by Implementing a Connected Strategy for Telecom Wholesale Business
Tigo is a leading telecommunications company in Latin America, offering a range of innovative services and advanced connectivity solutions, positioning itself as a strategic ally in the digital transformation of companies in the region. Tigo stands out for its ability to offer comprehensive and customized solutions, adapting to the needs and challenges of a constantly evolving market.
The Tigo Wholesale segment has:
- Annual Revenue $31.1M for this segment in 2023.
- It has more than 2,000 active services,
- About 2TB of capacity on submarine cables,
- More than 5,400 KM of fiber installed,
- Highly automated regional customer service NOC with more than 70% of fault tickets opened automatically.
- Connectivity to and from the USA< Internet and cloud through more than 5 of the main submarine cables
Project Name: Generating Value by implementing a Connected Strategy for Telecom Wholesale Business
WHY: Tigo seeks to create an effortless environment at the touchpoints where we interact with our customers
- Create Curated Offerings or Behavior Coaches
- Improving the quality of service,
- Strengthening the perception of value
- and personalizing the customer experience
WHAT: Market segmentation seeks to:
- Optimize commercial management processes,
- Automating interactions at different levels
- And improve internal processes.
HOW: The two main objectives of this strategy will be:
Increase Willingness to Pay:
- Capturing strategic information at each point that allows us to anticipate the needs of our customers
- Automatic analysis of interactions with the end customer in order to transfer the findings to our direct customer in the form of proactive opportunities from their customer base
Fulfillment Costs Reduction: Optimizing administrative, operational and technical processes to minimize the interaction time between areas involved in responding to a customer requirement.
- Automate communication between the different tools in each area, eliminating manual processes and information silos
WHO: Students with experience in consulting and/or telecom
Develop a report and presentation of optimization trends, best practices, and process reengineering projects in technology companies that integrate and streamline processes between areas while reducing resistance. and creating agile processes that allow anticipating customer needs by analyzing communication and interaction with customers in order to anticipate the trend in product demand and prices.
2) Developing an Innovative approach to Design & Advanced Services
Ricoh Digital Services primarily focuses on providing a wide range of digital solutions that aim to streamline business processes and improve workflow efficiency. Their services include document management, IT infrastructure support, digital transformation solutions, and managed print services. Ricoh’s approach is typically centered around leveraging technology to enhance communication and productivity within organizations. They offer tailored solutions that integrate hardware, software, and services to meet the specific needs of different industries and business sizes. This approach aligns well with current trends in emerging technology, especially in areas like cloud computing, AI, and data analytics, to optimize business operations.
Project Name: Developing an Innovative approach to Design & Advanced Services
WHY (e.g., motivation): The Design & Advanced Services organization within Ricoh is responsible for applying a centralized team with expertise in Design Implementation and Operations of Advanced Services. They focus on providing cohesive solutions designed for customer infrastructure, ensuring operational efficiency, and developing, implementing, and supporting advanced, customer-centric, profitable, sustainable, and repeatable solutions.
Currently, the organization faces various data related challenges such as manual assembly of dissimilar data sets, complicated infrastructure for report generation, large file size issues, lack of key data elements, and custom data field creation. The sponsor would like to leverage their data resources in a more streamlined and innovative manner to address these challenges. The future state aims to include Data Visualization and Exploration, Real-time Data Updates, Integration with Various Data Sources, Automation, Forecasting and Trend Analysis, and Predictive Insights.
WHAT (e.g., scope): Develop a data management and analytics strategy that enables the leadership of the Design & Advanced Services organization and other stakeholders (e.g., salesforce) to utilize data more effectively and innovatively. This framework should emphasize leveraging data to identify customer needs and optimize the allocation of internal resources.
HOW (e.g., methods):
- Conduct interviews with both internal and external stakeholders in the Design & Advanced Services organization to understand their requirements for data usage, data availability, and any challenges or gaps in current data utilization.
- Investigate best practices in the use of data for informing decisions about customers and resource allocation.”
- Compile the findings and recommend a comprehensive data management and analytics framework or strategy, including some initial design concepts.”
WHO (e.g., qualification): students who are interested in data science and analytics
The deliverable, either a report or a presentation, should:
- Summarize the current state and needs of data management and analytics within the Design & Advanced Services organization.
- Outline best practices in utilizing data to guide decisions regarding customer engagement and resource distribution.
Suggest a data analytics strategy framework for more effective and innovative data usage. This framework should facilitate the creation of a deal tracking system, a dashboard that consolidates existing reports, integration of additional data sources, a view tailored for team members, and the development of capabilities in forecasting, trend analysis, and predictive insights for future applications.
