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Accuweather Marketing Plan

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Course: IT Management

Take Home Individual Assignment[pic 2]

HULT International Business School

London Campus

Study Course: Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA)[pic 3]

Author: Alina Grigore

Supervisor: Dr. Aneesh Banerjee

Submission date: 29.01.2017

About AccuWeather

AccuWeather is an American company that provides global weather forecast services. The company was founded in 1962 by the meteorologist Joel Myers. The other two Myers brothers are occupying the chief executive officer and chief operating officer positions. The company has in total 404 employees and out of these, 113 are meteorologists. AccuWeather delivers complex enterprise solutions to business, media, government and various institutions, as well as weather content and news to more than 180.000 websites. The weather forecast is based on data received from different weather observations and information from the National Weather Service in the United States. For other geographical regions, AccuWeather is collecting data from international meteorological organizations and non-meteorological ones, as Environmental Protection Agency.

AccuWeather is producing free weather forecast information for the individual consumers all over the world and performs weather-related predictive analytical services for industries or specific businesses, like how weather was influencing sales in the past and consulting companies to adapt their future sales strategy depending on the weather forecast. (Wikipedia AccuWeather)

According to Forecast Watch, AccuWeather is number one in Forecasting Accuracy Worldwide, being the most accurate source of temperature. Accuweather is helping more than 1.5 billion people planning their days, businesses or holidays. The company provides every hour updated information about the weather and customers can access it through mobile applications, official websites, smart homes, connected cars, radio, television, and much more. (AccuWeather )

The company is well known by the individual consumers and collected during the years tones of historical data from more than two million locations worldwide. Having this valuable asset, AccuWeather Enterprise Solution was born. Their main business is predictive analytics as-a-service and it was launched in 2012. A special team is linking and analyzing dozens of weather elements together with consumer data. The team consults companies in the manufacturing, retail, finance and banking, insurance, health care, transportation industries and over 250 of Fortune 500 companies. AccuWeather Enterprise offers services as short and long range forecasts, legal forensics, making a difference to businesses globally. Casey McGeever - chief commercial officer, mentioned that they are making very specific and detailed predictions and then rolling them up to create impactful advice. Not only the data is important, but also the overall solution and the processes of manipulating data are critical in their business. (Information Week)

Solutions offered by AccuWeather

Solutions which are offered by AccuWeather cover private, public and corporate sectors, as:

  • Warnings: with a monthly subscription, AccuWeather sends warnings to a specific location where the probability of heavy weather phenomena is high, as: tornadoes, thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, etc.
  • Portal Delivery Systems: clients can real-time monitor multiple branches locations and get immediately the information they needed
  • Forecasts: daily and weekly forecast, 90 to 180 days forecast, hurricane and cyclone forecasts and forecasts for commodities traders
  • Current and historical weather: current and historical weather report for 3 million locations, earthquake reports and local storm reports
  • Data Driven Decisions: based on seasonal weather behavior of the customers, AccuWeather can provide precise analysis for companies and weather-based sale models
  • Weather Studies: they are offered specifically for ski resorts, construction industry are they include information as “black swan” risky events and idiosyncratic costs of damages (AccuWeather )

For example, on the retail industry, because AccuWeather can forecast the meteorological conditions for the next 800 days, the companies would know how many air conditioners should be manufactured for a particular season and get a better control on their inventory. Nevertheless, the long-term forecast might be less precise and in this case the retailer can use first the short-term forecast and ship the air conditioners to some other regions where the demand is higher. Another example is the collaboration with Motorola Solutions Intelligent Data Portal. Emergency workers would need to know which is the best route to get to the critical point and sometimes standard GDS is not very helpful. But instead, Motorola signed a contract with AccuWeather and updates immediately the system with the information received in real-time from AccuWeather. If there is a flooded area, Motorola GPS system will find quickly the alternative road and so, the police, firemen or any other emergency workers will offer faster help to the community in need.  (Microsoft News)

AccuWeather also offers advice and important pieces of news related to the weather forecast relevant for the society. In May 2016, AccuWeather warned the railroad to stop 2 trains which were scheduled to pass through an area where the tornado destroyed the railway track in Kansas. According to Union Pacific, the warning saved millions of dollars, passengers` lives and many more trains which were scheduled to travel across the devastated area. (AccuWeather - news)

IT Solution

AccuWeather has been in business for more than 55 years and world`s leader in weather information. Back in the days, they had their own data center maintained in-house. Few years ago, AccuWeather had to massively invest in technology to decrease the response time and reduce the maintenance costs of the current systems. Beside the classic system that each player of the global weather forecasting systems market is using, AccuWeather had to invest in big data systems. In order to create business patterns affected by the weather and achieve to maximum their core competencies of saving millions of lives, protect people`s lives and properties, AccuWeather selected Microsoft as main IT provider. The following technologies were chosen: Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Dynamics 365.



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