Ivey Publishing

Introduction to Information Systems

Marakas, G.M.; O'Brien, J.A.,16/e (United States, McGraw Hill-Irwin, 2013)
Prepared By Jill Pillon, CaseMate Editor
Chapter and Title Chapter Matches: Case Information
Chapter 1:
Foundations of Information Systems in Business

Barbara L. Marcolin, Kathryn Brohman, Ning Su, Norine Webster, Laura Marcolin

Product Number: 9B14E008
Publication Date: 4/29/2014
Revision Date: 4/29/2014
Length: 10 pages

A management consulting team has been hired to advise HuStream Technologies on a new business model and target market. HuStream operates a service-based business model, providing customers with fully produced interactive video content. In the founders’ efforts to transition to a product-based business, they have built a cloud-based platform to provide easy accessibility to their company’s products and services. Using that platform, clients can produce their own interactive content. HuStream faces the challenge of transitioning from an entirely service- based business model to an entirely product-based business model. The consultancy’s task is to identify HuStream’s top business and marketing opportunities using the service-based business model and keeping within the constraints of limited funding.

Teaching Note: 8B14E008 (5 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Interactivity; open services; business models; technology strategy; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Malcolm Munro, Sharaz Khan

Product Number: 9B13E020
Publication Date: 7/25/2013
Revision Date: 3/6/2017
Length: 13 pages

WestJet Airlines grew from a startup regional carrier in 1996 serving five Western Canadian cities to an international airline with more than 80 destinations and 9,000 employees by 2011. In a strategic move to implement code sharing and several other strategic IT applications to enhance WestJet's competitiveness, the CEO and his executive team hired an experienced and highly successful CIO to bring WestJet up to par with other airlines. The new CIO was asked by WestJet to assess its IT competence as part of a corporate drive to gain competitive advantage by delivering innovative guest services. The executive saw IT as the key to WestJet achieving its ambitions and corporate growth so formulated an ambitious plan to restructure the IT organization. But certain senior IT staff members, some of whom had been with the company since the beginning and had played a major role in developing the existing systems, believed the plan was ill advised and unworkable. The executive had to convince both senior management and the IT group that implementing the new IT governance model was essential if WestJet hoped to achieve its strategic goals.

Teaching Note: 8B13E020 (11 pages)
Industry: Transportation and Warehousing
Issues: Information technology governance; corporate strategy; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Derrick Neufeld, Liliana Lopez Jimenez

Product Number: 9B12E001
Publication Date: 4/17/2012
Revision Date: 4/17/2012
Length: 19 pages

The case focuses on HTT, a small Canadian automotive manufacturer working in the highly specialized niche of supercars. HTT was only three months away from finishing the design stage of its vehicle, the Pléthore, and had to make decisions regarding the production stage. Among them, the company needed to decide how it would support its value chain processes with information technology (IT). However, a detailed set of requirements for an IT system could not be elicited until the company had successfully produced and distributed at least a few vehicles. In the meantime, the CEO, who was also a shareholder, wanted to develop a shortlist of potential IT products that would give him a better grasp of the available options.

Teaching Note: 8B12E001 (12 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Information Technology; IT Selection and Evaluation; Enterprise Resource Planning; Automotive; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 2:
Competing with Information Technology

V. Joseph Compeau, Nicole R.D. Haggerty, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B13E002
Publication Date: 2/15/2013
Revision Date: 2/15/2013
Length: 15 pages

Since early 2009, the information technology (IT) division of a leading manufacturer of semiconductor chips had noticed a growing trend among the company’s 80,000 employees worldwide to bring their own smartphones and storage devices to their individual workstations. Recognizing that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) was not a passing fad but a growing phenomenon, the company decided in January 2010 to formally implement this initiative. As the company’s chief information security officer prepares for a full rollout of BYOD, he revisits the issue of ensuring security of corporate data stored on devices owned by individual employees. He also wonders how Intel should respond to the demand for e-Discovery, wherein a litigant could seek access to internal documents stored on devices not owned by the company. He also reflects on a more fundamental and strategic issue: How can Intel extract value from the BYOD initiative and turn this initiative into a new source of competitive advantage?

Teaching Note: 8B13E002 (9 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Value Addition; Information Security; Mobile Devices; Competitive Advantage; e-Discovery; United States
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Richard M. Kesner

Product Number: 9B11E036
Publication Date: 12/1/2011
Length: 19 pages

In the 1990s, Red Hat established itself as a leading proponent of the open source software movement and sought to carve out for itself a significant role in the open source marketplace. As of 2011, the company reported $177 million in non-GAAP operating income in FY2010, based on revenues of $748 million. Red Hat’s market capitalization was set at $8 billion as of January 25, 2011. It operated 65 offices worldwide, including 12 Global Support Service Centers, and employed 3,580 people. The Red Hat brand was most closely associated with Linux even though its stable of product offerings had grown to include a number of other noteworthy system software and middleware products, such as JBoss and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. As Red Hat’s Linux product line had come to be widely accepted as an enterprise software platform, the company had transformed its thinking about and delivery of customer support. This case study explores the innovative ways that Red Hat went about this transformation process.