3) Enhancing External DEI Reputation: Strategies and Partnerships
Sponsor Introduction: CSL Behring, a global biotherapeutics leader, specializes in lifesaving medicines, including therapies for immunodeficiency and rare diseases. With a deep commitment to innovation and improving patient lives, CSL Behring operates with a sense of responsibility towards community and environment. Emphasizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) in its core values, CSL Behring continually seeks to enhance its global presence and partnerships, reflecting a diverse and inclusive ethos.
Project Name: Enhancing External DEI Reputation: Strategies and Partnerships
WHY (e.g. MOTIVATION): This project focuses on enhancing CSL Behring’s external reputation concerning DE&I with current and potential partners. The project aims to explore how DE&I commitments impact brand reputation, and how these can be effectively communicated and integrated into business strategies. It will involve research, analysis, and the development of strategic recommendations for implementing an Inclusion and Technology (I&T) Diverse Supplier strategy, and for engaging with DEI-related conferences and events in the IT sector.
WHAT (e.g., scope): I&T Diverse Supplier Strategy Recommendations:
- Develop a framework for implementing an I&T Diverse Supplier strategy.
- Assess potential third-party tools that could aid in this implementation.
- Create a “must-have” criteria checklist for onboarding small diverse suppliers.
HOW (e.g., methods):
Competitive Analysis on DEI Partnerships in Conferences and Events:
- Conduct a comprehensive competitive analysis on how other companies and industries partner in DEI-related conferences and events, specifically in IT.
- Identify potential conferences, events, or groups that CSL Behring could join to enhance its DEI presence.
WHO (e.g., qualification): students who are interested DEI initiatives
Student Perspectives on DEI Commitments:
- Gather insights from student interviews to understand what potential talent looks for in companies regarding DEI commitments.
- Translate these insights into actionable strategies for CSL Behring to reflect and communicate its DEI commitments effectively.
4) Developing a Market Positioning Strategy in the AI Economy
Sponsor Introduction: Oracle is recognized as a leader in the field of database management systems and enterprise software. The company has also made substantial strides in cloud computing, offering a comprehensive stack of cloud applications, platform services, and engineered systems. Oracle’s products and services are used by a wide range of industries around the world, making it a critical backbone for many businesses in the digital age.
Project Name: Developing a Market Positioning Strategy for Oracle in the AI Economy
- WHY (e.g., motivation): Oracle has long been recognized as a leader in the field of database management systems and enterprise software. However, despite its strong AI-related capabilities, it has not been perceived as a leader in the emerging AI space. Oracle would like to understand how to position itself in the AI economy to gain recognition and establish a leadership position in this new era of AI technology.
- WHAT (e.g., scope): The project aims to assess the burgeoning AI economy, as well as Oracle’s existing businesses and key expertise. It will also formulate a market positioning strategy that allows Oracle to harness its current expertise and establish a prominent position in the AI economy.
- HOW (e.g., methods): The project primarily involves secondary market research on the AI economy and interviews with Oracle executives. The project is divided into three phases: (1) comprehending AI markets and Oracle’s existing business expertise, (2) evaluating the alignment between Oracle’s expertise and market opportunities in the AI space, and (3) formulating a market positioning strategy for Oracle, which has the potential to propel it into a leadership position in the AI space.
- WHO (e.g., qualification): Students with a background in or a deep interest in enterprise software and AI.
Deliverables: A presentation that (1) provides an overview of the AI economy and emerging market opportunities (e.g., summarizing key value propositions and assessing market size), (2) summarizes Oracle’s expertise and identify key market opportunities that align with its current capabilities, (3) evaluates the competitive landscape, and (4) proposes a market positioning strategy (e.g., the target market segment to pursue).
5) Green Algorithms: Navigating the Environmental Impact of AI in Business Operations
Project Title: Green Algorithms: Navigating the Environmental Impact of AI in Business Operations
In the era of rapid technological advancement, the environmental impact of AI and its applications, such as machine learning algorithms, has become a crucial concern. As industries increasingly rely on AI for efficiency and innovation, the energy-intensive nature of these technologies poses significant sustainability challenges. This project aims to explore the intersection of AI and sustainability, focusing on how AI can be both a contributor to and a solution for environmental issues. The motivation stems from the need to understand and mitigate the ecological footprint of AI technologies, in line with global sustainability efforts.
This project will delve into various aspects of AI’s environmental impact and its potential for fostering sustainability. Key focus areas include:
- Analysis of AI’s Energy Consumption: Examining the power requirements of ML algorithms and data centers.
- Green Algorithms: Exploring the development and implementation of energy-efficient AI solutions.
- Global Sustainability Frameworks: Investigating how these frameworks influence business strategies regarding AI.
