Business Plan

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(Comment.gif: This proposal is more academically-focused. To make it more "corporate", we would have to beef up the resumes; add a strong corporate resource; and change the language in some of the sections - away from academia to more corporat-ese. - Randy Fisher 14:31, 3 November 2010 (UTC))

Our Understanding of Your Requirements

In order to meet the demands of an evolving marketplace, Algonquin College is pursuing a strategic growth initiative to digitize and virtualize the Colleges' services and programs to complement in-person offerings and delivery. As part of this initiative, Algonquin College Corporate Training (ACCT) wants to move its content delivery and teaching efforts from a face-to-face to virtual model.

ACCT is seeking to engage a consultant to develop a business plan for the virtualization initiative. The scope of this work will include:

  • Conducting an environmental scan related to virtual/training delivery
  • Preparing an analysis of the corporate and public sector employer market for virtual/ training and development and related services including customer requirements, market needs, competitor analysis, potential products and services
  • Refining the vision
  • Developing a business plan in collaboration with ACCT management

The opportunity may include both asynchronous (i.e., interacting remotely in a receive-only mode with content in an LMS) and synchronous (video conferencing, e-conferencing) content delivery. The decision to pursue each of these opportunities will drive the range of systems (and purchase/ongoing costs that they will need to consider) as part of this engagement.

Faculty dynamics can be constraining unless buy-in is huge and up-front – so we’ll want to understand the organizational dynamics within the current ACCT faculty. Since ACCT is involved with the delivery of business-related content only, we assume we are considering a fairly constrained set of disciplines/knowledge areas and so the faculty will likely be more open to moving willingly with a relatively large shift in their teaching paradigms. This is an assumption we will need to test and verify. Faculty training/professional development and associated costs will be a consideration in order to prepare them to teach in an online environment. This would include online teaching methods as well as familiarization with all associated support systems (LMS, Help Desk, Video Conferencing, eConferencing, email, etc.)

A small but skilled support staff will be required to assist faculty with instructional design. ACCT will also need IT systems support for their LMS, Student (CRM) System, and online services delivery. We understand that some of these skills and resources may be available from the main college staff. As part of our environmental scan, we’ll do an internal scan of ACCT on-hand skillsets.

On the systems front, we will look at the options of a proprietary and/or open source systems, including hosted LMS instances from Blackboard, Desire2Learn, or Angel. As well we may look other options such as Epsilen (, which has a fully-functional LMS platform wrapped around a student e-portfolio system and a full suite of Web 2.0 collaboration tools; or a free licensing option like Moodle or Sakai, with support from ACCT IT resources.

For synchronous instruction delivery – with video conferencing or e-conferencing, there are also a number of options to look at including: Elluminate or Horizon Wimba. For help desk support, options include: in-source, outsource, or a combination (probably the most cost-effective way). We will look at options that ensure solid after-hours support for ACCT students and faculty.

We understand that ACCT is currently using as the platform for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). We will need to understand the workflow to be able to identify enhancement opportunities. ACCT is probably best served by adapting a web service provider like vs. the more traditional method of putting in a full Student Information System; however, we’ll need to understand how ACCT manages registration, course scheduling, interface with faculty payroll, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Financial Aid and how these systems need to work together to support the virtual offering.

ACCT has 3 outside sales people focused on developing customized solutions to meet their specific client needs. As well, they leverage existing college’s marketing resources for marketing initiatives. They are using email marketing to establish a value-based relationship with subscribers for lead nurturing, as well as to drive new prospects to their website for lead capture. This information should be integrated with Salesforce to track and manage the effectiveness of these marketing campaigns and for sales force Automation (SFA) to ensure that leads are promptly followed up on. We will review the full spectrum of marketing initiatives that are currently in place and identify further opportunities that may be possible to support the virtualization initiative.

eCommerce isn’t particularly expensive, hard or scary to do; however, Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance can be a challenge, depending upon what level of transactions are being managed in terms of credit card transactions.

The opportunity is to create a seamless application experience for students, from registration – to course scheduling – book purchase and fee payment. This will typically involve overlaying an SIS system with a Web Portal Front end for student access. We’ll look at how ACCT manages the business today and how this could be adapted to support virtualization.

Course and Program (Product) Development process – This would most likely be accomplished working with existing faculty to develop a comprehensive curriculum development process. However, we may also want to consider something like a Governet offering to manage ACCT’s online curriculum development and submission process. For a non-academic focus, this can be streamlined quite a bit from the more traditional university/community college academic curriculum effort.

We will look at how ACCT faculty will be teaching – as in, will they be coming in to the college to teach from a college “smart” classroom, or will they be connecting in from home or other location via a desktop video conferencing client? Will students be connecting in from home or work locations?

We will look at the competitive landscape for ACCT – who are the major competitors and how is that landscape changing in Canada and elsewhere? What are businesses willing to pay for the kind of courses that ACCT proposes to deliver? What are typical faculty and staff salary costs in Ottawa? We can start with current staffing and fiscal model and then look at what would need to change with this proposed transformation in terms of staffing, support systems, and facilities.

We will consider evolving online business models and new market opportunities, including credentialling; certification and on-demand, low-production run publishing in support of client requirements.

Our Approach

At iCentro, we facilitate stakeholder engagement, business / strategic planning and project implementation an integrated, inclusive and participatory approach called "Collaborative Engagement (CE)". CE strengthens your organization’s relationships, leverages Web 2.0 social networking and learning technologies, and increases communications and enhances digital literacy with internal and external stakeholders to build robust, scalable and sustainable business systems, processes and communities. We partner with our clients to co-create open-source and proprietary solutions to build skills, confidence and performance over the long term.

In developing a customer-centric business plan, we will:

  • Ensure alignment with your strategic objectives, operational metrics, organizational culture, business processes, growth strategy and available resources.
  • Build support and momentum for buy-in, ownership and a sense of pride for this project;
  • Identify and recommend strategies for addressing fear, anxiety and resistance to change/transition to an online / virtual presence, and changing roles and expectations;
  • Identify opportunities for action research / learning and meaningful project involvement and recommend strategies to increase stakeholder collaboration, information-sharing and performance;
  • Tap into your stakeholders' interests, motivation and expertise to rapidly and iteratively develop innovative products and services; create interactive, online and hybrid learning resources, and high-quality user experiences;
  • Seek opportunities to hear the Customer's Voice and expectations, and engage users and stakeholders in interactive and high-quality learning experiences that increase their digital literacy;
  • Seek opportunities for marketing, communications, advocacy outreach and influence, using conventional communication and Web 2.0 social networking tools, community-building and crowdsourcing techniques;
  • Leverage an extensive network of national and international contacts in education, the private and public sectors for potential partnerships and growth opportunities.
  • Share expertise and insights with proprietary and open-source learning technologies, systems and platforms and tools
  • Recognize the role and impact of rapid change, and complex, emergent and self-organizing dynamics, affecting business and strategic plans, sales forecasts, and user adoption, expectations and human behaviour (i.e., individually, organizationally, and the crowd).

Phased Approach

The typical iCentro methodology to facilitating a process of this nature includes a phased approach which allows for meaningful input into the business planning process, and timely opportunities for evaluation and feedback to maximize return-on-investment.

Project Start-Up
Data Gathering & Analysis
Consultation & Information Synthesis
Report and Follow-Up
Understand issues, pressures and dynamics
  • Achieve a shared view of the challenges and opportunities
  • Confirm project scope, timeline and deliverables
  • Meet with Manager, Corporate Training Centre and key stakeholders to understand their expectations and contribution to the desired objectives

Design for optimum contribution from stakeholders
  • Get input, direction and approval from client
  • Prepare an effective process design, plan and supporting sub-processes to deliver on specifics

Facilitate for best possible dynamics
  • Empower stakeholders to participate
  • Work closely with client and stakeholders and foster safe, trusted environment
  • Keep records of key issues, discussion points, advice; synthesize information for use in business plan, and communications

Produce business plan incorporating project components and stakeholder feedback
  • Assess and debrief with the client
  • Identify and recommend appropriate learning technologies, tools and delivery systems
  • Identify partnerships for growth and product / service delivery
  • Share strategic observations which will contribute to future success

Detailed Work Plan & Deliverables

Applying the iCentro approach to this project, we have developed the following detailed work plan to guide the virtualization of the corporate training center of the academic organization:

Activities and Deliverables
No. of Days
Phase 1 – Project Start-Up

Hold initial meeting, review background documents, draft project plan and schedule (for approval).


  • Project Plan and Schedule

November 1 - 6
  • Start-up meeting to be held by November 3
  • Parallel activities begin

Phase 2 – Data Gathering & Analysis

Agree on approach and detailed plan for consultations and business plan development


  • Environmental Scan
  • Market Analysis Report - corporate and public sector (Nov. 15)

November 7-15
  • Client to provide lists of stakeholders for consultations
  • Consultant to engage internal and external stakeholders in providing feedback for vision and business plan

Phase 3 – Consultations & Information Synthesis

Conduct consultations – internal, external and survey – and review web sites


  • Consultation of internal stakeholders
  • Consultation of external stakeholders
  • Synthesis of information

November 12 - 18
  • Appropriate individuals will be available
  • Consultations will include small group sessions and one-on-one interviews

Phase 4 – Report & Follow-Up

Produce the Business Plan


  • Vision (refined)
  • Business Plan project components including but not limited to:
  • Executive Summary
  • Overview / Background
  • Opportunity / Market Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Product / Services - current & potential; Technology Platform(s)
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Financial Analysis: investment required, operating budget forecast, return-on-investment, payback period

November 19-30
  • Business Plan to be completed by November 30
  • Presentation to Project Sponsor (if desired)

Total No. of Days
20 days

Proposed Roles & Resources

iCentro has put together the following team of our qualified consultants for this project. Detailed résumés are available upon request.

Focus Areas & Roles

Key Focus Areas
Project Manager; Lead Consultant
Supporting Consultant(s)
Customer Relationship Management
  • expansion and leverage of SalesForce

Randy Fisher; Roger Egan Doug Cremer
E-Commerce Capability - virtual portal access for business transactions Randy Fisher; Doug Cremer; Wayne Mackintosh; Robin Day
Product Development Process - systematic process to design, develop and bring products to market rapidly Randy Fisher; Wayne Mackintosh Robin Day
Marketing - leveraging of digital and social media - social networking Randy Fisher; Roger Egan Wayne Mackintosh
Delivery of Multi-modal Training and Development Offerings
  • traditional ILT; online / e-learning / virtual and hybrid options

Randy Fisher; Robin Day Doug Cremer, Wayne Mackintosh
Learning Management Systems Randy Fisher; Robin Day Doug Cremer


Randy Fisher, Project Manager / Lead Consultant, Ottawa, Canada

Randy will be responsible for project launch and delivery, liaising with the client team key stakeholders and researching and writing the business plan.

Randy has 15+ years of experience in facilitating change, stakeholder engagement and 'buy-in', project management, coordination and implementation. and expertise in change management, organization development and online collaboration, teams and e-learning. He has extensive experience in marketing and communications for the public, private and nonprofit sectors and uses a variety of social media tools for participatory learning and Collaborative Engagement. He began my career as a business journalist with the Globe and Mail, CBC Radio and The Financial Post.

As "WikiRandy", he is a leader in open and distance/online learning, and is the Project Manager with the Community College Consortium for Open Education Resources. He worked for the Commonwealth of Learning in Vancouver, supporting education specialists in e-learning, higher education, governance and leadership, community media and international organizations such as World Health Organization and the World Bank. For the project, he was responsible for building the community of edcuators, which now has 15,000 users in 120 countries. He also co-developed the business plan for the umbrella nonprofit - International Center for Open Education / OER Foundation with Wayne Mackintosh. He is highly-regarded for building Sustainable Projects, Communities and Networks with Web 2.0 social networking and collaboration tool. He applies complexity, emergence and self-organization dynamics, change management and organization / community development strategies to facilitate and grow online networks and communities. He has an MA in Organization Management and Development, Fielding Graduate University, California. Thesis: Primal Needs Gone Digital: Educators' Motivations in an Open Wiki Environment, 2009.

Roger Egan, Ottawa, Canada

Roger is an enthusiastic, strategic business builder; with demonstrated expertise in sales, business development, marketing, and project management for global clients as well as Federal public sector and numerous private sector clients, leading IT manufacturers, systems integrators, and professional services firms in the National Capital Region. He has expert knowledge of corporate training marketplace and the public and private sector competitive landscape. He has participated in business planning and in product development initiatives to leverage the integration of web properties, CRM tools, social media and social networking technologies.

As Director Client Solutions, at Intersol Group, he was responsible for business development: research and identification of consulting and leadership development training opportunities, cultivation of leads, maintained and enhanced client relationships in the federal government. He engaged and trained Intersol's team in usin CRM software (SalesForce). He directed web marketing campaigns: Google Adwords, analytics, email newsletters to increase brand recognition, market penetration and conversion rate. He managed Intersol’s website branding and redevelopment (including embedded content management system): from concept to launch and implementation. He has worked extensively with Salesforce as a System Administrator and end-user Sales and Marketing Manager. As Director Federal Government Sales at xwave, he led a highly successful product-oriented sales team to sell “solutions”; including a broad range of professional services. Under his leadership, the team achieved $16M in annualized product and $9M in services revenue while maintaining high levels of client satisfaction.

Douglas Cremer, USA

Douglas is currently the Executive Director of the California Community Colleges’ (CCC) Technology Center and California Virtual Campus. In 2010, my program teams managed nine (9) major technology and curriculum development program grants totaling over $20M. The current CCC System-wide (112 colleges) programs and project under my overall cognizance include - electronic student portfolio pilot (ePortfolio California; common Web-based student college application; eTranscript CA; CCC Service-Oriented Architecture Project; and the CCC Digital Textbooks project.

Prior to this assignment, I served as the Director, Information Systems and Institutional Research for Butte College for three years, where I led a highly successful Datatel Colleague Student Information System implementation (completed in 15 months (six months ahead of schedule and 20% under budget).

Before coming to Butte College, I worked in Philadelphia as Director, Information Technology, Merger and Acquisitions for PECO Energy Company. In that role, I was responsible for integrating information systems for a number of corporate acquisitions and for an eventual merger between PECO Energy Company and Commonwealth Edison to form Exelon Corporation.

My prior experience includes serving in an NRC Senior-Reactor-Operator-licensed position as Shift Operations Manager at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station and various leadership roles in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Service, including Commanding Officer of USS BATON ROUGE - a Los-Angeles class, nuclear fast attack submarine, Executive Officer of USS OHIO (GOLD), and Member of the Atlantic Fleet Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board.

I am currently a Ph.D candidate at University of California, Santa Barbara (Education, and emphasis in Teaching and Learning) and am a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Executive Development Program.

Robin Day, New Zealand

Robin is Deputy Chief Executive at Otago Polytechnic, a role I have held since 2003, prior to this I was Deputy CE (.5) and Dean, Health and Community Group since 2000. My current roles include: Director of Research, Director CAPABLE NZ, Chair and Director Open Education Resource Foundation, Chair Tertiary Accord of New Zealand (TANZ) Academic Managers Group, Past Chair Institues of Technology and Polytechnics Research Forum -

His teaching background is in the areas of Behavioural Science, Research Methods, and Health informatics. My interests are in with open education, e-learning, flexible and blended learning as they relate to reducing barriers to access to education and influencing educational policy. See:

Wayne Mackintosh, New Zealand

Wayne Mackintosh, Ph.D. was the founding project leader of New Zealand's eLearning XHTML editor (eXe) project ( and founder of WikiEducator ( - an international online/virtual and face-to-face community of educators collaborating on the development of free/libre teaching materials in support of all national curricula by 2015. Currently, Wayne is the founding director of the International Centre for Open Education at Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the OER Foundation. He is an elected member and inaugural Chair of the WikiEdcuator Community Council.

Wayne has extensive international experience in educational technology, learning design and the theory and practice of open and distance learning (ODL). Previously, he was Education Specialist, eLearning and ICT policy at the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an intergovernmental organisation based in Vancouver, Canada. Before joining COL he was Associate Professor and founding director of the Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning (CFDL) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. At the University of Auckland, he was tasked with eLearning strategy and leading CFDL's professional staff team. Prior to moving to New Zealand he spent 11 years working at the University of South Africa (UNISA), a distance learning institution and one of the world's mega-universities. Wayne has participated in a range of international consultancies and projects including work for COL, the International Monetary Fund, UNESCO and the World Bank. Wayne is a member of the Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation, Creative Commons New Zealand and the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education

Professional Fees


Based on our proposed solution, the price for these services is $25,000. The price breakdown by phase is as follows:

Activities No. of Days
Daily Rate
Phase 1 – Project Start-Up
$1,250 $3,750
Phase 2 – Data Gathering & Analysis
$1,250 $7,500
Phase 3 – Consultation & Information Synthesis
$1,250 $7,500
Phase 4 – Report & Follow-Up
$1,250 $6,250
20 days

Payment and Contract Terms

  • Contracts and payments should be made to iCentro Corporation.
  • HST (13%) is NOT included nor is any applicable expenses.
  • This proposal is valid for 45 days.
  • In consultation with the Client, iCentro may substitute equivalent or superior resources as required.

