This article talks about how Amazon’s Cloud is to host ERP software. Lawson software announced a partnership with Amazon. This will allow people to have a test drive for up to two weeks and you can use your own data and business processes. He proposes that he will not price the cloud to high. The sole purpose of the software is not to gain market share. People will be able to convert over to a subscription after the free trial is over. Lawson is a very popular ERP vendor who works with Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft.
1. Do you think it’s a good idea to give this software a trial run?
2. Do you think offering the trial run will lose revenue for Lawson because people may not subscribe?
3. Do you think Amazon is a good contender for this new software?
One of the topics discussed in chapter 9 is acquiring information systems. The book explains how companies acquire information systems from outsourcing. In the article, “Five Signs You Should Consider Outsourcing Your IT”, written by Diego Rosenfeld, the author talks about when the companies should consider outsourcing some or all of the components of their IT function. The reasons that companies are outsourcing IT function is to save money, improve performance, add scalability, and get access to strategic IT thinkers. The article points out five signs when the companies need outsourcing
1. Can’t keep up
Broader IT road map includes strategic thinking about issues like how to leverage the cloud and how to select and manage the highest-impact systems and project. Thus, the companies should consider outsourcing when they cannot keep up with technology changes.
The companies need more diverse IT skill sets as companies grow. Outsourcing will bring the companies broader spectrum of IT skills such as system analysts, database experts, report writers, help desk, system administrators and strategic thinkers.
There are limited talented IT resources and they are in high demand. For most of the companies, it is hard to retain talented IT resources internally and having only one person with key technical skills creates risk to the business. In the article, Diego says “external provider with scale and a track record of continuity mitigates the risk of a shallow internal resource pool. You’re not just buying a consultant, you’re buying a firm.” Thus, the companies can decrease their risks and increase their opportunities by outsourcing.
4.Performance and stability issues
The companies should consider outsourcing when the companies are having problems in recurring performances and stability issues with critical IT systems. Outsourcing will help the companies in managing IT systems with deeper expertise.
5.Around-the-clock and multi-location coverage
Many companies and their employees run around the clock and the globe, which means that you need IT resources available 24/7 year round and on-site for emergencies. By outsourcing IT, the companies can have service desks that run 24/7.
In summary, there are many inflection points that may lead organizations to outsource some or all of their IT functions, for example:
- Interruptions in service
- Departures of key personnel
- Expansion plans
- New strategic initiatives
As Diego says in the article, modern IT outsourcing providers provide skill, scale and strategic vision to help growing businesses focus on their business while they focus on running the IT foundation that makes it possible.
- Is there any other signs that the companies should consider outsourcing services?
- What are the other benefits of outsourcing IT services?
- What are the risks of outsourcing IT services?
The article I chose explains what some top futurists think may be the next up and coming technology advances in our society. The futurists are not just any old blogger, they are well-represented physicists, scientists, CEO’s, etc. Some top theories include
-A switch from the internet to the brain-net (where thoughts, feelings, emotions can be shared instantaneous)
-3D printing will be an asset businesses can utilize such as big warehouses that produce a large amount of products
-Virtual and augmented realities will be where we spend a considerable amount of our time.
-Wearable mobile devices will blanket the market.
-Predictive medicine will change health care
-Artificial intelligence becomes as smart and smarter than humans.
All these advances come from the on-demand economy that we live in today. This represents the automation of day-to-day activities can be simplified to make our lives easier. Examples such as Uber, the Amazon tab, etc. Access will trump ownership in the coming years.
The technologies are super cool, but how will they be institutionalized into our society and how society will react to upcoming changes in our technological advancements.
1.) What challenges will the ‘brain-net’ bring into the cyber security threats that we are currently starting do deal with as a society?
2.) What benefits may a 3D printer have for a retail business? Or challenges?
3.) How is Cyber Security going to be dealt with when as a society there are new hacking threats and technological advances happening so fast it may be hard to keep ahead?