Teaching Note: 8B11E036 (11 pages)
Industry: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Issues: Customer Relations; Computer Industry; Service Operations; Process Design/Change; Linux; United States; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Nicole R.D. Haggerty, Andrea Jang, Rebecca Liu

Product Number: 9B09E006
Publication Date: 7/9/2009
Length: 16 pages

Vineland Research and Innovation Center, a not-for-profit organization looking to work with the Ontario local food industry, has requested two researchers to analyze the local food business landscape and propose a technology-driven solution that connects farmers in the Niagara region with buyers in Toronto. The case illustrates the challenges faced by each stakeholder in the local food supply chain, and allows students to analyze the farming and restaurant industries, assess the current Canadian market, and investigate technological advances that could enable improving the current local supply chain procurement and distribution model. This case allows students to identify competencies and gaps within the current environment, challenges facing the farming and restaurant communities, as well as opportunities to drive growth in a new market.

Teaching Note: 8B09E06 (14 pages)
Industry: Accommodation & Food Services, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Issues: Government and Business; Entrepreneurial Business Growth; Leveraging Information Technology; Generating Profit from New Technology
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 3:
Computer Hardware

Barbara L. Marcolin, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B12E004
Publication Date: 5/15/2012
Revision Date: 5/15/2012
Length: 16 pages

In 2011, HCLT ERS, a division of HCL Technologies, a global IT services corporation headquartered in New Delhi, India, had to devise next year’s plan for the Engineering Out Of The Box (EOOTB) business concept that it had initiated in 2009. EOOTB had facilitated the division’s ability to create “16 productized solutions” and to engage customers in new revenue services. The productized solutions were heavily reliant upon IT platform-based solutions and services. The executive vice president of HCLT ERS and the EOOTB team must consider new markets to enter, new types of work in existing markets, and delivery ecosystems involving partners, collaborators, and third-party providers.

Teaching Note: 8B12E004 (7 pages)
Industry: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Issues: Productized Solutions and Services; Information Technology; Engineering; Research and Development; Entrepreneurial Ecosystems; Thought Leadership; India
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Reema Gupta, Deepa Mani, Aditya Shah, Sujata Ramachandran, Vivek Vikram Singh

Product Number: 9B11E026
Publication Date: 7/19/2011
Length: 18 pages

The case is set in mid-2009, about six months before the scheduled worldwide launch of Microsoft Azure. The group director of cloud computing for Microsoft India was considering the pros and cons of launching Azure simultaneously in India with the rest of the world. Cloud computing was a paradigm shift in the information technology (IT) industry that fundamentally changed how software and services were delivered to an end-user’s desktop. Cloud computing enabled shared resources — software, hardware, and information — to be provided to consumers on demand, charging them based on usage. Azure was Microsoft’s offering in this space, providing software and infrastructure as a service, and was also a platform to develop new applications on a pay-per-use model. Microsoft had always made its products available to users in the traditional license model, and Azure would be a paradigm shift not only in terms of technology but also in terms of the business model.

The director had to decide whether the nascent Indian market was ready to adopt this new technology and business model, and which segments to target. There were many reasons why the Indian market looked very lucrative, including presence of a strong IT development community, increasing IT adoption across Indian industries, and presence of a very big potential customer base in terms of small and medium enterprises. Conversely, there were concerns such as poor current IT adoption, rampant piracy, low availability of infrastructure in India (such as electricity and broadband penetration), and the “do-it-for-me” attitude of Indian businesspeople, which meant significant initial costs in terms of time and effort required to increase awareness.

Teaching Note: 8B11E026 (12 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Target Market; Licensing; Business Model; Cloud Computing; India; Ivey/ISB
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Ilan Alon, Allen H. Kupetz

Product Number: 9B10M021
Publication Date: 4/21/2010
Length: 8 pages

Praxis Language is a small company in China started by three non-Chinese entrepreneurs. Originally focused on teaching Chinese to native English speakers using podcasting and other online tools, Praxis has also developed content to teach English to native Chinese speakers, which the company perceives as a much bigger market. The case describes the challenges facing the co-founder of Praxis as he navigates emerging mobile technology (hardware and software), the complexities of doing business in China, and the consequences of explosive growth.

Teaching Note: 8B10M21 (4 pages)
Industry: Educational Services
Issues: China; Entrepreneurial Marketing; Technological Change; Marketing Management; International Business
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 4:
Computer Software

Derrick Neufeld, Ning Su, Brad Evans

Product Number: 9B14E005
Publication Date: 3/10/2014
Revision Date: 3/18/2014
Length: 14 pages

In October 2013, the Health and Human Services Secretary of the United States is tasked with making decisions about a website project, Healthcare.gov, that is a critical component in delivering the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” to the American people. The act is a cornerstone but controversial policy of the Obama administration aimed at increasing access to health care services by providing health insurance to uninsured Americans. Unfortunately, the project is over budget and late. Forced to roll out before it is ready because of political considerations, the website crashes, causing anger and frustration for users unable to sign on or get information about the program. Because the act never really had the support of Republican Party representatives, the failure of the website stokes a political storm that appears to have more to do with reopening a debate in the media about Obamacare than it does with the website launch issues. Also in the spotlight is CGI, a technology company headquartered in Canada that is responsible for the overall design, development and execution of the project.

