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Digital Transformation Project: Elsevier and the cloud

Elsevier is a world-leading scientific publishing company and offers over 2,500 unique journals and more than unique 33,000 book titles (Elsevier, 2015). These offerings are unique and therefore differentiate them from the competition. Additionally, Elsevier offers web-based, digital solutions, such as ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Reaxys. These unique services enable researchers, students and other individuals to better consult the content made available by Elsevier (and other publishers). These solutions are just an example of all the Internet features Elsevier tries to implement into their business fundamentals. Currently, Elsevier’s business is shifting from scientific publisher towards a professional information solutions provider. Elsevier’s CEO Ron Mobed is encouraging the business to ‘Lead the way’ (Mobed, 2014). From this corporate vision, we can infer that Elsevier is striving to implement new technologies in order to disrupt the publishing industry.

To generate revenue, Elsevier mainly sells access to scientific journals to its customers. The value proposition Elsevier offers is that they consult the institution how to generate revenue with their services. The demonstration of this value proposition is done on a yearly basis by Sales directly to the institution. However, these business-to-business negotiations are transforming due to emerging technologies, which for example result in the increase of consumer informedness (Li et al., 2014).

To control this transformation (e.g. consumer informedness) and provide other complications regarding technology development, we propose an online application driven by cloud computing. It is an online platform where the institution can login, create and adjust similar metrics as currently shown by Sales. This innovation will further expand the current concept of Elsevier’s value to the institutions, but will introduce risk since institutions are not required to contact Elsevier anymore for these metrics. The same focus will remain, where not only the value of their investment in Elsevier is presented, but also how Elsevier’s services contribute the institution‘s revenue through an increased institutional competitiveness and collaboration among researchers. Competitiveness will help the institution to gain a better market position and earn more out of four sources: block funding, project funding, commercial monetization, and tuition and endowment. Collaboration among researcher will improve the quality of their research, which will lead to better publications and will result in more value for the institution. In conclusion, the online application will lead to more captured value for Elsevier and lead to more value and revenue for the institution.


Elsevier, 2015. At a Glance. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 7 October 2015].

Li, T. et al., 2014. Consumer Informedness and Firm Information Strategy. Information Systems Research, 25(2), pp.345–63.

Mobed, R., 2014. Elsevier’s vision. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. Internal employee presentation.


A useless toy or a game changing expedient?

Despite the fact that no average-customer has ever tried it in person, everybody knows what Samsung’s Gear VR is. In theory as being defined as a portable, wearable device to display a virtual reality, in practice … just an other Oculus Rift


We have seen pictures and we have read articles since 2010 about this kind of products, but we are far from integrate these devices in our life. In addition to this, when we think to any possible applications, the only thing that comes to our mind is the gaming industry.

In other worlds, right now they are complex and expensive toys.

Is not of this idea Audi, the famous automobile company. The German firm has find an innovative way to use the Samsung Gear VR to enhance the customer engagement. In simple words: a great marketing expedient. Audi, in order to support the launch of the new TT, have crated the first ever digital car showroom (these are the exact words used by Raju Sailopala, head of Sales at Audi city London) and it has provided all its115 Audi centres with the Samsung visors.

Customers can now choose the model, customize it and see it in a matter of second in first person. Audi has also recorded a test drive and now the customer can seat as in the passenger seat and enjoy the experience of a test drive.

After this first success, also another member of the Volkswagen Group has embraced this marketing strategy and has proposed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show a virtual driving experience on the new amazing Lamborghini Huracan LP 610.

Audi will for sure leverage this new technology to open new stores in the great metropolis and capitals, where the space is a premium and there are no competitors, but will it dare to abandon the traditional dealerships?

First step to “speak” code?

As we got to know from the first DBA class big majority of us are not coders and many BIMers never used a programming language before, and as we are taking this course most probably a big percentage of us does not plan to become a developer….but….most probably many of us will be working with developers in smaller or bigger companies a year from now when we will have our beautiful Master diplomas in our hands. And here comes the potentially scary part: how are we going to work with them? And how are we going understand “their language” especially when we actually don’t “speak it”?

The goal of this article is to start building up “list” of materials that can bring us a bit closer to understand developers. Here is the first (very subjective) part of the list. (Although some articles/videos are long they are worth the time.)

