CASE ANALYSIS: LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL 9587078, 1986)
I. Analysis of External Situation.A. Customers.
The company's primary customer group is comprised of the users of IBMPC and compatible microcomputers. The second important customer group of Lotus Development Corporation is comprised of the users of Apple Macintosh microcomputers. The size of both customer groups was growing at the time frame of the case. Customer motivation to use the company's products is to improve the efficiency of their computer supported operations.
Lotus Development built its reputation on its spreadsheet program, Lotus 123. The company has attempted to capitalize its 123 reputation to promote other software application products.
At the time frame of the case, the company's principal competitors in microcomputer applications software were AshtonTate, Microsoft, and IBM. AshtonTate built its reputation on its database management program. Together, dBase II and dBase II contributed more than threequarters of the company's total revenues in 1984. AshtonTate hoped to capitalize on its reputation with dBase to promote other software application products.
Microsoft built its reputation on its operating program for IBM PC and compatible computers. Its MSDOS program is the industry standard, and is used by almost
all IBM PC and compatible computer users. Microsoft was, at the time frame of the case, attempting to use its position as the developer of the operating system relied upon by most PC and compatible computer users to promote other software application products.
IBM developed a software applications product line to serve the world of PC and compatible computer users. The company's reputation as the developer of the PC family of microcomputers was used as a tool to ...