Access Identity Management FAQ 2012

Access Identity Management FAQ 2012



Access Identity Management FAQ 2012

White Paper Published By: Tse & Tse Consulting

This paper collects my opinions about some hot topics in identity access management communities in mid 2012.

My opinions are based on writer’s expertise, work experience and knowledge in the area. Some of my opinions are also based on extensive research from authorities such as vendor white papers, industry research journals and articles, product documentation etc.

Notice this paper keeps discussion in high level and short without exposing too much technical details. Please contact writer if you need more detailed information or consultation.


Charles Schwab Future Strategies

Charles Schwab Future Strategies

Greg Morris and Hiu Fung Tse










MET AD 741 – Team Research Paper

June 17, 2012



This paper proposes new directions to what the Charles Schwab organization should take as it moves into the second decade of this millennium. The paper first analyzes external business environmental changes in the past decades. This includes market segmentation changes, change basis of competitions, change in fee and services. Then the paper proposes some high level strategies Charles Schwab should take to adopt the changes to push the business forward. Strategies include: 1) Enable Direct Investors – Target Market to Youth and Self Serve Nature; 2) Reduce Fees to Adopt the Elastic Market; 3) Mobile Technology for Independent investors; 4) Mergers and Acquisitions to Extend Technology Platform and Integrate Platform to New Market Segment; and 5) Scaling Customer to Fine Tune Differentiation Among Different Customer Classes.  By adjusting and fine tuning its business model, according to the proposed strategies using an innovation process and marketing concepts, we are looking forward to seeing Charles Schwab face challenges and dynamic market shifts in the second decade of the millennium.










Market segment analysis introduction

Charles Schwab showed great innovation and growth in the prior few decades in the financial investor market segment.  When a large market share was controlled, around 2002, Charles Schwab started to squeeze its less wealthy clients by raising fees and transaction charges on smaller-sized accounts. This caused some customers to defect to discount brokerages such as Ameritrade, E*Trade and TD Waterhouse that had grown up during the dotcom boom. Indeed, there had been tremendous growth and consolidation among the discount broker segment. In just the fourth quarter of 2005, mergers in the discount broker segment affected 3 million accounts and nearly half a trillion dollars in assets.  Competitors were becoming better able to compete with fully services firms.  Charles Schwab was facing more formidable competition especially at the discount transaction-oriented customer segment. (Barnett and Mauldin, 2006)

Change in market behaviour and competition basis

The most significant change to occur at Charles Schwab over the past few years was its source of revenues. In 2000, 50% of Charles Schwab’s revenue came from trading activities and 27% from asset-based fees. Things changed by 2005 and by that time, 79% of Charles Schwab’s revenue was derived from asset based products/services and interest. Only 17% came from trading revenues. The shift away from dependence upon trading revenue allowed the company to drop its trading commissions.  This is a positive trend for Charles Schwab because the market is changing.


Change in Fees for Services

In 2012, the Financial Services Authority will be banning the paying of commission to giving advice.  The financial advisors would have to develop a few schedules that would be directly related with the investors (Ross, 2009).  This does remove expenses that Charles Schwab would have to pay for commission allowing them to further lower the prices of the of the trading activities.  However, there is a downside because the financial investors will now be independent.  Also, with the most stringent qualifications that will be required the Ernst & Young is expected the 35,000 advisors to shrink to 20,000 (Ross, 2009).  Because the fees are being passed directly to the consumers, some customers will refuse and want to buy direct from the financial institution.  Charles Schwab will need to make this process as painless as possible.   


