Ivey Publishing

Strategy of Managing Innovation and Technology

Millson, M.R., Wilemon, D.,1/e (United States, Pearson, 2008)
Prepared By Fei Zhu, Ph.D. Student (General Management)
Chapter and Title Chapter Matches: Case Information
Chapter 1:
Reasons for Innovation

Scott Jacobs, Prescott C. Ensign

Product Number: 9B06M023
Publication Date: 5/12/2006
Revision Date: 9/21/2009
Length: 11 pages

The chairman and chief executive officer of Sun Microsystems Inc., is struggling to take the company he co-founded into a profitable direction. There is strong evidence that a new strategy is necessary. Segments of Sun's business are growing but open source solutions and commoditization of products are driving revenues toward zero. Decisions involve market focus, pricing and investment in new technologies. The case illustrates the role of management preferences and the limits to an executive's span of attention/control. Both the chairman's and Sun's success is contingent upon an accurate assessment of the industry and the relative position of partners as well as the ability to generate creative solutions.

Teaching Note: 8B06M23 (14 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Managing Industry Change; Generating Profit from New Technology; Leadership; Corporate Strategy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Tony S. Frost, Nigel Goodwin

Product Number: 9B05M044
Publication Date: 7/15/2005
Revision Date: 10/1/2009
Length: 12 pages

This note examines Hong Kong's deregulated telecommunications industry from both industry and public policy points of view in March 2005. In recent years, the industry had been viewed as a model of deregulation and free enterprise, offering high quality service to consumers at a low price. However, the industry conditions were exceedingly challenging for the operators. Cutthroat competition had resulted in low margins and a high degree of fragmentation. The operators faced new challenges in the form of disruptive technology, new market opportunities in mainland China and the possibility of new competition at home. This note allows students to examine the determinants of industry structure, the goals and mechanisms of industry regulation, and market and non-market strategies that firms may use to respond to market conditions.

Teaching Note: 8B05M44 (6 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Managing Industry Change; Telecommunication Technology; Market Structure; Competition; Nanyang
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Adrian B. Ryans, J. Brock Smith

Product Number: 9A92A012
Publication Date: 5/8/1992
Revision Date: 1/17/2003
Length: 20 pages

Logitech was one of three companies that dominated the global market for pointing devices for computers. While Logitech had captured a large share of the Original Equipment Manufacturer mouse market, Microsoft was the clear leader in terms of industry standards and dollar share of the retail market. KYE, with a strong presence in Europe, was poised to compete aggressively in North America. Faced with the intensifying competition and eroding margin, Logitech was considering the introduction of an innovative line of ergonomic mice, which promised to change the competitive dynamics of the industry.

Teaching Note: 8A92A12 (15 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Market Strategy; Product Strategy; Market Segmentation
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 2:
Progression of Innovation Over Time

Robert Klassen, Jordan Mitchell

Product Number: 9B06M044
Publication Date: 3/29/2006
Revision Date: 9/21/2009
Length: 22 pages

Managers at Norway's Hydro are wondering whether or not an economically viable business case can be made to commercialize a wind-hydrogen solution. The company has successfully installed a wind-hydrogen renewable energy system as a research and development project on the 200 person remote island of Utsira. Now, they are considering two early markets to which to sell the idea: remote island communities or grid power balancing for grid operators with high reliance on wind power. Students will be introduced to current trends in renewable energy and will look at the threats and opportunities and business drivers in launching a new project. Students will analyse the priorities of the company by looking at economic, social and environmental objectives.

Teaching Note: 8B06M44 (13 pages)
Industry: Utilities
Issues: Innovation; Environmental Business Management; Feasibility Analysis; New Products
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Kevin B. Hendricks, Jorge Colazo

Product Number: 9B04D012
Publication Date: 8/10/2004
Revision Date: 10/9/2009
Length: 45 pages

Free or open source software is software that has the source code available to the user. This note discusses its history, how it works, fundamental characteristics of the development process, and different business models involving this software. Also highlighted are the ways in which free/open source software can be used as a strategic competitive advantage, the pros and cons of adopting it for businesses and the limitations of free and open source software.

