[Cato] Testing Service Business Model - feedback request

Hsiao, Terence thsiao at cascadia.edu
Thu Dec 7 06:55:50 PST 2017

We've talked about how to set up a sustainable business model for the testing service. Before I dive into creating a roadshow slide deck (for commissions/WACTC) and the Excel model to create scenarios I wanted to run the basics by you for your feedback:


*         Colleges are beginning to take technology accessibility mandates seriously

*         Colleges have only a limited understanding of what it will cost to comply

*         Given a "fair deal" and a well-organized service colleges will pay for testing rather than taking advantage of the law to obtain the work of other institutions through public records requests

*         Incentives work and some colleges that have testing capacity that can benefit the "system"

Value proposition
By creating this service WCTC can reduce their compliance risk and their costs dramatically and become a national leader in technology accessibility.

Very Rough Pitch

*         We have to deal with OCIO #188, State Board Tech Accessibility Policy, OCR complaints etc.

*         You have to test your applications for accessibility to protect yourself - if someone finds the problem before you do, you will suffer financial and reputational damage (cite some examples and disruption)

*         It's a lot of work - just testing your top 100(?) software applications will take about XXX man hours or $XXX if you hire a third party tester

*         90% of the top 100 software  applications at your college are used at other WCTC colleges as well

*         If all WCTC schools get together and share testing we can cut our individual cost of testing by a factor of 30. Instead of a campus spending $300,000 on testing a campus can save $270,000 on testing if we follow a systems approach

*         We don't have the skills to do that testing ourselves yet.

*         We propose hiring third party testers to do the testing of the "core" applications that virtually all of us use.[Mark has some money to do this now]

*         How does this all get paid for?

*         An annual subscription fee for each school that covers the cost of testing the "core applications" and making the testing results easily accessible (we'd just put the price out there and compare it to going it alone, risks associated with doing so)

*         The subscription fee should go down over time the cost of testing the updates of core applications is not as great as the initial testing

*         Schools can reduce their subscription fee by testing applications; when a school tests an application and submits its results it will receive a financial credit against its subscription fee.

*         Faster, better, cheaper for all

*         Sign here

Business Model
Base subscription fee = Total cost of paying 3rd parties for testing X TBD margin factor: Can implement as a skim or based on # of participants

Testing credits - 5 different credit levels for testing, associated with degree of difficulty: amount TBD [relates to the margin factor]

Third Party Fees (Assuming we address legal/liability concerns) - Set at what the market will bear. OR take extend the WCTC model to all "Consortium members"

Feedback Request
Please share the issues you see with this approach . . . or tell me I'm on a good enough track to proceed with refining the argument and building out a financial model to illustrate how to pay for it and what the benefits would be for participants. Thanks!


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