Technology Background and Review


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Technology Background and Review

  1. 1. Technology Background and Review Daniel E. O’Leary University of Southern California c - 2000
  2. 2. Technology Review <ul><li>In the analysis of ERP systems there are a number of “technologies” that we will see … including </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Client Server Systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C. Relational Databases and Data Warehouses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D. Software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E. Software Choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>F. Reengineering and Best Practices </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. A. Client Server <ul><li>1. What is Client Server? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What is the basic notion behind C-S? </li></ul><ul><li>3. What is “Three tiered Architecture”? </li></ul><ul><li>4. Why concern with C-S? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ERP generally are built for CS </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 1. What is Client Server? <ul><li>Client Server is a computing model in which the application processing load is distributed between a client computer and a server computer, which share information over a network. </li></ul><ul><li>Typically the client is a PC running front end software that knows how to communicate with the server (often a db server) </li></ul><ul><li>Typically the server is a PC or workstation, but it can be a mainframe </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2. What is the basic notion behind Client Server? <ul><li>Processing can be improved because client and server share processing loads. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Client - server computing says that the client has computing power that is not being used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundamental idea is to break apart an application into components that can run on different platforms. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thin vs. Fat Clients </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A thin client has most of the functionality with server </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A fat client has most of the functionality with the client. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. 3. What is a “Three Tiered Architecture”? <ul><li>Three Tiered Architecture is an information model with distinct pieces -- client, applications services and data sources -- that can be distributed across a network </li></ul><ul><li>Client Tier -- The user component displays information, processes, graphics, communications, keyboard input and local applications </li></ul>
  7. 7. 4. What is “Three Tiered Architecture”? <ul><li>Applications Service Tier -- A set of sharable multitasking components that interact with clients and the data tier. It provides the controlled view of the underlying data sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Data Source Tier -- One or more sources of data such as mainframes, servers, databases, data warehouses, legacy applications etc. </li></ul>
  8. 9. B. Networks <ul><li>LANs, WANs, Intranets, Extranets </li></ul><ul><li>Bandwidth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network Transmission Capability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TCP/IP </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., Encryption </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. C. Databases and Data Warehouses <ul><li>Databases -- Numerous approaches including relational databases </li></ul><ul><li>Relational DB is a set of related files that reference each other </li></ul><ul><li>ERP are built on relational DBs and data source in three tier is typically relational </li></ul><ul><li>Data warehouse is a DB for decision making, not transaction processing </li></ul>
  10. 14. D. Software <ul><li>ERP have been developed for different operating systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UNIX, Windows NT … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legacy Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informally … software that has been in the company for a while. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally, developed in house </li></ul></ul>
  11. 15. <ul><li>In the same sense that personal computing software has moved toward a standard set of package options, corporate enterprise computing has also moved toward packages </li></ul><ul><li>Package software is changing the nature of accounting, finance and IT departments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No longer a matter of programming from scratch, instead need to understand processes </li></ul></ul>Package Software
  12. 16. E. Software Choice <ul><li>Typically, use some form of cost benefit analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits – fuzzy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Costs – easily seen </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“As Is” vs. “To Be” </li></ul>
  13. 17. F. Reengineering <ul><li>1. What is it? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What are the primary approaches? </li></ul><ul><li>3. What is the role of reengineering in ERP? </li></ul>
  14. 18. 1. What is Reengineering? <ul><li>Process involves the redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in cost, quality, service or speed. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically involves transaction processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tries to find inefficient rules of thumb built into processes and break away from them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design business processes to exploit IT rather than replicate old manual processes </li></ul></ul>
  15. 19. 2. What are Primary Approaches? <ul><li>Two primary approaches: Start from scratch and “Best Practices” </li></ul><ul><li>Start from scratch and redesign processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most expensive ... But considers unique aspects of specific firm, processes, resources & people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Using existing best practices generated by others (e.g., consultants or competitors) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Processes that have been proved in other firms </li></ul></ul>
  16. 20. 3. What is the role of reengineering in ERP? <ul><li>ERP have many best practices built into them to choose from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., SAP now has over 1000 best practices available to choose from </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Firms often use ERP as a way of reengineering processes </li></ul>