When the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) started a digital transformation strategy it’s Head of Group Technology & Operations, Dave Gledhill created his own application just out of mere curiosity and for his own fun which made him understand the logic behind the development of their own systems and points of attention much better. The article gives an interesting perspective on why managers should also get their hands “dirty” and how can this help them to make better decisions.


What are the hardships when managing developers? Reading this post makes it clear that although managers and higher level executives might be the ones that have the steering wheel in theory in practice the developers are those who make things work or not work. This read also mentioned the fact emphasized in the previous article: you need to be able to write some parts of the code even if you are a manager who has no background in development.


“The World belong to people who code. Those who don’t understand will be left behind.”
On a personal note: this is the best thing I ever bought in an airport by far. This June the Bloomberg Business Week spend a whole issue on “explaining” what is code, what is a computer, a little about programming languages, a little about programmers and what is it like to work with them amongst other topics. This might sound boring as a list like this but it is one of the best written pieces in the topic I ever read and the online version is much better than the printed as it has videos, interactive “games” etc imbedded into this mega article. It takes a while to read the whole thing but it has a touch of fun and sarcasm in it which makes reading easier and very enjoyable.

20replies by programers

4. Engineering Culture at Spotify videos 1 & 2
These two 13 minutes videos show how things work at Spotify, what makes them able to develop fast and change the platform step by step in a very innovative way. Both videos are really entertaining while you can learn incredibly lot from them about how to make developer teams engaged, aligned and thus successful.

Spotify Engineering Culture – part 1 from Spotify Training & Development on Vimeo.

Spotify Engineering Culture – part 2 from Spotify Training & Development on Vimeo.

And last but not least a less “serious” way to get the feel of programming, coding and all what is around it:
The ultimate “geek” series that has two hilariously funny seasons so far and the 3rd one is coming in April (only). It shows the daily life of a start-up in Silicone Valley starring four developers and a “manager”. If you want to have a good time don’t hesitate to watch it.

What are the materials (videos, articles, courses etc) that you use or suggest to get to know the “developer World” better? What were the most interesting things you read or heard in the topic?

Technology of the week – Amazon Dash and HelloFresh

In our technology of the week project we took a look at two services that target the “modern day’s customer” who demands to get things done fast, with as little trouble as possible, in a convenient and as much as possible fun way.

When watching the commercials (below) of both HelloFresh and Amazon Dash it really stands out much they resonate with what bothers the customer. They build their messages on how they provide solutions to the pains of everyday busy people. Both services aim to make a task that is a regular and time consuming part of everyday life  “easy” or “simple” (Their taglines are extremely similar: “Cooking made easy” and “Shopping made simple”)

HelloFresh, a three year old start-up, which currently operates in seven countries (the Netherlands being one of them) promises to give customer everything that they need for a delicious, healthy, home-made dinner except the chef. They create easy step-by-step receipt, select organic, seasonal ingredients from local providers, and send the exact amounts needed from those ingredients for a meal that can be ready in a maximum of 30 minutes. Apart from the convenience piece HelloFresh also builds on the very common desire of today’s customers to eat healthy and on the environmental friendly packaging and recycling trend. They use word of mouth in an extremely smart way by on one hand providing customers and their friends discounts if they start using the service based on recommendation and on the other hand encouraging the users to share their ready meals on social media. HelloFresh operates in a market where the bargaining power of the buyer is high and of the suppliers low, where – the threat of new entrants is high, given the low barriers to entry, and the lack of switching cost, and last, but not least, where the threat of substitutes is also high so the number of competitors is high and that is one of the reasons why they build a loyal community of customers. After certain amount of meals cooked with HelloFresh users get certificates, can attend breakfasts and dinners where they get to know the providers and share their opinion about the receipts and ingredients.

Amazon Dash is the newest innovation of Amazon, it is a wand with which customers can scan the barcode of anything that runs out in their household or simply just say the missing item “into” the device. These orders are automatically recorded in the user’s AmazonFresh account and once the customer clicks approve it is delivered within 24 hours. In very simple words the Dash ’s promise is that you will never run out of morning coffee or toilet paper ever again. When providing this service Amazon builds on it’s reliable brand, extremely streamline processes and more than 20 years experience in online shopping. On the long run Amazon’s goal with the Dash is to completely eliminate brick and mortar stores and moving shopping entirely online.

