Prospective adult students normally encounter challenges when selecting the best higher learning institutions to advance their studies. The challenges result from the limited information that is provided regarding the essential aspects of the selected institutions. Particularly, the students are not well informed on the admission requirements and processes, the course outline, how to apply for students' finance, or the accommodation options available. The emotional turmoil and stress endured by students affect their concentration and derail their focus in class, upon admission.
Onboarding software has been availed in the market, seeking to address the hitches experienced by both tutors and students such as the Argos Reporting Software, Onboard, and Canvas. Despite providing a seemingly efficient onboard experience, concerns have been raised regarding their efficiency. Poor end-user interface, inconsistent performance on some browsers and technical complexities are some of the drawbacks faced by clients when using the available software. We look forward to developing online onboarding software that will ensure a consistent student enrollment process and make them acquainted to institutions' modules before admission, in a simple, transparent and friendlier way.
Initial investment capital of $120,000 will be required to cater for the product development and provide for all the operational expenses during the first six months following its launch. With an expected steady increase in the number of active users, the company looks forward to yielding a cumulative net profit of over $1,979,000 at the end of the third financial year, resulting from average monthly sales of $9259.6. The product's success in the market will be driven by our highly skilled personnel in software development, and our strong marketing strategy.
Business model canvas
The main partner in our software development venture will be Microsoft Corporation. Having been established in 1975, Microsoft Corporation has emerged to be a global leader in software and software solutions production and development and facilitating high productivity and efficiency in many business communities (Meehan, 2019). Our company will make use of various products from the corporation, to achieve its objectives. Incorporating the use of Microsoft Office into the venture will enhance communication between the business and its consumers, at reduced operating costs, and improve employee's performance (Meehan, 2019). For instance, the company will have a significant reduction in the amount of waste generated by using Microsoft Office Live, which creates a paperless business environment, and Windows Vista, which reduces both carbon emissions, and power consumption costs by half(Meehan, nd). Another key component that the venture seeks to utilize, is cloud computing. All the data that shall be generated will be stored online to facilitate accessibility, and also allow the experts to continue with the development process at any location ((Networks of Florida, 2019). In addition, the Microsoft Office Accounting Express 2008 software will be of immense help in financial management. The software has various accounting templates, such as the profit and loss statements, invoices and, budget and finance templates to be used in accounting processing and procedures (Meehan, 2019). Nonetheless, the Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate will be used to ensure maximum data protection by using the BitLocker Drive Encryption.
The project will be constituted of several key stakeholders including a team of software developers, Information Technology experts, and Information Security specialist. The technical team shall make reference to the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), to develop the online student onboarding software (Tutorialspoint, 2019). SDLC is a systematic method of creating highly efficient software, with guaranteed customer satisfaction (Tutorialspoint, 2019). Its main role in the development process will be to set in place the standard operating procedures, provide a structure for project tracking and control, heighten the development speed, and provide the foundation for planning (Tutorialspoint, 2019). The whole process is divided into seven distinct phases which include identification of the required software, analyzing its necessities, software construction, encoding, assessing and maintenance (Rouse, 2016). Appcues program shall be integrated into the software, to facilitate customization of the User Interface (UI), for a more incredible User Experience (UX) (Chapin,2019).
Designing the User Interface (UI) will incorporate advanced visual design interaction design and information architecture concepts that will result in more user-friendly software (Usability.gov, 2019). Best practices for designing the interface shall strictly be observed, including the use of clear a language to make it simple, using common UI elements to keep to ensure consistency, organizing the page layouts, and using visually appealing fonts, colour and texture(Usability.gov, 2019). After the software has been developed, it will be tested for its functionality. Software testing is a process that seeks to identify any disparities from the required conditions (Tutorials point, 2019). Two main methods used in software testing are static testing, and dynamic testing (Rajkumar, 2019). Static Testing, also referred to as software verification, is an assessment done to determine if the software development process is being done in the right way, while Dynamic Testing is a software validation process, that is oriented to the final product(Rajkumar, 2019).
