Abstract: The success of every software project is determined to no small degree by the license under which its creator chooses to publish the software. Free/libre open source software has made free sharing of software and code reuse much easier but has also made the business of software licensing far more complex. This thesis presents a teaching case seeking to introduce the basic concepts required to make licensing choices successfully. The case casts a special focus on free/libre open source licenses, revealing the interwovenness of licensing strategy and the business model of an open source-based company. The 2011 founded startup OwnCloud is a software vendor offering an on-premise file synchronization and sharing solution. The OwnCloud suite is free/libre open source software, but there is also a proprietary edition available aiming to meet the demands of large enterprises. The students have to put themselves in the shoes of one of OwnCloud’s co-founders who is in charge of the license management as he faces a key licensing decision regarding one of the central components of OwnCloud’s software suite.
Keywords: Intellectual property, software licensing, free/libre open source software, single-vendor commercial open source business model, dual licensing strategy
Reference: Johannes Christian Neupert. Getting Licensing Right. Master Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2016.
Abstract: This thesis takes a closer look on feature definition and prioritization in an established company dealing with challenges in the global market. When presented with the current demo version of EB Guide, a product to design and support human-machine interfaces for automotive infotainment solutions, customers of Elektrobit were initially unimpressed. To ensure the ongoing success of EB Guide, the product manager Thomas Fleischmann and his team had to come up with a new feature to enhance the product’s appeal. They came up with Multitouch controls and gesture recognition. The thesis is designed as a teaching case, meaning we will observe closely how the process of defining and prioritizing the feature takes place at Elektrobit. In addition this thesis provides exercises and corresponding techniques and literature to gain a more sophisticated approach on what a product manager’s responsibilities are. Hence you will be able to understand how software development is handled on a major project.
Keywords: Teaching case, feature definition, feature prioritization, PM by case
Reference: Hendrik Koch. Specifying ‘Wow!’ – How to Define and Prioritize a Feature. Bachelor Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2014.
Abstract: Human needs become increasingly more important and technology will be more and more pushed into the background in the future. Thus, User Experience (UX) and in this regard User Experience Design (UXD) become very common in today’s businesses. This also holds for the Immowelt platform. This thesis presents a Harvard Business case study, which casts light on the design of the “Note Taking” feature with respect to User Experience Design. Especially in the spotlight of this study is the balancing act between given stakeholder requirements and good user experience that influenced the design decisions for the “Note Taking” feature. Moreover, the thereby necessary iterations for gathering the user experience in various forms are displayed. The thesis further introduces concepts approached in the case study regarding the involvement of user experience design in the feature design iterations, which range from UXD methods in the development phases to testing forms before and after the launch. At last, a guideline for teaching the case in a student class is provided.
Keywords: User experience design
Reference: Rebecca Reuter. User Experience Design at Immowelt. Bachelor Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2014.
Abstract: This study presents a business case about the challenges that Nokia had during developing the Multimedia Message Services. At the end of 90s, Nokia was planning to make a big difference in telecommunication market with a new handset which is capable of sending and receiving multimedia content. The main purpose of the service is done by a message store. However, the vendor of the message store had some series problems in the middle of the project which also affected Nokia. Nokia had to find a way out from this chaos. They had to evaluate different risks to be able to make the right decision about the vendor. This thesis consists three main parts. The first part is the case study that tells the story of the multimedia message service and the challenges that Nokia had faced with. The second part includes the literature about the switching decisions and explains the theoretical concepts with their relation to decision making process. The last part is a teaching note which is offered as a guide how the case should be discussed in a class.
Keywords: Nokia, multimedia message service, MMS, vendor switching, challenges, product management
Reference: Begum Caynak. The Case of the Nokia Message Store: Supplier Switching Decisions. Master Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2014.