Despite being quite different at first look the Amazon Dash and HelloFresh target almost the same customer segment, and both the channels in which they reach their users (delivery and online platforms), their key activities (finding and managing suppliers, storing perishable goods, delivering) key resources (drivers, carriers, packaging, IT systems) and basic cost structure are comparable. Even in their value proposition they both aim to create a convenient experience and save time for their customers, their main difference lies in what exact problem they want to solve for their customer: making it possible to cook home healthy food without the hassles around cooking or never running out of the basic groceries and never forgetting anything during shopping again.

Both have a strong market presence but while HelloFresh has many similar competitors, the Dash has no direct competitor currently. Amazon Dash and HelloFresh work with a business to customer model currently and have the potential to expand to the business to business sector. Although the discussed business models are both innovative, have the potential to decrease or almost eliminate the importance of brick­ and­ mortar stores and change the relation we have to shopping, the Amazon Dash has potential to do even more than that and disrupt whole sectors in the future.

Authors: Group 15
Ekaterina Marinova – 436554
Anargyros Michaletos – 436750
László Nedeczky – 416837
Lina Nota – 440733
Gabriella Pimpão – 437021

Creating Google’s Android logo was like raising a child

Android logo

“You give a life to this individual, and then they have a life of their own.” is what Irina Blok, the designer of the Android logo, says about her creation. In contrast to most companies, Google decided to make its logo open-source. Whereas other companies are spending millions of dollars to defend their trademark from copycats, Google’s Android logo shall be used collaboratively.

The little (and usually green) stripped-down robot with a tin-can-shaped torso and antennas on his head is freely accessible to everyone in the world and can be customized ad libitum. Since its birth, the little robot has been dressed up as a ninja, given skis and skateboards and even transformed into a limited-edition Kit-Kat bar.

Here is the original video that Google created to introduce Android. If you want, you can skip the “GPhone”-talk and directly head to minute 01:30. That’s when they start talking about the robot logo:

What do you think about Google’s strategy of collaboratively providing its Android logo to the public? Do you think this is a great marketing deal or is it too dangerous with regards to trademark protection issues and the danger of faked products?

I would also love to hear your opinion about the logo itself: Compared to other logos, it seems to be a more elaborated logo with many details. For instance the Apple logo can be better characterized as simple and plain. Ji Lee, a communications designer at Facebook, states that the main characteristics of a good logo are simplicity and timelessness. In her opinion a good logo does not need any revision. I agree with that. My experiences showed that in the long run, people tend to be more attracted to products having simple logos – logos that are modern, but still classy. Do you agree? Which logo do you like better, Apple or Android? Why do you think so?



Pagan Kennedy, 2013. Who Made That Android Logo?, The New York Times Magazine. [Online] Available at: [Accessed on October 13, 2013].

Ian Hardy, 2013. A bit of history on the creation of the Android logo, Mobilesyrup. [Online] Available at: [Accessed on October 13, 2013].

Image 1: Pagan Kennedy, 2013. Who Made That Android Logo?, The New York Times Magazine. [Online] Available at: [Accessed on October 13, 2013].

Image 2: Wallsave, 2013. [Online] Available at:×768/android-logo-apple-inc-humor-funny-logos-black-37659.html [Accessed on October 13, 2013].

Spin – free group chat for your iPhone

A new app for iPhones and iPads, called Spin, allows us now to chat with all of our best friends at the same time – without a subscription fee and without joining a social network. And the best thing about it: It’s for free!

Check this video out to get a better overview of Spin:

New Spin on Video Chats Brings More to the Party

Although there already exist plenty of video chat apps, Spin stands out of the crowd:

1. It is one of the few apps that lets you talk to up to 10 people within one chat session

2. Spin does not require you to sign up for an account at all to participate into a chat session

In terms of technical features:

3. It’s build for touch from the ground up, so you just click, pinch, zoom and swipe

4. You can share photos and videos with everybody in a group

Image Spin_A gathering in action
Image: A gathering in action, with participants shown in tiles.

