Lehigh University
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Initial Contact and Project Development

Working with Industry Is a Team Effort

Working with companies to identify and implement ways of using computer technology effectively is an important part of the Enterprise Systems Center's program. This is frequently a team effort, combining the operating experience of client company industry personnel with the technology and operations expertise of laboratory staff, mentors, fellows, and students.

ESC Industry project work follows the general framework outlined below:

Step 1: Initial Contact. In most instances, key company personnel visit the ESC and tour the facilities. The ESC team then works with company management to identify those areas in which lab assistance can help the company achieve its goals.

Step 2: Preliminary Needs Assessment. Based on information received from key company personnel, the ESC prepares a preliminary needs assessment or conducts a funded feasibility study to determine how new technologies and approaches can best benefit the company.

Step 3: Formal Proposal. Company management receives a formal proposal describing ESC solutions for those technology areas requiring development and/or research as identified during the needs assessment phase.

Step 4: Project Execution. The ESC supplies necessary resources and/or project guidance to assist the company in executing the project. To leverage the benefits of working with a major university, the ESC team may use graduate and exceptional undergraduate students to provide a cost-effective solution for the company. Services of industry experts are utilized as required.

Step 5: Training and Support. As the project develops, the ESC team will identify areas requiring additional support and training and work with the company to provide such services to promote a successful outcome.

Step 6: Review and Evaluation. ESC representatives will review project benefits and evolving company needs with management to assure effective, ongoing ESC support for the company's continued growth and competitiveness.