Teaching Note: 8B04D12 (8 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Product Design/Development; Project Management; Innovation; Information Systems
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Rod E. White, Charlene L. Nicholls-Nixon, Hart Posen

Product Number: 9A99M048
Publication Date: 1/26/2001
Revision Date: 1/21/2010
Length: 15 pages

The founder of Surgery Futures Research, a London, Ontario-based startup, developed a new technique to assist with minimally invasive surgery. His innovation eliminated the need for incisions and retractors to manipulate the bowel, and relied instead upon magnets and an ingestible fluid. He put his surgical residency on hold and spent several years developing the technology as a sideline to his medical career. He invested his time, personal savings and much of his income into this enterprise. Even under the most optimistic scenario, commercialization was still years away and would require significant expenditures for research, development, manufacturing and marketing. At age 35, and with his wedding approaching, he felt the time had come to reevaluate the venture, considering what actions needed to be taken to commercialize the technology and what role he should play in the process.

Teaching Note: 8A99M48 (7 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Generating Profit from New Technology; Management of Technology; Innovation
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 3:
Historical Perspective of Invention, Innovation, and Product Technology

Gloria Barczak, David T.A. Wesley

Product Number: 9B07A014
Publication Date: 8/3/2007
Revision Date: 6/28/2012
Length: 18 pages

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) was the successor of the acclaimed PlayStation 2 (PS2), recognized as the world's best-selling video game console with more than 100 million units sold. The unprecedented display of enthusiasm for the PS3 suggested that Sony had another winner on its hands. The company projected sales of six million PS3 consoles worldwide between November 2006 and March 2007, a level that the PS2 took almost a year to reach. Sony's initial euphoria was short-lived. By February 2007, more than a third of PS3 consoles remained unsold, while some retailers reported a higher number of returns than sales. Consumers said they felt let down by Sony. The PS3 looked no better than Microsoft's Xbox 360, they complained, even though the Xbox 360 had already been on the market for more than a year, and sold for $200 less than the PS3. Customers also lamented the PS3's lack of interesting games, spotty support for PlayStation 2 games, and uninspiring online capabilities. Meanwhile, Nintendo's inexpensive and quirky Wii console had become all the rage, despite its underpowered processor and comparatively basic graphics. The case examines the characteristics of a successful new product launch, particularly product features, brand loyalty, content availability, third-party support, and adherence to industry standards. The case also considers how radical innovations can be used to win market share from technically superior products focused on incremental innovations. Finally, we use a 4P marketing analysis to compare video game systems offered by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Teaching Note: 8B07A14 (15 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Product Design/Development; New Products; Generating Profit from New Technology; Market Strategy; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Pratima Bansal, Marlene J. Le Ber

Product Number: 9B07M067
Publication Date: 1/4/2008
Revision Date: 7/3/2008
Length: 14 pages

Wall Street's darling, Google Inc., offered more than a pretty financial picture. Poverty, communicable diseases and climate change - some of the world's largest problems - were also key interests of Google's cofounders. By applying innovation and significant resources, Google's cofounders hoped that their efforts in these areas would one day eclipse Google itself in worldwide impact. On February 22, 2006, Google Inc. announced the appointment of an executive director of the newly created Google.org. With one per cent of Google Inc.'s equity and profit as seed money, Google.org's mandate was to address climate change, global public health, economic development and poverty. Although charity by successful entrepreneurs was not unusual, this press release signaled a new organizational form, a for-profit philanthropic company. The new executive director's task ahead was unprecedented. How could he leverage the company's for-profit status to make the biggest impact possible with the resources trusted to Google.org? What decision-making criteria should be used for strategic investments? How would he measure Google.org's success?

Teaching Note: 8B07M67 (11 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Corporate Governance; Strategic Decision Making; Business Sustainability; New Organizational Forms
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Charlene L. Nicholls-Nixon, Daniel Day

Product Number: 9B05M045
Publication Date: 6/22/2005
Revision Date: 1/16/2017
Length: 10 pages

The inventor and founder of DEKA research was deciding whether to commercialize his latest invention, the Segway Human Transporter, a self-balancing, battery-operated scooter. The transporter was envisioned as an alternative mode of personal transportation in traffic-clogged urban environments. It also had potential application in developing countries with limited transportation infrastructure. With the versatility to carry riders on sidewalks, rough ground, icy surfaces and inside buildings, the market potential seemed unlimited. Yet, the Segway Human Transporter represented an unconventional transportation choice for potential users. Would there be a market for it, or would it be seen as nothing more than a cool invention? Should the inventor proceed with commercialization, and if so, how?

