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Rowen Sewmungal

209509607

riverstorm@ymail.com

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riverstorm@ymail.com
Question 1
A Business Model defines the linkages among key strategy, capability and value drivers of
business performance (Applegate, Austin, & Soule, 2009).
Applegates description of the three categories are as follows:
1. Strategy- choices that establish the opportunities you pursue and the market
capability of those opportunities
2. Capabilities- permit a business to implement current strategy while also offering a
platform for future growth.
3. Value-whats delivered to stakeholders
Jamcracker Analysis
Strategy: Here we assess the business context of Jamcracker which started in 1999 and
entered a market known as ASPs (Application Service Providers). This market comprised of
of firms that tendered software services to other businesses over the internet, similar to that
of a cloud based service SaaS (Software as a Service). Eventhough Jamcracker was in this
was in this market and its business model was linked to the ASP concept, it was not an
actual ASP. They were an aggregator of Web-based software applications for these
companies. Which meant that it partnered up with numerous ASPs and combined them to
provide a single IT platform. In the case study, it is stated that they targeted small and
midsized businesses by aggregating their services and providing solutions for these ASPs by
indirectly managing their sales channels.
Capabilities: Jamcracker was a company that based its infrastructure with the use of
networked partners, i.e. ASPs which formed part of its IT platform. They also built a unique
infrastructure which was an IT management platform that core operations of aggregation
and integration of ASPs and their services. Jamcrackers main capability that allowed it to
secure a strong position in the market was its ability to convince customers that its ASP
aggregator concept worked flawlessly. At a later point they wanted to push sales but with
larger businesses, though this proved a difficult task as they were small in size. In order to
succeed in this expansion, they used their partnership with Accenture to gain the access
needed to larger business by being on Accentures outsourcing portfolio, this made them
seem more of a serious and larger company to do business with.

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Rowen Sewmungal

209509607

riverstorm@ymail.com

Value: As we look at what type of value that Jamcracker creates both internally and
externally. Internal stakeholders of Jamcracker were that of its employees and board
members while external stakeholders are those of its partners and clients. The main aim was
to target smaller businesses and meet their needs of various ASPs that they could afford and
provide support for them and as they grew, Jamcracker used its partnership with Accenture
to get access to larger firms. Jamcracker also exposed other ASPs to business and created
value for those who partnered with them.
By viewing Jamcracker through these three categories, we can see that they are in an
aggregator business model. As they are an eCommerce business model where a firm
mediates transactions between customers and business. This type of business develops
websites to draw customers and permits for purchasing and comparison of ASPs
Question 2
For a companys strategy to be influential, its business model needs to be on par with the
Information Technology in the business. Information Technology is crucial in Jamcracker for
they are an IT establishment and it may perhaps be understood that their Information
Technology is their business model.
The incorporation of ASPs by Jamcrackers engineering group developed whilst they
developed and more ASPs were included and as their consumer foundation matured. The
outcome was additional ASPs were eager to support more of an effort to collaborate as the
Jamcracker knock-on sales network grew. In turn Jamcracker helped in steering the growth
of ASP industry principles. Jamcrackers engineers made the infrastructure more robust as
the corporation developed and portrayed their system as freely coupled so as they advance
only a particular quantity of work needs to be completed excluding the need to alter the main
structure.
Jamcracker though was not an Application Service Provider business. The motive as to why
the ASP model was used since it functioned as a basis to enable a platform for consumers to
locate all its application services packaged into a solitary IT infrastructure.

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Rowen Sewmungal

209509607

riverstorm@ymail.com

Exhibit 1 shows us their IT platform and we can


see that the IT delivered a very significant feature
which was access to the Jamcracker system for
business users and IT users via single point. This
trait was vital to the company as its business
model selling point was having a single point for
consumers