Teaching Note: 8B14E005 (11 pages)
Industry: Public Administration
Issues: Website design; politics; outsourcing; success and failure; United States
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Derrick Neufeld, Liliana Lopez Jimenez

Product Number: 9B11E025
Publication Date: 8/30/2011
Revision Date: 5/4/2017
Length: 15 pages

The case describes the selection of an information technology (IT) product to support the operations of 1-888-Junk-Van, a small waste-collection business. Marcus Kingo, the business owner, has five alternatives from which to choose: a database upgrade, contracting out development of a new software application, using Google Docs, using an online tool framed as Platform as a Service (PaaS), or implementing a small-business enterprise resource-planning (ERP) system. Each option presents strengths and weaknesses, and students are left to make a decision. The case exemplifies the IT deployment challenges faced by small companies.

Teaching Note: 8B11E025 (9 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Information Technology; IT Selection and Evaluation; Small Companies; Virtual Business; Cloud Computing; Waste Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Derrick Neufeld, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B09E005
Publication Date: 5/14/2009
Length: 15 pages

The founder and president of Nuway Software (Nuway) must determine the pricing strategy for their new internally-developed mobile software product, Nulogic. Nuway develops custom mobile software applications that provide great competitive advantage to each of their customers; no two software modules it develops are similar. Nuway is now ready to market Nulogic as a stand-alone product and has identified three unique customer segments: Corporate in-house developers, competitors and independent software developers. The company has historically followed a cost-plus pricing model and has maintained positive profit margins. The software industry as a whole is moving towards value-based pricing, where cost is based on perceived value to the customer. The president does not favour value-based pricing and views it as price-gouging; however, he is aware that cost-plus pricing has limitations with regards to cost accuracy. By considering the entire software industry, Nuway's capabilities and his own preferences, the president must determine how to price the new software.

Teaching Note: 8B09E05 (12 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Generating Profit from New Technology; Management of Technology; Pricing Strategy; Cost Accounting
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 5:
Data Resource Management

Frances Leung, Murat Kristal

Product Number: 9B13E030
Publication Date: 11/29/2013
Revision Date: 3/31/2014
Length: 19 pages

Caterpillar Tunnelling Canada Corporation, a Toronto-based subsidiary of the U.S. company Caterpillar Inc., specializes in the custom design and manufacture of tunnelling boring machines used in the construction of transportation and utility tunnels such as subway, sewage and telecom cable tunnels. After the acquisition by Caterpillar, the company was chosen as one of the sites to undergo enterprise resource planning (ERP) transformation. After over a year of localization effort to adapt the corporate ERP template to the subsidiary’s business processes, the project was called off due to both the strained local resources and the significant gap between the parent company’s repetitive manufacturing model and the subsidiary’s concurrent engineering/project-based model. Moreover, the lack of executive buy-in and a mandate in establishing company-wide performance metrics and consistency in business semantics led to sporadic user adoption of business intelligence tools and the creation of sometimes irreconcilable reporting. The business resource manager and head of finance has to rethink the management of business intelligence technologies and come up with a strategy to achieve coherent data analytics for effective business decision making.

Teaching Note: 8B13E030 (9 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Enterprise resource planning; business intelligence; data analytics; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Nicole R.D. Haggerty, William Bonner

Product Number: 9B11E029
Publication Date: 9/15/2011
Revision Date: 8/26/2019
Length: 18 pages

The manager of Visitor Services with Saskatchewan Park Services was thinking ahead to next year, even though 2011 was still four months away. Park Services had experienced a number of turbulent years around the provincial park campground reservation system. While the problems experienced were largely invisible to the public, over the years the behind-the-scenes actions required to process campground reservations had placed an onerous burden on Park Services staff, both in Regina (in Saskatchewan, Canada) and in the local provincial parks. Additionally, the present system severely limited the type of services that could be developed for tourists and campers due to the lack of quality data on campers.

While steps had been taken in 2009 and 2010 to address some of the major problems surrounding the campground reservation system, serious issues remained that required action. This was particularly true when the system in place in Saskatchewan was compared to new campground reservation systems recently employed in Alberta, Manitoba, and the federal national park system. The manager reflected on the turbulent 2008 season, the relative calm in 2009 due to the success of temporary fixes, and the new issues that had arisen in 2010. She needed to decide on a more permanent solution that resolved the operational problems of the present reservation system while also laying the foundation for improved services for campers.

Teaching Note: 8B11E029 (15 pages)
Industry: Public Administration
Issues: Information Systems Development; Work Flow Systems; Camping; Hill
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Muntazar Bashir Ahmed

Product Number: 9B09E024
Publication Date: 12/23/2009
Length: 18 pages

Engro Chemicals Pakistan Limited (Engro) was a very large manufacturer and marketer of fertilizer in Pakistan. It had a number of subsidiaries and joint ventures in a variety of businesses. The company was listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) and was among the top companies as ranked by the KSE. In August 2007, the company's head office was completely destroyed by a fire. The office was located in Karachi and the fire destroyed all the equipment as well as the hardcopies of the accounting records. The company was suddenly faced with a catastrophic loss as the records were critical to Engro's day to day operations. The information technology (IT) department had developed a disaster recovery plan (DRP) in 2005 that was exclusively related to reestablishing the IT facilities after any event that could make the business systems inoperable. The company invoked the DRP as soon as the news of the complete destruction of the office facilities was received. The IT and finance staff had to use the backup equipment and data files to restart the transaction processing.The case includes a description of various business systems used by Engro and the data security processes that had enabled the company to restore the accounting and other systems needed at its head office. The main teaching objective is to focus on minimizing the business risks arising due to the destruction of the IT facilities. The case also has details of the DRP, which can be analysed as to its contents, and details of the management processes of Engro, which allows for a discussion on corporate governance within the company.