Teaching Note: 8B05M45 (11 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Technology; New Products
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 4:
Product Innovation

Wim Vanhaverbeke, Rein Nieland, Inge Leuverink, Femke van Hoven, Marijke van Wely

Product Number: 9B05M072
Publication Date: 10/28/2005
Revision Date: 8/29/2018
Length: 23 pages

The New Business Development unit is part of DSM, a Dutch globally operated chemical company. The unit looks for promising new ideas to develop into start-up businesses. Stamypor is a new project that the New Business Development unit is working on and the team leader of the project must decide if it should be developed into a start-up company. Students will apply their knowledge about new product development, new product evaluation, the stage-gate process, customer value, business models, and corporate venturing.

Teaching Note: 8B05M72 (22 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Innovation; New Products; Business Valuation; Business Models; the Netherlands
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

June Cotte, David Singer

Product Number: 9B03A010
Publication Date: 8/6/2003
Revision Date: 10/15/2009
Length: 9 pages

AlarmForce Industries Inc. is a developer and sales provider of home security systems with offices throughout Canada. Since the company's inception, it had become one of the leaders in the Canadian home security market and had established a reputation for being a technological innovator in the industry. The president and chief executive officer of the company must decide whether or not to launch their new product, AlarmFog, which the president believed represented the future of the home security market. The case focuses on past strategic decisions made by the company in differentiating itself in a mature market. The potential folly of making tactical product launch decisions without a solid analysis of underlying strategic issues can be discussed.

Teaching Note: 8B03A10 (6 pages)8B03A10B (16 pages)
Industry: Other Services
Issues: Marketing Management; New Products; Market Analysis; Market Segmentation
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

J. Michael Geringer, William Pursell

Product Number: 9A92G007
Publication Date: 7/9/1992
Revision Date: 3/30/2010
Length: 20 pages

The president of Polysar's global rubber division must determine how to commercialize an award-winning new product, Tornac Rubber. This product represents a potentially critical addition to the company's core business activities. Although members of Tornac Rubber's product development team are highly committed to the product, recent market developments combined with the financial circumstances of Polysar's new parent company create uncertainty regarding whether the rubber division should commercialize Tornac Rubber independently, or whether they should instead establish an alliance with one of their major competitors globally, Bayer A.G. of Germany. (A 16-minute video can be purchased with this case, Polysar Ltd. and Tornac Rubber - Video.)

Teaching Note: 8A92G07 (12 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Management in a Global Environment; Joint Ventures; International Business; Corporate Strategy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 5:
Process Innovation

Eric Olsen, Carol Prahinski, Jenni Denniston

Product Number: 9B06D017
Publication Date: 10/12/2006
Revision Date: 9/16/2009
Length: 11 pages

The general manager of the Wilkins plant in Paso Robles, California has received instructions from head office to reduce inventory by 30 per cent in the next quarter. Although inventory had been accumulating over the past years, this has been seen as a benefit to the company for a couple of reasons. One is that the cost of raw materials has risen in the past year. The second is that the company has a policy of no layoffs, so having inventory in stock allows the company to minimize the use of overtime and temporary workers. The general manager wondered whether revising the production planning process would be enough to solve Wilkins' inventory problems.

Teaching Note: 8B06D17 (22 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Manufacturing Strategy; Inventory Planning/Control; Logistics; Operations Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Terence Tsai, Borshiuan Cheng, Donna Everatt

Product Number: 9A99M009
Publication Date: 4/6/1999
Revision Date: 5/24/2017
Length: 15 pages

The Acer Group is one of the world's largest PC and computer component manufacturers. The vice-president of Global Operations is pondering whether the timing and environment is conducive for Acer, based in Taiwan, to commence full-scale manufacturing operations in the Chinese mainland. Students are asked to examine the criteria on which Acer should base their decision to manufacture overseas, and in so doing, create the framework for a corporation's global manufacturing strategy. The teaching objectives also include having students consider the political, economic and social environments of a global manufacturing strategy. A related case entitled Acer Group's R & D Strategy - The China Decision (9A99M007) is also available.

