Case of Orateme Inc

Table of Content

Problem: In January 2012 the board of directors of Orateme has to decide what would be the best use to invest the company’s financial resources. Alternatives: During the meeting that took place on January 13th 2012, the board identified a few alternatives: 1) Leverage the current job boards to appropriate client associations, providing access to the network of associations and their respective members e. g. Nursing cheer network (David Flowers, current President). ) Getting more serious with continuing education (CE) on the web even though there are some doubts regarding the future possibilities in terms of the large players that are already in the market, and it might take several years to develop a competitive product (Karolynn Matheson, Vice President of Operations).

3) Investing in managing content that is a burgeoning market opportunity since has no market penetration in the association market; I. e. webMD (Ramesh Visnaramathan ,Vice President of Engineering). ) Waiting one additional year and hope that there will be more market place stability (John Bushel, Controller). Recommendation: Our group agrees with the alternative identified by Karolynn Matheson. She underlined the fact that CE has become a mature market, a $4 billion market that currently delivers almost one percent (1%) of all of its content online. Researches found out that this market is highly segmented with third party players offering alternatives opportunities and solutions.

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The actual players are competing with the associations rather than collaborating with them (e. g. egal and accounting). The idea is to combine the benefit for Orateme and for those associations. It may take several years in order to develop a competitive product and a suggestion would be to collaborate with a smaller industry player or to directly acquire it in order to get at least 1 percent (1%) of the CE market, sharing a half of that 1 percent (1%) with a partner will not be a problem. Rationale Market & Customers: Continuing education (CE) refers to any type of post-secondary education, used to either obtain additional certifications, or as credits required to maintain a license.

Almost any individual can take CE courses for personal or professional enrichment; fitness trainers, nurses, and safety instructors are examples of professionals who fall into the second category. This type of education is aimed exclusively at adults who already possess a college or university degree. People take CE in the form of workshops, seminars, home-study or online courses, conferences, and hands-on training. The CE market is valued at $104 billion annually in the USA. CE is an increasing market for several reasons.

Mergers, acquisitions and closures are sending more and more highly competent professionals into the job market. Many need to refine or update their skills to be best positioned for current and future employment. As service-industry jobs feel the pressures of outsourcing and manufacturing jobs decrease, the need for employees to stay current in industry-related skills is critical and crucial. More than half of the world’s 500 largest corporations were located in the U. S. in the 1970s. Today, less than one third are US based.

The “baby boomer” generation is well-educated, researchers believe that well-educated people drive the demand for more educational opportunities. Researchers also are aware that there is a positive relationship between the level of education attained and the tendency to pursue CE opportunities. Those same “baby-boomers” will drive a high demand for healthcare professionals. CE is critical to those who work caring for others and how need to stay updated on the latest technologies and treatments.

Employer paid CE opportunities are popular benefits and help employers retain qualified and high-performing employees. The rapid growth in online learning makes CE more convenient for working adults. A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that most Americans can expect to change careers at least three to five times and hold 7-12 different positions in their work lifetimes (add to appendix). The disappearance of lifetime employment opportunities has required workers to become more agile and flexible in adapting to changing conditions.

If Orateme provides programming for the corporate market, it creates a number of advantages for both itself and it’s clients. Vannevar Bush in 1945 talked of the role of universities in creating the “intellectual capital”(people and ideas) that enabled the United States and its allies to triumph in WWII, he was focused on what higher education could do for the future health and welfare of the United States and its citizens. He did no predict that American higher education would become an enormous magnet for the best students around the world.

Most of those students stayed in the US after graduation to help create American intellectual capital and drive the entrepreneurial growth of the American economy, but many returned to their home countries thus increasing the intellectual capital of their own countries. The ideas and inventions that are also a key part of the intellectual output of American higher education are now available around the world at the speed of the internet. Thus, the relationship of American higher education to both American society and other societies in the world has changed in significant ways from what Vannevar Bush would have imagined.

Competition: With most of Orateme’s early competitors phased out there has been a short list of competitors in the small associations industry that have withstood the dot com bubble and hard economic times, including Affiniscape, Avectra, Boxwood, and JobTarget. Avectra, founded in 1994, gives their associations tools for e-Commerce, marketing, content management, and member management systems. After restructuring in 1999, Avectra prepared for the millennium and has become a prominent company within the industry.

