Customers - The most important aspect of any business because that is where the money isobviously coming from. In addition to being able to keep of record of customers (databasecreation), it will allow customer usage patterns to be tracked which will be useful for thecreation of a different function, Recommendations (discussed as a non-discretionary functionlater).8.
Asset Management (Inventory) - Customers are essentially "borrowing" physical propertyfrom the company. As such, the project must include a function for management of thephysical merchandise.9.
Support - A support system involving multi-lingual staff is a necessity for internationalmarkets. This may include any or all of the following: online 24/7 web-based support, phonesupport, frequently asked questions, email, aim/icq/yahoo/msn contact).The functions previously mentioned, along with their associated sub-functions, are discretionaryand should be implemented. In addition to those, there are a number of non-discretionary(optional) functions that would distinguish this project from competitors. They are as follows:1.
Recommendations - Instituting a system that would recommend games a user might like(based on previous usage patterns), could be an excellent revenue generation tool.2.
Search - Including the following features in the Search function would make it more viable.2.1.
New Releases - Search based upon the most currently released titles.2.2.
Coming Soon - This would allow customers to place items in their queue prior to theirrelease.2.3.
Online - Allowing customers to search for games with online capabilities (PC, Mac,Linux/Unix, DS, XBOX360, PS3) is another recommended inclusion.3.
Free-Trial - A free-trial of the service is something that GameFly and Netflix offer thatentitles new customers to a one or two-week free trial of the service. Assuming the systemfunctions as it should, customers will love it so much they will want to create a long-termrelationship with the company.4.
Option to Buy - Including the option to purchase pre-used games will help the inventory tobe cycled and also generate revenue.5.
Rewards - Rewarding customers with reward points for membership, purchases, referrals, etcwill increase word of mouth business and also generate return customers. This functionwould require input from the business and marketing arms of the company to determine whatwould be the most effective breakdown for rewards, and would be of moderate difficulty.Customers should be rewarded, but it also needs to present returns for the company.The remaining functions are of a "nice to have" nature and represent the areas that I feel wouldmost effectively this company from any other in the business:1.
Digital Distribution - A number of platforms (Computer, PS3, XBOX360) allow games to bedownloaded directly to the device. Institution of this policy with some sort of Digital RightsManagement, potentially like Comcast OnDemand or NetFlix instant viewing, would allowusers to have games almost instantaneously. Additionally, none of the five previouslymentioned competitors offer a service of this type. This system will be the most difficult todeliver because it has massive infrastructure requirements (hardware, bandwith, etc),software requirements, and programming requirements. In addition, some sort of anti-piracy(DRM, etc) measures would need to be implemented and it would likely need to beproprietary.2.
Internet Integration - MySpace and Facebook are quickly becoming the Internet medium of choice for people under the age of thirty. With that being said, integration of the queue and