Strategy 1 Enable Direct Investors – Target Market to Youth and Self Serve Nature

Pure self-directed investing is “a very teeny market”. The key to this company’s continued growth, and to really becoming finances Wal-Mart, is to get people to think of Charles Schwab as the best place to go for investment expertise.  Since fees are being changed on the advisor side, Charles Schwab wants to make sure the fee structure is simple and transparent.  Also some of the customers will not want to pay advisor fees and will become direct investors.  In the time of change, Charles Schwab will need to build a trust with their clients (Warwick-Ching, 2009).  When the financial recession occurred clients began to pay more attention to the charged fees.  A straight forward schedule that clients can understand will help build a comfort level with clients and invest directly without an advisor.  Working with the self service customers a target market will need to be validated with market research.  The trends of this market and competitor offerings will need to be examined.  Charles Schwab will want to not only meet the basic needs but also the unstated customer needs (Leybourne, 2012, Lecture 5).  With the shift in market, Charles Schwab will want to base their basis of competition on convenience to the consumer (Leybourne, 2012, Lecture 3)

Fidelity has been able to grow to one of the biggest 401k administrators.  401k investors are commonly direct investors and this market is a large potential growth sector for Charles Schwab.  The reason for this growth was because customers get access from their employers.  Charles Schwab will want to work on getting access to these companies and overtake the large competitor.  The employees that would be given access will be direct investors.  A number of these investors will be younger and would start with smaller sums of funds but it will prove profitable with a large number of individual investors (Gibbs, 2010).  Charles Schwab has begun work on these products but will need to continue to innovate to obtain these low maintenance direct customers.   


Strategy 2 Fees to Adopt to Elastic Market

However, some customers will not come direct.  To better compete in this segment of business Charles Schwab completely revised their approach, cutting trading fees on average by over 50%.  Trading commissions continued to be a shaky source of revenue in the industry; for example, in October 2006, Bank of America began offering free trading to customers who kept a minimum balance of $25,000 in combined checking, savings or CD accounts at the bank (Bank of America).   With the clear fee schedule being instituted, Charles Schwab should consider a flat charge and introduce performance related fees.  Performance related fees would be harder for existing companies to develop as the cost base and could lead to competition from start-ups (Warwick-Ching, 2009).  Charles Schwab will need to have agile and not fear the change of acting like a start-up.  By using this technique, Charles Schwab will be able to focus on not only maintaining their market share but also finding growth opportunities within the market (Adams, 2002).  With starting this structure now, Charles Schwab would be ahead of the competition.  The performance related fees would be difficult to institute but would clients may be more comfortable with fees when they are outperforming the expected return.  Similar fees have historically been used in hedge funds (Vincent, 2009).  With advisor fees and flat charges likely becoming the norm in the industry, performance fees would create a new revenue stream that would be a win/win for both parties.  Charles Schwab will need to work closely with their funds to develop fair benchmarks for the expected returns. 


Strategy 3 Mobile Technology for Independent investors

There are new enhancements in technology to help support the businesses of independent registered investment advisors (RIAs). Among the enhancements available for advisors to view at IMPACT, an annual financial industry conference, is a new workflow library that is to be a key part of the Schwab Intelligent Integration initiative.  Schwab Intelligent Technologies™, a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation, is also announcing a new relationship with independent software vendor (ISV) Salentica, which will increase the number of RIA firms that can benefit from Schwab Intelligent Integration.


The focus on technology continues with other new online capabilities on display at the conference including Charles Schwab’s upcoming mobile application for the iPhone™ and enhancements to the Schwab Alliance web site that supports clients of advisors who custody assets with Schwab Advisor Services (BusinessWire, 2011).  In 2011, the World Economic Forum concluded there were only about 10% of adult that used mobile financial services and those were primarily payments (2011).  There is a large amount of growth with the segment and the alliances with the mobile partners will allow Charles Schwab to continue to be the innovators of integrating technology with the products.  Finding new technological methods of integration can also extend the life cycle.  As the mobile devices are used it will start with the early adopters before having mass market acceptance (Moore, 1995). 


Strategy 4 Mergers and Acquisitions to Extend Technology Platform and Integrate Platform to New Market Segments


Sometimes organizations cannot do everything themselves, and there is an argument that maybe they shouldn’t. Historically, there has been a growing trend towards a focus on what you are good at, and getting others to do the other stuff.


