Friday, September 20, 2013

Chapter 13 - Creating Innovative Organization

Disruptive Technology
  • Digital Darwinism- implies that organizations that cannot adapt to the new demands placed on them for surviving in the information age are doomed to extinction. 

Disruptive versus sustaining technology
  • Disruptive technology- new ways of doing things that initially does not meet the needs of existing customers.
  • Sustaining technology- produces an improved product customers are eager to buy, such as faster car or larger hard drive.
          - It provides us with better, faster, and cheaper products in established markets.

Disruptive and Sustaining Technologies
  • Disruptive technologies typically cut into the low end of the marketplace and eventually evolve to displace high-end competitors and their reigning technologies. 

The Internet- Business Disruption
Evolution of the internet
  • Internet- a global public network of computer networks that pass information from one to another using common computer protocols.
  •  Protocols- are the standards that specify the format of data as well as the rules to be followed during transmission.
  • Internet Engineering Task Force (IEFT) - the protocol engineering and development arm of the internet.
  • Internet Architecture Board (IAB)- responsible for defining the overall architecture of the Internet, providing guidance and broad direction to the IETF). 
  • Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG)- responsible for technical management of IETF activities and the internet standards process.

Evolution of the World Wide Web

  • The internet was restricted to noncommercial activities, and its users included government employees, researchers, university professors, and students. The World Wide Web changed the purpose and use of the internet.
  • World Wide Web (WWW)- a global hypertext system that uses the internet as its transport mechanism.
  • Hypertext transport protocol (HTTP)- the internet standard that supports the exchange of information on the WWW. 
           - It enables web authors to embed hyperlinks in web documents        
           - It defines the  process by which a web client, called a browser, originates a request for information and sends it to a web server, a program designed to respond to HTTP requests and provide the desired information.

 Reasons for World Wide Web Growth:
  • The microcomputer revolution made it possible for an average person to own a computer. 
  • Advancements in networking hardware, software, and made it media possible for business PCs to be inexpensively connected to larger networks.
  • Browser software such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator gave computer users an easy-to-use graphical interface to find, download, and display web pages.
  • The speed, convenience, and low cost of email have made it an incredibly popular tool for business and personal communications. 
  • Basic web pages are easy to create and extremely flexible.
  • Digital divide- is when those with access to technology have great advantages over those without access to technology

Internet’s Impact on Information
  • Easy to compile- searching for information on products, prices, customers, suppliers, and partners is faster and easier when using the internet. 
  • Increased richness- information richness refers to the depth and breadth of information transferred between customers and businesses. Businesses and customers can collect and track more detailed information when using the internet.
  • Increased reach- information reach refers to the number of people a business can communicate with, on a global basis. Businesses can share information with numerous customers all over the world.
  • Improved content- a key element of the internet is its ability to provide dynamic relevant content. Buyers need good content descriptions to make informed purchases, and sellers use content to properly market and differentiate themselves from the competition. Content and product description establish the common understanding between both parties to the transaction. As a result, the reach and richness of that content directly affects the transaction. 

File Formats Offere
d over the WWW.Web 2.0

  • A set of economic, social, and technology trends that collectively from the basis for the next generation of the internet- a more mature, distinctive medium characterized by user participation, openness, and network effects. 
  • It is more than just the latest technology buzzword; it is a transformative force that is catapulting companies across all industries toward a new war of performing business.

