Undergrads Advise Cisco, Deloitte on Mobile Strategy

A team with three Haas undergraduates won first place in the 12th annual E-Business Case Competition on Thursday, beating out 22 other UC Berkeley teams with their detailed mobile strategy recommendations for Cisco and Deloitte.

The winning team consisted of Ya-ting (Arting) Chang, BS 13 (Bus/Psych); Jing-Jing Li, BS 11 (Bus/Rhetoric/Econ); Michael McMahon, BS 12; and Camille Yan, BS 13 (Econ). The competition is sponsored by Cisco Systems, Deloitte Consulting, the Schlinger Family Foundation, and the Haas Undergraduate Program.

The winning team receives $1,600 in prize money and will compete in the Battle of the Bay at Cisco on Friday, April 22, against teams from UCLA and San Jose State. The winning team members also are eligible to be selected for the fall 2011 Haas teams that participate in external case competitions in such places as Hong Kong and Singapore.

The case, based on a currently unsolved situation faced by Cisco and Deloitte, asked students to take the role of Deloitte consultants who have been assigned to develop a business plan and mobile service strategy for a global mobile service provider. In the case, the client already has selected Cisco as its primary technology vendor.

Students were asked to develop a Powerpoint presentation that addresses such issues as pricing, which geographic regions and demographic to advise the client to target, and what innovative mobile services and complementary features to offer in order to create a differentiated experience for subscribers.

The winning team created a 47-slide PowerPoint presentation that advised the client to initially target mature markets such as the U.S. and Western Europe, eliminate unlimited data plans and offer tiered pricing, and eventually pursue partnerships with content providers like Facebook and YouTube to offer free uploads with those partners.

The four judges, two each from Cisco and Deloitte, spent more than 30 minutes deliberating over whom should win.