6: Telecommunications and Networks
1. The Internet is a driving force behind developments in telecommunications, networks,
and other information technologies. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
By all industry accounts, this statement is very accurate. In
order to remain competitive in domestic and global markets, businesses will become even more reliant on technology as we enter
the 21century. Businesses are pushing for developments in technology, which will
enable them to gather and disseminate information at greater speeds. Technology
is crucial for accurate decision-making, and this demand will definitely drive developments in these technologies.
2. How is the trend toward open systems, connectivity, and interoperability related
to business use of the Internet, intranets, and extranets?
As more businesses become dependent on
the use of the Internet, intranets, and extranets in computing and telecommunications, the industry will strive to move closer
towards achieving open systems which use common standards for hardware, software, applications, and networking. This computing environment will enable businesses to easily establish connectivity within their own organizations,
as well as enable them to communicate with others outside the organization. Open
systems will enable the many different applications of end users to be accomplished using the different varieties of computer
systems, software packages, and databases provided by a variety of interconnected networks.
Refer to the Real World Case on Celanese Chemicals and Others in the chapter. What are some of the major challenges
limiting the widespread use of wireless technologies in many business applications? What can be done to meet such challenges?
Challenges limiting the use of wireless technologies would include:
· Security – encryption and authentication
development through Handheld Device Markup Language and determining which functions will be offered on each type of device
based on security concerns.
· Poor economy – wait until the
· High cost of RFID (radion frequency
identification) – cost is slowly being reduced thus making it increasingly affordable.
· Complicated supply chains –
as the technology becomes more affordable and larger competitors make use of the technology others will be forced to adopt
the wireless technologies.
How will wireless information appliances and services affect the business use of the Internet
and the Web? Explain.
The growing trend in technology is in the area of wireless information appliances and services which
individuals are able to use from anywhere and at any time. This trend will continue
to grow as technology improvements are made to appliances, which use wireless technology.
For example, we now have wireless keyboards and wireless mice. We have
experiences a tremendous increase in the use of cellular and PCS telephone and pager systems.
This technology is used to support mobile phone service, mobile voice and data communications. Wireless technology is also being used to connect local area networks through the use of radio and infrared
transmissions. As more people experience the mobility that wireless appliances
offer, and as they work situations require access to information and data form anywhere, wireless technology will definitely
affect the business use of the Internet and the Web.
5. What are the business benefits and management problems of client/server networks? Network computing? Peer-to-peer networks?
Benefits of client/server computing include:
Clients (end users) can perform some or most of the processing of their business applications.
LAN servers can share application processing, manage work group collaboration, and control
common hardware, software, and databases.
Data can be completely processed locally, where most input and output must be handled.
Provides access to the workstations and servers in other networks.
Computer processing is more tailored to the needs of the end users.
Increases information processing efficiency and effectiveness, as users are more responsible
for their own application systems.
Allows large central-site computers to handle the jobs they do best - such as high-volume
transaction processing, communications network security and control, and maintenance and control of large corporate databases.
Clients at local sites can access the corporate superservers to receive corporate wide
management information or transmit summary transaction data reflecting local site activities.
As computing power becomes distributed and interconnected throughout
organizations by networked computer systems taking the form of client/server networks, management issues will increase. Problems such as the protection, access, and control of corporate data from within
and outside the organization will increase dramatically.
Benefits of network computing include:
Many of the benefits listed above for client/server computing can also be included in
Communications, distance education, distributed computing, e-commerce, email, information
processing, telecommuting are a few of the benefits that can be listed.
Security and privacy issues are a major challenge.
Benefits of peer-to-peer computing include:
Peer-to-peer is a network architecture that gives equal power to all computers on the
network; used primarily in small networks.
P2P is a form of distributed processing, where individual computers can share data, disk
space, and even processing power for a variety of tasks when computers can share data, disk space, and even processing power
for a variety of tasks when they are lined in a network, including the Internet.
P2P computing puts processing power back on users’ desktops, linking these computers
so that they can share files or processing tasks.
P2P involves two distinct types of technology: the sharing of digital files and data
between two separate computers, and the sharing of different CPU cycles.
