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Use of Management Information Systems at Amazon.Com

Essay by   •  April 30, 2011  •  Case Study  •  4,470 Words (18 Pages)  •  16,844 Views

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Introduction

Amazon.com is the largest retailing online company with 35 millions customers and nearly $5 billion in sales. In the beginning, the CEO Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com in 1995 by selling books because of the unique customer experience the Web could offer for book lovers. Bezos believed that only the Internet could offer customers the convenience of browsing a selection of millions of book titles in a single sitting. The design of the business model is such that technological innovation drives the growth of Amazon.com to offer more types of products at significantly lower prices. Among its many technological innovations for customers, Amazon.com offers a personalized shopping experience for each customer, book discovery through Search InsideThe Book, convenient checkout using 1-Click Shopping, and several community features like Listmania and Wish List that help customers discover new products and make informed buying decisions. Since 1995, Amazon.com has significantly expanded its product offering, international sites, and worldwide network of fulfillment and customer service centers. Today, Amazon.com offers everything, literally, from tennis rackets to live Maine lobsters to diamond jewelry, and operates sites for the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and China (Joyo.com)

In 2000, Amazon.com began to offer its best-of-breed e-commerce platform to other retailers and to individual sellers. Today, hundreds of thousands of world-class retail brands and individual sellers increase their sales and reach new customers by leveraging the power of the Amazon.com e-commerce platform. Through programs such as Marketplace, Advantage, and by working with Amazon.com subsidiary Amazon Services, sellers of all shapes and sizes offer their wide array of selection to Amazon.com customers by using various components of the e-commerce platform. Furthermore, Amazon.com has successfully implemented their integrated system through internet by managing the information system as well as maintaining their technical and application system. The resounding success of this then, one of its kind online retail company, has proved that, by giving customers more of what they want - low prices, vast selection, and convenience - Amazon.com will be able to continue to gain popularity, grow and evolve as a world-class e-commerce platform.

Business System

There are two mains system that Amazon.com has developed for their business system, namely, the Amazon Web Service (AWS) and S3 (Simple Storage Service). Amazon Web Services was launched in 2002 and provide developers with direct access to Amazon's robust technology platform. They build on Amazon suite of web service to enable and enhance the application. Applications built using the AWS Software Developers Kit range from enhanced Associates sites that advertise products on the Amazon.com website to integrated solutions for retailers selling merchandise through Amazon.com. Amazon Web Services has now released a variety of web services (programmatic access to its open APIs) that enable developers to leverage Amazon's data and robust infrastructure, easily and inexpensively. These fundamental services allow external developers and businesses to build their web applications in a reliable, scalable, and cost-effective manner. In addition, Amazon web service associate drive internet traffic to Amazon.com through specially formatted links that allow Amazon to track sales and other activity.

Another business system is the Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service). It is design to make web-scale computing easier by providing web service interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It also gives Amazon access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of websites. The function of Amazon S3 is as follows:

* Write, read, and delete objects containing from 1 byte to 5 gigabytes of data each. The number of objects you can store is unlimited.

* Each object is stored and retrieved via a unique, developer-assigned key.

* Authentication mechanisms are provided to ensure that data is kept secure from unauthorized access. Objects can be made private or public, and rights can be granted to specific users.

* Uses standards-based REST and SOAP interfaces designed to work with any Internet-development toolkit.

* Built to be flexible so that protocol or functional layers can easily be added. Default download protocol is HTTP. A BitTorrent(TM) protocol interface is provided to lower costs for high-scale distribution. Additional interfaces will be added in the future. (http://aws.amazon.com/s3)

Amazon S3 is renowned as one of the world's largest data warehouse uses to create intricate web features. In addition, Amazon also builds such a system to detect and minimize instances of fraud in its internet site. The system is created to measure personalization of their customer and to test the effectiveness of Amazon's services. This system is also known as SAS and it provides fraud detection in internet. For Amazon.com, and also all retailers that sell goods remotely via the Internet, phone or mail order, credit card fraud is the most prevalent type of security threat/fraudulent activity. Detecting and preventing this activity becomes a priority because retailers - rather than the cardholder's bank - bear the financial responsibility for this type of fraud. Perpetrators targeting online retailers use the same techniques that they might apply to traditional brick and mortar retailers.

Amazon.com uses SAS to analyze the behavioral patterns of fraudsters and build predictive scores that indicate the likelihood of fraudulent behavior having occurred. Another function of Amazon S3 system is that it can be used to measure the effectiveness of how well they serve their customers. The system can test the efficiency of service that allows Amazon keep on improving their service to the customers.

Information System

One of the strength that Amazon possess as an online retailer is that they can manage their information systems i.e. data, information, transaction and logistics processes in an effective manner. Amazon believes in creating investments in their information systems in order to create value and increase profitability. More than that, Amazon has built their information systems not just as an impending technological improvement but as a management solution to business challenges that arise from the radical business environment. The main framework of Amazon's

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