Problem: In January 2012 the board of directors of Orateme has to decide what would be the best use to invest the company’s financial resources. Alternatives: During the meeting that took place on January 13th 2012, the board identified a few alternatives: 1) Leverage the current job boards to appropriate client associations, providing access to the network of associations and their respective members e.g. Nursing cheer network (David Flowers, current President). 2) Getting more serious with continuing education (CE) on the web even though there are some doubts regarding the future possibilities in terms of the large players that are already in the market, and it might take several years to develop a competitive product (Karolynn Matheson, Vice President of Operations). 3) Investing in managing content that is a burgeoning market opportunity since has no market penetration in the association market; I.e. webMD (Ramesh Visnaramathan ,Vice President of Engineering). 4) Waiting one additional year and hope that there will be more market place stability (John Bushel, Controller). Recommendation: Our group agrees with the alternative identified by Karolynn Matheson. She underlined the fact that CE has become a mature market, a $4 billion market that currently delivers almost one percent (1%) of all of its content online. Researches found out that this market is highly segmented with third party players offering alternatives opportunities and solutions. The actual players are competing with the associations rather than collaborating with them (e.g. legal and accounting). The idea is to combine the benefit for Orateme and for those associations. It may take several years in order to develop a competitive product and a suggestion would be to collaborate with a smaller industry player or to directly acquire it in order to get at least 1 percent (1%) of the CE market, sharing a half of that 1 percent (1%) with a partner will not be a problem. Rationale
Market & Customers: Continuing education (CE) refers to any type of post-secondary education, used to either obtain additional certifications, or as credits required to maintain a license. Almost any individual can take CE courses for personal or professional enrichment; fitness trainers, nurses, and safety instructors are examples of professionals who fall into the second category. This type of education is aimed exclusively at adults who already possess a college or university degree. People take CE in the form of workshops, seminars, home-study or online courses, conferences, and hands-on training. The CE market is valued at $104 billion annually in the USA. CE is an increasing market for several reasons. Mergers, acquisitions and closures are sending more and more highly competent professionals into the job market. Many need to refine or update their skills to be best positioned for current and future employment. As service-industry jobs feel the pressures of outsourcing and manufacturing jobs decrease, the need for employees to stay current in industry-related skills is critical and crucial. More than half of the world's 500 largest corporations were located in the U.S. in the 1970s. Today, less than one third are US based. The “baby boomer” generation is well-educated, researchers believe that well-educated people drive the demand for more educational opportunities. Researchers also are aware that there is a positive relationship between the level of education attained and the tendency to pursue CE opportunities. Those same “baby-boomers” will drive a high demand for healthcare professionals. CE is critical to those who work caring for others and how need to stay updated on the latest technologies and treatments. Employer paid CE opportunities are popular benefits and help employers retain qualified and high-performing employees. The rapid growth in online learning makes CE more convenient for working adults. A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that most Americans...
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