The P2P model stands in contrast to the network computing model because processing power
resides only individual desktops, and these computers work together without a server or any central controlling authority.
It has been estimated that most companies and individuals – use less than 25 percent
of their processing and storage capacity. P3P computing tabs the unused disk
space or processing power on PC or workstation networks for large computing tasks that can now only be performed by large
expensive server computers or even supercomputers.
The lack of a central authority is what landed Napster in court. This could also pose a major threat for any company were there is major concern for
6. What is the business value driving so many companies to rapidly install and extend
intranets throughout their organizations?
The business value driving so many companies to rapidly install and
extend intranets and enterprise information portals throughout their organizations is the ability to communicate, collaboration,
and coordinate with others. Business value includes cost reductions, increased
revenues, creating closer connections with their customers and suppliers. ROI on investment in this technology is quickly
realized. Access to accurate, instant, and readily available data is crucial
for all businesses today. e-commerce applications have enabled companies to derive
business value by generating new revenue sources, reduce costs of doing business, develop new web-based products, increase
customer loyalty and retention, attract new customers, and develop new markets and channels.
7. What strategic competitive benefits do you see in a company’s use of extranets?
Students’ answers will vary. Strategic
competitive benefits of a company’s use of extranets can include: lower costs, enhance interactive marketing with customers,
suppliers and distributors, enable better and more innovative development of products and services, build strategic alliances
with suppliers, and leverage partnerships. Companies may use extranets to differentiate
themselves from their competitors through innovative use of this type of technology, thus would be able to establish a competitive
Refer to the Real World Case on Con-Way NOW and Trimble Navigation in the chapter. What is the business value of several
other business uses for communications satellites not mentioned in this case? Check out the websites of satellite services
providers like Hughes Network Systems (www.hns.com) or G-Com International (www.g-com.com) to help you answer.
Other business uses would include:
· Provide better customer service and
at reduced costs in industries such as the resort industry by reducing delays in check-in and check-out services through transportation
to/from transportation terminals for airports, rail, etc.
· Provide better client service and
at reduced costs in industries such as public utilities by reducing delays in repair and emergency services.
· Establish fast, convenient services
that lock in customers and supplies in many industries such as health care, utilities, hotel-tourism, etc.
· Reduce costs of business meetings
in most industries by allowing customers, suppliers,, and employees to collaborate and thus enhancing decisions to be made.
9. Do you think that business use of the Internet, intranets, and extranets has changed what
businesspeople expect from information technology in their jobs? Explain.
continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the business use of technology such as the Internet, intranets, and extranets has also
continued to grow. Certainly business people expect more from information technology
in order to do their jobs. For example, businesses have become extremely dependent
on these technologies in order to conduct business in the global environment and fast-changing global market. Business people expect to be able to access all kinds of information that enables them to complete their
job requirements faster and with more accuracy than what was ever possible before.
They want to be able to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate with others like never before.
10. The insatiable
demand for everything wireless, video, and Web-enabled everywhere will be the driving force behind developments in telecommunications,
networking, and computing technologies for the foreseeable future. Do you agree
or disagree? Why?
There is no doubt that the insatiable demand for everything wireless is a growth area. Bluetooth technology is a prime example of how and where companies are expanding in the development for
wireless appliances. Competition is fierce, and companies are using any type
of technology in order to tap markets, and stay abreast with the demands of their customers, suppliers, channel members, and
even their competitors. Demand for wireless is expected to grow at a rapid pace
in order to accommodate the demands of the “man on the move” concept. Wireless
access to the Internet, intranets, and extranets is growing as more Web-enabled information appliances proliferate.
Smart telephones, pagers, PDSs, and other
portable communications devices have become very thin clients in wireless networks.
Agreement on a standard wireless application protocol (WAP) has encouraged the development of many wireless
Web applications and services. Telecommunications industry continues to work on third generation (3G) wireless technologies
whose goal is to raise wireless transmission speeds to enable streaming video and multimedia applications on mobile devices.
WAP standard specifies how Web pages in HTML or XML are translated into a wireless markup language (WML) by filter
software and pre-processed by proxy software to prepare the Web pages for wireless transmission from a Web server to
a Web-enabled wireless device.