that

needed

integrated

ASP

applications. The IT empowered the business


model of Jamcracker to remain competitive in the
market as this solution was the best service for
consumers as they did not have to communicate with separate ASPs and it would largely
decrease IT expenditures. The IT management platform is at the heart of processes of
Jamcracker. This management platform sanctioned an extraordinary service delivery of
integration for numerous ASPs. The service delivery contributions can be correlated to
components of the business model. That is they are present applications of the consumer
that will be integrated with additional applications via the capabilities of the management
platform. The IT service component functioned as a support instrument for consumers. This
meant that consumers would get assistance with set up and usage of integrated
applications. It also incorporated online backup which is vital to any business for mitigation
against disastrous incidents such as viruses and network interruption. This meant that
consumers can remain up and running as the business model advocates a 24/7 end user
support. As we can see that Jamcracker was the middleman, as it was an eCommece firm
which doesnt manufacture or stores any stock, instead it assembles (aggregates)
information on goods and/or services from numerous competing companies at its website.
The organization's forte rests in its capability to form an 'environment' which attracts
companies to it, and in creating a system which permits simple comparing of costs and
specifications (BusinessDictionary, n.d).
Question 3
McFarlans strategic grid has six components. The grid helps us in determining ITs impact
on its core operation and strategies. The six components are that of: horizontal and vertical
axis, support, factory, turnaround and strategy (refer to figure).
The support quadrant is where IT is used to supplement business activities to increase
efficiency. Hence, IT is not mission critical for firms that fall under this category. The factory
quadrant is where IT plays a crucial role in business activities because any disruption in IT
service would bring the firm to a halt which would lead to substantial loss. The turnaround
quadrant deals with firms who currently use IT as a supporting role to business activities but
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Rowen Sewmungal

209509607

riverstorm@ymail.com

are implementing IT to take advantage of new opportunities with emerging technologies. The
strategic quadrant is where the dependency on IT is extremely high due to the need for
highly dependable IT systems as these are needed to keep current business operations
functioning and to transform the organisation in the future.
Jamcracker will fall into the strategic quadrant of the grid, where there is a heavy reliance
on IT to propel strategy and business operations. The reason it falls in this quadrant is
because Jamcrackers business model is created on the strategy to provide aggregated and
integrated ASP IT facilities. The internet infrastructure is what enables Jamcrackers
capabilities to deliver its primary services to consumers. Considering the case, Jamcracker
has IT at its core and context operations. Although the contexts of Jamcrackers operations
(managed services, managed consulting and co-location services) were done by outsourced
companies, all of those services are conducted over the Jamcrackers IT platform.
Jamcrackers core operations, (IT management platform, Application catalog and support
services) of which aggregation and integration of ASP services which served as the primary
function of the company all relied on IT infrastructure and networks (partnering with ASPs in
any location and providing a service to customers). The IT allowed Jamcracker to be flexible
in the market and focus on developing its core competencies and outsourcing its context
operations.
Question 4
Jamcracker was established in 2000 at a time where the
internet in South Africa was available to very few
individuals

in

the

country,

and

the

internet

communications infrastructure in South Africa was


dominated by Telkom at that time. Speeds were slow
and access to the internet was at extremely high prices.
So at that time a company like Jamcracker would not be viable to expand into South Africa.
If we look at our current internet communications infrastructure we can see that South Africa
has vastly improved over the years and is continuing in developing a better infrastructure.
We have other means of connecting to the internet with mobile offerings of 3G, HSDPA and
most recently LTE.
Ooklas Net Index statistics show that South Africas average download speed has improved
by more than 600% over the past seven (MyBroadband, 2015). By looking at this statistics
coupled with the rapid deployment of fibre rollout throughout major cities in the county, we
can only see this as a positive in terms of where our Internet infrastructure is headed. As a

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Rowen Sewmungal

209509607

riverstorm@ymail.com

result of this stats, the ASP aggregation model will find a way to work well in South Africa as
its opportunities are open for growth. With this in mind, Jamcracker can easily exploit the
lack of skills and awareness with regards to IT. They would help lessen the burden for
managing IT, set up expenditures and more. Jamcracker would make it simpler for a
company to acquire tailor made suite of applications in a cost effective process due to there
ASP Cafeteria and slider bar approach. Which means that the high risks of
implementation failure will be alleviated because of small start-up fees and monthly user
subscriptions.
As South African businesses support Jamcracker the company administers its network
model of economies of scale to help ASPs with more consumers and lower delivery costs.
Consumers will get valuable products and discounted prices and Jamcracker will achieve
bigger revenues.
The ASP based model which Jamcracker utilises will work effectively in South Africa. As a
result local businesses will realise major cost cutbacks and efficiency of managing all their IT
solutions from one access point. Whats important is that these businesses will recognise
business processes being aligned better due to an improved overseen IT infrastructure.

Bibliography
Applegate, L. M., Austin, R. D., & Soule, D. L. (2009). Corporate Information
Strategy and Management.
BusinessDictionary. (n.d). Aggregator Model. Retrieved 15 March 2015, 2015,
from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/aggregator-model.html
MyBroadband. (2015). South African broadband speeds: 2008 to 2015.
Retrieved 1 April, 2015, from
http://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadband/122398-south-africanbroadband-speeds-2008-to-2015.html

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