Research Expertise: Technology management, management information systems, economics of information technology industry, pricing and product design decisions, management decision technologies
Professor Bhargava is an expert in technology management and the information technology industry. He also studies the use of IT in clinical health care, and has previously worked on data-driven and analytical decision making in organizations.
Bhargava’s research in technology management highlights distinctive characteristics of technology goods and their impact on specific elements of operations, marketing, and competitive strategy. Competition in technology products—including information goods, online services, software, electronic gadgets, the media and entertainment industry, and alternative energy—is often driven by distinctive economic forces on both the supply side (e.g., their unique cost structures) and the demand side (e.g., the prominence of network effects as a source of value creation).
His recent work in this area examines various elements of competitive strategy for such products, including pricing strategies, revenue models, product design and product mix strategies, technological compatibility and interoperability, bundling and supply chain considerations. He has applied this research in areas such as search advertising, telecommunication services, IT outsourcing and entertainment and media industries.
Bhargava earned a Ph.D. in Information Systems, Operations, and Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and a B.S. in Mathematics from Delhi University.
Multi-Platform Access to Digital Content
“Multi-Platform Access to Digital Content,” Inaugural Platform Strategy Research Symposium, Boston, MA 2013
Sellers of digital content such as media, entertainment, software, and other information goods, are grappling with new selling strategies because consumers today want the same content multiple times on multiple devices. Content providers have responded with different strategies, ranging from independent pricing on each platform to a single price for access to all platforms.
Salesforce Compensation with Network Effects
“Salesforce Compensation under Network Effects”, Workshop on Information Systems Economics (WISE), Dallas, TX, 2015
This paper examines the management problem of “selling” platforms, i.e., designing appropriate salesforce management and incentives schemes to obtain participation by paying customers. The paper shows that network effects increase not only the mean, but also the variance of the performance metrics used to compensate sales agents.
Versioning and Launch Timing for Platform Technologies
“Platform technologies and network goods: insights on product launch and management”, Information Technology and Management 15.3 (2014), pp. 199–209, ISSN: 1385-951X
The article examines the tension between growth and profitability for network goods (such as Skype, Dropbox, Facebook, smart phone platforms, etc.). It discusses various levers of control available to the firm including managing product design and the intensity of network effects, managing the timing of product announcement vs. actual product release, selecting the target market for initial product launch, and whether to sell a single version or an expanded product line.
The Move to Smart Mobile and its Implications for Antitrust Analysis of Online Markets
UC Davis Business Law Journal
The paper studies shifts in Internet activity on two dimensions, the devices used and medium for Internet access. Online markets have changed as people shift massively from using personal computers and browsers to using technologically powerful mobile devices and apps. These changes vary within countries and in particular between countries based on their stage of development.
Hemant K. Bhargava
Co-Authors: Julia Tanghetti
Professor Hemant Bhargava on SiriusXM says the Verizon-AOL deal represents further vertical consolidation in media and communications–big players are covering all the pieces, the pipes and the content.
Professor Hemant K. Bhargava
Co-authors: N.V. Ramanan, University of California Davis
Professor Hemant Bhargava
Professor Hemant Bhargava
Co-Authors: D. Sun, University of Notre Dame and B.C. Kim, Graduate School of Management of Technology, Sogang University
Professor Hemant Bhargava
Co-Authors: A. Bagh, University of Kentucky
From computer software to fast food meals to vacation packages, the practice of bundling—offering two or more products or services together as a combined product—has worked very well for companies to give customers a simple, discounted option.
Apple’s relationship with Google recently reached a new low. The Cupertino, California, company announced it would drop Google Maps from the iPhone in favor of its own software and retire the YouTube app from the start screen of its mobile devices. The direction that both tech companies are headed—toward greater reliance on mobile computing for their revenue—is setting them up for a long-term fight over the same technological turf.
High-tech firms should aggressively market multiple product versions at the same time, the way Apple did with the iPhone and iPod Touch, both to attract early adopters and to build a network of application developers, according to research by Professor Hemant Bhargava.
The Benefit of Information Asymmetry: When to Sell to Informed Customers?
Decision Support Systems, 2012
Buyers are often uncertain about product valuations before they commit to purchase. In such situations, firms have an opportunity to influence the accuracy with which buyers can estimate their valuations. When buyers are uncertain about the product’s fit with their personal preferences, firms can help resolve this uncertainty by offering product previews, sampling, trials or return guarantees.
