Ivey Publishing

Fundamentals of Information Systems

Stair, R.M., Reynolds, G.W. (United States, Cengage Learning, 2002)
Prepared By Louis Beaubien, Ph.D. Candidate (Information Systems)
Chapter and Title Chapter Matches: Case Information
Chapter 1:
An introduction to information systems in organizations

Scott L. Schneberger, Ying Wang

Product Number: 9A99E019
Publication Date: 7/20/1999
Revision Date: 1/15/2010
Length: 12 pages

Delta Bank, a full service bank with 28,000 employees worldwide and $189 billion in asset value, faced the Y2K problem with only months to spare. The consequences of failure were enormous, the project was very complex, and the deadline was unmovable.

Teaching Note: 8A99E19 (7 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Computer Applications; Operations Management; Information Systems; Human Resources Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Michael Parent, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B00E017
Publication Date: 12/7/2000
Revision Date: 1/8/2010
Length: 7 pages

Medisys Health Group, a leading occupational health company, was founded in 1981. It began to look at the North American market for expansion, seeking ways to leverage the Internet to become a leading medical information management company. With a couple of Internet projects on the go, it is up to the director of Internet strategy to explain how each piece fits into the overall business strategy. He contemplates shifting the business from the provision of medical services to the provision of information using an application service provider model. This case may be used in conjunction with Ivey case 9A98E011, Creating a Web Site for Medisys Health Group.

Teaching Note: 8B00E17 (10 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Strategic Change; Internet; Organizational Change; Information Systems
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Scott L. Schneberger, Murray McCaig

Product Number: 9A99E011
Publication Date: 3/24/1999
Revision Date: 1/15/2010
Length: 17 pages

In 1998, Metropolitan Life's first vice president of Interactive Commerce faced a plethora of opportunities, challenges, and decisions in charting MetLife's strategy for e-commerce. He wanted to move quickly into transacting Web-based commerce, but he had to consider executive support, infrastructure requirements, possibly disenfranchising the sales force, fast-moving competitors, and the frenzied rate of technology change. The case covers almost all e-commerce start-up issues, but from the perspective of a large, established bricks and mortar business. (A 19-minute video is available for purchase with this case.)

Teaching Note: 8A99E11 (9 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Corporate Strategy; Market Strategy; Information Systems; Insurance
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 2:
Hardware and Software

Michael Parent, Harvey G. Enns

Product Number: 9A98E001
Publication Date: 1/28/1998
Revision Date: 1/27/2010
Length: 13 pages

CERNET, the China Education and Research Network, is a not-for-profit, central government body formed to oversee the development and implementation of a university-based nation-wide Internet backbone. Fulfilling this mandate was well underway. CERNET was connected to 280 of China's 3,035 universities and colleges. Much work nonetheless remained. The case deals with managing the growth of the network from the perspective of the director of the Technical Board and Network Centre. Issues he had to contend with include hardware and bandwidth upgrades and installations, access, security, connectivity, costs, and tariffs. With over half the country's population not yet having made their first telephone call, these tasks proved daunting.

Teaching Note: 8A98E01 (10 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: China; Internet; Information Systems; Capital Budgeting
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Sid L. Huff, Harvey G. Enns

Product Number: 9A97E011
Publication Date: 9/12/1997
Revision Date: 11/18/2002
Length: 29 pages

Datacom is one of the first Internet Service Provider companies to be started in Mongolia. The company was sponsored in part by the Pan Asia Networking (PAN) initiative, a project under the auspices of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a Canadian Crown Corporation. IDRC believed that an effective way of promoting third-world economic development was through the development of Information Technology infrastructure. Datacom was PAN's first major project, so the PAN initiative and the IDRC had a lot riding on its success. Development of data communications and the Internet in Mongolia was especially challenging given the rudimentary nature of telecommunications in the country. The decision maker in the case is faced with questions of how to expand Datacom's service offerings following its initial venture into Internet services. Wireless communications and satellites provide a way around some of the obstacles, but pose other challenges in terms of cost and know-how. A technical note (9A99E010) on Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) is available as a supplement to this case.

Teaching Note: 8A97E11 (12 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Computer Applications; Information Systems; Technological Change
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Scott L. Schneberger, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B00E023
Publication Date: 1/25/2001
Revision Date: 1/8/2010
Length: 11 pages

Highwired.com provided to high school students and teachers, a range of free services to enable school interaction on a personalized Web site. Highwired.com's network had grown from 1,000 member high schools to over 12,000 schools in 50 states and 72 countries, in only 13 months. Due to its blistering growth, it was approaching its peak load capacity in June, the end of the school year. The vice-president of product development expected that growth would continue at that pace and wanted to ensure that they struck the right balance between low response time and minimal downtime, and acceptable hardware costs. Any changes had to be made before school started in September. He wanted to confirm that his recommendation to use multiple servers with redundant network storage devices attached was the optimal solution. To do so, he examined site performance metrics, server configuration options and additional hardware.

