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Introduction to Information Systems

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Richard Jones MIS300-0603A-02: Introduction to Information Systems

Phase 3 tasks 1 Components of technology systems Questions 1-4 for Group project, part 2:

1. In terms of hardware, software, databases, telecommunications, and the Internet, what specific recommendations are you prepared to make to Sewtown to improve the speed, accuracy, and reliability of their information system?

Hardware recommendations:

1. Central Servers for each of the six stores

2. install 100 mbps NIC CARDS FOR ALL COMPUTERS ALL STORES

3. Ethernet switches, routers and bridges will be needed to assist the data as it moves from computer to computer whether within the store or for communication between all six stores.

4. Make sure that all computers company wide will meet the hard ware requirements for what ever software we will use.

Software recommendations:

In my opinion Microsoft Dynamics would do an adequate job in fulfilling our needs, some of its features are listed below:

Analytics

Manage budgets, create and consolidate reports, and look for trends and relationships in any part of your business (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

Customer Relationship Management

Manage customer groups, create and launch marketing campaigns, track customer activity, and organize sales and after-sales (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

Distribution:

Tracking inventory, order, and purchasing management; sales forecasting, e-commerce; and warehouse management(Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

E-commerce

Let customers and suppliers do business with you anytime through Web sites or by connecting their system directly to yours (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

Field Service Management

Set up and manage service contracts, enter and track service calls, view schedules, and optimize workloads across resources (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

Financial Management

Control your general ledger, payables, receivables, inventory, sales process, purchasing, fixed assets, and cash flow. Perform reconciliation and collections (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

HR Management

Manage your human resources from mapping, recruitment, and employee registration, to skills development and processing of payroll and benefits (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

Manufacturing

Coordinate your entire manufacturing process from product configuration and supply and capacity requirements planning, to scheduling and shop floor (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

Portals

Deliver access to the data, applications, and services your employees, customers, and business partners need via a Web browser, and see them work more efficiently with you(Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

Project Management and Accounting

Manage your resources, forecast your costs and budgets, track time and expenses, and organize contracts and billing (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

Retail Point of Sale

Run retail operations from point-of-sale to delivery. Increase customer flow, speed up lines and tasks, control inventory, and automate purchasing (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006).

Supply Chain Management

Organize single or multiple site warehouses; handle order promising, demand planning, and online collaboration with suppliers (Microsoft Dynamics, website, 2006)

The purchasing of off-the-shelf software those companies might be willing to customize for our uses. I think this option would be the most cost effective way and direction the company should go in for improving the speed, accuracy, and reliability of our information system. The main concept here is to not waste time and resources developing customized software if reliable and affordable off-the-shelf software already exists that the company can utilize and adapt to with minimal effort. First what do I mean by Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)?

Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) is a term for software or hardware products that are ready-made and available for sale to the general public. They are often used as alternatives to in-house developments or one-off government-funded developments (GOTS). The use of COTS is being mandated across many government and business programs. With the correct use of Software Development Lifecycle principles and systems analysis tools they can offer significant savings in procurement and maintenance. The biggest motivation for using COTS components is that they will reduce overall system development costs and involve less development time because the components can be bought instead of being developed from scratch. This could prove to be useful for software development because of the ever increasing costs (Wikipedia, 2006).

There are some risks and some things that need to be considered that come with the use of Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), these are listed below:

One disadvantage to the use of COTS products is that they may have only some of the functionality that one is looking for. It may, therefore, not address all of the requirements. Customization of in-house code or third party modifications may be needed, resulting in questions, who will support the modifications as time goes on, how will you do upgrades, etc. For a SewWorld, as the company grows, economies of scale when time it comes to upgrades and modifications could cause problems in the future. Another disadvantage is that COTS products may fulfill most if not all of the functionality requirements one is looking for but that the task flow or the method of accomplishing the procedure is not an exact match to how one's business performs the task. The human factors considerations becomes important issue when looking at process change and the willingness of existing personnel to change business processes to fit new system designs will be a challenge that the company needs to consider while developing a new IT system (M. Kachmarik, 1998).

This is where the importance for the use of Software Development Lifecycle principles and systems analysis tools comes into play.

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