Teaching Note: 8B09E24 (10 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Information Technology (IT) Governance; Disaster Recovery Planning; Business Risk Management
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Chapter 6:
Telecommunications and Networks

Murthy VVNS Chebiyyam, Kul Bhushan C. Saxena

Product Number: 9B12E010
Publication Date: 12/4/2012
Revision Date: 12/3/2012
Length: 15 pages

Simbhaoli Sugars Limited has deployed a new system of communication services through Voice Web, a mobile-based Internet technology, in rural areas for better engagement with the farmers who supply sugarcane to the SSL factory. The importance of perceived value of services to the end-users and the need to involve all stakeholders during the innovation set-up process are explained. Critical aspects of the service innovation concept are used to analyse the issues observed during the pilot deployment of Simbhaoli Sugars Limited’s new communication services.

Teaching Note: 8B12E010 (10 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Service innovation; technology acceptance; mobile communications; sugar industry; India
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

William Wei, Xiaohua Yang, Roger Chen, Kimberley Howard, Stanley Kwong

Product Number: 9B12M041
Publication Date: 8/14/2012
Revision Date: 5/28/2012
Length: 7 pages

The president of I-Star America, Inc. and vice-president of I-Star Corporation reflected on the success of I-Star in the Chinese and Japanese IT markets and the challenges of increasing market share in North America, one of the largest markets in the world. I-Star was expected to grow about 30 per cent in the next few years, and the president considered whether the strategy used in Japan could be applied to North America.

Many Chinese firms that experienced success in China were less successful in international (western) markets for a host of reasons, including failure to adapt business processes and products to the new market and the perception that Chinese goods and services might be of lower quality.

The president believed that I-Star’s past and future success relied on the company’s ability to innovate in creating value for its customers. He believed that with the right strategy I-Star could generate revenues of US$50-100 million and build up a cadre of more than 200 employees in the software and services division in North America. How could I-Star increase its brand awareness and presence in North America to best achieve these goals?

Teaching Note: 8B12M041 (6 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Brand Positioning; International Sales; Global Strategy/Integration; International Management; Information Technology Strategy; China; United States; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Deborah Compeau, Rueylin Hsiao, Sheng-Tsung Hou

Product Number: 9B09E021
Publication Date: 4/8/2010
Length: 21 pages

The chief executive officer (CEO) of Taiwan Taxi must assess the adoption of iCall by the firm's taxi drivers. When originally conceived, iCall was supposed to be the basis for substantial growth in the number of taxi drivers signing up with Taiwan Taxi. But even after many years, adoption still lags behind the plan. The CEO must assess the reasons for the slower adoption of iCall and make recommendations on whether to revise the goal or improve adoption in order to meet it. The case demonstrates the many complexities involved in realizing business value from the adoption of information technology.

Teaching Note: 8B09E21 (7 pages)
Industry: Transportation and Warehousing
Issues: Innovation; Technological Change; Management Information Systems; CNCCU/Ivey
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 7:
E-Business Systems

Derrick Neufeld

Product Number: 9B14E004
Publication Date: 3/13/2014
Revision Date: 3/13/2014
Length: 4 pages

In late 2013, the founder of Aztek Chocolate, a candy manufacturer, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is confronted with making an accounting system selection decision. He has two traditional options — outsourcing to an accounting or bookkeeping firm versus using an internally developed spreadsheet or commercial software package — as well as a third “hybrid” option — using an accounting cloud, or Software-as-a-Service, service provider. Sales are starting to flow in, and chocolates are shipping out, but he realizes he must now attend to setting up financial control and reporting systems before he loses control of the new firm’s financial performance. Should he hire an accountant, manage the finances himself with a commercial accounting software package or use an accounting cloud service provider?

Teaching Note: 8B14E004 (5 pages)
Industry: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Issues: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS); accounting; computer applications; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Nicole R.D. Haggerty, Shankar Venkatagiri, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B11E009
Publication Date: 6/21/2011
Revision Date: 5/27/2011
Length: 13 pages

In December 2007, the management of Mercedes-Benz India (MBI), a fully owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, the 12th-largest automobile manufacturer in the world, has decided to relocate to a new facility near Pune in western India. In overseeing the installation of information technology (IT) infrastructure at the new premises, the company’s chief information officer (CIO) must deal with some managerial choices pertaining to IT architecture, IT tools, and IT skill sets of the company. Each choice involves several trade-offs. The CIO’s decision on each will have a major effect on the revenues, margins, and competitive positioning of MBI in the Indian automotive industry.

Teaching Note: 8B11E009 (9 pages)
Issues: Strategic Management; IT Infrastructure; Green Computing; Automobiles; Germany; India; IIM-Bangalore/Ivey
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

T.S. Raghu

Product Number: 9B10E002
Publication Date: 3/2/2010
Revision Date: 2/4/2015
Length: 18 pages

Pinnacle West is in the energy-related services business and headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Its largest subsidiary, APS, is a power utility that serves over a million customers across Arizona. The case was written when one of the biggest recessions in recent history hit global and U.S. markets. Written from the perspective of the vice-president and chief information officer, the case chronicles the various recent successful process change initiatives at Pinnacle West. The vice-president has achieved initial success in instituting a process-oriented culture inside his own information technology (IT) services organization, and in some specific business units within Pinnacle West. He now faces a significant crossroads in his process orientation strategy for Pinnacle West. He has to devise a strategy for a wider rollout of a process-oriented strategy throughout Pinnacle West and determine if the larger enterprise is ready for this strategy. He has to consider various issues in making this decision - resource availability, change management competency and buy-in from other top-level managers. He has to carefully weigh the various options in rolling out this strategy, as he fears that any misstep may derail his carefully executed plans for bringing a process-oriented approach to managing at Pinnacle West. This case can be used in an introductory systems course. It can also be used in a course on business process management or operations management.