- AI in Mitigating GHG Emissions: Assessing the role of AI in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in different sectors.
- Sustainability Metrics: Developing criteria to effectively measure and define “sustainability” in the context of AI.
- Case Studies: Identifying and analyzing industries excelling or lagging in implementing sustainable AI solutions.
- Data Analysis: Utilizing data on energy consumption and sustainability metrics.
- Comparative Studies: Examining different industries and their approaches to sustainable AI.
- Interviews and Surveys: Engaging with experts in green technology, climate finance, and corporate sustainability.
- Literature Review: Analyzing existing research on AI’s environmental impact and sustainable technology.
- Case Study Analysis: In-depth examination of selected industries and companies.
Ideal candidates for this project are professionals with a blend of expertise in technology, business, and environmental studies.
6) Developing a Partnership Strategy Playbook for the Center of Advanced Diagnostics
Sponsor Introduction: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is a world renowned academic pediatric health system, caring for children from the Philadelphia metropolitan area, as well as drawing patients from all 50 states and around the world. As the nation’s first hospital devoted exclusively to the care of children (founded in 1855), CHOP has been the birthplace for countless breakthroughs and dramatic firsts in pediatric medicine. In fiscal year 2022, CHOP employed nearly 17,000 people, provided care at over 50 locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and generated over $3.8 billion in annual revenue.
Project Name: Developing a Partnership Strategy Playbook for the Center of Advanced Diagnostics at CHOP
- WHY (e.g., motivation): The Center of Advanced Diagnostics at CHOP aims to expand its partnership strategies beyond its traditional business model, seeking new opportunities to acquire technologies and increase revenue. Presently serving as a reference lab for numerous medical institutions, the Center recognizes the potential to utilize CHOP’s expertise in the rapid development of cutting-edge tests and technology in the areas of cellular therapy, cancer, biopharma/clinical trials, and undiagnosed disease to innovate in collaboration with current and new partners. The goal is to achieve more ambitious objectives, such as becoming a hub of innovation or establishing an ecosystem conducive to innovative growth.
- WHAT (e.g., scope): The project aims to identify the needs of potential partners that CHOP can meet using its expertise. It will also develop a playbook outlining how CHOP could engage with various external stakeholders. This includes identifying suitable partners and proposing effective partnership structures, all geared towards achieving CHOP’s ambitious objectives.
- HOW (e.g., methods): The project primarily consists of interviews with executives from CHOP and potential partners for the Center of Advanced Diagnostics at CHOP. It will also include secondary market research to comprehend market conditions and needs. The project is divided into three phases: (1) understanding CHOP’s overarching objectives for the Center of Advanced Diagnostics, (2) assessing the alignment between CHOP’s expertise and partner needs, and (3) developing a partnership strategy playbook for the Center of Advanced Diagnostics at CHOP.
- WHO (e.g., qualification): Students with a background in or a deep interest in the healthcare industry.
A presentation that (1) outlines the short-term and long-term key objectives for the Center of Advanced Diagnostics at CHOP, (2) summarizes the primary needs of prospective partners and how they align with CHOP’s expertise, (3) assesses the competitive landscape, and (4) proposes a Partnership Strategy Playbook. This playbook will detail a roadmap for engaging prospective partners and suggest potential partnership structures.
7) Artificial Intelligence-Led Transformation
Tata Communications is a leading global digital infrastructure services provider. It provides integrated, globally managed technology solutions that underpin today’s fast-growing digital economy. The company is shaping the future by investing in emerging innovations in the areas of IoT, Edge computing, 5G, AR/VR, Next gen connectivity, security and predictive analytics using AI.
Project Name: Artificial Intelligence-Led Transformation
WHY (e.g., motivation): Focus of the project shall be on developing AI vision and 3 year strategy for Network, Cloud/Edge and Mobility products.
- Understanding the AI landscape across industries for inspiration to identify high impact AI use-cases
- Suggest monetization opportunity with AI, new product ideas or new feature ideas for existing products.
- Validate the use-cases across BFSI, Manufacturing and Retail industry.
- Tata Comm play and potential offerings with a mix of existing and new partners, technology & products. E.g. Start-ups and large technology players
WHAT (e.g., scope): The team is expected to adopt a good mix of primary and secondary analysis through leveraging Wharton’s database and industrial connections. The research would include:
- Benchmarking data from thinktanks, analysts, consultants, etc.
- Secondary research on comparable companies
- Primary research with industry experts and analysts
- May include focused group discussions with few of Tata Comm’s strategic customers.
- Tata Comm’s portfolio understanding, strategic priorities and ecosystem approach.
