The case study is “Voice War: hey Google vs. Alexa vs. Siri”. You must order this specific case from Harvard Business School Publishing through the Course Pack link in the Syllabus. No substitute cases are permitted. You are going to assume the role of a consultant and conduct a project using this case.
Voice-controlled intelligent “assistants” have become a major new front in the battle between the giants of the technology sector. Google, and its parent company Alphabet, have been major players in the battle. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, was examining his options in order to become the dominant player. He was wondering, as the case says, “Should Google keep its technology in-house to drive Google services and Google products? Should Google license the technology broadly to third parties? How would the future of voice intersect with the growing number of Alphabet’s businesses?”
The project has three parts:
Part One: Proposal Pages
Mr. Pichai asked your firm and others to submit a proposal immediately on how it would help her with her query. He said that he would select a consulting firm for the work within 7 days. The proposal must follow the “Proposal Outline” or “Sample Contract” format that was presented in your Management Consulting course (Class Notes 2). Namely, it must include Scope of Work, data required, schedule, proposed price, and any other information you deem necessary. Your firm’s hourly billing rates are: $500 for Partner, $250 for Engagement Manager, and $125 for Consultant. Your firm’s monthly fixed cost allocation (i.e., rent, telephone, and office supplies) to the project is $12,500. Your firm’s target profit margin is 15%.
Part Two: Presentation Slides
Now you will take a leap forward in time. You should assume that your firm has submitted the winning proposal, conducted the project, and must make a presentation with your recommendations. The presentation must be in either PowerPoint or Word (landscape) format and follow the ‘pyramid principle’ as described in the Class Notes. Namely, the presentation should open with the SCQ, your recommendation(s), followed by arguments that weave in your supporting data and the results of your application of a relevant analytical model(s). Note: Use the data that is provided in the case and in the exhibits of the case as if you had collected such in the course of your work. You may present “assumed data” in order to use a model or method and develop recommendations as long as you clearly label the data this way. Important: You may NOT use any additional sources for data or analysis whether inanimate (eg, the company’s web site) or human (eg, your friend at Google).
Part 3: Appendix 1 & 2
The Proposal and PowerPoint are what the client sees. Project 1 should have two appendices whereby background information is provided to the professor.
Appendix 1 must include: the Intervention Approach you will use and the rationale for using it (e.g., Expert); any assumptions and elaboration on them that would be informative; the number and titles of the personnel on the project; inputs and detailed calculations which show how you got your proposal price; a discussion and justification of the data collection methods you will use (e.g., interviews); a timeline, schedule, or calendar which shows what tasks you will complete during the time that you estimated for completion; and an indication of what analytical model you will likely use in the project (e.g., 7-S) and why.
Appendix 2 should provide your answer to the questions, "Based on your class participation so far this semester, what score (0-100) do you think that you deserve? Why?" You should refer to the Syllabus Supplement for guidance.