Applying the Concepts at DrōnTeq
Throughout the book, we will apply the concepts in each chapter to a fictitious company called DrōnTeq. In this section, we illustrate the creation of a system request.
DrōnTeq is a fictitious technology company that develops numerous unmanned aerial vehicles, called drones, and drone technology for many purposes. DrōnTeq was established by two technology entrepreneurs, Eric Chen and Peter Lyons. The field of drone technology was evolving rapidly, and Eric and Peter quickly established DrōnTeq as a leading maker of commercial-grade drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities.
As a technology company, DrōnTeq invests heavily in research and development of its drone products. It also developed proprietary software capable of providing unique analyses of the data collected by the drone’s onboard sensors. The Sales department focuses primarily on drone sales and marketing to government and commercial entities. A new Client Services business unit has been formed within DrōnTeq, focusing on outsourced drone services. Carmella Herrera was named director of the Client Services business unit.
DrōnTeq is a technology company and utilizes IS in a variety of ways. The new Client Services unit requires specialized IS support, however, to allow clients to request and receive drone services. In the business model of new business unit, licensed drone pilots contract with DrōnTeq to fly a DrōnTeq drone when requested by a client that is near the drone pilot. The drone pilot uses a current model DrōnTeq drone, provided at a favorable lease rate, in return for providing prompt flight service when requested by a client. All client drone flight requests will be processed through DrōnTeq’s website. Once a request is received, the request will be posted for all contracted drone pilots to see. Pilots will have a specific window of time in which to submit a bid to conduct the flight. An assignment algorithm will determine the “winning” bid after the bidding window closes and automatically notifies the pilots and the client of the results.
Many aspects of the Client Services business unit will require IS support, but the current focus is on the customer-facing aspects of receiving a client request for service and assigning the request to a contracted drone pilot. A project to create the required support for the new business unit has been proposed by Carmella Herrera.
At DrōnTeq, new IS projects are reviewed and approved by an IS project steering committee that meets quarterly. The committee has representatives from IS as well as from other major areas of the business. Carmella’s first step was to prepare a system request for the committee. Figure 1-5 shows the system request she prepared. The project sponsor is Carmella, and the business needs are to enable clients to request drone flight service and data analysis through the company website. Notice that the need does not focus on the technology associated with the project. The emphasis is on the business aspects: providing the means for clients to request drone flight service and data analysis and determining a drone pilot who will perform the service.
In the system request, the project sponsor focuses on describing his or her vision of the business requirements at a very high level. Carmella has expressed a clear vision of how this system will affect the new unit at DrōnTeq: producing revenues from new drone pilot contracts and drone leases and enabling sales from clients requesting drone flight service and data analysis. Carmella recognized that this system will be essential in supporting the proposed business model of the new business unit.
The estimates of tangible value were difficult to develop, since this venture is completely new to DrōnTeq. To prepare for this, Carmella had several of her staff members conduct surveys of commercial drone operators and several agribusiness interest groups (agricultural uses are a prime target for the Client Services business unit). The surveys also attempted to gauge the drone pilots’ and potential clients’ price sensitivity for these offerings.
From the survey results, Carmella and her staff developed a range of sales projections for the various revenue streams: a high-level estimate, a medium-level estimate, and low-level estimate. They also developed probability assessments for each of these outcomes, settling on a 25% likelihood for the high-level estimate, a 60% likelihood for the medium-level estimate, and a 15% likelihood for the low-level estimate. Based on the sales projections and the probability estimates, a weighted average estimated sales figure was computed for each revenue stream.