Maximo Case Study
Maximo is a British-based entertainment media company whose primary business is designing games for mobile phones and tablets. They began life in 2004, with just 3 people – Max, a computer science graduate, his friend Morris, a business studies graduate as the CEO and his uncle John, who provided the financial backing.
Over the next 5 years the company grew slowly. This was before the days of smart phones, so Maximo had no way to interact directly with the users of their games. They sold their games directly to mobile phone manufacturers, who pre-loaded them onto handsets. Some handsets sold very well, but Maximo didn’t benefit from this in any significant way.
In 2008 the business landscape changed. Apple launched their app store and for the first time mobile developers had direct access to a worldwide audience. This was Maximo’s opportunity to revise their strategy.
Introduction to SHRM
Maximo needed to design a game that took full advantage of smartphone capabilities, would appeal to a wide audience and present sufficient challenge for diverse users. The look and feel of the game needed to set it apart from others on the market. As a small organisation, they didn’t have all of the expertise they needed in-house.
Maximo decided to use a partnership approach to access specialist skills from a 3D graphics company in the gaming industry. This enabled them to develop a distinct new platform game, which they made available through the app store. The game brought two streams of revenue, one from in-app adverts that feature in the free version of the game, and one from sales of the paid version, which is advert-free.
Principles underpinning SHRM
Due to its wide appeal and regularly updated content, the game became a huge success and rose to the top of the UK app chart in 2010. Part of this success was the continued use of a partnership approach, this time with an animation studio, who produced advertisements for the game. The distinct appearance of the game meant it was instantly recognisable by customers. Maximo was still a small business at this point, with only 38 employees.
Senior managers knew these people were central to the success they were experiencing. The mix of talented and dedicated employees meant there was a rich flow of ideas, creativity and trust. The small team structure encouraged collaboration between individuals and teams, allowing ideas to be developed from a range of angles, supporting continued innovation and creativity.
QUESTION – Journal Entry:
Considering both business strategy and strategic HRM, reflect on what strategic approaches Maximo used and how this could lead to competitive advantage?
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