Note to Students: An ability to conduct proper research, provide the appropriate referencing of sources and demonstrate critical thinking are all essential skills that our students must develop. Hence, marks are awarded for good research effort and proper referencing.
Fewer marks will be awarded to students who merely extract information from their reference sources without demonstration of critical analysis.
Read the following scenario carefully and answer all the questions below. It is important to support your answers with specific examples based on the scenario below, to demonstrate your understanding and application of the relevant concepts. You may make reasonable assumptions, as part of your analysis.
You and your group members are the founders of SecureIT, a new Singapore-based start-up that has successfully developed an innovative software programme, Enhanced Efficiency Solution. This software is expected to save hundreds of thousands of dollars for businesses over time. This was a valuable selling point, especially in the volatile economic conditions where companies are looking to increase operational efficiencies and profit margins.
You believe that there are no other competitors who currently offer an IT solution with similar features. You are confident that at best, alternative solutions would still require an integration of different solutions from different vendors, which may complicate installation, use and technical support.
However, after many months of meeting with potential customers, the team has yet to secure any sales. Most of the businesses mentioned that they would feel more comfortable if there was at least one large-scale organisation that was already using Enhanced Efficiency Solution. This would significantly validate and increase the credibility of your company’s software.
A few days ago, the sales manager of SecureIT excitedly reported that ACORE, a well-known multinational corporation (MNC) with global operations and a market leader for more than 40 years, finally agreed to another meeting. It would like to discuss details about the project scope as it was considering a purchase of Enhanced Efficiency Solution but has emphasised that it has a limited budget and no concessions to offer. It is proposing that SecureIT meets with some of its IT executives and assistant project managers, as a start.
ACORE is a large MNC with established standard operating procedures and different levels of approvals required for a project. As a listed company, it was also particularly sensitive to investors’ perceptions of its business performance, including improved operating margins, as these impact on its stock price.
Some of your team members were sceptical about meeting with ACORE. They felt that it could be a waste of time as they heard about ACORE’s tough reputation as a negotiator and the lengthy amount of time that it typically took to make decisions. During internal meetings, your team members mentioned that the time could be better spent by pursuing many other potential leads – although such leads were smaller in scale (compared to ACORE), they may be less demanding than ACORE. In addition, the industry in which ACORE operates is fairly unfamiliar to your team, although they are experts in software development.
On the other hand, you feel that pursuing this customer relationship with ACORE will bring about longer-term benefits, including boosting SecureIT’s track record and increasing the learning opportunities for SecureIT’s team. However, time is running out. SecureIT needs to secure a deal soon with ACORE; otherwise, the former will suffer cashflow problems. Your product engineering team is already working on upgrades to the software solution, and the technical support department is unsure about whether to continue ramping up its team in anticipation of sales.
Assume that you want to create the right context and environment for a successful integrative negotiation during your upcoming meeting with ACORE.
Evaluate the two(2) key contextual factors that are critical to achieving win-win outcomes for the negotiation between SecureIT and ACORE. In your analysis:
– identify and discuss the key contextual factors; and
– analyse the actions that SecureIT must take to establish the right context