5. If you want to spend special attention to a particular friend, you can click and zoom this person which makes his/her voice appearing louder compared to the other participants during the conversation

6. When watching a video, you can adjust the volume of the video and chat participants separately in order to give more prominence to one or several of the participating parties

7. Spin possesses some funny features such as the possibility to throw cartoon tomatoes on chat participants or to cause applause in a group gathering

In terms of privacy protections:

8. As it is not a social network, other people cannot see with whom you are in contact or chatting – except they are invited in the gathering

9. You never have to be in a gathering that you don’t want to be in, as no one can see you or just pull you in

Of course, as probably every application has, there are also some downsides to Spin:

1. At the moment this app is only available for Apple devices, but it is expected to come out the next year for Android devices as well

2. You really have to get used to this app, as it’s completely touch-based

3. It has troubles with using multiple e-mail addresses for one contact, which most people nowadays have

All in all, I think it’s a very fancy app that might be fun to use e.g. to watch a soccer game together or to share videos, pictures and experiences with your family and friends during a semester abroad.

What do you think about this new group chat app?

Do you think it will become popular? Do you think it has to potential of being a new trend of tomorrow?

How do you like the “stupid” features (cartoon tomatoes etc.)? Do you think that’s childish or funny?


Walter S. Mossberg, 2013. New Spin on Video Chats Brings More to the Party. The Wall Street Journal. Online available at: [Accessed on October 2, 2013]

Michael Rose, 2013. Spin looks to bring high-fidelity group video chatting to iPhone and iPad. Tuaw. Online available at: [Accessed on October 2, 2013]

Emily Price, 2013. iOS App Is a New ‘Spin’ on Video Chat. Mashable. Online available at: [Accessed on October 2, 2013]

The upcoming TV war

A lot has been written about the Apple TV, and many had expected it already. Now there are many other forms of set-up boxes that you can use to stream media onto your TV. I have build a FreeNAS server very easily from which I can stream media content across my house. You can stream it through your television, if it has that functionality (check this BIM post), through your Blu-ray/DVD player (again if…), or through set-up boxes like the Xtreamer, or from Eminent for example. Google also has launched their Google TV. (See post by jordydebruijn) Now Apple has their Apple TV already for quite some while, and they state it is more of a hobby project than serious business, but is it? Everyone who can still remember the VCR players that were a pain the bottom to set-up might know the feeling that the current solutions are just not it. Steve Jobs has said in his biography that he cracked the code, meaning he found the next best thing for television.

But there is more in your home entertainment system besides your TV and Media-player. You might have an Playstation 3 or Xbox360. The latter has come up with Xbox SmartGlass, your interactive remote control: (source with video!: Gizmodo)
Another video:

The future of e-commerce?

Regarding to last lecture I found this movie that I want to share with you. It’s really simple but fun and it provides a lot of nice facts. You better watch it: it suggests that our master is partly worthless in a few years. 😉

The question raised in the end really triggered me. What does this really mean to us? Fantasizing about this, I imagine a world where we rarely leave our houses anymore. Only a few services will make us, like a dentist visit. But I suppose they even come up with a solution for that! Home-based business is already incredibly big, so let’s assume this success will only grow. We will work from home over the internet, we provide ourselves with almost everything we need over the internet. Does this mean we will start living in ‘internet communities’, as I will call them? It should be a possible solution for the environmental problems. If the air quality becomes worse and it will only soil our lungs if we come outside, we could better stay inside you would think. 😉

But seriously, I’m curious what you think. Will the growth of e-commerce continue or is there a certain maximum?  People are after all social beings and not everything can be provided over the internet, or does it?

Google Project Glass

In accordance with this week’s readings, I thought this upcoming Google project was very interesting and nicely displays how big data can be used to create customer value!

Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce. How does Information Strategy cope with weird and always changing consumer demands?

My background is in Marketing and a few years a go we had a big discussion on this incredible inspiring movie on ‘how to make the perfect spaghetti sauce’. You may think it sounds weird or even boring, but I can tell you this.. After reading all of his books, Malcolm Gladwell is anything but boring! In this short video he explains the story of a manufacturer who thought he had made the best spaghetti sauce and his path towards it… Watch the movie and see for yourself..!! As we all can tell this research was done by old fashioned marketing tools.

My main question is this: ‘Will IS ever be able to take all control over marketingrelated research or will we always need the good old questionnaire’s?’