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Tackling competitive threats


Seeking an ‘early warning system’

Akamai is among the largest content delivery networks in the world, providing customers such as Apple, Amazon, and Netflix with infrastructure services that accelerate and improve the online delivery of content and applications.

The company approached Global Organizations (GO-Lab) for help strategizing how to compete with new local entrants to non-U.S. markets where Akamai was expanding. Specifically, the company looked to the student team to help develop an “early warning system” for competitive attacks.

Pairing local knowledge with global concerns

After extensive fact-finding research and analysis,  including interviewing  stakeholders at the company’s U.S. and European offices, GO-Lab students recommended an early warning system, but with a twist. They suggested that Akamai establish product groups in major markets outside of the United States to consolidate the local knowledge that already existed within the company. The twist: develop a system to support these groups in adjusting to local competition, and use local perspectives to inform Akamai’s global strategy.

Ongoing collaboration

According to Charley Dublin, vice-president  of product operations at Akamai, the students’ work on the early warning system provided a “thoughtful framework with immediate and long-term steps that was validated internally and largely accepted.” Akamai followed up on many of the students’ recommendations and went on to work with another GO-Lab team the next year.