Teaching Note: 8A99M09 (10 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Globalization; Plant Location; Competitiveness; Manufacturing Strategy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

E.F. Peter Newson, Olga Volkoff

Product Number: 9A97E001
Publication Date: 9/8/1997
Revision Date: 2/3/2010
Length: 15 pages

With changes in both technology and the environment, Nortel has had to evolve from a company that sells a collection of telecommunication products to a company that sells integrated packages of products that satisfy specific customer needs. In the past, I/S has been spread across the various product divisions, supporting a highly decentralized corporate structure. Now it has been charged with transforming itself to facilitate the company's need for greater integration, including a move to standardized systems. I/S must re-define its role and restructure itself to fulfill its new mandate. After an extensive analysis and design exercise, the I/S function has been re-visualized as centering on three key processes: client management, solution delivery, and business support. This represents a significant change from a traditional I/S shop that focuses on building applications and infrastructure. While there is broad support for the changes in principle, actually getting the new processes fully articulated and implemented presents a significant challenge.

Teaching Note: 8A97E01 (11 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Information Systems; Business Process Re-Engineering; Restructuring; Management of Change
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 6:
Developing and Managing Service Innovation

Scott L. Schneberger, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B01E008
Publication Date: 3/6/2001
Revision Date: 12/18/2009
Length: 12 pages

WaveRider Communications, Inc. was a Toronto-based company with a mission to become the leader in global wireless technology by developing, selling and supporting products that enabled wireless Internet service providers. It recently launched market its Last Mile Solution, offering Internet service providers the opportunity to provide wireless Internet access at broadband speeds in the unlicensed 2.4 gigahertz spectrum. The wireless Internet access industry was relatively untapped and WaveRider's vice-president of marketing wondered whether the company, as it started its growth phase, should seek an alliance with a competing technology company. To determine the feasibility of this idea, he needed to classify the competition, review the customer barriers and evaluate which technology was the best fit.

Teaching Note: 8B01E08 (12 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Information Systems; Action Planning and Implementation; Innovation; Technological Change
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Kenneth G. Hardy, George Matheacakis

Product Number: 9B00A030
Publication Date: 10/31/2000
Revision Date: 1/7/2010
Length: 32 pages

Two young university graduates evaluate the possibility of introducing a new room reservation system for tourists in Greece, replacing some of the unreliable existing methods. Recent improvements in the telecommunications grid and the emergence of several Internet service providers across Greece, coupled with existing hardware and software technology, paved the way to a window of opportunity for their Ikaros Project, a collection of transactional interactive networked kiosks. The kiosks would allow customers to obtain real-time information on hotel room availability and make their reservations. Convinced that the system would be accepted by the tourists, there were still many considerations to be researched and resolved: acceptance of the system by the hoteliers, connection costs, system capacity, pricing and the system architecture.

Teaching Note: 8B00A30 (9 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Market Strategy; Technology; Product Design/Development; Market Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

David G. Burgoyne, Hadi Satyagraha

Product Number: 9A91A014
Publication Date: 1/1/1991
Revision Date: 1/22/2004
Length: 8 pages

The president of Streber has received a research study of dealer outlets (druggists) indicating that Streber's salesforce ranks high when compared with 19 competitors, but the company is rated very poorly on every service dimension from delivery through to billing. The president needs to decide how and when to share the data with people in the company. He also needs to develop a more analytical approach to managing the business. A supplementary case Streber Inc. Dealer Outlet Survey (B) is available.

Teaching Note: 8A91A14 (5 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Marketing Channels; Services
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 7:
Organizational Innovation

Cecilia Gurgel do Amaral, Marlei Pozzebon

Product Number: 9B06M003
Publication Date: 2/6/2006
Revision Date: 9/17/2009
Length: 13 pages

This case describes the history of a non-traditional business group, Semco, starting from the 1980s, when Ricardo Semler assumed responsibility for the company and triggered a genuine revolution in terms of management practices. Since then, Semco's workforce has grown from 90 to 2,500 employees and its annual turnover climbed from US$4 million to US$160 million in 2001. The secret for transforming a conventional workplace into an unconventional hive was given: giving up control.

Teaching Note: 8B06M03 (7 pages)
Issues: Construction; Arts Administration; Bonuses; Corporate Responsibility
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

David W. Conklin, Jennifer Pun

Product Number: 9B02C062
Publication Date: 11/29/2002
Revision Date: 2/12/2003
Length: 23 pages

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is one of the 10 largest full-service financial institutions in North America. Its human resources department wanted to reinvent HR service delivery and increase automation and self-service operations. A number of options were being considered, including continuing with the status quo while undertaking patchwork operations, developing new HR capabilities in-house, outsourcing the development of HR capabilities, and exploring the opportunity to outsource entire functions. Each option presents benefits and challenges, and the senior lead on the project must begin to develop a business case to go forward. The supplemental case CIBC: Outsourcing the Human Resources Department (B), product 9B02C063 discusses the human resources outsourcing agreement.