Economists have a name for the cues companies employ to convey their hidden strength: signaling. This article quotes Professor Hemant Bhargava, who studies marketing and competitive strategy in technology products.
This article about the helpfulness of electronic medical records (EMRs) cites Professor Hemant Bhargava’s research that examined exactly how EMRs impacted doctor productivity.
Launching Multiple Products to Attract Both Consumers and Application Developers Key to Tech Firm Success, UC Davis Study Says
(Davis, CA) — High-tech firms should market multiple product versions at the same time, such as Apple did with the iPhone and iPod Touch, both to attract early adopters and build a network of individuals and companies that develop applications, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis.
Computational Modeling and Problem Solving in the Networked World: Interfaces in Computer Science and Operations Research
Edited by Professor Hemant Bhargava and co-editor Nong Ye of Arizona State University, the first section of Computational Modeling and Problem Solving in the Networked World, “Perspectives on Computation,” focuses on the reflective and integrative thinking that is critical to contemporary science. This section presents philosophical perspectives on computation, covering a variety of traditional and newer modeling, solving, and explaining mathematical models.
The “Machine Learning & Heuristics” section includes articles that study machine learning and computational heuristics, and is followed by the “Algorithm Performance” section that addresses issues in performance testing of solution algorithms and heuristics. These two sections demonstrate the richness of thinking about solution methods that is made possible by the confluence of Computer Science and Operations Research.
Watson’s New Job: IBM Salesman
The Jeopardy-playing computer pays its way by helping to sell products
In this article, Professor Hemant Bhargava was asked about how IBM might market their Watson supercomputer, the artificial intelligence system that last February beat two Jeopardy! champions. IBM has said Watson would soon help doctors diagnose illnesses and maybe help out on the sales floor.
Dean Steven C. Currall of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management is pleased to announce that Associate Dean and Professor of Management and Computer Science Hemant Bhargava has been named the Jerome J. and Elsie Suran Chair in Technology Management
- Jerome J. and Elsie Suran Chair in Technology Management, UC Davis Graduate School of Management, 2011.
- Best Paper Award, eBusiness Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Paper No. 88, Austin, Tex., November 7-10, 2010.
- Gallagher Research Fellow, UC Davis Graduate School of Management, 2009-10.
- Fellow, eBusiness Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, 2001-03.
- Menneken Award for Excellence in Research, Naval Postgraduate School, 1998.
- Best Paper Award, Thirtieth Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (Advanced Technology Track), Paper No. 75, Maui, HI, January 7-10, 1997.
- Best Paper Award, Fifth International Workshop on Information Technologies and Systems, Paper No. 79, Amsterdam, Netherlands, December 9-10, 1995.
We are strengthening our internationally ranked UC Davis MBA program by launching a new, innovative curriculum this fall that further integrates globalization, responsible business ethics and sustainability.
Google’s confrontation with the Chinese government over search engine results and user data won the web giant public relations points—and ultimately allowed it to remain active in China. Until Google’s stand, Western Internet firms acquiesced to the Chinese government’s censorship demands.
“These laws ostensibly cover things such as vulgar content, but in practice involve suppression of ‘subversive’ content (typically, content of political nature),” Professor Hemant Bhargava said in a commentary in the March issue of Chartered Financial Analyst, a leading business magazine in India.
In a cover story for one of India’s leading business magazines, Professor Hemant Bhargava explores the impact of the recently adopted Mobile Number Portability (MNP) policy in India and how it will change the purchase behavior of mobile subscribers and the product and marketing strategies of mobile operators.
Professor Hemant Bhargava says the practice he and others researched adopted an EMR system that made tasks associated with treating sick patients — such as reviewing radiological images, notes from previous visits and charts of test data — more efficient. But tasks associated with well visits, such as data entry, were made more cumbersome and time-consuming for physicians who were used to quickly jotting down notes with a pen and paper.
The introduction of electronic medical records in hospitals and clinics — dubbed the “silver bullet” of health care reform — appears to have varying effects on different types of primary care physicians, a UC Davis GSM study led by Professor Hemant Bhargava has found.
“The Netflix iPhone application has worked out well for me over the iPad,” said Professor and Associate Dean Hemant Bhargava of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. Professor Bhargava teaches digital technology strategy and said he likes the Netflix application on the iPad, but is skeptical about the iPhone version.
AT&T’s new data plans for iPads, iPhones and other smart phones may alienate some average users, said Professor Hemant Bhargava. “Since normal users do not know how much data they will consume, they feel forced to pick the higher-priced plans, in order to avoid the very expensive overage charges,” he said. “AT&T needs a way to ‘throttle’ or ‘choke’ heavy users without hurting everyone else.”
