Information System that is supposed to be developed at the Alberta-based company is meant for serving four main purposes.
- Website: The Website and many others are meant for providing customers access to basic company marketing information.
- Intranets: The Intranet in the company is meant for its employees. They are given access to online information but behind the firewall.
- Extranets: The Extranet has been developed for business partners. Through this, they can access online information again behind the firewall.
- Marketplaces: The trading communities irrespective of their location have been linked with another one so that the whole business can also be conducted online.
The system integrated with the internet would have its utility impacting the business chain; both in and outside of the company. It would help the company to have better efficiency and at the same time allow better use of capital. It led to eliminating waste and enabling it to build and deliver products to customer specifications. Information Technology Services in the company can be made available at four centers. The four proposed centers are Application management Center, Application Services, Accelerated Implementation center and finally in Accelerated Solution Center. The strategy over here is to make the company’s information and knowledge repository accessible to its employees has made knowledge management feasible through information processing. The Systems Integration Center (SIC) will serve the purpose of improving their communication and systems processes. These efforts actually explore options for all possible products and services that will enhance the work environment. With the intention of proper knowledge management, the company could make all knowledge and information accessible to its employees.
For further improvement, on SIC recommendation, the company can be made PC conferencing possible through Microsoft NetMeeting 2.0. This actually makes real-time data conferencing over their corporate intranet and employees worldwide now have the option to work together over the corporate intranet as if everyone were in the same room. Now everything like application sharing, electronic whiteboard, file transfer and text-based chat can be shared irrespective of distance and location. The multipoint data conferencing can also help workgroups to collaborate without leaving their offices. The company can now effectively maintain communications among employees in offices with real-time data communication. The company now has the option to effectively communicate with team members at local and remote locations. The Architecture for Technology and Development (ATAD) summit organized is to be held through multipoint data conferencing thereby causing an extraordinary reduction in the cost of holding the summit. The company’s wide area network can also serve as their intranet with computers being connected to this network. The hosts at those places are responsible for making other locations connected to the main network. All this led to amazing results. Since there were no travel restrictions, more than fifty team members can actually attend the conference.
The connectivity factor in this case serves three forms of purposes. They are B2B, B2E and finally B2C. B2B is meant for streamlining the supply chain while B2E is meant for engaging the workforce. Connectivity to these places can be achieved through VPN as well as secure TCP IP mode. The VPN technology or Virtual Private Network Technology is a private network communication technology used within the company with message transmission being confidentially or securely done over a publicly accessible network. Security in the network can be maintained through the authentication system. Any access to the network or server will require approval from the firewall. A firewall is basically a system that checks the access right of the user. The access rights are assigned by the system administrator and the firewall compares the access right of the client intending to get into the network with the list or database already provided to it by the administrator. This technology makes the network secure and also gives an option to authorized users to access the network through the proper channel at either end of the network.
The Company would require the implementation of a common infrastructure for supporting Enterprise Application Integration and B2B with the help of IBM. The new system architecture has space for both new and old technology. It will actually integrate the existing applications present both inside and outside the organization. This collaboration has been for the purpose of developing the next level of Web services development and runtime capability. The whole new architecture will cater to common services for security and Web service management. The shortcomings present in traditional point-to-point cross-application data exchange interface strategies and tightly coupled application integration have been rectified and have evolved to an enterprise-wide real-time system.
The other thing which is making its round is the eRoom solution. The eRoom solution can make it possible for the same to offer security and flexibility across the entire enterprise while integrating the latest technology with the company’s existing technology infrastructure. The e-room professionals under the supervision of SIC have to be designed as a self-service ASP model to deliver eRoom to the internal customers and the extended enterprise teams. This eRoom technology actually helps the organization in deploying collaborative applications for improving the quality of its product and finally can maximize the operational efficiencies and manage them cost-effectively. Through eRoom essential activities like sharing and collaboration on product documents and project history management and conflict resolution were possible just at the click of a button. This eRoom also eliminates the need of updating the project website for making the development process available for others to access. These things are now available through a 2-way communication process and in case of emergency will be done during real-time data transfer. Some of the basic features associated with this technology are cost-saving, time-saving reduced IT costs and finally reduced Co-location costs. The increased data sharing and process data flow integration and speed of accessing documents save several Man-hours. The Co-location costs are greatly reduced with a reduction in travel costs and less need for relocation costs. Finally, the auxiliary expenditures in form of printing of documents, audio and video-conferencing, and information transmission can now be reduced to the minimum possible range.
B2C is meant for taking the business to the customer. The customer will have to use the Internet for accessing information. The company’s B2C approach will depend on web technologies based on XML, JAVA, DRDA and CGI. This Internet is a distributed network system. The main feature of this system is that though it is a network and a collection of wired computers with the clients being independent computers. But still, the whole system appears as a single coherent system. And the concept of the World Wide Web is that the whole information and data it possesses has been made public in form of documents. Things can be accessed through a website. The website is being connected through servers with the purpose of reciprocating according to the need of the user or client. A web page can be active as well as passive. Passive web pages just contain information while the active ones are interactive. Web pages like that of e-mail service providers are active.
The intention of the above-mentioned Information System is to use the potential of the internet to energize the company’s sales and services as well as to build excellent communication and relationships with customers, and service providers. The IT-based customer knowledge system plays a very important role in proper communication between the company and the customer and at the same time perfect product delivery. The customer data is being taken through different channels. It can be through a dealer or call center or internet or any other means. The Customer Knowledge System stores this data in an interactive database. This data is again transferred to the analytical database. The data is then analyzed through customer analysis tools and expert analytical resources. The adherence to customer demand is quite necessary so that the customer can be retained for further sales. The current business environment demands efficient use of IT in maintaining transparency within the company and at the same time active use of the World Wide Web in getting into new markets and opportunities. The system which has been proposed will help the company in the maximum possible use of the network by making everything available at all PCs connected to the network and at the same time gives the option of accessing the same through the internet to have remote access. With the company’s website, new people will come to know about Company and at the same time the expected collaborators will also be made aware of the importance company gives to the latest technology including IT.