Teaching Note: 8B02C62 (19 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Human Resources Management; Business Policy; Organizational Structure
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

David W. Conklin, Jennifer Pun

Product Number: 9B02C063
Publication Date: 11/29/2002
Revision Date: 11/9/2009
Length: 9 pages

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was the first major financial institution in Canada and among the first in North America to team up with an external supplier to manage its human resource operations and technology services. As such, the company required a carefully structured contract that included the necessary requirements and at the same time left room for flexibility and change. This is a supplement to CIBC Human Resources (A), product 9B02C062.

Teaching Note: 8B02C62 (19 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Human Resources Management; Business Policy; Organizational Structure
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 8:
Accelerating Innovation

Nicholas Athanassiou, Edward F. McDonough, Francis Spital, David T.A. Wesley

Product Number: 9B03M041
Publication Date: 9/25/2003
Revision Date: 10/22/2009
Length: 18 pages

By using standard components, Compaq's supercomputer line, known as the Alpha Server SC, attempted to avoid some of the risk associated with supercomputer development. However, more than five years after unveiling its first supercomputer, known as Turbozilla, Compaq's High Performance Technical Computing Group had yet to make a profit, despite rapidly growing demand. The bidding process for large government contracts typically resulted in discounts of up to 70 per cent, leaving little, if any, margin. More importantly, some Compaq managers had become anxious that HPTC systems had begun to consume significant company resources. Alpha servers that had previously been allocated to high margin commercial customers were increasingly being diverted to zero margin supercomputers. Highlighted is the stage by stage process of developing a new product development organization. In doing so, it demonstrates that an important capability and competitive advantage for effective knowledge transfer in global new product development is the ability to construct a network of relationships that are built over time, that lead to the creation of social capital, and that are strong and extensive enough to inhibit duplication by others. Supplement Compaq High Performance Computing (B), product 9B03M042 is available.

Teaching Note: 8B03M41 (16 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Computer Industry; Competitive Advantage; International Management; New Products; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Henry W. Lane, Gloria Barczak, Edward F. McDonough, David T.A. Wesley

Product Number: 9B02M040
Publication Date: 1/9/2003
Revision Date: 12/3/2009
Length: 19 pages

Modine Manufacturing operates primarily in a single product category consisting of the manufacture and sale of heat transfer equipment. A major customer announced the cancellation of an agreement with Modine to develop a key engine component, which was needed by automotive companies in order to make their engines comply with new emissions guidelines set to take effect in several years. However, the expectation that the government would relax emissions guidelines was believed to have led to the cancellation of the project. Would other customers do the same? Considerable resources were spent on this project, causing projects that would be handled by the new product development area to be developed outside of this unit. The vice-president of technical services must analyse the company's new product strategy to determine its effectiveness in developing new products and what model the company should use for product development.

Teaching Note: 8B02M40 (6 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Automotive; Program Design/Implementation; Product Design/Development; Organizational Structure; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Mary M. Crossan, Ariff Kachra

Product Number: 9A98M006
Publication Date: 5/14/1998
Revision Date: 5/10/2017
Length: 23 pages

Starbucks is faced with the issue of how it should leverage its core competencies against various opportunities for growth, including introducing its coffee in McDonald’s, pursuing further expansion of its retail operations, and leveraging the brand into other product areas. The case is written so that students need to first identify where Starbucks competencies lie along the value chain, and assess how well those competencies can be leveraged across the various alternatives. It also provides an opportunity for students to assess what is driving growth in this company. Starbucks has a tremendous appetite for cash since all its stores are corporate, and investors are betting that it will be able to continue its phenomenal growth, so it needs to walk a fine line between leveraging its brand to achieve growth while not eroding it in the process. This is an exciting case that quickly captures the attention of students.

Teaching Note: 8A98M06 (13 pages)
Industry: Accommodation & Food Services
Issues: competitiveness; industry analysis; growth strategy; core competence; coffee
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 9:
Managerial Practices and Innovation Strategies

Mark O. Lewis, Arun Rai, David Forquer, Dan Quinter

Product Number: 9B07D002
Publication Date: 2/26/2007
Length: 14 pages

This case is about managing large supply change outsourcing relationships over time. The focus is on the challenges service providers and their customers face as they seek to continually find new sources of value as the relationships change. Emphasis is placed on issues related to coordinated capabilities across functional boundaries, information sharing and developing information technology readiness.

Teaching Note: 8B07D02 (5 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Relationship Management; Outsourcing; Innovation
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Amy J. Hillman, Michael Slinger

Product Number: 9B01M016
Publication Date: 5/18/2001
Revision Date: 12/21/2009
Length: 16 pages

Napster is a creator of music industry software that allows peer-to-peer file swapping services and caused a fundamental shift in the music industry. The chief executive officer of the company is now faced with two challenges: how to convert loyal customers to another system without losing them and how to find a new business model in the wake of extensive legal challenges.

Teaching Note: 8B01M16 (6 pages)
Industry: Other Services
Issues: Industry Analysis; Business Policy; E-Business Models; Technology
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Charlene L. Nicholls-Nixon, Adam Fremeth

Product Number: 9B00M004
Publication Date: 1/25/2001
Revision Date: 1/8/2010
Length: 21 pages

Silent Witness Enterprises Ltd. was one of Canada's fastest growing technology-based firms. The 14-year-old publicly traded company created a new market niche in the security surveillance industry by introducing novel applications of VCR-based technology. The company's founder forecasted growth that would take the company from annual revenues of $34 million in 1999 to $250 million by 2005. In achieving these goals, he must decide how to balance the need to sustain innovation and new product development, while at the same time, develop the capabilities needed to manage the firm's increasingly complex operations.

Teaching Note: 8B00M04 (9 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Growth; Strategic Balance; Innovation
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 10:
The Future of Innovation and its Management

John S. Haywood-Farmer, Erika Lundholm

Product Number: 9B06D016
Publication Date: 8/30/2006
Revision Date: 9/16/2009
Length: 11 pages

The owner and founder of Boman Communications, was proud of the company's business concept which utilized technology to allow flexibility and efficiency in the production of marketing materials. However, despite this strategic advantage, the company had been unable to attract more than one large client. More importantly, recent events had led the owner to believe that many of his own employees did not understand the company's business concept. If they did not understand the company's business concept, how could they sell it to customers? Bowman knew he had to address these issues soon but was unsure how to do so.

Teaching Note: 8B06D16 (8 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Corporate Strategy; Advertising; Technology; Personnel Management; Management of Change; Marketing Communication; Management of Technology
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

James E. Hatch, Susanne Acklin

Product Number: 9B05N016
Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Revision Date: 6/16/2010
Length: 15 pages

Representatives of the technology transfer office are preparing a commercialization strategy of a new peptide. The function of the technology transfer office at the University of Western Ontario is to prospect for suitable technologies for commercialization, to manage the patent protection for such inventions, and to identify ways to develop such inventions. Two licensing opportunities are being considered, both of which entail creation of a startup company. The representatives must evaluate options to determine which offers the best potential for the commercialization of the invention for everyone involved.

Teaching Note: 8B05N16 (14 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Entrepreneurial Finance; Licensing; Technology; Patents
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Paul W. Beamish, John Adamson

Product Number: 9B01M059
Publication Date: 1/29/2002
Revision Date: 8/28/2009
Length: 16 pages

Optical Recording Corporation (ORC) secured the rights to a technology known as digital optical audio recording. During the time it took to negotiate the final transfer of the technology ownership, it was rumored that some major electronics manufacturers were developing compact disc (CD) players that recorded digital optical audio signals. A patent lawyer advised ORC that the compact disc players and compact discs recently released by these companies might be infringing the claims of ORC's newly acquired patents. Based on this information, the company proceeded to successfully negotiate licensing agreements with the two largest CD manufacturers, Sony of Japan, and Philips of the Netherlands The third largest manufacturer, WEA Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., maintained a position of non-infringement and invalid patents. With the U.S. patent expiry date looming, ORC decided to sue Time Warner for patent infringement. When the defense counsel presented testimony that questioned the integrity of the licensing agreement, ORC's president realized that the entire licensing program was in jeopardy and must decide whether he should accept a settlement or proceed with the lawsuit.

Teaching Note: 8B01M59 (11 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Business Law; Intellectual Capital; Licensing; Patents
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA