Lazaridis School of Business & Economics
Business students take on blueRover in Laurier's Integrated Case Exercise (ICE)
Megan Harris | firstname.lastname@example.org | 519.884.0710 ext. 2948
Laurier’s winter-term Integrated Case Exercise (ICE) competition, held last week in the School of Business & Economics, successfully developed a strategy to determine where Advanced Asset Tracking Systems Inc.’s (AATSI) blueRover will be headed next. The winning team (Team 68) included Zahra Budhwani, Dan Gurland, George Kopas, Matthew Magdales, Raquel Paredes, and Thomas Wnuk.
ICE, a week-long case study competition in the winter and spring terms, started more than 30 years ago. Laurier’s ICE is unique in Canada and gives all third-year students in Laurier’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program the opportunity to analyze comprehensive problems faced by real companies like AATSI.
“ICE week has been truly rewarding,” said team #68 in an interview following the winning announcement. “Idea generation was the most challenging part of our week, but we came up with an idea that played to our strengths and it worked successfully.” The full interview can be seen online now.
This year’s case featured AATSI’s blueRover, a small self-contained Linux-based computer (the size of a deck of cards), which can monitor and react to situations in remote locations. It can measure things such as temperature, humidity, and chemical content and make adjustments as needed. It can produce detailed analytics and reports for a wide variety of management applications and unlike other monitoring devices it has full two-way communications capabilities. Co-authored by Laurier faculty members David Rose and Joel Marcus, the case asked students to determine where blueRover goes next and how would they get there?
“When we sat down to judge the final round, we set out with strict criteria,” stated Michael Smith, chief operating officer and co-founder. “We were looking for the best opportunity for what we could do today in order to build a platform for the future. We needed a strategy to help us to continue to grow, and one team presented a strategy that could be implemented tomorrow.”
The ICE competition began with groups of five to six students presenting their recommendations in writing and orally to a board of School of Business & Economics faculty and alumni. Groups with the best internal board performances were then selected to present before an external board of business executives from AATSI including Loreto Saccucci, chief executive officer and co-founder; Michael Smith, chief operating officer and co-founder; Brian Smith, manager, hardware engineering; Amit Shah, manager software engineering; Robin Patterson, manager, communications.
Through ICE competitions, BBA students have the opportunity to integrate management disciplines into a real-time problem-solving context while experiencing work-world pressures, developing presentation skills, and interacting with business executives.
The winning team receives one-on-one time with the executives following the announcement, a cash prize, swag gifts, as well as their names listed in perpetuity on the ICE trophy, and listed on SBE’s Leaders of Tomorrow wall in Laurier’s KPMG Atrium.
With over 160 Billion intelligent machine devices in the world, machine to machine communications and monitoring is becoming the biggest operational challenge facing organizations today. Add to that the increasingly strict audit rules, regulations and requirements that organizations need to adhere to and the need for blueRover rapidly becomes a high priority.
At blueRover, they have established a solid infrastructure to enable you to be in constant communication with all your machines or sensors from anywhere on the planet. The blueRover device is a small self-contained Linux-based computer with network connectivity that also serves as a local area wireless network. Wherever you are on the globe, blueRover automatically identifies and connects with the most affordable cellular or satellite service in the vicinity of the device. It also self-corrects if there are any failures or interruption of service. Whether traveling by land, sea or air or monitoring stationary objects, blueRover is always on duty for you, providing affordable access to intelligent data about your assets.
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