From Charles Schwab perspectives, there are two directions for mergers and acquisitions. One is to extend their technology platform through acquiring companies with new trading technologies.  The other is acquiring companies that have different business trading market and integrate their technology platform into Charles Schwab’s businesses.  This allows Charles Schwab to have a collaborative network that lets the each part focus on what they do best.  It allows a synergistic alliance that is more valuable as a complete product (Leybourne, 2012, Lecture 4).  The following approaches are a start to help with the other strategies.


Extending Technologies Platform


In March 2000, Charles Schwab acquired CyberCorp and its subsidiary CyberTrader, a fast-growing online brokerage with specialized electronic trading technology for highly active traders. Also in 2000, Charles Schwab acquired the Chicago-based firm, Chicago Investment Analytics, which developed proprietary stock analysis based on quantitative modeling techniques for institutional clients.


Integrating Technologies Platform into new market Segment

In January 2000, Charles Schwab announced an all-equity deal valued at approximately $2.8 billion to acquire the venerable U.S. Trust. Charles Schwab’s management hoped to leverage the company’s IT assets with U.S. Trust’s high-touch, high-margin relationships. (Burgelman and Meza, 2008)


In January 2004, Charles Schwab paid approximately $340 million to purchase SoundView Technology Group, an equity research firm.  Charles Schwab combined SoundView with automated trading technology and market-making functions previously developed by Charles Schwab to create a combined institutional research and trading capacity (Burgelman and Meza, 2008)


These two trends will continue in the second decade. Charles Schwab needs to determine what kind of technologies they would need to acquire that would enhance their user trading experience.  These synergistic alliances allow the companies to align their strategies. On the other hand, Charles Schwab needs to determine if there is some potential existing high value trading markets that have not been computerized. 


Strategy 5 Scaling Customer to Fine Tune Differentiation Among Different Customer Classes

Charles Schwab representatives were able to offer investors personal advice. Smaller investors with up to $50,000 to invest generally received mass advice, making use of investment tools that were online or otherwise easily scalable. For Charles Schwab retail, that sweet spot was customers with investible assets between $50,000 and $2 million. Accounts with more than $250,000 were assigned a relationship manager.


One key challenge Charles Schwab faced was efficiently and effectively serving clients with less than a quarter of a million dollars in their accounts. The company wanted these customers to feel they were being serviced well and serviced by the firm without the need of an individual representative. This was important because in the investment industry, sales representatives and other financial planners often took some or all of their clients with them when they switched firms or opened up their own investment management practices.

For all of Charles Schwab’s investments in technology and scalable investment platforms, its physical network of branches remained an important part of the business. Most of Charles Schwab’s new assets came in through the branches. The physical locations were important to customers; even younger customers seemed reassured by the physical branches (Burgelman and Meza, 2008).


Charles Schwab has been an innovator for the last couple decades.  The product offering is marketed different but the complete investment product is still similar.  Charles Schwab is finding new ways to bring sustaining technology instead of disruptive technology to the market (Leybourne, 2012, Lecture 2).  As the financial industry, especially fees change Charles Schwab will want to stay on the forefront of the technology and other product offerings.  To stay ahead in the future Charles Schwab will need to increase the number of direct investors and see the potential of the youth market.  There will also need to be a change the fee structure and they should consider performance fees as the market has become more elastic. Increased use of mobile technology, continued trend of acquisitions, and scaled services for the different customers are additional strategies that will be needed to keep a future competitive edge.  With the strategies, Charles Schwab will provide services that will allow them to grow and build a trust with customers.  



















(2006). Bank of America press release – “$0 Online Equity Trades are Coming Soon”. Retrived from


(2011, November 2). Schwab Talks Technology for Independent Investment Advisors at Annual Conference. BusinssWire. Retrieved from


(2011). The Mobile Financial Services Development Report 2011. World Economic Forum. Retrieved from


Adams, R. (2002). Big Companies need to Act more like Start-Ups. A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs. (pp.237-263). New York: Random House/Crown Business.