Chapter 12 - Integrating The Organization From The End To End - Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

  • It serves as the organization’s backbone in providing fundamental decision making support.
  • It enables people in different business areas to communicate. 
  • ERP system helps an organization to obtain operational efficiencies, lower costs, improve supplier and customer relations, and increase revenues and market share.
  • The heart of an ERP system is a central database that collects information from and feeds information into all the ERP system’s individual application components (called modules), supporting diverse business function such as accounting, manufacturing, marketing, and human resources. 
  •  ERP automates business processes such as order fulfillment- taking an order from a customer, shipping the purchase, and then billing for it. 
ERP Integration Data Flow 
ERP Process Flow 

Bringing the Organization Together 

  •  ERP enables employees across the organization to share information across a single, centralized database.
  • With extended portal capabilities, an organization can also involve its suppliers and customers to participate in the workflow process, allowing ERP to penetrate the entire value chain, and help the organization achieve greater operational efficiency.
Organization before ERP 
ERP- Bringing the Organization Together 

The Evolution of ERP 

Although ERP solutions were developed to deliver automation across multiple units of an organization, to help facilitate the manufacturing process and address issues such as raw materials, inventory, order entry, and distribution, ERP was unable to extend to other functional areas of the company such as sales, marketing, and shipping. It could not tie to any CRM capabilities that would allow organizations to capture customer-specific information, nor did it work with websites or portals used for customer service or order fulfillment

Integrating SCM, CRM, and ERP

Integration of SCM, CRM, and ERP is the key to success for many companies. Integration allows the unlocking of information to make it available to any user, anywhere, anytime. 2 main competitors in ERP market: 
1.    Oracle 
2.    Sap

Primary Users and Business Benefits of Strategic Initiatives.
Integration Tools

  • An integrated enterprise infuses support areas, such as finance and human resources, with a strong customer orientation. 
  • Integration are achieved using:  
* Middleware- several different types of software that sit in the middle of and provide connectivity between two or more software applications. It translates information between disparate systems.
* Enterprise application integration (EAI) middleware- represents a new approach to middleware by packaging together commonly used functionality, such as providing prebuilt links to popular enterprise applications, which reduces the time necessary to develop solutions that integrate applications from multiple vendors.

 Integration between SCM, CRM, and ERP Applications.

  • Companies run on independent applications, such as SCM, CRM, and ERP. If one application performs poorly, the entire customer value delivery system is affected.
Enterprise Resource Planning’s Explosive Growth:

Reasons of ERP being proven to be such a powerful force:

  • ERP is a logical solution to the mess of incompatible applications that had sprung up in most businesses. 
  • ERP addresses the need for global information sharing and reporting.
  • ERP is used to avoid the pain and expense of fixing legacy systems
To qualify as a true ERP solution, the system not only must integrate various organization processes, but also must be:

  •  Flexible- an ERP system should be flexible in order to respond to the changing needs of an enterprise. 
  • Modular and open- an ERP system has to have open system architecture, meaning that any module can be interfaced with or detached whenever required without affecting the other modules. The system should support multiple hardware platforms for organizations that have a heterogeneous collection of systems. It must also support third- party add-on components. 
  •  Comprehensive- an ERP system should be able to support a variety of organizational functions and must be suitable for a wide range of business organizations. 
  •  Beyond the company- an ERP system must not be confined to organizational boundaries but rather support online connectivity to business partners or customers.
Everyone involved in sourcing, producing, delivering the company’s product works with the same information, which eliminates redundancies, cuts wasted time, and removes misinformation.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Chapter 19 – Outsourcing in the 21st Century


Ø  Insourcing (in-house-development) – A common approach using the professional expertise within an organization to develop and maintain the organization’s information technology systems
Outsourcing – An arrangement by which one organization provides a service or services for another organization that chooses not to perform them in-house

Ø  Onshore outsourcing – engaging another company within the same country for services
Ø  Near shore outsourcing – contracting an outsourcing arrangement with a company in a nearby country
Ø  Offshore outsourcing – using organizations from developing countries to write code and develop systems

Ø  Big selling point for offshore outsourcing “inexpensive good work”

Ø  Factors driving outsourcing growth include;
§  Core competencies
§  Financial savings
§  Rapid growth
§  Industry changes
§  The Internet
§  Globalization

Ø  According to PricewaterhouseCoopers “Businesses that outsource are growing faster, larger and more profitable than those that do not”
Ø  Most organizations outsource their noncore business functions, such as payroll and IT


Ø  Outsourcing benefits include;
§  Increased quality and efficiency
§  Reduced operating expenses
§  Outsourcing non-core processes
§  Reduced exposure to risk
§  Economies of scale, expertise and best practices
§  Access to advanced technologies
§  Increased flexibility
§  Avoid costly outlay of capital funds
§  Reduced headcount and associated overhead expense
§  Reduced time to market for products or services


Ø  Outsourcing challenges include;
§  Contract length
1.       Difficulties in getting out of a contract
2.       Problems in foreseeing future needs
3.       Problems in reforming an internal IT department after the contract is finished
§  Competitive edge
§  Confidentiality
§  Scope definition 

Chapter 15 – Creating Collaborative Partnerships


Ø  Organizations create and use teams, partnerships and alliances to;
§  Undertake new initiatives
§  Address both minor and major problems
§  Capitalize on significant opportunities
Ø  Organizations create teams, partnerships and alliances both internally with employees and externally with other organizations
Ø  Collaboration system – supports the work of teams by facilitating the sharing and flow of information

Information partnerships with other organizations

Ø  Organizations from alliance and partnerships with other organizations based on their core competency
§  Core competency – An organization’s key strength, a business function that it does better than any of its competitors
§  Core competency strategy – Organization chooses to focus specifically on its core competency and forms partnerships with other organizations to handle nonstrategic business processes
Ø  Information technology can make a business partnership easier to establish and manage
§  Information partnerships – Occurs when two or more organizations cooperate by integrating their IT systems, thereby providing customers with the best of what each can offer
Ø  The internet has dramatically increased the ease and availability for IT – enabled organizational alliance and partnerships


Ø  Collaboration solves specific business tasks such as telecommuting, online meetings, deploying applications, and remote project and sales management
Ø  Collaboration system – An IT- based set of tools that supports the work of teams by facilitating the sharing and flow of information.
Ø  Two categories of collaboration
1.       Unstructured collaboration (information collaboration) – includes document exchange, shared whiteboards, discussion forums, and email.
2.       Structured collaboration (process collaboration) – involves shared participation in business processes such as workflow in which knowledge is hard-coded as rules

Collaborative business functions 

Ø  Collaboration systems include;
§  Knowledge management systems
§  Content management systems
§  Workflow management systems
§  Groupware systems


Ø  Knowledge management (KM) – involves capturing, classifying, evaluating, retrieving and sharing information assets in a way that provides context for effective decisions and actions
Ø  Knowledge management system – supports the capturing and use of an organization’s “know-how”


Ø  Intellectual and knowledge-based assets fall into two categories;
1.       Explicit knowledge – consists of anything that can be documented, archived, and codified, often with the help of IT
2.       Tacit knowledge – knowledge contained in people’s heads

Ø  The following are two best practices for transferring or recreating tacit knowledge
1.       Shadowing – less experienced staff observe more experienced staff to learn how their more experienced counterparts approach their work
2.       Joint problem solving – a novice and expert work together on a project

Reasons why organizations launch knowledge management programs 


Ø  Content management system (CMS) – provides tools to manage the creation, storage, editing and publication of information in a collaborative environment
Ø  CMS marketplace includes;
§  Document management system (DMS)
§  Digital assets management system (DAM)
§  Web content management system (WCM)


Ø  Wikis – web-based tools that make it easy for users to add, remove, and change online content
Ø  Business wikis – collaborative web pages that allows users to edit documents, share ideas or monitor the status of a project


Ø  Work activities can be performed in series or in parallel that involves people and automated computer systems
Ø  Workflow – defines all the steps or business rules, from beginning to end, required for a business process
Ø  Workflow management system – facilitates the automation and management of business processes and controls the movement of work through the business process
Ø  Messaging-based workflow system – sends work assignments through an email system
Ø  Database-based workflow system – stores documents in a central location and automatically asks the team members to access the document when it is their turn to edit the document


Groupware technologies

Ø  Groupware – software that supports teams interaction and dynamics including calendaring, scheduling and videoconferencing 


Ø  Web conferencing – blends audio, video and document-sharing technologies to create virtual meeting rooms where people “gather” at a password-protected website


Ø  Video conference – A set of interactive telecommunication technologies that allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously 


Ø  Email is the dominant form of collaboration application, but real-time collaboration tools like instant messaging are creating a new communication dynamic
Ø  Instant messaging – types of communications service that enables someone to create a kind of private chat room with another individual to communicate in real-time over the internet
Ø  Instant messaging application 

Chapter 14 – E business


Ø  The internet is a powerful channel that presents new opportunities for organization to;
§  Touch customers
§  Enrich products and services with information
§  Reduce costs

Ø  How do ecommerce and e business differ?
§  Ecommerce – the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet
§  E business – the conducting of business on the internet including, not only buying and selling, but also serving customers and collaborating with business partners

Industries Using E business 


Ø  E business model – An approach to conducting electronic business on the Internet 

Business-to-Business (B2B)

Ø  Electronic marketplace (E market place) – interactive business communities providing a central market where multiple buyers and sellers can engage in e business activities. 

Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

Ø  Common B2C e business models include;
§  E shop – A version of retail store where customers can shop at any hour of the day without leaving their home or office
§  E mall – consists of a number of e shops; it serves as a gateway through which a visitor can access other e shops

Ø  Business types;
§  Brick-and-mortar business
§  Pure-play business
§  Click-and-mortar business

Consumer-to-Business (C2B)

Ø is an example of a C2B e business model
Ø  The demand for C2B e business will increase over the next few years due to customer’s desire for greater convenience and lower prices

Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)

Ø  Online auctions
§  Electronic auction (E auction) – Sellers and buyers solicit consecutive bids from each other and prices are determined dynamically
§  Forward auction – Sellers use as a selling channel to many buyers and the highest bid wins
§  Reverse auction – Buyers use to purchase a product or service, selecting the seller with the lowest bid

Ø  C2C communities include;
§  Communities of interest – People interact with each other on specific topics, such as golfing and stamps collecting
§  Communities of relations – People come together to share certain life experiences, such as cancer patients, senior citizens, and car enthusiasts
§  Communities of fantasy – People participate in imaginary environments, such as fantasy football teams and playing one-to-one with Michael Jordan


Ø  E business benefits include;
§  Highly accessible
§  Increased customer loyalty
§  Improved information content
§  Increased convenience
§  Increased global reach
§  Decreased cost

Ø  E business challenges include;
§  Protecting consumers
§  Leveraging existing systems
§  Increased liability
§  Providing security
§  Adhering to taxation rules

Ø  There are numerous advantages and limitations in e business revenue models including;
§  Transaction fees
§  License fees
§  Subscription fees
§  Value-added fees
§  Advertising fees


Ø  Web mash up – A Web site or Web application that uses content from more than one source to create a completely new services
§  Application programming interface (API) – A set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications
§  Mash up editor – WSYIWYGs (What You See Is What You Get) for mash ups 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chapter 11 – Building a Customer-Centric Organization – Customer Relationship Management


CRM enables an organization to;
Ø  Provide better customer service
Ø  Make call centers more efficient
Ø  Cross sell products more effectively
Ø  Helps sales staff close deals faster
Ø  Simplify marketing and sales processes
Ø  Discover new customers
Ø  Increase customer revenues


An organization can find its most valuable customers by using a formula that industry insiders call FRM;
Ø  How recently a customer purchased items (recency)
Ø  How frequently a customer purchased items (frequency)
Ø  How much a customer speeds on each purchased (monetary value)


CRM reporting technologies help organizations identify their customers across other applications. CRM analysis technologies help organizations segment their customers into categories such as best and worst customers. CRM predicting technologies help organizations predict customer behavior, such as which customers are at risk of leaving. 