Video of the On-Demand Revolution..
In Chapter 9, we learned about development and acquiring information systems. One form of this that affected nearly all of us over the past 22 years is the development of mobile applications. Below I listed a timeline, which I acquired from the article listed above, of just a few examples of the development of mobile applications from 1983 until today.
June 1983: Steve Jobs predicts a software distribution system at a conference in Aspen. He was quoted as saying “the future isn’t what it used to be”
January 1987: The Psion EPOC was released. This handheld computer used an operating system, which had basic applications such as a diary.
August 1993: Apple created the Newton MessagePad which contained built in apps such as web, e-mail, calendar, and address book.
November 1993: A Business Week article predicts “the future information appliances will instantly make the connections to a world of digitalized entertainment communications” and data on the superhighway or over the airwaves.
December 1997: The Nokia 6110 made an appearance. This device was the first phone to posses the game “Snake”, setting the bar for mobile games.
October 1999: Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) was introduced. This allowed users to access information over a mobile wireless network for the first time.
October 2001: Apple releases the first IPod that included apps such as solitaire and brick and offered “1,000 songs in your pocket”.
April 2003: Apple launches the ITunes Music Store., 1 million songs sell in the first week.
June 2007: Apple announces that developers can create Web 2.0 applications, which look and behave just like the applications built into the IPhone.
June 2007: The first IPhone is launched. 270,000 phones sold during the first 30 hours of sales.
July 2008: The App Store is launched. Originally there were 552 apps total and 135 of them were free.
September 2008: Apples App Store reaches 100 million downloads.
October 2008: Google’s Android market is launched. This would become Apple’s key rival.
April 2009: Blackberry World is launched. It becomes the third major distributor of mobile applications.
December 2009: Angry Birds is launched. Angry birds would go on to become the best-selling paid application of all time. It would also go on to reach 1 billion downloads.
October 2010: Windows Phone Store is launched and becomes the fourth major distributor of mobile applications.
January 2011: The word “app” was voted word of the year for 2010.
March 2011: Amazon App Store is launched.
June 2011: Zynga Games lose 36 million users since 2012. This is a clear sign that consumers are shifting to games found on mobile devices.
December 2011: Apple reveals that the app revolution has added more than 291,250 jobs to the U.S. economy since the introduction of IPhone in 2007.
April 2012. Facebook acquires Instagram. With a price tag of $1 billion, this is currently the highest ever paid for an app company.
November 2012: Candy Crush is released and would become the most downloaded application of 2013.
May 2013: Apples app store reveals its top downloads list. Angry Birds tops the paid list while the Facebook app tops the free downloads.
June 2013: Universal’s Despicable me app makes the top ten list for 2013 showing traditional media moving towards mobile applications.
July 2013: Previously known as the Android Market, Google Play has more than 50 billion downloads.
January 2014: 1.75 billion smartphones are predicted to be used around the globe. Data from Nielsen shows that U.S. users of smartphones spend 65% more time each month using apps than they did just two years ago.
May 2014: After rejecting Facebook’s $3 billion offer, Snapchat continues to be a rising app sharing over 700 million photos everyday.
June 2014: App Store reaches 75 billion downloads.
September 2014: 20.3% of App Store downloads are games, with 10.36% educational apps and 1.9% social networking
1. What event listed above do you believe was the most important in regards to the development of mobile applications?
2. What is your most used, and favorite mobile application?
3. Do you have any visions of what mobile applications may evolve into in the future?
Chapter 10 of our text starts off by describing the various security threats that can occur on information systems and the importance of engaging in IS risk management as computer criminals and their crimes increase. Valacich also mentions that the US government is one of the most targeted organizations for hackers and crackers that are looking for information. A recent article from CBS News highlights this concerning topic as the government seeks a remedy in their latest cyberattacks. It has been disclosed that the US Army’s website was victim to a hacking claimed to be by the Syrian Electronic Army. Upon entering the website, a pop up message was displayed that read “your commanders admit they are training the people they have sent you to die fighting.” However, as soon as the government became aware of the breach, the website was quickly taken down for repair.