Barnett, Megan and Mauldin, William. (2006, July 11). The Right Broker for You. Smart Money. Retrieved from


Burgelman, Robert and Meza, Philip. (2008, January 3). The Charles Schwab Corporation in 2007: Fixing and Redefining the Core Business. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from


Gibbs, Lisa. (2010, January 14). Charles Schwab is selling advice. Should you take it?.


Leybourne, Steve. (2012). Lecture 2 – Types of Innovation, and their Organizational and Market Challenges. Boston University. Retrieved from


Leybourne, Steve. (2012). Lecture 3 – Innovation as Value Creation: Understanding the Basis of Competition. Boston University. Retrieved from


Leybourne, Steve. (2012). Lecture 4 – Alliances and Partnerships as a Way to Add Value to Products and Services.  Boston University. Retrieved from


Leybourne, Steve. (2012). Lecture 5 – Using Market Research Techniques to Add Value.  Boston University. Retrieved from


Moore, G.A. (1995). Crossing the Chasm – And Beyond. Inside the Tornado Harper Business Essentials. p. 13-26.


Ross, Alice (2009, October 16). Investors set to pay more for advice. Financial Times. Retrieved from


Vincent, Matthew. (2009, October 16). Fees shake-up will result in extra sums. Financial Times. Retrieved from


Warwick-Ching, Lucy. (2009, October 16). Wealth management under fire. Financial Times. Retrieved from


Eric Tse, Richmond Hill, Toronto

Tse and Tse Consulting -Security, Identity Access Management, Identity Access Management Toronto, Solution Architect, Consulting

Linkedin ID: 

company email:

My Company Web Site

Company Blog

Company Blog 1

Facebook Company Page


Hyundai Touch the Market Case – General Issues and Using Ethnography












Case Summary and Background

General Issues:

Ethnographic approach

Goal and Problem Statement

What Ethnography is

Pros, Cons Limitations of Ethnography (Katz, 2006)


Cons & Limitations

How Ethnography relates to course concepts

Concepts: “exploration space” & “what job was this product hired to do?”


Does Ethnography do a good job at that goal?

Final Remarks: What would Kawasaki or Adams say?





Case Summary and Background


Hyundai was interested in designing new automobiles that would specifically attract the Gen Y audience, which had historically found the brand to be less-than interesting both from a styling and a functionality standpoint.

What they did: They designed and implemented a Touch The Market (TTM) Immersion, taking key stakeholders and designers (both American and Korea) through a multi-day event that include: 1) Experiential, metaphoric exercises around the concept design. 2) Automotive and non-automotive panel discussions. 3) Digital college campus scavenger hunt. 4) Competitive ride and drives. 4) Group ethnographies.

Each participating team captured these experiences in a competition culminating in a deliverable that included new concept design and features.

The Impact is this TTM approach enabled new vehicle designers to gain a range of highly stimulating perspectives on and emotionally based learning’s about Gen Y, enabling the design of two new vehicles slated for 2012 launch.

General Issues:


Issues it raises includes

–          How does a company select one of the customer centric innovation approaches among others- especially at the concept stage?

–          How would we know this process developed will really bring the right customer input?

–          How can we develop better vehicles, vehicles that better fulfill the needs of the customer?

–          What is the true coax and how to get true coax from customer?

–          How can we incorporate the Voice of the customer?

–          Use and misuse of the ethnographic approach to guiding product development and/or improvement.

–          Community-style development, adding non-American participants.