Teaching Note: 8B00E23 (7 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: E-Commerce; Action Planning and Implementation; System Design; Capacity Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 3:
Organizing Data and Information

Michael Parent, Shawn Finkbeiner

Product Number: 9A98E016
Publication Date: 10/17/1998
Revision Date: 1/28/2010
Length: 8 pages

Canadian Tire's information warehouse has become the victim of its own success. Both the end-user and IT communities have become increasingly frustrated with interruptions in service. The data architect for the warehouse needs to decide what needs to be met, in what priority, and with what programs.

Teaching Note: 8A98E16 (8 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Decision Analysis; Consumer Marketing; Information Systems; Data Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 4:
Telecommunications, the Internet, Intranets, and Extranets

Mike Wade, David Hamilton

Product Number: 9B01E001
Publication Date: 3/7/2001
Revision Date: 12/17/2009
Length: 23 pages

The director of business development of the electronic banking division of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) had just won a long-fought battle to implement a wireless banking initiative for customers with mobile devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants. Now he had to make a number of key decisions relating to the strategy. These decisions included which services to offer (banking as well as non-related services), which devices and standards to support and whether to partner with a third-party content supplier. An extensive glossary of wireless technology terminology is included with this case.

Teaching Note: 8B01E01 (3 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Telecommunication Technology; Strategy Implementation; Technological Change; Consumer Behaviour
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Michael Parent, Debra Rankin

Product Number: 9A97E018
Publication Date: 12/5/1997
Revision Date: 2/3/2010
Length: 10 pages

Cisco is the world's largest, and leading manufacturer and distributor of routers and switches. In order to achieve this position, it has adopted an aggressive growth strategy, acquiring companies, their employees, and new employees at a rate of 250 to 300 employees per month. The Cisco Employee Connection (CEC), a corporate intranet, is the primary means by which new employees are absorbed and acculturated. The CEC is also the principal means of interaction for the multi-functional work team approach Cisco employs. This case critically assesses this approach to scaling an organization, and the extent to which it can be maintained and transferred.

Teaching Note: 8A97E18 (19 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Internet; Computer Industry
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Michael Parent, Mike Wade

Product Number: 9A98E013
Publication Date: 5/27/1998
Revision Date: 1/27/2010
Length: 19 pages

TSAT A/S is a small, global satellite communications manufacturer based in Oslo, Norway. The company is a niche player, specializing in VSAT (very small aperture terminal) satellite networks for mostly SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) applications. The case is written from the perspective of the marketing manager for Southern Europe and Latin America. The company is looking to expand into Latin America -- the second fastest growing market in the world for VSAT applications. The marketing manager has identified three possible means by which to do so, and must decide on which option is best. This case is useful for introducing satellite communications technology, and for discussing channel choices and the diffusion of technological products.

Teaching Note: 8A98E13 (11 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Technology; Market Entry; Management of Technology; Marketing Channels
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 5:
Electronic Commerce and Transaction Processing Systems

E.F. Peter Newson, Olga Volkoff

Product Number: 9A99E017
Publication Date: 5/13/1999
Revision Date: 1/15/2010
Length: 5 pages

Lipton Canada was replacing a highly-tailored, 15-year-old information system with SAP R/3 because the old system was not Y2K compliant. The project leader encountered difficulties configuring SAP to handle the particular way the company managed trade spending, which was how Lipton supported cooperative promotional work with its customers. To date, it had proved impossible to configure SAP to emulate this key process exactly. Three options were under consideration: should the implementation team rewrite the SAP R/3 software? Change the way trade spending was handled to a process that was easily configured in SAP? Or continue to search for a configuration that would produce the exact trade spending process required? The project was already behind schedule.

Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Managing Implementation; Computer System Implementation; Project Management; Information Systems
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Rebecca A. Grant

Product Number: 9B00E001
Publication Date: 2/16/2000
Revision Date: 1/8/2010
Length: 17 pages

With limited initial capital investment, four partners quickly took Advanced Book Exchange Inc. from a standing start to an industry leadership position. The principals have an opportunity to partner with a major player in electronic book commerce. There seemed to be no downside to the offer of a relationship with barnesandnoble.com but was it really as good as it looked? How would their clients react? Could they make it work? They had to decide quickly as in the world of the web, he who hesitated often lost big.

