iTunes U

Face 1: Market Focus

Primarily a content distribution channel for the Higher Education Market, iTunes U also distributes content for the K-12 market.  While I have not been able to find an example of corporate or trades training, iTunes U provides distribution for a third content market – Cultural Institutions (CI) under the heading Beyond Campus.  This third market includes content providers like the New York Public Library, National Public Radio, and Edutopia.

Face 2: Types of Offerings

iTunes U provides both:

·        the infrastructure to deliver online content (audio or video podcasts)

·        An enormous publicity mechanism for this content (through the iTunes Store)

The online content can be made available to all iTunes users, or restricted to authorized (registered) students.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

University Administrators (Web Communications) work with iTunes U to manage content delivered through the site.  Unlike other free-content platforms, iTunes U limits participation to “…any qualified higher-education institution…”.  Presumably, K-12 and CI providers are added by exception.

An article in the Washington Post (“Is iTunes U for You?”) argues that universities see iTunes U as “…both a free promotional tool, and a public service.”

Face 4: Global Markets states:

iTunes U is available to any qualified higher-education institution in United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and United Kingdom.

Distributes for/Distributes to

Although not yet available as a content distributor for markets outside those listed countries listed above, iTunes U is available “Wired Anglophone Countries” through “Asian Countries with Quality Internet.”  Many providers note the significance of receiving email from downloaders in distant and exotic locals.

Face 5: Development of the Market

Although use of the service is currently restricted to a limited number of western markets, expansion into other ipod/iphone/iglass-purchasing markets seems inevitable.

For content providers, the iTunes U platform should work well in any market that can supply the required computer and internet infrastructure.  In some markets, political sensitivities will conflict with free access to content from unsanctioned providers.  Protectionist concerns regarding import of infrastructure should be addressed by the local production of content, and Apple’s cost-free service.

Face 6: Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

This platform works within a broad range of well developed learning systems.  Content is largely provided to augment the formal (for-fee) instruction provided by institutions, and to provide access to content for self-directed learners.



September 22, 2008   2 Comments

Alternate Approaches – M Triangle

In reading the various analysis using the Cubs and also a couple alternative approaches it seems that there are Micro and Macro considerations.  I would suggest in the pitch tool that the Macro issues should be addressed first for the audience to become comfortable with the “big picture” and following that the details or some of the Micro issues can be addressed.  Am thinking that as the EVA, you likely have more input (with your money) over the Micro issues than the Macro issues thus Macro is the first hurdle.

To this effect, I created something truly innovative, its not a “Cube”, its a… wait for it… Triangle formed by the product, the market, and the management team with a focus on the competitive advantage offered by each.  The centre of the triangle is return on investment, the central focus of the EVA.  This one even has colour coding technology with the red shadow on the competitive advantages linking to the red ROI (maybe red was a poor colour choice – next them profit will be black). The M stands for Marc Macro.

I went with a triangle as its a strong self-reinforcing structure so hopefully it will be able to withstand your comments and critiques – bring it on.

September 22, 2008   4 Comments

Google Docs vs Zoho (David and Goliath?)

Which is Better Google Docs or Zoho?

I see in a previous post by Jagpal Uppal, there’s been a lot of discussion about Google and its Google Docs application.  One other other productivity tool, similar to Google Docs is Zoho.  Zoho is actually an entire suit of productivity tools that are very integrateble and, for the most part, free!!  A quick cube analysis would be as follows:

1. Market Focus: small to medium sized businesses, non-profit organizations, post-secondary students/instructors, and to a lesser extent secondary school students/teachers

2.  Types of Offerings:  offers a variety of publishing tools (wp, presentation, spreadsheets, notebook), communication tools (chat, email, meeting), database tools (creator, reports) and more.  Zoho is positioning itself as a one stop shopping productivity, collaboration center.

3. Who is the buyer? Most of the Zoho services are  offered for free.  Business services are for purchase.  Buyers of Zoho services would include small and medium sized businesses looking for an affordable platform to integrate their online communication and document creation and storage needs.

4.  Global Markets:  Zoho is offered in several different languages.  The company that owns Zoho is AdventNet.  AdventNet is a large international IT organization.  It offers services in 23 different languages, however, not all tools are in every language.

5.  Development of the Market:  Zoho is competing in highly connected markets where high speed online access needs to be readily available.

6.  Competition:  Zoho faces stiff competition from Google Docs. However, Zoho offers broader range of services.  Other competitors are mostly at the enterprise level that don’t offer services for free online and are aimed more at high end enterprise users.

Watching the Battle Now….To See the Future

The interesting thing about Zoho is its tenacity to take on Google.  Many people have questioned Zoho’s ability to attract attention to its services given the huge shadow that Google tends to cast over competitors.  However, Zoho seems to be surviving, even thriving with the claim it now has over 1 million registrations.  Even though Zoho has backing from its large parent company, Adventnet, this is still a very interesting showdown to watch as it may fortell the ability of other startups to compete with the internet giants.  Some see Zoho ultimately winning the battle…

Personally, I think Zoho is a much better service and its potential for education as a fully integrated suite of services have yet to be exploited.  Check it out…. Care to debate?……any comments?


September 22, 2008   2 Comments

Jing Cube

Jing Video Tour

Face 1: Market Focus

This tool can be used in almost every aspects of business development and education (online or face2face). In essence, Jing is for anyone who would benefit from recording and sharing screen captures.

Face 2: Types of Offerings

Jing is a screen capture tool developed by TechSmith (Camtasia & SnagIt), which allows for simultaneous sharing. Content can be shared via Flickr, FTP, or, another project initiated by TechSmith. This original version, which allows for a maximum recording time of 5 minutes, is intended to lead to a subsequent subscription to premium versions that TechSmith intends to introduce soon.

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?

Possible buyers for the premium versions of Jing could be anyone aiming to train / support others in any computer related technology, as well as anyone wanting to create learning objects exceeding 5 minutes in length. (Note that the tool is free at the moment for projects not exceeding 5 minutes in length.)

Face 4: Global Markets

According to TechSmith’s website, support is offered in English, French, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese. However, because the nature of the tool is to capture voice as well as image, we can conclude that it could be used by just about anyone in the world, having access to a strong enough internet connection.

Face 5: Development of the Market

Given that this tool requires nothing more that a reliable internet connection and that it offers visual support for learning (use of iconography makes it easy to figure out how to use the tool, without having to read anything), it is likely that TechSmith will be able to develop markets across the globe.

Face 6 – Competition

As far as I can see, Jing is not competing with the other leading screen capture tools (Camtasia & SnagIt) being that they have been created by the same group (TechSmith) and that it can be viewed as a lite version of both in many ways. Another point to consider is that although software like Adobe Captivate might seem to be in direct copetition with Jing, Jing still stands at the forefront because of it’s user readiness and friendliness. It is a point-and-click type of tool that requires no training. As the user gets more familiar with the tool, and perhaps finds more uses for it, s/he can then upgrade to the premium versions. Making the basic tool available at no cost is a great marketing strategy to infiltrate both markets and cyberspace.

September 22, 2008   7 Comments