1. CASE PROBLEM 1 Visualize This Visualize This (VT) is a small start-up company specializing in…

Visualize This Visualize
This (VT) is a small start-up company specializing in virtual reality and computer visualizations. Located in the research park of a major university, the company was founded by Isaac Trice, a university professor, and staffed with the brightest of his former students. By all accounts the technology is cutting edge. Facilities include a lab of 14 high-end computer workstations adjacent to a CAVE (computer-aided virtual environment) and a small office. A conference room and central lobby are shared with other tenants in the building. Originally the company had partnered with the Swedish firm Slavonia to create virtual environments for medical and industrial design. Trice and his staff would develop the software for each application; create a visual database supported with engineering or medical data, and run design sessions for their clients in the CAVE. Slavonia provided the capital, generated the clients, and handled the business end of the operations.
In its first two years of business, VT completed four projects. With each project, VT advanced its skills in visualization and developed customized tools to help its clients design intricate products. The clients were pleased but did not anticipate repeating the intensive design process for several years. Unfortunately, Salvania was unable to remain solvent and dissolved its partnership with VT. VT was able to keep its workstations (whose salvage value was low), but gave up its rights to the CAVE and furloughed all but three employees. To stay afloat, VT needed new clients and a steady stream of income. Trice hit the streets and came back with the following possibilities:
• Designing computer-based training sessions for bank tellers of an international finance institution
• Conducting software certification for the sales staff of a large software vendor
• Designing virtual reality tours through history for a major museum
• Developing Web-based virtual models for a women’s clothing retailer
• Creating virtual catalogues in which a customer can enlarge, rotate, and dissect a product online.
“This isn’t what I had in mind for my company,” Trice lamented as he shared the list with his employees. “I wanted to be developing the next generation of visualization tools in concert with the brightest minds in industry, not digitizing pictures of products and making them turn around, or teaching people to use software that’s not even our own!”
That said, Trice and his staff of three began going through the list analyzing the pros and cons of each alternative.
1. Help Professor Trice formulate a strategy for his company by going through the steps of strategy formulation. For ideas, search the Internet for other companies that provide visualization solutions.
2. What capabilities does VT need to develop in order to pursue the strategy developed in question 1?
3. How can Trice reconcile his goals for the organization with the needs of the marketplace?
4. Compare the processes required to satisfy each customer on Trice’s client list. Consider the mix of equipment and personnel, the length and scope of each project, and the potential for future business. How do the requirements differ from the projects already completed by VT?
5. Which projects would you recommend to VT? Why?