The accompanying video with the article includes an in-depth discussion of this topic as well the vulnerabilities that come with cloud computing and ways to improve our cyber security when doing business online. It is important to note that the government is not the only entity at risk. With an increasing trend in hacking and technology advancing towards cloud computing, many new security threats will enter consumers’ daily lives. Keeping files on a cloud makes it easier for hackers/crackers to obtain personal information, therefore it is crucial for everyone to maintain cybersecurity. Some of the methods discussed include using only one credit card to make online purchases and regularly changing the passwords to important accounts.
1. Chapter 10 states that “a cyber cold war is an imminent threat for the world’s computers.” Do you think the recent news of the attacks against the government foreshadows an increase in cyberwar and cyberterrorism?
2. Have you ever been a victim of a cybercrime? If so, how has it changed your outlook on the use of the internet?
3. What do you think is the most important thing for individuals or the government to do to improve cybersecurity?
This article talks about the growing concern for cyber risk in the business world. With technology advancing so quickly, companies are now faced with the challenge of keeping their data and information safe from hackers. Since the business world is so interconnected, with intricate supply chains and partnerships, companies are becoming more and more vulnerable to a hack. For a supply chain to function seamlessly, all participants must use compatible computer systems. Some firms have lagging cyber safety protocols in place because an update would cause a break in the supply chain. This article cites an example of a Fortune 500 bank whose system is not patch for a bug called “Heartbleed”, and remains this way because patching their systems would break continuity with many European banks that have not updated their systems. Companies are forced to choose between a system safe from hackers and a continuous supply chain, which proves to be a tough decision. Regulators have created cyber safety and protection standards for firms in the US to avoid major hacks and breaches to precious information.
1. Do you think firms are going to be forced to break continuity in their supply chain to maintain safety standards in regards to cyber risk?
2. Do you think the regulators will be successful in enforcing their rules and standards, and how do you think they will do this?
3. If you were faced with the decision of a continuous supply chain or comprehensive cyber safety, which would you choose? Why?
This article by Vicki Benge highlights the benefits of systems analysis for improving the overall quality of a business. In a sense, it is a summary of Chapter 9 from “Information Systems Today,” and ties in elements previously discussed. Generally, systems analysis is used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness within a business’s boundaries. One instance in which systems analysis can be implemented is for enabling the customization of software to better fit the needs of a firm. It also allows for improvements in weaker areas, including data processing. Second, it increases their competitiveness in their industry. Establishing a global market is a very common practice, and is sure to increase their “market coverage area” and profits through the implementation of ecommerce. Third, systems analysis can help identify new markets and opportunities leading to new procedures and increased quality. Finally, systems analysis helps maintain quality control while decreasing production costs.
1. Which of the benefits of information systems do you think is most crucial for a business?
2. How do the benefits of system analysis and design differ from the benefits of ERP?
3. How does ERP relate to the motives of systems analysis and design?
In chapter 8 of our text, Kroenke outlines how companies utilize SAP programs within their organizations and how ERP programs help generate sales and maintain long term relationships with customers. In this chapter, Kroenke gives examples of how ERP programs such as SAP make for a smooth, easy sales process that is beneficial for both the company and the customer. With successful utilization of these ERP programs, firms will see increases in customer satisfaction which will result an increase of sales as well as repeat customers – which is the ultimate goal of SAP in the sales process.
In my chosen article from the SAP community network, the author discusses CRM in a “Natively-Digital” world. The article discusses how new age business’ such as Uber and AirBnB are taking CRM to the next level obtaining useful data while at the same time providing a simple, easy to use service in which everyone benefits.
