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An analysis of cloud based e-learning providers’ versioning strategy
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Versioning is a product differentiation strategy where a product or service are distinguished or diversified in the intention of making it more attractive to a specific target group. It is often used to price discriminate and a way to profit maximize. Previous studies have mostly concerned software products in general. But with cloud based software products, specific conditions when versioning might occur. E-learning system are one specific software product that shifts more and more to the cloud and a specific market to study.

Purpose: Differentiating a software product can be made in several ways but which features to use when versioning is not studied in previous studies, the conditions and reasons are unclear. The purpose of this study is to study cloud based e-learning providers to discover characteristics of feasible features when versioning.

Method: To answer the defined research problem qualitative research methods was used in terms of interviews, documentations and observing artefacts. The research data was gathered through four case studies of different cloud e-learning provider, conducting of eight interviewees and four observations of their respective e-learning system. Additionally, articles and other documents was also analysed, that was provided by the companies of the case studies.

Delimitations: This research was restricted so it focused on cloud e-learning providers’ perspective as they are those who use the versioning strategy. The limitations therefore only concerns e-learning and cloud services and are not generalized to all software products.

Results: The results from the different data collection methods shows that feature characteristics mainly concerns market reasons with specific user preferences and customers with buying behaviors. E-learning systems brings technical reasons to why features are feasible, and the cloud have different service layers, each with different possible features to differentiate in. Costs is also a major concern when choosing feasible features for versioning.

Conclusion: E-learning providers see the versioning strategy as an iterative process. Which features that are feasible for one versions seem to change over time as the market changes and product develops. Features are mainly related to the specific market. When versioning, features are separated between standard features for the whole system or segment specific features for one version. Features are also considered if they will add more value than the cost to develop. E-learning providers also develop features if they are economic and technological possible to develop, and if they are within the company’s scope. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 90 p.
Keyword [en]
Versioning, Cloud service, Digital learning, Product differentiation
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-14757OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-14757DiVA: diva2:1117223
External cooperation
Compentus AB
Subject / course
Degree Project in Master of Science in Engineering 30.0
Educational program
IEACI Master of Science in Industrial Management and Engineering
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-29 Created: 2017-06-28 Last updated: 2017-06-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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