Quality Planning AND Analysis - Internet Service & Network Service Provision Business Plan Samples
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This paper will cover stakeholder analysis, capturing customer needs and customer needs analysis (Kano Analysis) of an internet and network service provider. The company to be used for the purposes of this paper is Comcast Corporation. Comcast is the biggest internet service provider in the United States and has a customer base spanning 40 states. Comcast customers range from small, medium and large companies to domestic users and provides services such as Broadband Internet, Cable TV, and Telephone Services.
Internet Service Provision is a business model that emerged around 1988 and early 1990’s, and it involves the provision of internet services to individuals and enterprises for business and personal use. Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) offer telecommunications services such as access to data communications and telephone connectivity. Today, most telephone companies work as Internet Service Providers. There are privately owned, publicly or community owned, non-profit and commercial Internet Service Providers (ISP’s). There are several types of Internet Service Providers including:
Access Internet Service Providers: They use different technologies such as broadband and dial-up to enable customers to connect to their network. Broadband connections are an always-on service and include Fiber Optic Service (FiOS), Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) and Satellite services.
Mailbox Internet Service Providers: They offer hosting services for mailboxes and email servers, for sending, receiving and storing email. Most of these ISP’s double as access providers.
Hosting Internet Service Providers: They provide online email services, hosting services for websites, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Services, and cloud computing services.
Free Internet Service Providers (Freenets): They provide free internet services in most public places such as airports through hotspots. They collect revenue from advertisements displayed to connected users.
Transit Internet Service Providers: They have huge bandwidth capacities and offer a connection between Access and Hosting Internet Service Providers.
A stakeholder refers to any group or person who can influence or is affected by the accomplishment of an organization’s targets. Stakeholder analysis is an instrument that is used to characterize main stakeholders in an organization, understanding their position and creating collaboration between the stakeholders and the organization. The primary target is to guarantee the successful provision of services by the organization. There are two main types of stakeholders, primary and secondary. Primary stakeholders are affected by an organization’s activities directly, either in a positive or negative way. Secondary Stakeholders are affected by an organization’s activities indirectly.
Stakeholder analysis is an important activity for any organization, and the analysis document is considered to be of a confidential nature. There are several benefits that accrue from conducting stakeholder analysis including:
Gives the organization a better understanding of the stakeholder’s needs.
It gives the organization a means to reach other stakeholders.
Through the analysis, an organization can understand in full the potential risks facing the organization.
It helps identify the main persons who should be informed about key decisions in the organization
It helps the organization to identify stakeholders who have a negative effect on the organization.
There are three steps involved in conducting a stakeholder analysis. The first step involves identifying the stakeholders by creating a matrix that is used to list the main stakeholders and their ranking. The level of influence or effect is listed on the top row (X axis) and importance level is listed in the first column (Y axis). Internet and Network services are global in nature and, therefore, the traditional stakeholder analysis method is extended to remove the focus from a single company as the main stakeholder to encompass industries and countries as stakeholders. Currently stakeholder’s agenda and analyzes have been expanded to include governments and multinational organizations.
Services Provided by Midcontinent Communications to Businesses and Domestic Users
There are both internal and external stakeholders for Comcast. Comcast has shareholders and publicly traded stocks classified as Class A and Class B on NASDAQ.
There are several techniques that are used to establish the needs of customers. The following methods are utilized to research on the customer needs of Comcast.
Using focus groups
Analyzing market trends
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Customer requirements and satisfaction levels can be identified and assessed by conducting interviews with the customers. Before the interview, preparation has to be done by considering the following:
The aim, time and venue of the needs assessment interview
Formulating he questions to be asked during the interview
Identifying the interviewee and their role during the interview
Investigating and Analyzing the interview outcome
After the interview is conducted, the requirements of the client will be documented under three categories Must’s Want’s and Extra’s.
Customer visits can be two-way; the customer may visit Comcast offices or Comcast representative(s) may visit the customer. Allowing the customer to visit the company premises helps the customer build confidence in the company, and will allow the company to showcase its products and services. Visiting customers in their premises shows that the company cares and is committed to its clients. Comcast will use the two techniques and will follow the steps below:
A focus group will consist of 10 to 15 clients, who are invited by the company to an informal lunch meeting to appraise the company on the current customer needs and any shortcomings to help Comcast improve its service. Two focus group meetings will be held towards this end. The first meeting will involve existing customers with the aim of establishing any extra needs that if met the clients would be satisfied and the main needs they wish Comcast would satisfy. Further the clients will provide feedback on customer service, communication of important information and professionalism of the company staff. The second meeting will involve a former customer, with the aim of establishing why the customer left and what the company needs to do differently to retain its existing customers. Additionally the customers will provide their verdict on how Comcast’s services compare with those of its competitors.
Analyzing Market Trends
The government and several agencies do conduct an analysis of market trends from time to time. Market Trend analysis data can be obtained from Consumer Associations, Consumer Journals, trade unions both national and international, and websites of governments and universities. The following data is included in the analysis:
Market demand trends
Historical data on the performance of the market
Future market trends prediction
Market Analysis per industry and industry sub-sector
Analysis of consumer needs and trends
Comcast will use market trend analysis to understand the changing dynamics of the consumer and the internet and networks provision industry. Industry analysis data will give Comcast an insight into how other companies are doing to help it consolidate its customer base and capture emerging markets. Industry data will help Comcast understand its position in the market.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Comcast will enter into a contract with its customers on the level of service they should expected and demand from the company. The service level agreement (SLA) will contain details on the services the customer has subscribed for and gives them a tool to measure the quality level of services provided. Key metrics included in the service level agreement are:
The time in percentage, the service should be available
Specific performance benchmarks that the customers can use to compare with the services provided
Response time after application for service
How notifications for scheduled downtimes because of maintenance, and upgrades will be done
Time that help desk should take to respond to different levels of problems
How usage statistics will be provided
In the SLA, the customer is informed of how compensation for downtimes and poor services will be done. The SLA will enable Comcast to review regularly its quality of services to ensure it meets the specified levels. A Service Level Agreement is an important tool that will help the company know whether it is performing to the expectations of the consumers.
CUSTOMER NEEDS ANALYSIS (KANO ANALYSIS)
Kano analysis provides the company with a tool to determine what features it will include in its services as per the needs of its customers. Using Kano Analysis Comcast can identify what its customers need, determine the functional requirements of its services, and develop concepts for future services or products. The customer interview method is used for Kano analysis in this paper. Questions and Scoring are done for ten consumers, to identify their MUST’s WANT’s and EXTRA’s using the table below for scoring.
Bryson, J. M., 2004. What to do when Stakeholders Matter: Stakeholder Identification and Analysis Techniques. Public Management Review, 6(23 - 49).
Comcast, 2013. Company Overview. [Online] Available at: http://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/company-overview[Accessed 20 April 2015].
Comcast, 2014. About Comcast Stock. [Online] Available at: http://www.cmcsa.com/stock-performance.cfm[Accessed 20 April 2015].
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Internet Service Providers. [Online] Available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/746032/Internet-service-provider-ISP[Accessed 20 April 2015].
Friedman, A. L. & Mile, S., 2006. Stakeholders: Theory and Practice. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shariff Ullah, A. & Tamaki, J., 2011. Analysis of Kano-model-based customer needs for product development. System Engineering, 14(2), pp. 154 -172.
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