Ethnographic approach


Goal and Problem Statement


In order to help the team gain a deeper understanding of the glamour mom, Hyundai ventured out into where these women lived: their homes, hearts, and world. Hyundai got to know what mattered to them, so that Hyundai could make the Santa Fe more meaningful to them. This type of ethnographic research takes into account that what people say does not always jive with what they think and feel. So Hyundai watched, listened, asked questions, and let people speak freely about their lives. Ethnographic research allowed Hyundai to approach consumers as whole individuals in order to create products that connect them to the Hyundai brand. (Hyundai, 2007)

What Ethnography is


Ethnography is a qualitative research method aimed to at exploring cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group. (Geertz, C. 1973) (Philipsen, G. 1992).   It studies people, ethnic groups and other ethnic formations, their ethnogenesis, composition, resettlement, social welfare characteristics, as well as their material and spiritual culture. In the biological sciences, this type of study might be called a “field study” or a “case report”, both of which are used as common synonyms for “ethnography”.(Boaz, Wolfe, 1997)

Pros, Cons Limitations of Ethnography (Katz, 2006)



–          A lot of information can be gained from observing a customer’s environment first-hand

–          An oft-cited reason for using ethnography is the belief that many “unspoken” needs exist that, when discovered, can lead to enormous breakthrough innovations—real “game-changers” in industry parlance. Some say that the only way to “hear” these unspoken needs is through observation.

Cons & Limitations


–          Onsite interviewing is far more expensive and time-consuming than central-location interviewing.

–          To create an affinity diagram and prioritize customer needs, these needs must, at some point, be expressed verbally

–          At risk of stating the obvious, there has to be something that is possible and practical to observe or ethnographic research simply does not make sense

–          Observation can alter behavior—the  so-called “Hawthorne effect.”

–          Many environments do not lend themselves to easy recording.

–          Many respondents don’t want to be questioned while they are concentrating on the task at hand

How Ethnography relates to course concepts


Concepts: “exploration space” & “what job was this product hired to do?”


It is very difficult to reach the place in our imagination where we can project to what might be or what others might think—but it is important to do this in order to successfully understand products, and what they need to deliver. Many people call this leap to more abstract lateral thinking “thinking outside the box.” It is intellectually challenging, but vitally important. (Unger, Leybourne, 2012)

Sometimes it helps to have some sort of tool to assist in framing our thinking in a different way, and taking us away from out comfortable thought processes. The tool is known as exploration matrix. It’s use is explained in some detail in the Christensen reading “Discovering what has been Discovered: What Job was your Product Hired to Do?” (Christensen C.M. 1999)



As innovators, Hyundai can apply ethnography to understand customer needs, using the three steps process.

Step 1: By joining customer regular life activities and events using ethnographic approach, observe and perhaps ask actual customers how they use the product, and what their values and priorities for the product are.

Step 2: Observe and ascertain what else the customers could have used using ethnographic approach, and what the advantage of other products. This identifies the competition, and opens up different social and emotional dimensions of the customer experience.

Step 3: Back to the lower left-hand corner of the Exploration Space Matrix, because solutions and improvements need to be based on what is possible


Does Ethnography do a good job at that goal?


The goal as stated is to gain a deeper understanding of the glamour mom. The direct measure would be how mid age woman customers are satisfied with the design of the car and what are the sales figures of the car related to mid age women. There is a lot of good feedback about how the TTM. However there are not too many information on how much TTM is using ethnographic approach to gather requirements for ladies. Also there are sales figure related model but not specific to woman. However this seems to help based on the assumption that woman are not as good as man in terms of expressing their true feelings verbally. This ethnographic approach on woman implies sexism and may not be a politically correct measure.

Final Remarks: What would Kawasaki or Adams say?


Kawasaki: Build crappy cars that fulfill all the customer fantasies (Safety can be tested in beta testing).

Adams: Do not assume you really know your customers until you have ethnographically approached them.



Boaz. N.T. & Wolfe, L.D. (1997). Biological anthropology. Published by International Institute for Human Evolutionary Research. Page 150.