After the software has been verified and validated, it will be availed to the users but it will be subject to maintenance testing so that modifications can be done if necessary. Types of maintenance that will precede its inauguration will be adaptive maintenance to keep it up-to-date, corrective maintenance to fix any glitches, perfective maintenance to enhance its performance and preventive maintenance to mend any issues that may cause future problems (Tutorialspoint, 2019).
Our product will mainly be targeted to the tutors with the desire to ease their communication processes with students, students craving for faster and easy information access, and to Universities' management looking forward to having their messages delivered instantly and effectively. Ultimately, the product shall facilitate efficient communications within the institutions, helping learners set up for achievements right from the beginning. Developing the software will cost approximately $120,000, an amount that will cater for the hardware and software costs, personnel costs, travel costs, training expenses, marketing expenses, and the projects overheads which will include miscellaneous expenses such as the internet, lighting expenses and the maintenance of the product fee. Revenue shall be generated through a one-off installation fee and a monthly subscription fee for all the users.
Many adult students encounter a hard time when selecting higher learning institutions that suit their specific needs. The limited information that is provided on some platforms regarding courses and the systems are normally misunderstood by many students, who therefore prefer to visit the specific universities. Consequently, they end up incurring high travel expenses during the information-seeking mission. Besides, a lot of time is also wasted in the process. After enduring a tedious enrollment process, their problems still escalate making them unable to concentrate on their core business. For instance, access to valuable resources such as course outlines and delays in applying for student's financing spin them into more confusion. Our online onboarding software, therefore, seeks to bridge the gap by providing a personalized and convenient platform which will greatly reduce the costs incurred by offering a comprehensive platform, which will be faster and proactive. Our main goal is to provide a high-quality product so that customers can get value for their money. Prospective students will get acquainted with the institutions' systems and processes, and therefore get set for success from the first day. Respective schools will also have a good opportunity to advise and track student finance applications, give out timetables and schedule meetings conveniently. Besides, finding students will be an eased task for the institutions and make them scale up their graduation rates.
The product's User Interface (UI) will be anchored on three basic concepts, regarding the contact design, graphic design and data structure, to enhance its usability (Usability.gov, 2019). Our software will be visually designed in a way that will make it more attractive and appealing to the end-users. Nonetheless, we shall strive to organize the data structure, for easy access to information. In addition, institutions will easily keep track of employees and review their operations. Its state of the art security systems, integrated with cloud-based data management systems will ensure maximum data security.
The consumer market for our online onboarding software is segmented into three main categories, in terms of demographics, psychographics, and needs. The product will mainly target low to medium-income workers, between the age of 20 to 50 years regardless of their gender or marital status. Business growth will be driven by the tech-savvy consumer market, which is in dire need to access important information and resources comfortably and at a cheaper rate. Our principal consumers will be based in Eastern Europe, Asia and the UK, majorly constituting the low, middle and high-income population. The UK has continued to record modest household income recently, increasing the median income by 0.7% per year, and will hence provide a valuable market (Webber & Mann, 2019). The market is highly competitive, given the high number of both native and international service providers, competing mainly on the basis of innovations, quality, and performance of the product (Allied Market Research, 2019). Some of the key players in the Onboarding Software market include Lessonly, Qualtrics, Ultimate Software and BambooHR (Richard, 2019). Despite playing a pivotal role in providing onboarding services to students, they are not ultimately efficient, due to the poor end-user interfaces, low degree customization, and inconsistencies experienced on different browsers (Allied Market Research, 2019). Our product is therefore tailored to the market, with the aim of availing a more efficient, user-friendly and personalized software, to suit individual needs and preferences. Given the rapid growth in the education software market, we believe that our venture will be profitable as projected. It is estimated that by 2022, the global education application market shall have reached $6.9 billion, compared to the $6.2 billion in 2017, which is a cumulative annual growth rate of 2.2% (Pang, Markovski & Janevska, 2019). Despite the high market competition, we strive to use our competitors' quality deficits and inefficiencies, to amass a large market share.
Key methods that have proved fruitful and which my department will use to market the product are original video content marketing, influencer marketing and the use of automated marketing tools.
Video content marketing
Video content marketing involves the use of unique videos to distribute information related to a particular product so that the target audience's preferences can be aligned to it. The videos, which will take approximately three minutes, shall first take the viewers through our company's profile, and subsequently provide a step by ste...
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