Ø  Operational CRM – supports traditional transactional processing for day-to-day front-office operations or systems that deal directly with the customers
Ø  Analytical CRM – supports back-office operations and strategic analysis and includes all system that do not deal directly with the customers


CRM success factors include;
Ø  Clearly communicate the CRM strategy
Ø  Define information needs and flows
Ø  Build an integrated view of the customer
Ø  Implement in iterations
Ø  Scalability for organizational growth


Operational CRM and analytical CRM

Chapter 10 – Extending the Organization – Supply Chain Management


SCM – the management of information flows between and among stages in a supply chain to maximize total supply chain effectiveness and profitability
The supply chain has three main links.
1.       Materials flows from suppliers and their upstream suppliers at all levels
2.       Transformation of materials into semi-finished products, or the organization’s own production processes
3.       Distribution of products to customers and their downstream customers at all levels


 Information technology’s primary role in SCM is creating the integrations or tight process and information linkages between functions within a firm such as marketing, sales, finance, manufacturing, and distribution – and between firms, which allow the smooth, synchronized flow of both information and product between customers, suppliers and transportation providers across the supply chain


·         Supply Chain Visibility is the ability to view all areas up and down the supply chain. Changing supply chains requires a comprehensive strategy buoyed by information technology. Organizations can use technology tools that help them integrate upstream and downstream, with both customers and suppliers.
·         The bullwhip effect occurs when distorted product demand information passes from one entity to the next throughout the supply chain.


·         The behavior of customers has changed the way businesses complete. Customers will leave if a company does not continually meet their expectations. They are more demanding because they have information readily available, they know exactly what they want, and they know when and how they want it.
·         Demand planning software generates demand forecasts using statistical tools and forecasting techniques. Companies can respond faster and more effectively to consumer demands through supply chain enhancements such as demand planning software.
·         Once an organization understands customer demand and its effect on the supply chain it can begin to estimate the impact that its supply chain will have on its customers and ultimately the organization’s performance.


·         Supply chain planning (SCP) software uses advanced mathematical algorithms to improve the flow and efficiency of the supply chain while reducing inventory. SCP depends entirely on information for its accuracy.
·         Supply chain execution (SCE) software automates the different steps and stages of the supply chain. This could be as simple as electronically routing orders from a manufacturer to a supplier.


·         These systems raise the accuracy, frequency and speed of communication between suppliers and customers, as well as between internal users.
·         Another aspect of speed is the company’s ability to satisfy continually changing customer requirements efficiently, accurately and quickly.


·         To succeed in today’s competitive markets, companies must align their supply chain with the demands of the markets they serve.
·         Supply chain performance is now a distinct competitive advantage for companies proficient in the SCM area.


The hardest part of any SCM system is its complexity because a large part of the system extends beyond the company’s walls. Not only will the people in the organization need to change the way they work, but also the people from each supplier that is added to the network must change. Be sure suppliers are on board with the benefits that the SCM system will provide.


Operations people typically deal with phone calls, faxes and orders scrawled on paper and will most likely want to keep it that way. Unfortunately, an organization cannot disconnect the telephones and fax machines just because it is implementing a supply chain management system. If the organization cannot convince people that using the software will be worth their time, they will easily find ways to work around it, which will quickly decrease the changes of success for the SCM system.


It is important to select SCM software that gives organizations an advantage in the areas most crucial to their business success. If the organizational goals support highly efficient strategies, be sure the supply chain design has the same goals.


Design the development of the SCM system in incremental phases. For instance, instead of installing a complete supply chain management system across the company and all suppliers at once, start by getting it working with a few key suppliers, and then move on to the other suppliers. Along the way, make sure each step is adding value through improvements in the supply chain’s performance. While a big-picture perspective is vital to SCM success, the incremental approach means the SCM system should be implemented in digestible bites and also measured for success one step at a time.


The supply chain design must anticipate the future state of the business. Because the SCM system likely will last for many more years than originally planned, managers need to explore how flexible the systems will be when (not if) changes are required in the future. The key is to be certain that the software will meet future needs, not only current needs.