Abstract: The importance of shared understanding and unambiguity in specifying system requirements is widely acknowledged. This work presents a case study, written in the form of a Harvard Business Case, which traces the steps of a young start-up in their attempt to build a web shop system for a multi-level marketing business. The company operates as a direct selling channel for jewelry that is built by recruiting new distributors to form a social network through which the products are sold. The Product Manager failed to clearly communicate to the developers the specifics of this particular sales model that essentially defined how the web shop system should behave. The lack of formal product specification, the inconsistent usage of terminology, and the omission of detailed specification of critical features challenged further the development process. This work introduces constructive tools, such as domain glossary and formal UML models, which can help avoiding false interpretations by developers prior to and at implementation time. It also shows how to apply user feedback to steer the process of revision and enhancement of a web shop product.
Keywords: Multi-level marketing, sales funnel, requirements specification
Reference: Lora Todorova. Confused Modeling at Eva’s Way. Master Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2013.
Abstract: This thesis presents a business case of Netdosis AG which was founded in July 2012. Netdosis has applied two-sided markets as a business model, which get one side (internal doctors team and pediatricians) and the other side (pediatricians, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals) on the board via its knowledge sharing web portal. Simultaneously, Netdosis faces the problems whether the business model sustains its business development and how to satisfy and balance each side. This thesis includes three main parts: the first part tracks the story of Netdosis, analyzes its two-sided markets business model, illustrates the actions to satisfy and balance each side, and reviews the challenges of Netdosis (e.g. ethical and legal issue). The second part provides the literature view of two-sided markets, explains relevant terms (e.g. network effect) and two-sided markets strategies (e.g. pricing). Furthermore, this part explains the attributes of web portal and demonstrates sentiment analysis which can be used to improve the value of Netdosis. Finally, a teaching note will be offered to guide the case analysis during class discussion.
Reference: Yi Wu. Can You Turn Both Ways? Two-Sided Markets in the Age of the Internet. Master Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2013.
Abstract: The aim of this master thesis is to demonstrate the way the software requirements are built on the example of a case written in the form of Harvard Business Case. “The importance of complete, consistent and well documented software requirements is difficult to overstate” (early 1986). There is no bigger risk to a software project than incomplete, misunderstood, or under-emphasized software requirements. However, it is not always clear how to work out requirements. This case was written based on a real software project and gives an overview of the process how the requirements are discovered, documented, validated and managed. It also illustrates the methodologies and techniques used by requirements engineer, and defines the key players. The case ends with an open question – how can the process of working out requirements could be improved or reinforced? Along with the case, this work contains structured summary of major concepts with the theoretical materials the case was based on. The discussion guide provided in the final part of this thesis is the instruction how this case should be presented to the auditory.
Keywords: Requirements analysis, business case
Reference: Maria Arcus. Business Case: How to work out Requirements? Master Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2013.
Abstract: Software plays a significant role in the context of modern enterprises. CRM, ERP, Billing and Accounting systems are some of the examples of the information system components which have become inseparable parts of daily operations in almost every enterprise. An organization’s specific needs and requirements for information systems are evolving into dozens of software engineering projects that need to be managed. Pursuing the aim to optimize these projects’ outcomes in terms of quality, costs and time, customers and software development teams face a dilemma of choice – which software engineering process model to use?
Continue reading Final Thesis: How and Why to Go Agile (Teaching Case)
Abstract: This is a master thesis for the program International Information Systems. In this thesis work the situation of a software company and its product is analyzed. The situation is written in form of a Harvard Business Case with a lucid narrative. The case will be taught in Product management course in the university. Although the specific situation of one company was evaluated, thousands of firms with strongly customer-focused product development face similar challenge. The problem arises when listening to customers’ requests poses threats to product innovation and hence its market position. The main questions are if firms should disrupt their customers and what are the effects of disruptive and sustaining innovations on the firm’s business. Along with the main case, there are teaching note and class discussion guide, so that the teacher had more material to discuss the case with students. The thesis work is licensed CC-BY-3.0.
Continue reading Final Thesis: Should Firms Disrupt Their Customers? (Teaching Case)