Competitive Strategy Simulation of the Telecommunications Industry

$200 / seat

Simulation Overview

The Digital Services Strategy Simulation (DigiStrat) provides a realistic and contemporary setting for students to explore the current challenges facing modern digital service providers in the risk-free environment of a simulation. The simulation models the industry of the largest technology companies, such as Microsoft, Amazon, AT&T, or Google, for students entering the workforce.

DigiStrat provides students with a deep understanding of the economics of subscription businesses, which are very different from the economics of traditional product businesses. The game’s focus on services, as opposed to products, makes the simulation an excellent teaching tool for the business leaders of tomorrow, as they will likely be managing businesses that are service- and subscription-based.

The Story

DigiStrat is a highly realistic and sophisticated simulation of the contemporary digital services industry, which is going through a major technology standards migration to 5G wireless technologies. A multiplayer strategy game, DigiStrat places players in the shoes of the chief strategy officer for a digital services provider.

Players collaborate with other team members who work together in the same company. Companies compete with up to five other teams as they try to grow their company into the most valuable digital service provider in the world. Team-based companies market wireless data, wired data, connected home services, and streaming video content to consumers. They also market wireless data, wired data, cloud services, and IoT services to businesses.

Teams aim to maximize subscriber market share, average revenue per customer, customer satisfaction (measured in terms of net promoter score), service quality, and cash flow. They make decisions on pricing decisions, network infrastructure investment, service development, backend infrastructure, customer care, and marketing/sales. Players also participate in a live auction for 5G wireless spectrum that allows them to launch the next generation of 5G wireless services. Success in the game is measured in terms of five key performance indicators (KPIs):

  • market share by subscribers
  • total revenues
  • customer satisfaction
  • free cash flow
  • cumulative profits.

DigiStrat can be used to teach valuable strategy lessons to learners in any subscription-based technology business, including telecommunications, streaming video, cloud infrastructure, and software as a service (SaaS).

Learning Focus

  • Understand dynamics of strategy and competition in platform markets
    • Understand the nature of competition in platform markets
    • Understand how to place large capital investment bets in platform businesses
  • Learn how to manage subscription-based businesses
    • Learn the importance of subscription business KPIs such as customer lifetime value, average revenue per customer, customer satisfaction, and customer churn
    • Balance investments across multiple functional areas (marketing, sales, product development, ecosystem, pricing) to drive business success
  • Manage technology substitution and business transformation
    • Understand how to navigate substitution of legacy technology (4G wireless) by an emerging substitute technology (5G)
    • Make bets in product development and ecosystem development to drive revenues and profits
  • Learn the importance of strategic focus
    • Understand the relationship between marketing channels, pricing decisions, and choice of target customers
    • Manage trade-offs between protecting share in legacy businesses versus driving growth in emerging markets

Topics Covered

  • Competitive Strategy
  • Competitive Forces and Customer Needs
  • Diffusion of Innovation, Digital Disruption, and Technological Innovation
  • IaaS, SaaS, and Two-Sided Markets
  • Network Effects, Networking Equipment, and Online Auctions
  • Platform Strategy, Platform Economy, Streaming Platforms, Video Streaming, and Technology Platforms

See it in Action

This simulation is WCAG Compliant for the participants.

Each simulation comes with a Teaching Guidebook for the facilitator along with 1:1 facilitator training and free trials.

This simulation is by Professor Mohan Sawhney, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Forio

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