Teaching Note: 8B10E02 (8 pages)
Industry: Utilities
Issues: Organizational Change; Information Technology Strategy; Change Management; Business Process Re-Engineering
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Chapter 8:
Business Across the Enterprise

Sumedha Chauhan, Sangeeta Shah Bharadwaj

Product Number: 9B13E018
Publication Date: 8/7/2013
Revision Date: 1/6/2014
Length: 9 pages

The managing director of a small- to medium-sized electrical firm faces a major challenge: he realizes that the firm he founded has grown so significantly that information management has become very difficult. For solving issues of data integrity, redundancy, incompleteness and backup, he obtains quotations for implementation of enterprise resource planning from different vendors. Meanwhile, he discusses the issue of implementing the new system with his management team, who respond in different tones, leaving him confused. He also has to ensure that the initiative does not put strain on the firm’s finances. He ponders various options such as whether to adopt enterprise resource planning on premise or on cloud and whether to go with the safe but costly option of engaging a well-established firm or to risk dealing with a start-up.

Teaching Note: 8B13E018 (11 pages)
Industry: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Issues: ERP; cloud computing; software as a service; information management; India
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Muntazar Bashir Ahmed

Product Number: 9B12E002
Publication Date: 4/27/2012
Revision Date: 4/25/2012
Length: 21 pages

Pak Elektron Limited was a prominent manufacturer of consumer home appliances, large distribution and power transformers, and switch gears for power companies in Pakistan. From 2007, the company had started the process of changing the information systems of the company. These systems had become outdated as Microsoft withdrew its support of Visual FoxPro, the platform on which all systems had been developed. The company decided that a Tier 1 ERP (enterprise resource planning) system with strength in manufacturing modules would be suitable. An ERP system was then selected and a firm was appointed as implementer in December 2009. The case describes the issues surrounding the implementation, including many unexpected events. It presents the situation as of the fourth quarter of 2011, after Phase 1 of the implementation had finished in December 2010 and the company had decided in March 2011 to dispense with the services of the consulting firm supporting the implementation. Pak Elektron Limited was facing a liquidity crisis and had to save costs even though there was insufficient corporate knowledge of ERP procedures. The staff was not comfortable with the ERP system and would not let go of the legacy systems and, as such, the project was in trouble.

Teaching Note: 8B12E002 (9 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Human Resource Management; Change Management; Enterprise Resource Planning; Information Systems; Pakistan
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Derrick Neufeld, Yulin Fang, Huaiqing Wang, Terrance Fung

Product Number: 9B11E001
Publication Date: 2/18/2011
Revision Date: 5/4/2017
Length: 13 pages

Keda, a manufacturer of large-scale machinery in China, had successfully deployed an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that was paying for itself through more efficient inventory management. This was significant because despite China’s increasing demand for ERP systems, an estimated 80 per cent of ERP implementation efforts failed in the country. The vice general manager of Keda had a large backlog of other information technology projects, and he wanted to carefully evaluate the ERP project to determine what had gone right, what had gone wrong, and what Keda had achieved through simple luck.

Teaching Note: 8B11E001 (9 pages)
Issues: System Implementation; Enterprise Resource Planning; Information Technology; Project Management; China
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 9:
E-Commerce Systems

Deborah Compeau, Craig Dunbar, Michael R. King, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B13E006
Publication Date: 3/5/2013
Revision Date: 3/5/2013
Length: 12 pages

Senior management of a large stock exchange is reviewing a recent software problem that resulted in a botched opening for the initial public offering of a popular social media company. They are drawing up a list of recommendations on how to prevent this type of failure in the future, taking into account the needs of their various stakeholders, including customers, market makers, listed firms, regulators and shareholders. Overviews of the stock market, NASDAQ in particular, and the use of technology to trade stocks securely and quickly are followed by examining the aftermath of a delay in the correct trading of Facebook shares on its opening.

Teaching Note: 8B13E006 (8 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Program Trading; Stakeholder Management; Crisis Management; United States
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Barbara L. Marcolin, Ning Su, Corey Rochkin

Product Number: 9B13E001
Publication Date: 1/29/2013
Revision Date: 3/13/2013
Length: 10 pages

The CEO and founder of ExerciseApp decided to take the plunge and spec out the features of his new iPhone mobile application and supporting website. He planned for ExerciseApp to stream exercise workouts from pro-athletes to followers who wanted to “Train. Play. Be. Like the Pros” and get an edge to their workouts. As he envisioned the application, he realized he would need a lot of help with the technology and the setup of this entrepreneurial venture in order to successfully bring it to market. With limited funding, he must decide on the next steps for the business, including the application’s features, business model and market strategy.