About iCentro Corporation

Who We Are

iCentro Corporation (dba iCentro Networks) is a team of experienced consulting, facilitation and learning professionals whose expertise lies in the ability to harness and build lasting organizational capacity for our clients. Whether the focus is on developing a vision, strategic or business planning; managing change or stakeholder engagement; teambuilding, professional development and increasing digital literacy or increasing performance, iCentro helps organizations leverage the knowledge, experience and expertise inherent in their people. We draw on our extensive network of national and international relationships, and experience of over 10 years and 100+ projects in the public, not for profit and private sectors.

Our Expertise

We use our highly-regarded reputation and expertise in online /e-learning, education, change management, organization development, Web 2.0 social networking, and leverage our extensive national and international network of contacts to bring our clients the best possible talent. We apply complexity, emergence and self-organization dynamics, change management and organization / community development strategies to facilitate and grow scalable and sustainable (online) networks and communities. We use proven processes, tools and techniques (including workflow design) to support people in collaborating and sharing information, insights and ideas rapidly, effectively and efficiently - both in person and online. Our seasoned professionals work with our clients to:

  • Build collaborative solutions to complex problems. We partner with an organization’s leaders to address today’s complex challenges and opportunities, and help the organization's stakeholders to develop the knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence to be effective, healthy contributors towards desired outcomes.
  • Create a unique combination of perspective and approach. We leverage our clients’ content knowledge with our process expertise to create tailored programs that build organizational capacity.
  • Facilitate leadership, collaboration, innovation and results. Action learning, Collaborative Engagement and online expertise are core competencies of iCentro. We harness your leadership through our facilitative approach to create the right climate for stronger relationships and positive, lasting results.
  • Increase levels of digital literacy through online professional development and Web 2.0 social networking and learning technologies. We use synchronous and asynchronous human presence technologies to mentor and coach stakeholders to effectively collaborate at a distance, and create a sustainable base for your organization in a 21st century social networked connected reality.
  • Leverage cost-effective and scalable models of online training/e-learning delivery, change management, community-building and publishing for sustainable business outcomes

Project References

Business Planning & Online Learning

International Center for Open Education / OER Foundation /, New Zealand

  • Business planning and online/e-learning design and product / service delivery for world's fastest-growing and productive open education wiki in the formal education sector. Hosted at Otago Polytechnic in NZ. (2010)

Contact: Wayne Mackintosh, Founder of WikiEducator project, and Director, OER Foundation

Virtual / Online Teaching Campus

California Virtual Campus

  • California Virtual Campus supports distance educators and online teaching and learning efforts at all 112 California Community Colleges. As such, my focus has been on developing resources that can be used by faculty, such as ePortfolios ( and online help desk services (in partnership with a service provider). In the course development area, our focus has been on developing two online remedial-level courses for math and English Language Arts - both targeting preparation of Freshmen-level and adult returning students to pass their California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). ( These courses were developed in a broad collaborative effort over the past several years with a range of partner institutions, including UCLA's Center for Digital Innovation, UC Santa Barbara's Gevirtz School of Education, Lake Tahoe and Butte Community Colleges, Los Angeles Unified School District, LA Adult School and Los Angeles Trade Tech College. I (Doug Cremer) led and coordinated the overall team effort that took us from conceptual model development, through curriculum development and then on to program development, delivery and a formal assessment of effectiveness. My strengths center around the current state of technologies (such as LMS Systems, Federated Identity, Security, etc.)

Contact: Catherine McKenzie, Director of IT for the California Community Colleges System

Strategic Planning & Partnerships for a Virtual / E-Learning Institute

New Brunswick Community College – Miramichi, NB

  • Public consultations, group interviews and data gathering for a strategic action plan for a virtual e-learning institute in Miramichi, NB. The plan focused on technologies, marketing, partnerships, skills development, community development and job creation. (1995)

Contact: Noreen Lobban, former COO, New Brunswick Community College

Prior Learning Assessment - Capable New Zealand

  • Development of a world leading example of assessment of prior learning for formal qualifications ( (2010)

Contact: Wayne Mackintosh, Director, OER Foundation