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Information Systems - UPS - Case Study Example

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Summary
Assume a strategic focus of operational excellence, but consider interactions UPS has with both individual customers and other businesses.
UPS is responsible in managing the…
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Information Systems - UPS
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Information System – UPS Q Describe the business reasons/requirements for UPS to invest so heavily in networking technology? Assume a strategic focus of operational excellence, but consider interactions UPS has with both individual customers and other businesses.
UPS is responsible in managing the flow of funds and physical goods and information to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. In fact, this company delivers 416,000 packages per hour. In the process of heavily investing on its networking technology, the staffs of UPS are able to communicate with other employees on a real-time basis concerning the progress or status of each delivery worldwide. Aside from being able to communicate better with other UPS staffs and its global business partners, the use of a highly reliable networking technology made it possible for UPS to create competitive advantage by allowing its customers track down the status of their packages.
To improve the efficiency of its delivery services, UPS decided to invest in networking technologies such as wireless LANs, latest scanners, GPS, wireless Bluetooth connection worldwide, WiFi technology, PDAs, mobile phones, and Ethernet among others. Using these technologies, UPS was able to integrate information concerning its trucking system, ship-based and airplane shipments.
Q.2 Describe the information problems UPS faces given those business reasons/requirements? Include in your answer treatment of communication and coordination challenges.
It is said that UPS sends the information coming from the scanned labels using Bluetooth devices to allow the retransmission to wireless LAN. The problem with using the Bluetooth technology is that errors may occur in the ACL packet (Olenewa 173). In case the UPS staff has failed to retransmit the data, there is a risk wherein certain information will not be integrated together with the entire UPS package tracking information that is supposed to be available worldwide. Often times, error connection using the Bluetooth devices can either be classified as the ‘1/3 rate Forward Error Correction (FEC)’, the ‘2/3 rate Forward Error Correction (FEC)’, and the Automatic Retransmission Request (ARQ)’ (Olenewa 173).
Specifically the use of Bluetooth can lead to security problems such as virus attacks (Oates) or disclosure of private information (Laurie and Laurie). On top of security concerns, it is important to take note that Bluetooth devices are dependent on the use of battery (Olenewa 173). In the absence of charger, UPS staff will not be able to send out important data on a timely basis. To avoid communication and coordination problems, UPS staff should be trained on how to handle cases related to security problems and connection errors when using Bluetooth devices.
Q.3 Describe the various network elements that are linked together by UPS to solve the operational level information problems. Your answer should cover the process from package pick-up at the customer’s location to its ultimate shipment delivery.
To solve operational level information problems, UPS decided to invest in SP400 All-in-One to scan and label each package taken from the customer’s location followed by sending out the information to its package tracking system using Bluetooth and WLAN. Eventually, customers’ package information will be integrated with UPS’ global package tracking information followed by using GPS and WiFi to integrate information with the rest of its distribution centers worldwide. The last part of its networking solution is to transmit information using Ethernet LAN to its server.
Q.4 What issues should UPS consider when investing in these networking elements? Consider the full life cycle of the technology assets. [table hint: your table should at least have a column for the life cycle stage, another for the issue label, and another for the issue description/explanation]
To protect the privacy of its customers, UPS should consider not only the security problems associated with each type of networking devices or tools but also significant issues associated with the different stages of technology assets.
Life Cycle Stage
Issue
Issue Description/Explanation
Plan
Selecting the best IT partner.
Identify challenges caused by vulnerabilities to outside risks and threats.
Outdated technologies.
It is important to select the best and most qualified IT partner that can help UPS design and develop networking technologies that will speed up the flow of information on a real-time basis.
Each type of networking technologies has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is necessary to weigh the benefits fo choosing specific networking tools before heavily investing large sum of money on it.
To avoid future problems, it is important to check whether or not specific networking tools or devices that will be used by UPS is up-to-date.
Design, Develop and Acquire
Network design and development should be in accordance and aligned to the goals and objectives of UPS.
Huge investment.
The main reason why UPS invested on IMS is to ensure that IT will enhance the flow of its business processes. If the design of networking is not aligned with UPS’ goals, the IT project may deem to be a failure.
The acquisition of necessary IT networking technologies requires investing large sum of money. Therefore, UPS should be financially prepared for the financial requirements.
Deploy
Create operational support plan.
Create a plan for system deployment.
Perform operational readiness review.
During the system deployment, UPS should organize an operational support team who will be responsible in finding solution in case of technological problems.
To increase the efficiency of using the networking technologies, it is best to train each of the UPS staff on how to use these gadgets (i.e. mobile phone, GPS, etc.)
This step is important to ensure that each staff is ready and prepared for the use of these technologies.
Operate
Observe regular maintenance and monitoring.
Devices, tools, or technologies used in global networks should regularly be monitored to ensure that the system is free from the hands of hackers or other technical problems that could negatively affect the efficiency of the system.
References
Laurie, Adam and Ben Laurie. "Bluetooth." 2003. Web. 29 September 2014 .
Oates, J. "Virus attacks mobiles via Bluetooth. The Register." 15 June 2004. Web. 29 September 2014 .
Olenewa, Jorge. Guide to Wireless Communications. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2013. Read More
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