Teaching Note: 8B13E001 (14 pages)
Industry: Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Issues: Social media; open business models; technology strategy; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Anandan Pillai, Arvind Sahay

Product Number: 9B12A007
Publication Date: 3/28/2012
Revision Date: 3/28/2012
Length: 13 pages

Ayojak was an online event management product solution offered by Signure Technologies Limited, a firm established in 2007 in India and the United Kingdom that had product development and business development centres in Pune and Bangalore, India. As of May 2011, Ayojak had two operational products and two more products in the development stage. Ayojak provided an end-to-end solution to any event organizer, including such activities as the creation of an event web page, ticket sales, collation of attendee information, event promotion on social media, and customer support for booking tickets online.

To promote its clients’ events, Ayojak made extensive use of such social media platforms as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. It engaged in few offline marketing activities and hence depended solely on word-of-mouth through its social media presence. However, in April 2011, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Signure realized that Ayojak’s social media content strategy had been focusing on promoting its clients’ events. Now, with two more products soon to be launched, the CEO needed to rethink Ayojak’s content strategy. He wanted to build Ayojak’s brand among its stakeholders by leveraging its social media presence, instead of using this presence merely as a promotion platform for its clients’ events.

Teaching Note: 8B12A007 (15 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Social Media Marketing; Event Management; India; Ivey/ISB
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Chapter 10:
Supporting Decision Making

Nicole R.D. Haggerty, Shankar Venkatagiri, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B11E030
Publication Date: 9/13/2011
Length: 18 pages

In 2006, Mudra Communications, the third-largest advertising agency in India, is in the middle of an organizational transformation in which information technology (IT) is seen by the top management as pivotal. The IT setup is undergoing a transition at Mudra from manual systems to an Enterprise System (ES) which has been developed internally by the eight-member IT team led by executive vice president for technology Sebastian Joseph. As he gets ready to implement the first module of ES, known as Mudra Business Operations Support System (mBoss), covering 70 per cent of the activities of the agency, Joseph is facing some managerial dilemmas related to planning the roll-out, training the end users, and managing the change that the new system will bring to the agency. He is also facing choices between outsourcing the ES architecture or owning it, and between outsourcing the development of the remaining seven modules or developing them internally, as before.

Teaching Note: 8B11E030 (8 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: IT System Implementation; Return on Investment; Enterprise System; Advertising Agencies; India; IIM-Bangalore/Ivey
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Richard M. Kesner

Product Number: 9B11E023
Publication Date: 7/21/2011
Length: 16 pages

Between 2001 and 2011, iSoftStone Holdings Ltd. grew from a small information technology services firm operating out of Beijing with 40 employees into a global IT consulting and services company with 11,000 employees, effectively competing with established Indian outsourcing IT providers such as Tata and InfoSys. The case discusses the particular go-to-market and growth strategies of iSoftStone and its evolution as a global player. The focus of the case is on addressing how iSoftStone approached the management of its human capital and intellectual property as both the vehicle for its rapid and successful expansion and as a differentiating factor between the enterprise and its competitors. The iSoftStone story also demonstrates the importance of enterprise-wide measurement of performance and the use of lessons learned in refining internal business processes and in developing project and service delivery teams.

Teaching Note: 8B11E023 (13 pages)
Issues: Information Systems; Outsourcing; Intellectual Capital; Knowledge Management; China; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Richard M. Kesner

Product Number: 9B09E023
Publication Date: 12/11/2009
Revision Date: 2/26/2010
Length: 15 pages

This case considers the process of organizational transformation undertaken by Partners Healthcare System (PHS) since the 1990s as their hospital and affiliated ambulatory medical practices have adopted both EMR and CPOE systems. Encompassing a strategic investment in information technologies, wide-spread process change, and the pervasive use of institutional clinical decision support and knowledge management systems, this story has been 15 years in the making, culminating in 2009 with the network-wide use of EMR and CPOE by all PHS doctors. These developments in turn opened the door to the redefinition of services delivery and to the replacement of established therapies through the leveraging of the knowledge residing in 4.6 million now-digitized PHS patient records. As such, the PHS experience serves as a window into how one organization strove to address the daunting challenges of 21st century health care services information management, as a template for success in the implementation of large-scale information systems among research-based hospitals across the United States, and more broadly as a learning platform for industry executives in their efforts to transform health care delivery through data and knowledge management.

Teaching Note: 8B09E23 (18 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Change Management; Health Administration; Decision Support Systems; Information Systems; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 11:
Business/IT Strategies for Development

Michael J. Fratantuono, David M. Sarcone

Product Number: 9B12M090
Publication Date: 10/29/2012
Revision Date: 10/6/2015
Length: 19 pages

In the summer of 2010, the members of the business development team of Target Systems were carefully considering the possibility of entering the Electronic Health Information (EHI) systems arena. The company had both breadth and depth of experience in providing logistics, project management and information technology (IT) services to clients in the public and private sector. Although the employees of Target Systems were experts in a full range of IT services, no one in the company had deep expertise about the way IT applications were being used to manage patient care or administer health care organizations. The lack of expertise implied that a movement by Target Systems into the EHI systems arena would call for the company to simultaneously develop new products and services for a new set of clients –– to engage in growth by related diversification. That strategy would stand in contrast to the growth by concentration strategy the team had employed throughout company history. To pursue a diversification strategy the team would have to decide if it should provide services to regional health information organizations, hospitals or individual physicians’ practices. It would also have to decide whether it would cultivate new capabilities by investing in internal development or by seeking a strategic partner that was already operating in the arena. Ultimately, the way the business development team weighed the opportunities versus the challenges of adopting a new growth strategy in the context of a still uncertain external environment would strongly influence its decision as to whether or not the company should enter this new arena.

