CBC Assists with On-site Study of Online Consulting

CBC Assists with On-site Study of Online Consulting

Capitol Broadcasting Company will become an on-site test center of Ernie, an Internet-based consulting service that will help define the future of online consulting. Co-sponsored by the Fuqua School and Ernst & Young LLP, the project calls for student teams to work on-site at CBC and Midway Airlines-one of the nation’s fastest growing regional airline carriers, based at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Students will apply what they have learned in the classroom as they document how the local companies actually use and benefit from Ernie, which offers fast-growth companies a direct, electronic link to Ernst & Young’s professionals.

Subscribers use Ernie to post queries for Ernst & Young specialists about time-sensitive business issues in technology, strategic planning, human resources, business process improvement, corporate finance, accounting, real estate, personal finance and taxation. Those specialists tap into Ernst & Young’s internal knowledge network to deliver prompt answers to subscribers. The service also fosters a community environment where subscribers can learn from each other by monitoring key trends (in Ernie TrendWatch), or gain perspectives on how other companies are dealing with pressing business issues by reviewing the Ernie database of “previously asked questions.”

“While assisting local businesses to improve their performance and profitability is nothing new to Fuqua students, the ability to observe how a mid-sized firm leverages the Internet to solve problems and manage growth is a rare opportunity. Our teams will be able to work right alongside these early adopters of virtual business consulting and document how this revolutionary service is impacting competitiveness, productivity and profitability,” said Rex Adams, dean at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

“Most Fuqua MBA students are interested in careers with very large companies, investment banks, consulting organizations or going the entrepreneurial route. With an Ernie focus on emerging growth companies, we can help students in a relatively untapped area: the mid-sized firm,” added Professor Preston C. Bottger, director of the joint Fuqua/Ernie project.

Brian Baum, Ernst & Young’s market development director of online consulting services, added: “We see this as a landmark project that will help determine the parameters of virtual consulting, which we see as a next generation of management consulting. The students will report how emerging growth companies use Ernie and how we might provide added dimensions.”

“Capitol Broadcasting Company originated the first high-power broadcast of ‘High Definition Television’ in the U.S. Being in the forefront of technological innovation presents many challenges to our industry and our business. We believe the service concept of Ernie could provide a means of leveraging the experience of Ernst & Young into the day-to-day challenges we face, and streamline our decision-making process.” said James F. Goodmon, chief executive officer of Capitol Broadcasting Company.

The project is expected to run through May. The students will spend approximately 10-15 hours per month at each company and will have access to Ernie around the clock.

The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University was founded in 1970. Fuqua’s mission is to provide the highest quality education for business and academic leaders and to promote the advancement of the understanding and practice of management through research. Visit the school’s World Wide Web site at http://www.fuqua.duke.edu.

Ernst & Young LLP provides assurance and advisory business services, tax services and consulting for domestic and global clients. The firm has 29,000 people in 87 cities.

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