Three discussion topics based on the Kroenke Chapter and the article are:
1) In the text, Kroenke states that there is a large possibility that you will work with SAP or another ERP system on your very first job after college. Does anyone currently work with SAP or another ERP system daily?
2) Kroenke details the importance of increasing ‘process synergy’– meaning the buying process is easy and simple along with the billing/delivery processes. (ex: Amazon, Uber) Do you agree that you are more likely to be a repeat customer of a company whose purchasing process for their product or service is easy and simple?
3) Have you ever received a benefit from a company who utilizes SAP as part of their operations?
The Kroenke chapter I covered, “Supporting the Sales Process with SAP”, focused on the implementation of ERP programs like SAP to the sales process of a company. Since sales is arguably the most customer-focused aspect of a business, the chapter examined customer relationship management (CRM) on an integrated level, versus what a business would look like without sophisticated process integration programs in place. The objective of a sales process is simple: repeat customers. With an ERP system like SAP in place to overcome problems and achieve strategy, companies will see improved sales and service, fewer cancelled sales, faster customer response and an overall more satisfied customer.
The article I chose from SAPVoice: “A Three-Step Guide to the Ultimate Customer Experience” highlighted the fact that companies today are still behind in satisfying their customer’s wants. The three suggestions he has to help retailers address these issues are:
- What if everything went exactly right?
- Figure out what the customers actually want from their shopping experience.
- Connect with their customer, learn their preferences at every stage of the buying cycle – what is the most important to them? Low prices? Informed sales people?
- This process can be very challenging analytically. Having a sophisticated SAP system in place will help with complex customer data.
- What does it take to make it work out that way?
- Identify the specific steps, action items and work needed to happen to implement the changes the customers want.
- What are the road blocks?
- Today, many retailers have outdated policies and procedures that are not up to par with today’s hypercompetitive marketplace or technological advances – the mobile consumer can shop wherever and whenever they want.
- Why cant typical brick-and-mortar locations meet today’s customer’s expectations?
- One thing customers hate to hear most is ‘we’ve never done it that way’ – they cut out the middleman of the retailer and go directly online.
- Do you prefer to shop in-store or an online? Why?
- What is your idea of the “ultimate customer experience”? How much of that involves human interaction?
- How can the sales process with the support of and ERP system like SAP help bridge the gap between dissatisfied customers and thrilled, repeat ones?
Coupa Software Partners with MasterCard and Silicon Valley Bank to Automate Payments in New Era of Connected Business
Chapter 7 of the text for Kroenke discusses the procurement process and answers questions about the process and how SAP can assist in making it a smoother and more effective. The article, which is titled, “Coupa Software Partners with MasterCard and Silicon Valley Bank to Automate Payments in New Era of Connected Business” discusses how Coupa Software has started a partnership with MasterCard that would make it easier for Coupa’s customers to make payments and receive invoices. Coupa Software is one of the leading cloud-based spend management solutions and also uses an ERP system to give business measurable results that cloud spend management has lacked for a long time. The service deploys virtual card payment solution within one of Coupa’s platforms and would allow millions of business that use MasterCard to get their invoices paid faster without any negative impacts on their customer’s cash position. MasterCards virtual card technology along with Coupa also allows buyers to set payment upon the approval of the transaction, which allows for reduced costs, and risks associated with traditional payment methods. This capability allows for less friction for companies around the world when it comes to their payment processes. This partnership and service also allows for customers to set days payable outstanding while also allowing suppliers to choose their invoice payment terms and how they get paid leading to what they call the ultimate B2B win-win. The platform should allow for greater efficiency as well greater benefits and allow better B2B relations with any suppliers regardless of the size or volume of business.
1. Do you think Coupa Software has found a good balance between using the cloud and an ERP harmoniously?
2. Are partnerships like the one discussed in the article a good idea in regards to the procurement process? Why or why not. Furthermore do you think if this is successful it could lead to more partnerships like this one?
3. In the future what other technologies do you think will be available that will make the procurement process easier?