Article “Designing Business Models for Cloud Platforms” published in the Information Systems Journal (ISJ)

We are proud to announce that the manuscript “Designing Business Models for cloud platforms” co-authored by Andrea Giessmann and Christine Legner has been published in the Information Systems Journal (ISJ). ISJ is one of the top IS management journals and  part of the Senior Scholars’ Basket of Journals.
Abstract: Platform as a service (PaaS) has become a strategic option for software vendors who expect to benefit from value co-creation with partners by developing complementary components and applications. In reality, however, established and new software vendors are battling to redefine their offering to embrace PaaS. They face the challenges of transforming, configuring and calibrating their PaaS business models to align them with existing business models, customer expectations and competitive pressures. This motivates our research question: How can software providers design viable business models for PaaS? Our study develops a design theory for PaaS business models. This theory is grounded on a 12-month action design research study at one of the largest global software companies (here called Alpha) with mixed PaaS experiences in the past. Our primary research contribution is a set of design principles that guide software providers to define a viable PaaS business model in order to create a flourishing software ecosystem for their cloud platform. By synthesizing prescriptive knowledge related to business model design for emerging cloud platforms, our study advances PaaS research towards the existing body of research on software platforms and business models.

The full article is available here.


Clément Labadie joins the BISA team as doctoral researcher

On March 1, 2016 Clément Labadie joined the BISA team as doctoral researcher.

Clément received a Bachelor of Law from the University of Neuchâtel as well as a Master of Law in Legal Issues, Crime and Security of Information Technologies from the University of Lausanne. He conducted his master thesis on the topic of credit card fraud, using a forensic crime analysis approach to study security measures and their effectiveness.

Clément is working in the Competence Center Corporate Data Quality. His research interests relate to integrating security and privacy concerns into corporate data architecture.

Digital Awards 2016 – HEC students advise jury on the most innovative IT projects

Presented for the first time on 14 January 2016, the Digital Awards pay tribute to the most innovative IT projects in French-speaking Switzerland, ranging from digital processing to cutting-edge technologies, as well as innovative approaches to their successful implementation. As part of its partnership with the Department of Information Systems of HEC Lausanne, Digital Circle, called on Master of Information Systems students to advise its jury on the type of innovations expected from an IT project. They were then asked to write an article on this subject for the magazine ICT Journal (February 2016 issue).

Active in French-speaking Switzerland since last year, Digital Circle is the brainchild of 13 CIOs representing the region’s economy. It offers a forum to all players in the world of digital innovation, be they IT managers, start-ups, IT vendors, professors or students. “We are proud and delighted that our students were able to take part in this difficult exercise. As an academic partner of Digital Circle, we’re making the most of this platform not only to dialogue with professionals, but also to develop the required skills for digital innovation,” notes Christine Legner, director of the Department of Information Systems at HEC Lausanne.


Open PhD positions in the BISA Research Lab

Starting early 2016, we have 2-3 open positions for research assistants (100%) in the Business Information Systems & Architecture (BISA) Research Lab.

Research assistants will work in close collaboration with industry partners on research projects related to one of the following topics:

  • Digital Transformation and the Future Workplace
  • Corporate Data Management in the Era of Big Data and Internet of Things
  • Enterprise Architecture Design and Strategic IT Planning

They will complete their PhD thesis in the doctoral program in Information Systems at HEC Lausanne. They will also be involved in teaching activities and support Bachelor / Master courses in information systems.

Starting date is between February and October 2016 and can be negotiated depending on the availability of the candidates.

What are the requirements?

Candidates should have a Master’s degree in Information Systems or related field and be willing to complete a doctoral thesis in one of the aforementioned research areas.

Further requirements are:

  • Knowledge and interest in business information systems and have experience with Web, mobile and/or database technologies,
  • Strong interest in designing innovative IT solutions for business and in conducting fieldwork inside organisations,
  • Fluency in English and French (some teaching responsibilities are in French); German is a plus,
  • Related practical experience and/or internships,
  • Good analytical and communication skills.

Why doing a PhD?

A PhD provides you with excellent career opportunities in academia and industry, as demonstrated by our alumnis.

Need more information?

Please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Christine Legner ( for any further information about these positions.

