Marketing Planning This Marketing Plan Details Itcorp's Term Paper

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Marketing Planning

This marketing plan details Itcorp's business model. It addresses the company's mission, policies, strategies and objectives to achieve profitability. Itcorp's integrated software and hardware solutions for healthcare providers are described at length, as well as objectives for the long-term.

Our company

Itcorp plans to begin operations starting in January 2006. One thing that is unique about Itcorp is how it got its start. In 1988, two partners, Max Renfield and C.L. Rotwang, decided to start Jetson's, a business offering IT solutions to companies in the small to medium size range; in those days, the market was segmented mainly according to size. In the early 1990s, many of the companies Jetson's had been serving had grown to the point that the company's IT solutions were no longer adequate and so the company had to expand its product line to continue to serve these customers (and prevent them from switching to competitors).

By 1996, it became obvious to both partners that the market was changing; old customers who had been happy with generalized solutions had become more tech-savvy and began to insist upon customized solutions based on the needs of their particular industry. For instance, law firms do not have the same database requirements that grocery stores and hospitals do. Further, many of the health care facilities who had been Jetson's loyal customer were being bought up by huge medical services management corporations and were no longer free to choose from local vendors for their IT solutions.

Ms. Rotwang chose to start a new company dedicated to serving the interests of just hospitals, clinics, and other patient-oriented facilities and sold out to Mr. Renfield, who was certain Jetson's could stay profitable with just some careful "tweaking" of the business model.

Flush with cash from selling her interest in Jetson's, Ms. Rotwang formed a strategic partnership with a minor computer and remote-sensing company called Velocitrex and started her own IT software firm, called "Itcorp." Velocitrex was looking to expand its market share in what appeared to be a nearly saturated market, and were glad when Ms. Rotwang approached them with her offer.

The arrangement between Itcorp and Velocitrex is entirely contractual; that is, neither company owns any portion of the other. Both firms will remain independent but Velocitrex agrees to let Itcorp perform all the marketing functions for the integrated hardware and software solutions it plans to offer the healthcare services segment. All the product specifications are spelled out by Itcorp; Velocitrex only manufactures and delivers the hardware.

Itcorp will emerge from its start-up phase in January, 2006, and simultaneously begin manufacturing and selling its integrated IT solutions to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and so forth in the United States.

Our mission

Our mission is to fulfill the information technology needs of the healthcare provider community through maximizing the value healthcare providers enjoy from their integrated information technology systems. When it comes to information technology, Itcorp is It.

What We Sell

Itcorp markets integrated software and hardware solutions to the healthcare provider community.

Keys to Success

Our main key to success is our innovativeness in supplying the high value products maximizing each of our clients' budgeted IT dollars. We have skillfully integrated custom software and hardware with existing software and hardware platforms to achieve a highly marketable synthesis with our products.

Macro Environment

Itcorp exists in a universe densely populated with IT companies in general, as well as those which specifically serve the needs of the healthcare provider community. There are a few large IT solutions providers, such as Microsoft, which offer proprietary systems to some healthcare providers, as well as more generalized database solutions such as Microsoft Access, with which healthcare providers can tinker to develop their own IT solutions. There are also more specialized IT solution providers such as Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., among others.

The universe is also populated with healthcare providers, some of whom outsource their major information technology needs, some of whom develop their own in-house solutions, and still others (the vast majority) who acquire licensed software solutions from specialized IT solution providers.

The universe in which we exist is also populated by pharmaceutical companies and their intermediaries who want to provide their goods and services to the healthcare providers.

Healthcare customers are, obviously, an important component of the healthcare universe.

Finally, especially in the United States, government agencies represent a continuing presence in the healthcare universe, for good or ill, and some consideration must be made for government involvement in most aspects of healthcare in general.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths. Among Itcorp's strengths are its managerial and research expertise. When Ms. Rotwang formed Itcorp in 2005, a few key members of Jetson's highly effective software development team as well as some of its more forward-looking managers joined her and assisted in starting up the new company. Of course, Itcorp is characterized by innovativeness as evidenced by some of our highly-advanced, patented technologies; specifically our patents relating to the Sensorium (described at length below). The fact that some of our technology is proprietary and represents some of the fundamental patents in the healthcare IT venue makes it extremely difficult for competitors to duplicate our integrated IT hardware/software solutions.

Another of our strengths is the esprit de corps that exists at our firm. Employees and managers do not have the traditional adversarial relationship facing other firms. The fact that the employees' labor union is entirely sponsored by management contributes to this, but another, more important, contributing factor is the fact that everyone in the firm is expected to make contributions to the firm's long-range success. For instance, if a package handler in the mailroom thinks up a new way to improve productivity, the fact that he or she ordinarily spends hours each day sorting packages does not in any way discount the value of the idea. Management is pleased to consider every new idea and embrace those which hold promise for furthering the firm's long-term goals, regardless of the source, and rewards those who come up with bright money-making ideas in proportion to the value of the idea. Essentially even the lowliest employee feels a) valued and b) as if his or her worth to the firm far exceeds the wages paid them; the relationship between management and labor is much more collaborative than at many of our competitor's offices.

Regarding our employees in general, from the custodial staff to the sales force and every level of management, we regard labor as a resource to be maximized, not a cost to be minimized. This distinguishes us from most, if not all, of our competitors.

Weaknesses. The story is not all hearts and flowers; we are faced with a few difficulties. For instance, since so much of our own proprietary software is designed to integrate with others' software and hardware (such as Microsoft's specialized healthcare IT applications packages) it can take some time to respond to sudden changes in either the market's expectations and demands or in the specifications of the 2nd party software/hardware we utilize. Thus, the lag-time in response to sudden environmental changes is an area requiring improvement on our part. It is partly attributable to the fact that tens of millions of lines of code will be typically utilized in our software applications, and adjusting for sudden changes that affect how well the software integrates with others' software/hardware packages can require thousands of labor-hours.

Opportunities. Opportunities abound for Itcorp. Fundamentally, as healthcare providers move to paperless record-keeping, their needs for IT solutions are growing considerably. This is taking place largely in the West; the trend is growing fastest in North America and Europe. We are also seeing rapid growth in the more industrialized Asian countries such as Japan and Taiwan. China is lagging due to problems with their infrastructure and economy, though in time this will change. The same is true for developing countries in general; as they become more technologically dependent they will need more information technology solutions. The level of record-keeping detail necessary for diagnosis and treatment of some recently defined medical conditions (such as HIV / AIDS) is huge, and this is a powerful disincentive to continue to use traditional paper-based record-keeping techniques.

As the quality of life increases around the world due to the green revolution and rapid industrialization, life spans are also growing around the world. In many countries, the average life expectancy can be expected to double within the next 50 years. That being the case, the incidence of age-related medical conditions that were relatively unheard-of in these places only a generation ago creates a logistical nightmare for healthcare providers as well as their government regulators. In other words, in many developing countries, life expectancy was less than 40 years due to malnutrition and poor sanitary conditions. As governments remedy these conditions, the people live to be 70 -- 80 years old, and no longer die from poor sanitation or complications of malnutrition, but from cancers and heart disease. Alzheimer's Disease is not a condition with which healthcare providers need…[continue]

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