HOW (e.g., methods):
- Research on successful top-tier AI product start-ups, such as Geotab, that have achieved substantial scaling by harnessing the power of data to generate value. Examine their methodologies, encompassing data sourcing strategies, customer-centric value discovery approaches, and effective monetization and charging models. Gain insights into the factors that propelled these AI ventures to growth and ascertain the best practices that can be applied to replicate their achievements.
WHO (e.g., qualification): Students who are interested in AI, financial services, manufacturing, retail
The project team will brief the team during scoping and the team will work closely with the Corporate Strategy & Innovation team.
8) Developing an Innovative Sustainability Strategy for a Bank
TD Bank, a leading financial services organization, has committed to aligning its business practices with the Paris Agreement. With a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in its operations and financing activities, TD is at the forefront of integrating environmental sustainability in the banking sector.
Project Name: Developing an Innovative Sustainability Strategy for TD Bank
- WHY (e.g., motivation): The pressing nature of climate change requires immediate and impactful actions. TD Bank understands that achieving its ambitious goal of net-zero emissions extends beyond just internal policies. It’s essential to create a holistic sustainability strategy that involves a broader group, including customers, partners and employees. Additionally, it’s crucial to translate their ambitious goal into specific, measurable objectives in order for the goal motivating and actionable.
- WHAT (e.g., scope): This project is focused on creating a comprehensive sustainability strategy to involve both internal members (such as employees) and external parties (like customers and partners) in reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, the strategy will provide a framework for establishing concrete goals, tracking results, and reporting on progress towards TD Bank’s net-zero target.
- HOW (e.g., methods): The project involves primary and secondary market research to explore innovative sustainability practices used by competitors and leading firms in various industries. It is structured into three phases: (1) assessing TD Bank’s current sustainability initiatives, (2) conducting both primary and secondary research on innovative sustainability practices from competitors and industry leaders, and (3) developing a tailored sustainability strategy for TD Bank.
- WHO (e.g., qualification): Students interested in sustainability and ESG
A presentation that (1) outlines the innovative sustainability best practices used by competitors and top companies in other industries, pinpointing where TD Bank falls short, (2) suggests a forward-thinking sustainability strategy for TD Bank, aimed at more effectively involving both external stakeholders (such as partners and customers) and the internal organization, and (3) creates a framework for establishing specific goals, tracking results, and communicating progress in executing the strategy
9) North American Expansion Strategy for Autonomous Material Transporters (AMTs)
Sponsor Introduction: Eve Autonomy, Inc. is a joint venture established by Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Tier IV, Inc. with the aim of realizing automated transport solutions utilizing autonomous driving technology.
Project Name: North American Expansion Strategy for Autonomous Material Transporters (AMTs)
WHY (e.g., motivation): The increasing demand for efficient, cost-effective, and automated intralogistics solutions in manufacturing and production facilities underscores the need for this project. With the successful implementation of Eve Autonomy’s AMTs in Japan, there’s a significant opportunity to explore the viability and adaptation of this technology in North American markets. This project aims to assess the business model, market fit, and potential for growth of AMTs in a different geographical and industrial context.
WHAT (e.g., scope): This project focuses on developing a comprehensive business plan for the introduction and expansion of AMTs in North America, targeting large-scale manufacturing plants like automotive, chemical, and consumer goods production facilities. The scope includes evaluating the existing business model of Eve Autonomy, adapting it to the North American market, and conducting extensive market research and customer discovery to gauge demand and tailor the service offering.
HOW (e.g., methods):
Market Analysis: In-depth study of the North American manufacturing sector, focusing on potential clients’ needs and logistics challenges.
Customer Discovery: Conducting interviews with at least 50 potential customers from various industries to gather insights on their requirements and willingness to adopt AMT solutions.
Competitive Analysis: Assessing existing intralogistics solutions and identifying Eve Autonomy’s unique selling propositions.
Financial Modeling: Developing cost and revenue models based on the Autonomy-as-a-Service framework.
Pilot Deployment Study: Analyzing Eve Autonomy’s pilot deployments in Japan to extract key learnings and success factors for adaptation in North America.
WHO (e.g., qualification):
The project team will consist of MBA students with diverse backgrounds, including business strategy, finance, operations management, and technology. Team members will leverage their academic knowledge and professional experience to conduct thorough research, develop strategic insights, and create a viable business plan for AMTs in North America.
The ultimate goal is to establish a sustainable and profitable business model for AMTs in North American markets, ensuring that these autonomous transporters effectively meet the intralogistics needs of large manufacturing and production plants. By operating an on-demand AMT fleet both indoors and outdoors 24/7, this project aims to revolutionize material handling and transportation within the industrial sector, aligning with the evolving demands of modern manufacturing processes.