Christensen C.M. (1999) Innovation and the General Manager Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Section 2.3 – Discovering what has been Discovered: What Job was your Product hired to do? (pp. 169-178)

Geertz, C. (1973). Thick description: Toward an interpretive theory of culture. In The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays (pp 3-30). New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers

Hyundai. (2007). “Hyundai uses ‘Touch the Market’ to Create Clarity in Project Concepts”. Visions Magazine, June 2007

Katz. (2006). Viewpoint, The truth about ethnography. PDMA Visions MAgAzinE

Philipsen, G. (1992). Speaking Culturally: Explorations in Social Communication. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press

Unger, Leybourne. (2012). MET AD 741 Lecture Notes, Boston University


Eric Tse, Richmond Hill, Toronto

Tse and Tse Consulting -Security, Identity Access Management, Identity Access Management Toronto, Solution Architect, Consulting

Linkedin ID: 

company email:

My Company Web Site

Company Blog

Company Blog 1

Facebook Company Page


NTT DoCoMo Case

Introduction and Background

DoCoMo not only demonstrates the power of marketing analysis and marketing techniques as they are applied to the introduction of technology, but they also illustrate the power of “re-framing,” or thinking about problems and opportunities differently which defines the essence of a product or service differently (Unger, 2012).


Accomplishment and Strength

            DoCoMo aims at “reframing,” or creatively re-defining the “frame of reference,” or the way in which a set of criteria or dimensions of a technology, product, or service should be perceived, understood, or appreciated. This includes, most frequently, the dimension in which a specific target (i.e. customer or group) the product or service is intended for (Unger, 2012). As Christensen’s Product Exploration Matrix suggests, this proves beneficial more broadly as it is typically consistent amongst viewing product and service features (Christensen C.M, 1999).
                Additionally, the NTT DoCoMo reinforces the theme of the fashion in which partnerships and alliances can extend the value of products as well as emphasises the importance, especially in a fast moving industry, of accurately understanding, at all times, the basis of competition in a product category (Unger, 2012).
                NTT DoCoMo enables ideas and concepts, when carried out correctly, to be embraced by a particular market segment, leading to explosive growth over a very short period of time. DoCoMo contains the origins of many “smart phone” features in mobile communication that we often take for granted and see today regular mobile products. (Unger, 2012)
                NTT DoCoMo applies the DICCE concept to market their products. Deep, Indulging, Complete, Elegant and Evocative, or DICCE, is a powerful marketing tool (Kawasaki, 2000). This tool involves the lifestyle factor of the target market, enforcing the idea that consumers will purchase a product because they want to either be different or because they want to identify with a group, or “tribe,” of similar consumers. NTT DoCoMo, appealing to this natural human desire, constantly attempts to have their products as or more popular than the latest and trendiest mobile phone. They use the I-mode system, providing unique and extraordinary user experience to target audience, in order to achieve this (HBS, 2002).



                Cultural and natural human issues involved in doing innovation at traditional bureaucratic organizations may plague DoCoMo , but they demonstrate how to overcome these hurdles. For example, in traditional Japanese companies, one is supposed to hire from within; however, the CEO of DoCoMo hires two executives from the outside that have wireless internet business experience in order to lead marketing and innovation.

Additional issues involve attempting to assimilate the concepts of one country (Japan) to different country. For example, most overseas operators are extremely reluctant to relinquish control over content to third parties, making it harder for overseas carriers to adopt the i-mode model.  There were also differences in consumer behaviour.  The team has been working with foreign telecommunication partners in order to bring the i-mode model to U.S. and European markets. On the other hand, they are adopting different marketing strategies for other international markets.

In 2002, DoCoMo faced some challenges regarding the use of “FOMA” (e.g. third generation or 3-G wireless technology) in their i-mode offerings within Japan. These issues greatly impacted the actual “user experience.” This also implies that a basis of competition is changing for the customers that they have targeted.


When and What was Relevant/ Irrelevant?

                NTT DoCoMo market contains, though containing many trend changes, one main trend change in particular. The  NTT DoCoMo case initially leaned towards marketing their products to business users exclusively. This was considered as irrelevant; however, the information that started to accrue indicates that the youth market began to engage with the product, resulting in a change of focus. To make such change, one needs information, exhibiting just how powerful the correct information can be.