Teaching Note: 8B12M090 (16 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Strategy formulation; diversification; United States
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Zhiduan Xu, Shi Yun, Xu Yong

Product Number: 9B11D009
Publication Date: 9/19/2011
Length: 15 pages

Established in 1945, MGT Group was headquartered in France. Its LSD factory was a well-known global engineering provider specializing in the design and manufacture of high-precision valves. At the end of 2007, MGT decided to close the LSD factory in France and relocate it to Fuzhou, China. Two people were put in charge of this project: Kevin Lurton, vice chief operations officer of MGT Control Systems Division, and Jian Li, the general manager of MGT Fuzhou Company. Lurton and Li faced a series of challenges, ranging from the need for strategic planning to the need for an implementation policy for supply chain reconstruction during the cross-border factory relocation.

Teaching Note: 8B11D009 (14 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Cross-border Factory Relocation; Supply Chain Reconstruction; Supply Chain Strategy; France; China; Ivey/CMCC
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Deborah Compeau, Eugenia Huang

Product Number: 9B10E003
Publication Date: 5/21/2010
Length: 18 pages

The president of Unimicron must evaluate the degree to which the company's information systems support its business strategy. The case provides an extensive review of the company's history, its strategy and its key competitive and organizational moves. The case reviews the way in which information systems are used in the company, and challenges students to assess the degree of fit between strategy, organization and technology.

Teaching Note: 8B10E03 (6 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Management Information Systems; Information Systems; CNCCU/Ivey
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 12:
Implementing Business/IT Solutions

Aparna Raman, Sangeeta Shah Bharadwaj

Product Number: 9B13E028
Publication Date: 10/11/2013
Revision Date: 1/28/2014
Length: 14 pages

In December 2005, Sapient Consulting signed a fixed-price contract with U.S.-based Global HR Outsourcing Inc. to design a human resources portal for its international customers. Sapient’s senior manager of project management, who was based in India, had been handed the project with full faith that it would not only be delivered on time but within the fixed price and using the new agile hybrid methodology. The client wanted the portal built for them and insisted that the project be delivered in a phased manner and with functionality approved by them. Thus, the challenge was to meet the needs of the client while maintaining the margins for the organization.

Teaching Note: 8B13E028 (8 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Hybrid agile approach; client expectations; fixed cost; methodology design; India
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Glenn Brophey, Cristobal Sanchez-Rodriguez , Derek Stacey, David Hemsworth

Product Number: 9B11E010
Publication Date: 10/25/2011
Revision Date: 12/10/2012
Length: 14 pages

In market-leading firms, software development is often undertaken by in-house teams to address specific information systems (IS) needs — in part because nothing that fits specific needs is commercially available. These projects often end up taking longer than planned and exceeding ever-growing budgets.

In this case, in-house software development of an information system for Canadian Shield Insurance was finally nearing completion (over budget and behind schedule), and the beta-testing phase and some initial training sessions had begun. Not all the first impressions were positive, so when the director became aware of a recently introduced commercial offering that seemed like a very attractive alternative, he faced a dilemma: should he abandon the developed project, which amounted to five years of work and over $1 million, for a different system that might be a better option? The protagonist in the case had done a preliminary functional comparison of the in-house information system and the commercial offering, and he recognized that the new alternative might hold some significant advantages for the firm. The potential negative implications for his career and the careers of the people he worked alongside during the development project caused him to think about whether or not he should be informing others within the firm about the commercial alternative and, if he did, what position he should take.

Teaching Note: 8B11E010 (11 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Information Technology Strategy; Business Process Re-engineering; Balanced Scorecard; Software Development
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

T.S. Raghu, Collin Sellman

Product Number: 9B11E040
Publication Date: 2/23/2012
Length: 13 pages

Pearson Plc is an education company that operates worldwide, with headquarters in London, England. Its six primary business units are North American Education, International Education, Professional, The Financial Times, Interactive Data, and Penguin Publishing. The vice president of product management within the Digital Learning division of the North American Education unit based in Chandler, Arizona, begins to transform the product development processes to better meet the needs of his customers in the education market, specifically in transitioning from using an off-shored Waterfall software development model to an on-shore Agile model.

When the vice president first joined Pearson a year earlier, the Digital Learning unit had spent significant resources developing a major upgrade for one of its educational software products. The first version of this new product was challenged by the disconnect between what the software development group was delivering and what the vice president’s customers desired. He is now faced with a decision to continue focusing on the specific methodology the group had implemented (Scrum) or move to a new one (Kanban). Additionally, he has to consider expanding his focus to help drive Agile methodologies both with other groups in his business unit and outside his business unit. These decisions must be made at a potentially critical time for his products as his organization deals with the growing pains associated with the shift to Agile.