On the 10th anniverary of the founding of Google, ANALYST, the flagship publication of the Institute for Chartered Financial Analysts of India, published in its November issue an interview with Professor Hemant Bhargava about the search engine giant’s business and its “phenomenal rise” as one of the most recognized brands in the world.
Pricing Under Quality of Service Uncertainty: Market Segmentation via Statistical QoS Guarantees
European Journal of Operational Research, 2008
This article by Professor Hemant Bhargava and co-author Daewon Sun at the University of Notre Dame examines how performance-contingent pricing schemes with long-term statistical performance guarantees can be applied to many IT services. The authors study two forms of performance-contingent pricing, with rebate proportional to failure rate and fixed rebate for below-threshold performance. The study shows that threshold-performance contingency pricing can increase both profits and fairness (customers who receive higher benefits pay higher effective price) relative to standard pricing.
This paper by Professor Hemant Bhargava and Vidyanand Choudhary from UC Irvine provides insights about when versioning is an optimal strategy for information goods. The authors’ characterization of this class of goods is that variable costs are invariant with quality, including the special case of zero variable costs. This paper’s analysis assumes a monopoly firm that has an existing product in the market and has an opportunity to segment the market by introducing additional lower-quality versions.
In October Professor Hemant Bhargava presented a talk titled “Economics of Information Structure: Timing the Sale when Buyers Have Uncertain Product Valuations,” at the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at UC Berkeley.
World Wide Web technologies have transformed the design, development, implementation and deployment of decision support systems. This article by Professor Hemant Bhargava and co-authors Daniel Power of the University of Northern Iowa and Daewon Sun of the University of Notre Dame reviews and summarizes recent technology developments, current usage of Web-based DSS, and trends in the deployment of such systems.
Professor Hemant Bhargava says that companies wanting to deter unprofitable customers intentionally create setbacks that impair the quality of service for those users. Netflix, America Online and FedEx have used this strategy, which is common in the technology industries, where firms offer all-you-can-eat pricing menus.
Implementing Sponsored Search in Web Search Engines: Computational Evaluation of Alternative Mechanisms
INFORMS Journal on Computing, 2007
The practice of sponsored search advertising—where advertisers pay a fee to appear alongside particular Web search results—is now one of the largest and fastest growing source of revenue for Web search engines. In this paper, Professor Hemant Bhargava and co-authors Juan Feng of the University of Florida and David M. Pennock of Yahoo, Inc. model and compare several mechanisms for allocating sponsored slots, including stylized versions of those used by Overture and Google, the two biggest brokers of sponsored search.
Stockout Compensation: Joint Inventory and Price Optimization in Electronic Retailing
INFORMS Journal on Computing, 2006
Delays in product availability are common in e-commerce where electronic retailers try to manage with very low inventories. While this lowers inventory costs, the negative effect of increased stockouts is to reduce net demand for the product. in this paper, Professor Hemant Bhargava and co-authors Daewon Sun of the University of Notre Dame and Susan H.
This by Professor Hemant Bhargava and his co-authors specifies an efficient numerical scheme for computing optimal dynamic prices in a setting where the demand in a given period depends on the price in that period, cumulative sales up to the current period, and remaining market potential. The problem is studied in a deterministic and monopolistic context with a general form of the demand function.
America OnLine’s Internet Access Service: How to Deter Unwanted Customers
Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 2005
Some dial-up Internet access providers, such as the market leader America OnLine (AOL), require customers to install proprietary connection software to use their service. This is puzzling, because while the software helps certain users, it creates disutility for others (especially expert users and early adopters of Internet service). Why, then, does AOL insist on this connection manager? Why not also offer a standardized service with Internet access and AOL-managed service to the power users?
Computing as Utility: Managing Availability, Commitment, and Pricing Through Contingent Bid Auctions
Journal of Management Information Systems, 2004
Enabled by advances in grid and network computing architectures for the delivery of on-demand computing services, the vision of an e-services economy in which computing will be as ubiquitous as a utility is becoming a possibility in business computing. The successful introduction of these new computing models requires the development of appropriate pricing mechanisms that are consistent with the enabling technologies.
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) accomplishes its mission “to put the right Marine in the right place at the right time with the right skills and quality of life” in various ways. One of these is a recruit distribution modeling (RDM) and information system that assigns new recruits to entry-level schools, thereby determining the entire career paths.