April 10, 2023Print | PDF
Third-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) students at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University impressed judges during the Winter 2023 Integrated Case Exercise (ICE). An integral part of the BBA curriculum, ICE has been challenging students for more than 40 years.
Each year, students are tasked with applying their learning from all the functional areas of business to develop, refine, and present a business solution to a real business problem faced by the case company.
Congratulations to all ICE participants, you did it! A special congratulations to this year’s ICE finalist teams, team 71, 73, 63 and 13, and especially to this year’s winners – Team 73!
The case company, Symcor, has expertise in payment processing, customer communications, and fraud analytics. They provide client-centric business solutions to enable secure data exchanges and support businesses' digital transformation. Symcor was initially created to handle cheque and payment processing solutions for financial institutions and is now playing a significant role in evolving open banking in Canada.
Utilizing its expertise in secure data exchange, robotic process automation, analytics, inbound and outbound communications, and streamlined application programming interfaces, the case required students to evaluate and recommend opportunities to use Symcor’s products and expertise to enhance operations and streamline information flow in new industries, both in Canada and internationally. The ideal industry would need to enhance their quality, efficiency, and customer experience through streamlined, cost-effective, secure, and compliant processes.
After preliminary rounds of competition, four finalist teams had the opportunity to present their solutions and implementation plans to a team of Symcor leaders. Joining the case writers, profs. David Wheatley and Rima Khatib, to judge the finalist presentations were the following executives from Symcor:
After the presentations, Chima Mbagwu, BBA program director, said, “I really want to applaud all of you students for taking this case, running with it and having a lot of fun doing it. It’s always amazing to see the outcomes and you should be very proud of yourselves. I also want to thank the Symcor executives who have been so generous with their time – not only as the case company but for being here today as judges.”
As part of their pitches, each of the teams discussed the importance of Symcor’s vision of “Connecting for Common Good” in their decision criteria. Highlighting this vision through the case, Ivan Welsh commented on its alignment with the open banking implementation in Canada:
“It is important because it allows consumers to have greater control of our financial data. It lets us take ownership of that. […] We can decide who has access to that data. It is overall going to positively impact Canadian citizens. And so, everything that we are trying to get into there has to [have} that social positive impact to Canadians.”
Congratulations to each of the finalist teams (in presentation order):
The teams each presented unique and exciting growth opportunities to Symcor. Ideas included using existing solutions to detect insurance fraud, reduce the administrative burden in the legal system, expand further into healthcare with medical testing and imaging, and support intake and administration in long-term care homes.
In announcing the winning team, Welsh told the students, “All the teams were fantastic today. Your ideas were well thought out, well researched, and well presented. It was a tough decision, but there were two teams especially that we spent a lot of time debating about, so we had to honour the runner-up.”
Congratulations to runners-up, team 63, and the winners of Winter ICE 2023, team 73! The group’s implementation plan encouraged Symcor to Excite, Engage, and Empower project stakeholders, which is exactly what their presentation did for the judges.