Competing in the Digital Economy

Winter 2000

Bentley College course code: CS776-200
Norwegian School of Management course code: GRA2329
[What's new] [Administrivia] [Seminar plan] [Discussion group] [Literature]
[Participants' email] [Term paper groups]
[Espen Andersen's home page] [Bill Schiano's home page]
[Prior courses (BI pages): 1997/1998/1999]

This course is taught as a collaborative project between Bentley College and the Norwegian School of Management BI.  It involves students from Bentley's MBA program, from BI's MBA program, and from BI's Siviløkonom (Master of Business and Economics) program (IT management concentration.)

What's new


Administrivia

Objective
The objective of this course is to give the students a thorough understanding of the information technology, economic, and organizational issues of doing business in a digital environment, such as the Internet. Students interested in pursuing careers developing and managing electronic commerce systems or participating in startup companies will receive an excellent foundation in the basic technologies of global electronic networks and their managerial implications.

Computer use
This seminar will make extensive use of information technology: Assignments, messages, discussions (mainly through video conference) and all hand-ins will be done electronically. Students are expected to actively participate in discussions (electronic and verbal), and will have a large degree of freedom to influence content of classes and the term paper.

Evaluare
necesse est.....  This is a high-intensity course at an advanced level, so attendance is mandatory, participation is strongly encouraged, and intense participation rather the norm than the exception. Formal evaluation is as follows:



 
Detailed seminar plan
The dictatorial right to change and amend this at any time and on any whim is most explicitly reserved.....
Date/lecturer Topic Preparation
1-BI only
Tuesday January 4th
12:00-16:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
Lunch (in cafeteria), introduction to the course, with an introduction to videoconferencing and a discussion of Internet trends. introduction, discussion of course and preparation. Read and be prepared to discuss: Do: Visit MIT Media Lab's web page and see some of the interesting things they do with wearable computing.

Consider: What does being digital mean? What characterizes a digital world?

2-BI only
Tuesday January 11th
14:00-17:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
Espen Andersen
Regulating cyberspace--anarchy or hierarchy? Read and be prepared to discuss: Consider: How can we implement laws and technology--in organizations and society--to balance the issue of privacy and freedom of expression vs. crime-fighting and protection of children?

More reading:
If you are looking for a thorough (and very entertaining) book about cryptography (and its counterpart, cryptanalysis), try Simon Singh's The Code Book.

3
Tuesday January 18th
14:00-17:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
8am - 11pm EST
Bentley
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
Technology development and innovation: Internet and other historical developments
as a guide to strategy.  Network externalities.
Read and be prepared to discuss: 
  • Kalakota, Chapter 1, "From E-Commerce to E-Business."
  • Kalakota, Chapter 3, "Think E-Business Design, Not Just Technology."  Note:  Skim case studies.
  • Amor, Chapter 1, "Introduction to Internet Business," and Chapter 2, "Preparing the Online Business."
  • Shapiro & Varian: Chapter 7, 8 & 9
  • David, P. A. (1985). Clio and the Economics of QWERTY. American Economic Review, 75 (May-June), 332-337.
  • Anything you can find on Ted Nelson and Xanadu
  • A Guide to Internet Architecture
  • From the recommended list: Christensen: the whole book. Utterback: Chapter 7. McKenney: Chapter 1, Chapter 3 and 4: Bank of America og American Airlines.
  • Check out the Economics of Networks, maintained by Nick Economides 
Consider: How are these "old" stories relevant to a company wishing to do business in a digital world?

Deliver: Write down an idea for an Internet business or other initiative, what you can do to make this come about, and what kind of help you would need.  (Assuming the technology works: Post this for others to see in the collaboration system.

4
Tuesday January 25th
14:00-17:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
8am - 11pm EST
Bentley
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
Web architecture (URL, DNS, TCP/IP, other TLAs).  Security. Read and be prepared to discuss: Prepare: What do these terms mean?  Are they important--and if so, why?
  • ADSL and SDSL
  • 3GPP and WAP
  • Firewire and USB
  • Bluetooth and Mobilestar
  • POTS and VoIP
5
Tuesday Febrary 1st
14:00-17:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
8am - 11pm EST
Bentley
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
(If the technology works) Paul Turton from Computer Sciences Corporation will talk about the WAP market.
Intranets

The telecommunications market

Read and be prepared to discuss:  Deliver: Study question (answer less than 200 words) to be e-mailed to Bill Schiano before 5PM US (23:00 CET) Monday January 31: Is communications capacity really available in abundance, or will too much traffic kill the Internet?
6
Tuesday February 8th
14:00-17:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
8am - 11pm EST
Bentley
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
Internet as a commercial platform: EDI, payments and economics.

Guest lecturer: Ian Pearson, British Telecom's Futurologist, will talk about the next 10-15 years in technology, business and society.

Read and be prepared to discuss: Deliver: Show up well prepared and able to ask intelligent questions.  Project leaders: Send email to Espen with 1 paragraph describing company value offering.
7
Tuesday February 15th
14:00-17:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
8am - 11pm EST
Bentley
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
Marketing on the Internet -- the impact on existing consumer retail distribution

"Starting an Internet company -- the Zvia experience", guest lecture by Ernst Oddsund, Zvia Corporation

Read and be prepared to discuss:  Before class:
  • be up to speed on the case and ready to ask intelligent questions from the guest speaker.
8
Tuesday February 22th
14:00-17:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
8am - 11pm EST
Bentley
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
Web page development technology and project management  Read and be prepared to discuss:
  • Case Study, "thoughtbubble," to be distributed.
  • Amor, Chapter 9, "Comparing Web Technologies."
  • Kalakota, Chapter 12, "Translating e-Business Strategy into Action."
  • Shapiro & Varian: Chapters 5 and 6.
  • CIO Webmaster article on "Web wars" -- the conflict between Web developers and the traditional IT organization
9
Tuesday February 29th
14:00-17:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
8am - 11pm EST
Bentley
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
Marketing on the Internet (II Advertising and Searching) Read and be prepared to discuss:
12
Bentley only
Tuesday March  7th
8am - 11pm EST
Bentley
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
Regulating cyberspace--anarchy or hierarchy?
See lecture 2.
13
Tuesday March 14th
14:00-17:00 CET
Room 429, BI-LU Ekeberg
8am - 11pm EST
Bentley
Espen Andersen and Bill Schiano
Final class: Presentation of student work  Be prepared to present your work
(The Norwegian MBA students will be in Boston, the Norwegian MBE students will be in Norway.  Presumably, the Bentley students will be at Bentley...)

Literature

Required reading
These books are required reading:
Amor, Daniel (1999): The E-business (R)evolution, Prentice-Hall
The "technology book" of the course, though there is little reason to feel intimidated.  Very complete book on all aspects of life online, practically oriented and surprisingly up-to-date.  And, for an added bonus, written by a European....

Kalakota, R. and M. Robinson (1999). e-Business: Roadmap for Success. Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley.
A fairly straight-forward book, well organized, on electronic business.  Covers, albeit thinly, the main aspects (inkluding knowledge management issues and customer relationship management).

Shapiro, Carl & Hal R. Varian (1999) Information Rules : A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy, McGraw-Hill/Harvard Business School Press
(For more information, check out the dedicated Web site at http://www.inforules.com/.)  In the words of The Economist: "These two Berkeley professors bring a discipline to their analysis that is usually quite absent from the overheated burblings of the cyberprophets... [This book is about] rigorous and practical strategies, based on solid foundations, for surviving and prospering in the network economy.  [...] what is so likeable about this book--its fairmindedness and its wise pragmatism."

Recommended reading
These books, and a subscription to Wired, Upside, Fast Company or the Red Herring (for the more financially inclined) is excellent background material (and interesting reading, whether you are doing this for grades or not). Bits: whatever you may find at BRINT or other places on the Net with relevance for the theme of the day.

BI Stiftelsens hjemmeside

Espen Andersen's home page
Last updated: February 28, 2000.

Comments to Espen Andersen or Bill Schiano