More information on HEC’s PhD Program in Information Systems and the admission criteria:

Two papers presented at the International Conference on Information Systems

Kenny Lienhard and Christine Legner attended the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) which was held from December 13 to 16 in Fort Worth, Texas, with more than 1,500 participants. They presented two full papers co-authored by BISA team members:

ICIS is the most prestigious academic conference in the Information Systems discipline, and provides a forum for networking and sharing of latest ideas and highest calibre scientific work amongst the IS profession. The ICIS Conference Proceedings are available for download in the AIS Electronic Library.

Start of SNF-funded research project on user preferences for cloud services

November 1, 2015 was the official starting date of the SNF-funded research project “Don’t Guess, Simulate! Understanding User Preferences for Cloud Services”.

The SNF project builds on findings from Andrea Giessmann’s dissertation and aims at improving our understanding of user preferences for cloud services in order to support their user-oriented design. More precisely, we aim to develop and validate a systematic approach for eliciting and analysing customer preferences for cloud services and simulating market reaction to variations in cloud service design. Our approach builds on adaptive choice-based conjoint analysis, which is a marketing research technique to analyze multi-dimensional user preferences. In the context of cloud services, it allows to measure the trade-offs between the functional and non-functional properties as well as economic and vendor-related aspects. The results of our research will comprise (1) a method component supporting requirements engineering for cloud services; and (2) two empirical studies of consumer preferences for two distinct types of cloud services.

If you are interested in knowing more about the project, please contact Dana Naous ( or Prof. Christine Legner (


Dana Naous joins the BISA team as doctoral researcher

On November 1, Dana Naous joined the BISA team as doctoral researcher. She completed a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Communication in the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) and a Master of Science in Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship in EPFL. She also worked at Philip Morris International for her Master thesis on “developing strategies towards a digital workplace”.

She currently works on the SNF-funded research project “Don’t Guess, Simulate”. The goal is to study user preferences for cloud services, in order to support their user-oriented design, using marketing research techniques.

HEC Lausanne wins the 7th ERPSim International Competition

For the second year running HEC Lausanne was the winning team at the international ERPSim competition, which brought together 18 universities and took place from 13 April to 17 June 2015. 

ERPSim is the name of the platform (developed by HEC Montreal) used on the HEC Business Game course. It is a simulation which allows students to put into practice different concepts taught during the first two years of the Bachelor programme.

The HEC Lausanne team took first place ahead of the Universities of Tampa and Cincinnati after two qualification rounds and a final, played in June. The team selected by HEC Lausanne took the laurels in the final, which was played as part of the HEC Business Game course two months earlier. The team consisted of Thomas Birbaum, Julien Cheseaux, Robin Granges and Mathieu Meylan. However because the competition rules stipulated only three players per team, one member had to pull out. Course assistant Thomas Boillat was the team’s coach.

For the HEC Lausanne team, it was a very rewarding experience: “One of the keys to our victory was meticulous preparation, which allowed us to take decisions very quickly based on game scenarios. It was also important not to panic, knowing as we did that we weren’t in front while the game was in progress.” The setting was slightly unusual in that the final began at 5:30pm in Canada, i.e. 11:30pm in Lausanne. “It felt very odd to be in the IT Teaching Centre so late at night!” remarked one of the participants.

Congratulations once again to the winners and a note in the diary for next year’s edition and the chance to make it three out of three!

HEC Business Game

Last Saturday, the 22 teams (12 managers and 20 investors) enrolled in the course HEC Business Game gave a presentation during which they analyzed the performance and the strategy they adopted during the final game that took place one week earlier. The course started in February with the goal to apply different concepts they have learned during the first 2.5 years of their Bachelor (e.g., accounting, marketing, operation, purchasing) and finished with the presentations. After an intense week in February, the students (88 in total) had about 2 months to prepare a strategy to conquer the market of Muesli. The two winning teams are:

  • For the managers: Groupe J with Thomas Birbaum, Robin Granges, Mathieu Meylan and Julien Cheseaux
  • For the investors: Group INV18 with Malik Briand, Jonathan Clément

The winning team of managers will defend the color of HEC Lausanne in the International ERPSim Competition that HEC Lausanne won last year.