DoComon’s Current Situation

                NTT Docomo, accumulating more than 53 million customers as of March 2008, more than half of Japan’s cellular market, the company provides a wide variety of mobile multimedia services. These include i-mode, which provides e-mail and internet access to over 50 million subscribers, and FOMA, launched in 2001, which was the world’s first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA (, 2012).

In addition to wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe and North America, the company is expanding it’s global outreach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in Asia-Pacific and Europe. NTT Docomo is now listed in the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges (, 2012).


History and It’s Impact on Japanese Innovation

                Ultimately, DoCoMo’s i-mode is far more than only a successful mobile Internet service as it has proven to own a dynamic innovation system that endogenously generates over time significant co-evolving innovations in content, customer tastes and preferences, and applications, enabling technologies and formation of organisations.  As such, it is appropriate to include DoCoMo’s i-mode system with other key Japanese systemic innovations that have shown wide-ranging impacts, such as the just-in-time system of production (Fransman, 2002).



Christensen C.M. Innovation and the General Manager Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Section                      2.3 – Discovering what has been Discovered: What Job was your Product hired to do? (1999): pp. 169-178.

Fransman, Martin. “Explaining the success of NTT DOCOMO’s I-MODE wireless Internet Service

HBS 9-502-031” (July 2002).

Kawasaki, Guy. “Don’t Worry Be Crappy?” Rules for Revolutionaries. (2000): Chapter 2.

“Company History | About Us | NTT DOCOMO Global.” Company History | About Us | NTT DOCOMO Global. Web. 29 May 2012. .

Unger. Lecture 6, course MET AD 741, Boston University. (2012).



Eric Tse, Richmond Hill, Toronto

Tse and Tse Consulting -Security, Identity Access Management, Identity Access Management Toronto, Solution Architect, Consulting

Linkedin ID:

company email:

My Company Web Site

Company Blog

Company Blog 1

Facebook Company Page


The Eli Lilly and Co. Case – Innovation in Diabetes Care: What Went Wrong? Why? and What Should the Next Step be?

The Eli Lilly and Co. Case – Innovation in Diabetes Care: What Went Wrong? Why? and What Should the Next Step be?

            As a company, Eli Lilly may have achieved more success had they read chapters two and nine of  Adams’ “ A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs.”



            Despite efforts of high investment to maintain it’s dominant position as an insulin manufacturer, the company began to see it’s worldwide position weaken. To add to the devastation, Lilly missed several waves of innovative opportunities within the diabetes care market. At the time of the case, Lilly was engaged in a determined effort to strengthen it’s position in insulin and grow beyond that single product, exploring alternative products and services (Unger, 2012).



            Eli Lilly dropped in overall market share in diabetes care from 1980 to 1995 (Christensen C.M., 1996). What mistakes did Lilly make in its product and service initiatives, and why did this happen? Is Eli Lilly & Co. talking to the right persons or groups to determine what product features or advancements would be most appreciated by the “diabetes related market?”

            Lily launched three innovative insulin products: the “Insulin pens”, “Match” and “Humulin,” all priced premium in comparison to your traditional insulin and/or insulin delivery syringes (HBS, 2004). Unfortunately, Lilly’s tendency to invest significant amounts of funding into commodities proved to be one of leading factor in Lilly’s decreasing market share. Usually, a customer will become more price sensitive if satisfied with a certain commodity; therefore, the buyer is less likely to purchase the product without some sort of substantial gain (Anthony Romano, date).

            Additionally, Lilly and Novo launched several of the same products simultaneously in a race to place first in the market. This marketing assault of new products outweighed customer demand, presenting yet another downfall (Christensen C.M., 1999).

            Lastly, the behavior of a majority of the patient population towards the treatment and care of their diabetes shifted, becoming substandard by patients determining their own ways of therapy. In order to utilize insulin pens, patients must effectively monitor and administer multiple insulin shots daily. Though it may be an arduous and lengthy process for all parties, putting forth efforts that will change the behavior of this majority could prove successful in repairing the damage that has been done.

            Lily appears to avoid speaking or listening to the appropriate group of individuals that can significantly improve their positions by determining products and featuring advancements.