Teaching Note: 8B11E040 (11 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Product Development; Process Design; Agile Methodology; Systems Development; Educational Software; United States
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 13:
Security and Ethical Challenges

Nakul Gupta, Arjun Bhatnagar, Jyotsna Bhatnagar

Product Number: 9B13E029
Publication Date: 10/17/2013
Revision Date: 5/2/2014
Length: 7 pages

It was summer of 2013, and the news of cyber-attacks and information security breaches was on the rise in India, as it was worldwide. Incidents such as the Axis bank’s cyber-crime incident and the news of the American National Security Agency’s global e-surveillance were creating consternation and dilemmas in the minds of information security consultants. One such consultant owned and operated an information security company, Percept Softech, a Lakshyaa Technology Lab’s Jaipur franchise. The consultant was bogged down by a number of problems and dilemmas. The first was his marketing and business growth strategy, which was not helping him in promotion of his business. Information security solutions, spying, vulnerability checks, key logging and allied propositions were difficult to promote. Managing young millennial talent was another major problem for him. Apart from the woes of business growth, inefficiency in promotion and talent issues, the consultant was now facing another dilemma. Should he start a new business away from the umbrella of the Lakshyaa Technology Lab? Should he partner with a detective agency? Or should he relocate from Jaipur to a more central location (such as New Delhi) where perhaps people would be more aware of the importance of cyber security and students would be more interested in pursuing cyber security training?

Teaching Note: 8B13E029 (15 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: India
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Deborah Compeau, Nicole R.D. Haggerty, Shady Fraiha

Product Number: 9B11E002
Publication Date: 3/7/2011
Revision Date: 4/15/2011
Length: 17 pages

It was early 2010, and the Twitter Trio, the founders of Twitter, were faced with a changing market situation and pressures to make money. Twitter was a free service that had been operating without a viable business plan since 2006. In early 2010, Twitter was still not making enough money and it was time that Twitter showed a real return on investment. The Trio had to decide on a business model that was competitive. There was a data-mining project that could bring all the funds Twitter needed to stay in business, make profit, and compete with others. However, the founders were concerned that this project might be perceived to intrude on users’ privacy, even in a company that was founded on the basis of sharing information publicly.

Teaching Note: 8B11E002 (15 pages)
Industry: Other Services
Issues: Information Systems; Business and Society; e-business Models; Privacy Issues; Profitability
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Nicole R.D. Haggerty, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B08E003
Publication Date: 3/12/2008
Revision Date: 5/18/2017
Length: 12 pages

The chief security officer of TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) faces a dilemma on his first day on the job. The company has discovered in December 2006, a computer intrusion dating back to 2005. There is an ongoing investigation, involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into the attacks. The company is also in the middle of several class action law suits over losses suffered by financial institutions due to breaches of customer privacy. The chief security officer has to focus on plugging the loopholes in the company's information technology (IT)security, in the short term, and taking steps to ensure in the long term that the attack does not recur. He also had to get the management of TJX to start looking at IT security not as a technology issue but as a business issue.

Teaching Note: 8B08E03 (6 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Computer Management; Security Systems; Retailing; Information Systems
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 14:
Enterprise and Global Management of Information Technology

Gerard Seijts, P. Fraser Johnson, Mary M. Crossan, V. Joseph Compeau, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B10M090
Publication Date: 1/27/2011
Length: 32 pages

As of 2010, ING DIRECT USA has had a successful first decade, having grown into one of the largest U.S. banks with $90 billion in assets. It has developed an innovative culture and a unique approach to banking, and has a strong brand name. As a result of a regulatory requirement in the Netherlands, ING Group is required to divest ING DIRECT USA by 2013. The chairman, president, and chief executive officer is reviewing his organization and thinking about what challenges the firm will face in the future.

Teaching Note: 8B10M090 (15 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Cultural Customs; Operations Management; Information Systems; Strategic Positioning; Banking; the Netherlands; the United States
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Deborah Compeau, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B10E008
Publication Date: 10/13/2010
Revision Date: 11/9/2010
Length: 10 pages

A senior manager at IBM Canada Ltd. is trying to determine how best to implement strategy developed at the global level. The Business Transformation Executive, Sales & Distribution, IBM Canada Ltd., is responsible for introducing, maintaining and retiring software programs to support IBM Canada's business needs. In October 2009, the senior manager is trying to assess if the customer relationship management (CRM) developed locally should continue to be supported or if the planned switchover to a global standard CRM should continue as scheduled. The case is intended for students to discuss the challenges of implementing global IT strategy at the local or country unit level.

Teaching Note: 8B10E008 (6 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Information System Design; Change Management; Information Technology; Strategic Change
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Nicole R.D. Haggerty, John Fong

Product Number: 9B08E009
Publication Date: 1/7/2009
Length: 15 pages

A member of the integration leadership team must help plan and execute the integration of Delta's information technology (IT) operations into those of Unity. He has been given a time limit of three years and has been charged with removing $60 million of expenses during the process. Half of the savings will come from reducing the number of staff whose roles have been duplicated as a result of the merger. The remaining savings will be achieved through the reduction of associated assets such as hardware, software and property. Irving has many hurdles to overcome, including motivating soon-to-be-made-redundant staff, finding and keeping Delta's star performers, designing the new organizational structure for the technology group, choosing the target IT platform and performing the infrastructure consolidation. This case takes a student through the important decisions in integration projects in order to ensure success in a merger or acquisition, bringing awareness to the execution aspects of these transactions.

Teaching Note: 8B08E09 (13 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services, Finance and Insurance
Issues: Mergers & Acquisitions; Information System Design; Information Systems
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA