Project Title: Salesforce SFA on the iPhone and iPod Touch
1. Summary of case study
2. Questions & Answers
3. Learning outcome
Summary of Case Study
* Role of Apple
Apple is a company known for creative, disruptive new technologies and business models. One of its most recent products, the iPhone, represents this kind of technology. Apple opened up its iPhone platform to third-party developers shortly after releasing it. They provide what’s known as the iPhone SDK (software development kit) to developers free of charge. The iPhone is very different from other smart phones because of its third-party development environment. Third-party applications make the iPhone unique, and the iPhone is an example of an open development platform being beneficial to the parent company. Salesforce.com is just one of many companies hoping to take advantage of the iPhone platform to broaden the market for its applications.
Salesforce.com is a leading provider of software-as-a-service applications delivered over the Internet. The SaaS model is a departure from traditional software bought and installed on machines locally. Salesforce.com has been very successful and has shaken up the software industry with its innovative business model. Salesforce.com developed SFA application for the iPhone using Apple’s iPhone software development platform (SDK): a striking, contemporary example of the emerging digital platform where most computing will take place by 2015.
* WHAT IS SFA?
SFA (Sales Force Automation) refers to a set of tools that record all the events in the sales process, as well as all pertinent data driven by those events. Even before the first SFA products began hitting the market in the early 1980s, this data was recognized as useful for the cultivation of individual customer relationships and, in aggregate, helpful for determining sales trends and setting sales policies. SFA solutions automate the collection of this data and instantly propagate it to where it is needed, eliminating much of the manual administration that would otherwise go into managing it.
Questions & Answers
Q 1.) What are some examples of 'disruptive' products created by Apple? How disruptive of a product is the iPhone and why? Ans: In today’s business world, many companies are in search of an innovative strategy to move on to a market where there is as yet no competition.
Innovations resulting from disruptive technologies usually offer change either in products or in services that are typically simpler, more efficient, easy to use versions of existing products or services already in the market. They more than often target new customers or low-end customers by lowering the price or designing products/services for a different set of consumers. In 2001, Apple introduced their first digital music player called iPod and in 2003 introduced Their iTunes software, which, with the agreement of five major music companies, enabled users to download music legally. With iTunes’s user friendly design, con- summers could download legal, high quality songs in mp3 format at a reasonable price. In this way, customers had the possibility to buy the exact song they liked instead of buying the whole CD album. Also, it was a one stop shop enabling customers to find a great range of music of high quality. There are two types of disruptive innovations; these are low end disruption and new market disruption (Hang and Kohlbacher 2008). Low end disruption occurs when a product or service fulfils the low end of the market by providing more value for money demanded by customers. New market disruption occurs when a product or service offered by a company in a new or emerging market segment which is unoccupied by existing competitors. The introduction of iPod can be considered as both an example of new market disruption and a low end disruption technology. It can be classed as a new market...
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