Lessons Learned & Next Steps

            What should we learn from this case? Should Adams’ way be our model?


Lesson Learned 1: The Shifting Basis of Competition – Develop a Sense of Pain

            While other companies are constantly developing and introducing new products and services, along with making incremental improvements to existing ones, Lily refuses to play on on a static competitive space.
Adams, discussing “customer pain,” suggests that Lily ought to put themselves in the shoes of potential customers to “develop a sense of their pain” (Adams R, 2002). This way, Lily can obtain the knowledge necessary to release products that are of high customer demand.

            Lily should be looking for wicked, brutal, vicious, hideous pain amongst potentials – the type of pain that makes people want to fix their situation immediately.

            Lily should ascend the market-validation pyramid by practicing the following, step-by-step: Lily must lay down the groundwork by: verifying the pain around the problem, along with a likely market, using secondary research (i.e. the internet, analyst reports, the industry press) in order to discover market data, market size, and direction of market trends.


ñ  Stage 1Explore the pain. Use questionnaires to do quantified market research which will in turn uncover the target market. Then:

    Perform customer interviews to locate the greatest pain.

    Create a heat map to visually represent where the worst pain lies.

    Generate several hypotheses about target markets.

ñ  Stage 2Envision the solution. Test the target market hypothesis found in Stage 1 against a set of quality influences. Then:

    Develop and sharpen a presentation and product prototype.

ñ  Stage 3Establish credibility. Evoke excitement in leverage influencers (thought leaders, analysts, consultants, and editors) about your company, product, and prospects.


Lesson Learned 2:  Explore new opportunities

            Undoubtable are the difficulties that may arise if Lily were to change their way of thinking, transcending normal patterns of thought, as they have historically been consistant in their ideas about what can be made possible. This fact makes reaching that place in Lily’s imagination in which they hold the power to predict customer desires, but, despite this obvious hurdle, understanding of potential clientele allows for successfully understanding the products in which they need to deliver.


“Discovering what has been discovered: What Job was your Product Hired to Do?” (Christensen C.M., 1999b).

            As much as Lily ought to know what the customers are demanding, they must follow out these steps in order to be successful:

ñ  Step 1: Watch and ask actual customers the way in which they use the product, what their values consist of, and what they prioritize, starting with the most important aspects, in the product.

ñ  Step 2: Ascertain the advantages of alternative products that customers could have opted for. This will help to identify the competition and open up different social and emotional dimensions of the customer experience.

ñ  Step 3: After product requirements have been identified, back track to the lower left-hand corner of the Exploration Space Matrix because solutions and improvements need to be based on what is possible (Christensen C.M., 1999b).


Lesson Learned 3:  Validate Markets

            Lily only has a one-time snapshot. Losing your edge is the first step to becoming dead meet, so one must keep implementing effective ongoing strategies for assessing customers and their needs in order to validate the market again and again. Never stop focusing on the customer!  (Adams R, 2002).



Adams R. (2002) A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs New York: Random House/Crown Business

Christensen C.M. (1996) Eli Lilly and Company: Innovation in Diabetes Care Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02163

Christensen C.M. (1999) Innovation and the General Manager Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Module 2 – Finding New Markets for New and Disruptive Technologies. (pp. 95-102)

Christensen C.M. (1999b) Innovation and the General Manager Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Section 2.3 – Discovering what has been Discovered: What Job was your Product hired to do? (pp. 169-178) (eReserve)

HBS 9-696-077 (April 2004). Eli Lilly and Company: Innovation in Diabetes Care.

Anthony Romano, (date), Eli Lilly and Company: Innovation in Diabetes Care

Unger. (2012). Lecture 3, course MET AD 741, Boston University


Eric Tse, Richmond Hill, Toronto
Tse and Tse Consulting -Security, Identity Access Management, Identity Access Management Toronto, Solution Architect, Consulting
Linkedin ID:
company email:
My Company Web Site
Company Blog
Company Blog 1
Facebook Company Page