University of Twente Student Theses


“Recognizing, Developing and Evaluating Business Opportunities to Successfully Create and Deliver Additional Value to ParnasSys Users”

Bramer, Raymond (2010) “Recognizing, Developing and Evaluating Business Opportunities to Successfully Create and Deliver Additional Value to ParnasSys Users”.

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Abstract:ParnasSys is an online student administration and tracking system that can be used by primary schools in order to manage student data and student performance efficiently and effectively. The system consists of several modules, which are all charged for separately by an annual license fee per student. In order to stay competitive, Topicus, the owner of the ParnasSys system, wants to implement new services that can create and deliver additional value to its users. This research was started to determine which services should be developed in order to achieve the creation and delivery of this additional user value to ParnasSys users. Therefore, the research goal is stated as follows: “The goal of this research is to develop a method to recognize, develop and evaluate opportunities, and to identify which services can best be developed in order to create and deliver value to the fixed user base of ParnasSys” The first step of business opportunity development is to determine which unfulfilled desires, wants and needs are present in the market. The next step is to determine if there are methods in which ParnasSys can fulfill these needs. Depending on the method of determining business opportunities, this process can also be reversed, when underutilized resources are detected and a certain market need is sought to exploit with this underutilized resource. Regardless of how the development process is executed, the “fit” between what our users want and the possibilities that exist to fulfill these desires are the business opportunities that are sought. When a business opportunity is identified, it can be developed in the business development process, until finally a business model is created that can be executed to realize the value creation and delivery to the users of the ParnasSys system. Business models describe the delivery of value to all actors involved in the process. It prescribes that for a service to be successful, business models should offer some positive value to all involved actors. The data gathering process indicates what our users want, and whether or not ParnasSys is capable of developing this opportunity into a service that can create and deliver user value for this need. Four sources were used to acquire the required data: Financial reports of 31 schools over three school boards, twelve semi-structured interviews with ParnasSys users (four interviews with members of each user group: schools, school boards and parents), several unstructured conversations with sales agents within Topicus, and the Delphi users society, in which complaints and suggestions for improvement are made and reviewed by ParnasSys users that have access to the Delphi system. The results of the data analysis show that schools, school boards and parents share some value attributes, and have some attributes that are unique to that user group. Common value attributes are usability of the system and the quality of education, which are important to all users. Attributes like children’s health and insight into financial information are relevant specifically for individual user groups. 5 What should ParnasSys do? From a comparison between the interviews with ParnasSys users, and the conversations with sales- agents, it is clear that there exists a “gap” between the user’s perceived value from ParnasSys, and how ParnasSys employees estimate this value. This research is a first step in closing that “gap”. A list of business opportunities that were identified is presented in the results section in Chapter 4. From these results, two business opportunities stand out, based on an estimate of how much value is expected to be delivered to an individual user, and the number of users that can benefit from this business opportunity, thus the total value creation and delivery that can be realized by developing this business opportunity. The first business opportunity is a Single Sign-On (SSO) system. The intention of this business opportunity is to relieve users of the need to remember usernames and passwords of the systems that they use besides ParnasSys. There are many companies and institutions that require some form of login to web-based systems in order to provide its services to the schools. This research shows that many users experience the login process as irritating. It has become a symbol of the use of IT-systems, of which especially the employees of schools generally have an aversion. The SSO system can take away this burden by logging the user in into external systems automatically after clicking on a button, without requiring the user to enter the actual login data. It is expected that this system provides user value in the form of usability, which is important to school employees. Moreover, a large portion of ParnasSys users can benefit from this system. Since age is an important factor in the acquisition and application of IT systems (Davies & Westerman, 2000) and the average age of employees at schools is expected to increase in the coming years, it can be expected that the SSO system will continue to provide value to ParnasSys users for the foreseeable future. This business model is deemed both feasible and viable. The second business opportunity that is developed is the error analysis system for Cito tests. An error analysis system provides users with the possibility of analyzing what a student did wrong in Cito tests, and to detect patterns of errors that indicate an arrearage in a certain area. There is no LVS-system in the market that offers this possibility in combination with storing method-related test scores and other student data. Therefore, many schools use two separate LVS systems. With this system, ParnasSys would be the sole supplier of a complete LVS system that leaves other systems redundant. The value creation and delivery would lead to an increase in the ease of use of LVS systems in general, since all relevant student performance data can be tracked in one system. It also provides the possibilities to create a better image of how a student is performing, thus creating opportunities to increase the quality of the education provided by the school. Moreover, when an error analysis system is implemented in ParnasSys, new possibilities arise like automatically drawing attention from parents to the fact that their child has some arrearage in a certain area, and offering the possibility to parents to reduce or clear this arrearage by practicing with small software packages that are designed to tackle the specific problems that their child is affected by. This in turn can increase the popularity of the school portal and therefore increase the number of users in this system. This business model is also deemed both feasible and viable, and services should be developed to create and deliver value to ParnasSys users with this.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Topicus (EduTopics B.V.), Deventer
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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