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Project Integration Management

Project Integration Management

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Published by Ben Dahl

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Published by: Ben Dahl on Nov 11, 2008
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09/16/2010

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Ben DahlIS372 - PIMVideo Game Delivery ProjectIn order for any business to succeed it needs to find some way to separate itself from itscompetitors. In the case of UPS, this was product tracking. In the case of Apple it wasportability. The list of household business names goes on and on, and each one of them foundsome way to delineate themselves from their competitors. This is no different in the realm of online video game rentals. There are at least five other websites that allow users to rent gamesvia mail: Gamefly, Gamerang, GameznFlix, GetYourGamez, and GottaPlay. Those fivecompanies are merely the ones that are recommended by users as excellent, there are countlessothers in existence without much press. With a market quickly approaching saturationsomething must be done to differentiate any potential businesses from the competition. Based ontheir initial business practices (international marketing and distribution), Company X is uniquelypoised for entry into this market.While each of the five previously sites has their own unique attributes, there are a numberof functions at the core of each of the projects. These mandatory functions are things that mustbe present in any operation of this type, so they will be modified to fit the Company X project.Overall, most of these projects are going to stem from the coding of an enormous database torecord inventory, customers, ratings, reviews, etc. As this is a very large task, the coding will beimmense, but if performed at the same time (a work breakdown structure would be perfect here)it will reduce duplication of labor. As such, only functions that delve into areas outside thedatabase are specifically described in terms of difficulty to implement and develop. All of thediscretionary functions are described below:1.
 
Search - This function will be implemented to allow the database of available products to besearched. This function will be the most difficult to implement, but will essentially be acrawler for the massive database of available titles. This function must be able to sort resultsbased on the following criteria, which should be viewed as mandatory sub-functions:1.1.
 
Platform: (PS3, PS2, PSP, XBOX360, XBOX, Wii, GameCube, GameBoy Advance,DS, PC, Mac, Linux/Unix, and Educational System) This allows the user to select gamesbased solely upon what device it will be used with.1.2.
 
ESRB Ratings: (Early Childhood, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature, and AdultsOnly) These ratings are defined by the Electronics Safety Ratings Board and are anessential aspect of searching due to the nature of the market study and corporate values.In addition, this increases customer base as parents would feel more comfortableallowing their children to select games.1.3.
 
Gender Appropriate: (Male or Female) No system currently exists for this type of gamerating, so it would have to be proprietary.1.4.
 
Language: (Multi-lingual support) As the company aims for international marketpenetration, the ability to select games of different languages is essential1.5.
 
Genre: (Sports [Including selection by individual sport], Racing, Shooter,Strategy/Simulation, Multiplayer, Action/Adventure, Kids/Family, Fighting, Role-Playing Game, Puzzle/Arcade) While market research and corporate values "suggest"that the focus lie in sports and educational video games, the company will mostdefinitely need to diversify the offerings in order to increase visibility.
 
1.6.
 
Reviews: (User Reviews as well as aggregated reviews from partner and affiliate sites)User reviews are essential to the operation of any web-based business and will beincluded in this project. Creation of a partnership with other reviews related sites (IGN,Gamespot, Gamespy) would allow reviews from all over the Internet to be aggregatedfor user benefit. In addition to this, it provides a basis with which to begin the project.Not to mention the fact that a partnership with these sites would generate revenue andcustomers for the project in the form of advertisements, links, and click-throughs.2.
 
Reviews - This function will be implemented to allow users to create reviews based ongames they have rented via the project. This will also be accessible via the search function,but the ability to create and parse reviews will require a separate creation phase as it isessential for an online business.3.
 
Order Processing (Online) - There must be a system in place that will allow the customer toplace an order with the website. A Transaction Processing System would also be put in placeto cover the duties online payment processing. The TPS system must be configured to allowpurchases to be made online (credit card, eCheck, Bank Transfer, etc), and also via a brick and mortar system. For instance, the popular Blizzard game World Of Warcraft allowsconsumers to purchase gift cards in a retail store and use them for their online account. Asystem of this type increases accessibility to younger audiences and consumers without creditcards. This function will not likely be that difficult to implement based on the assumptionthat the company has an existing processing system.4.
 
Logistics - As the company is already an international marketing and distribution company,they probably already have an international logistics system set up. In light of that, thisaspect of the project should not be that difficult to implement. This system would need to beduplicated and/or modified to allow it to be used for this project. The system must be able totrack delivery to customers as well as tracking returns from customers. All of the previouslylisted competitors use pre-paid mailers (much like Netflix), to expedite returns fromcustomers as well as new shipments to customers. This increases customer satisfaction andreduces system downtime.5.
 
Queue - Coupled with Logistics and Order Processing, this function allows users to create alist of titles that they would like and in what order they would like to receive them. Thisfacilitates faster order processing and delivery.6.
 
Marketing - This function is one of the most important in the mandatory function list. Inorder for the website to have the amount of traffic necessary to generate the returns desired, itmust be publicized. As the company is already an international marketing one, it should notbe difficult to modify existing resources (physical, human, or otherwise) to accommodate.This function also has a list of mandatory sub-functions:6.1.
 
Visibility - This is the most generalized "marketing" function and would be concernedwith design, layout, and generating traffic hits.6.2.
 
Partner and Affiliate Sites - Generating partnerships with the aforementioned businesses(Gamespy, Gamespot, etc) will increase the amount of traffic to the site and generatereferrals.6.3.
 
Referrals - Referrals from partners, affiliates, and users also drives traffic and increasesreturns.6.4.
 
Advertisements - Advertising is another very important function and increases revenueand visibility.
 
7.
 
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

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