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Second from l-r, Abhinav Gattani, Benji Shomair, Amrendra Bisht, and Sanjeev Kayath (all '07) took second place at the Boston University Second Annual International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition.

Kellogg team’s ‘seamless’ strategy earns winning marks

Students bring innovation talents, team skills to tech competition

By Adrienne Murrill

4/4/2007 - A team of four Kellogg School students won second place and $15,000 at the Boston University Second Annual International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition, held March 29-31. Second-year students Abhinav Gattani, Amrendra Bisht, Benji Shomair and Sanjeev Kayath participated in the experiential learning contest, maintaining the Kellogg School’s strong ranking from last year’s competition. Motorola again sponsored the event.

This year’s challenge involved determining the best position for Motorola and its “seamless mobility” vision — an effort to deliver a variety of communication solutions to on-the-go consumers — in the rapidly changing media and entertainment marketplace. Students had 24 hours to develop a rigorous proposal.

Gattani said the team leveraged each of the members’ strengths, drawing on their previous experiences in consulting, marketing, technology and banking to produce their winning recommendations. “The Kellogg team’s strategy was to create an overarching offering called MotoMedia that would combine an in-home TV set-top box with high-end handheld devices and content partnerships,” he said.

“When we looked at Motorola’s strengths, they have great innovation and products, but what they lacked was an ability to deliver a seamless, total customer experience. Seamless mobility is centered around the customer; it’s getting what you want on any device, any time, anywhere.”

Through their proposed MotoMedia initiative, the team advocated that Motorola extend its Follow Me TV solution in the digital set-top box category that it syncs with television, handsets and other devices using an open architecture. This strategy would take advantage of technologies such as WiFi, cellular and GPS and enable easy content creation and sharing in music, video, photo, blogging and chat formats.

“The real fuel that drives seamless mobility is content,” Gattani said. “Motorola needs to have content partnerships with major players, especially the two we recommended, which are Facebook and Joost [an interactive software for distributing digital media], to complement its partnership with Yahoo.” The team also suggested a branding strategy and an implementation plan for 12 to 24 months as part of its presentation.

Mark Jeffery, clinical associate professor of technology and faculty adviser for the students, said the Kellogg team did an outstanding job, faring exceptionally well against students from top technology management programs.

“Our team accomplished a very thorough analysis of the business case scenario in a limited time,” said Jeffery.

Kellogg School Dean Dipak C. Jain, whose administration has made experiential learning opportunities a central part of the school’s leadership platform, said the student team “demonstrated how the insights we teach in the Kellogg classroom can deliver valuable practical solutions that translate into value creation for companies.”