CompuSoluciones: Competing Against Disintermediation
(6 pages of text)
CompuSoluciones was a value-added distributor of information technology hardware, software, and services based in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2016, the firm’s chief executive officer was aware that the company faced the threat of disintermediation as some of its vendors looked to sell directly to end-users. The industry in which CompuSoluciones competed was known for its rapid technological changes, which affected the design, supply, and price of products, and even the structure of the industry. As an intermediary in the business, CompuSoluciones was threatened by disintermediation, which was enabled by two new technologies: cloud computing and software as a service. If software vendors could interact directly with end-users, they would not need to pay intermediaries (resellers or wholesalers such as CompuSoluciones) to distribute their products.
CompuSoluciones’s chief executive officer needed to consider what the company could do in the next few months to prevent or slow the process of disintermediation or to participate in the industry in a different way. The decision would have significant implications for the firm’s business model.
This case has been designed for use at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and can be used in courses on strategy, competitive behaviour, international business, and entrepreneurship. It is possible to use this case in a variety of places in a course. Specifically, it can be used to address topics such as how firms address the challenge of disintermediation, how strategic assessments can assist firms in combating the threat of disintermediation, and how changes in the industry and their impact on firms can be evaluated. Following the discussion of the case, students will have developed their ability to
- conduct an industry analysis;
- assess a firm’s strategy and business model;
- identify the advantages and disadvantages in a firm’s current business model; and
- discuss how improvements can be made to strategy and/or business models.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
Mexico, Large, 2016
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