Founded in 2000, Affiniscape’s Members360 web based application has led to the company being ranked one of the fastest growing during its early stages, over 1,400 associations, and millions in yearly revenue. Since 2006, Affiniscape produced association websites, membership relationship management systems, marketplaces for its associations, and online career centers. To give Orateme competition in the job board industry, Boxwood self-proclaims to have generated $350 million for 1,000 associations since its founding in 1998.

Boxwood provides its associations with online career centers based on fixed rates and flexible rates to “maximize their revenue potential” [1]. JobTarget, like Boxwood is in the job board industry, except it is self-proclaims to be the largest third-party operator of niche job boards in the world and the first company to offer an integrated cross-posting/job distribution and strategy optimization technology solution. Founded in 2001, JobTarget is based around two web-based business applications.

The first is used by companies to fill positions for its job needs while the other, OneClick, is used by employers and recruitment ad agencies to help post position needs then evaluate the degree in which the advertisement and recruiting works. With each of these companies growing in size and revenue, competition for Orateme is stronger than it has ever been in history. Understanding the increase in competition, new measures must be made, or advancements with the company product line to ensure market share within these industries continue to grow instead of losing to new competition.

While other software and tech giants will arise within the industry, it would be best for Orateme to boaster a number of services that are unique to its brand that will ensure loyalty and new business with emerging associations. Company: Since the time it was founded in 2000 by its five ambitious founders, Orateme has not shied away from new innovations and business models to ensure its survival and future within the industry. These founders, each with their own craft and skillset, were able to combine what they could offer to establish a longstanding brand they would continue to be a part of.

Orateme was built on the concept of serving as a “virtual staff” for small professional and trade associations. With the help of two venture capital firms to provide an initial investment, Orateme offers services to these associations and professional groups via a web based software product line including content management, web site design, job boards, while aiding in networking amongst these associations. SWOT Analysis: Strength: 1) A company with a business model that allowed it to stand out from other companies within the field while having consistent revenue. ) A strong product line that can be offered to a wide range of associations, yet focused on giving precise features. 3) A customer base that continue to stay with the company because of strong product quality. Weakness: 1) A lack of access to information on individual association members. 2) A lack of innovation to stand out from other companies offering one or more of the same product.

Opportunities: 1) Ability to tap into a large number of associations, members, and new associations in a number of metropolitan areas. 2) A strong brand name that would enourage companies to partner with them. ) The ability to raise prices for annual dues while changing job board pricing to keep customers. 4) Enough resources to acquire a company with differentiated service offerings that associations may desire. Threats: 1) Large software and/or social networking companies to take away customers wanting to connect with individual members. 2) While new associations come in, growth compared to competition is not fast enough. Growth is not an option at this vital point. 3) The possibility of losing customers to companies in the field that can offer better product quality that are more particular to the product in question.

Environment: While the digital age is still considered early by tech leaders, the technological race is getting tighter with new competition continuously arriving. Orateme was able to gain financial help of investment firms to establish its base, but in an age where applications and technology using social features are able to spread faster, it would not be hard for Orateme to lose out on market share. Around the world, new associations are being created to help members with a central goal or frame of mind, be able to share amongst themselves.

While new age innovations are being developed from a market based orientation, research and polling is increasing amongst companies to ensure customers are getting what they want while new markets are being explored. Nevertheless, during these hard economic times around the world, more and more adults are going back to school to ensure that they can attain the proper means to maintain a family. Conclusion: Remaining idle in the technology field is sure to stunt growth and potentially may lead to competition taking over market share.

Using a way to teach the millions of “baby boomers” heading back to school, would mean providing associations with the ability to gain a larger following, while also providing their members an additional outlet for gaining new skills. This innovation is not a direct social networking service, but, associations will have the ability to give their members the attention they need and the assistance they may need. Whether it is based on classes teaching the usage of business technology or partnering with another company to create an actual degree system, CE is an asset worth trillions.

With a low market share in CE, it having a high growth rate, and the right investments, this new venture could become the main function of this organization. This product development strategy can lead to added diversification, and later market development strategies when new association types can be reached by the Orateme product line. Orateme would still be able to offer a product line that is diverse, yet will not cause confusion with its clients. The best route to take is for a CE system to be developed and lead Orateme to the future.

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Case of Orateme Inc. (2016, Dec 12). Retrieved from

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