Teaching Note: 8B00E01 (5 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Small Business; Internet; Virtual Business; Strategic Alliances
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

E.F. Peter Newson, Stephane Marchak

Product Number: 9A99E030
Publication Date: 2/9/2000
Revision Date: 1/15/2010
Length: 13 pages

The controller of AMP of Canada learned that her existing transactional processing system was not year 2000 compliant. She must choose between three alternatives: upgrading the existing transactional processing system, implementing a customized software package that many AMP companies already used, or implementing SAP. She knew that Canadian management preferred to implement the very popular SAP system, but her information systems manager did not think that users were ready for SAP and preferred an option involving the existing system. The controller wondered which solution to choose and how to persuade Canadian management, the Canadian information systems department, and headquarters management to support this decision.

Teaching Note: 8A99E30 (7 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Computer System Implementation; Management Information Systems; Managing Implementation; Project Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 6:
Information and Decision Support Systems

Michael Parent

Product Number: 9A97E015
Publication Date: 10/24/1997
Revision Date: 2/3/2010
Length: 12 pages

Clearwater Fine Foods Inc. is a Canadian-based multinational seafood harvester and producer with a fleet of over 35 ships and 4 offices. The finance and accounting group, headquartered in Bedford, Nova Scotia, used a Group Support System (GSS) to complete the initial stage of its strategic plan. This case deals with the results of a facilitated-GSS session, and participants' reactions to the technology. The MIS manager must decide whether to continue using this technology, and if so, for which tasks and organizational groups.

Teaching Note: 8A97E15 (10 pages)
Industry: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Issues: Information Systems; Computer Applications
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Peter C. Bell, Betty Vandenbosch

Product Number: 9A90E002
Publication Date: 1/1/1990
Revision Date: 3/7/2002
Length: 12 pages

The Knowledge Engineering Group must decide on a strategy for expert systems development at Mutual Life. Should the Group concentrate on new applications or should the Group expand the use of expert systems within existing data processing activities?

Teaching Note: 8A90E02 (4 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 7:
Specialized Business Information Systems: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and Expert Systems (ESS)

Peter C. Bell

Product Number: 9A98E039
Publication Date: 4/30/1999
Revision Date: 1/28/2010
Length: 7 pages

The superintendent of casting at a continuous casting machine was asked to install an expert system to help diagnose and repair faults. Should he give the go ahead for installation?

Teaching Note: 8A98E39 (5 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Machine Learning; Decision Support Systems; Technological Change; Knowledge Based Systems
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 8:
Systems Development

Sid L. Huff, Elspeth Murray

Product Number: 9A98E012
Publication Date: 5/27/1998
Revision Date: 6/20/2000
Length: 20 pages

Metalco is a large Australian mining company. It has a rocky history in terms of its effective use of information systems (IS), and there is widespread dissatisfaction in the company concerning IS and the IS department. A recent resignation of the chief information officer led to the decentralization of the IS function, to move it closer to the operating departments. At the same time, one of the division heads has proposed that the company buy the SAP enterprise-wide system, to replace an earlier internal system which had been poorly received. The price tag for SAP is very high, $23 million. Implementing it would also require substantial changes in company processes. In light of its history, recent IS decentralization, and the high SAP price tag, the company is faced with making the decision of whether to go ahead with SAP. An appendix in the case provides extensive information on the procedure used to evaluate SAP, and results thereof.

Teaching Note: 8A98E12 (4 pages)
Industry: Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Issues: Information Systems; Information Technology; Information System Design; Computer System Implementation
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chris A. Higgins, Derrick Neufeld

Product Number: 9A95E007
Publication Date: 8/31/1995
Revision Date: 12/13/2002
Length: 20 pages

A project manager at Digital Canada has designed a work-at-home program to encourage field personnel to spend less time working in the office and more time working at client sites, on the road and at home. He believes his plan will save Digital Canada millions of dollars annually and result in increased productivity. Unfortunately, the response from U.S. headquarters has been lukewarm, and the affected employees are reacting quite negatively. The manager is uncertain how to generate support for his plan in order to move forward.

Teaching Note: 8A95E07 (7 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Program Design/Implementation; Personnel Management; Organizational Change; Facilities Planning
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 9:
Security, Privacy, and Ethical Issues in Information Systems and the Internet

Scott L. Schneberger, Emily Chee

Product Number: 9A98E017
Publication Date: 12/11/1998
Revision Date: 1/28/2010
Length: 11 pages

A proposal to give all pharmacists computer database access to the prescription histories of all British Columbians was meeting stiff media criticism over privacy issues. While the Ministry of Health foresaw many benefits of the proposed Pharmanet to consumers, pharmacists, and government regulators, many others felt access to so much information would lead to misuse or abuse. With province-wide implementation only two months away, the Pharmanet project director had to decide what, if any, additional changes to the database system had to be made to ensure public support.

Teaching Note: 8A98E17 (7 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Health Administration; Computer System Implementation; Ethical Issues; Computer Applications
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Mike Wade, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B00E018
Publication Date: 1/26/2001
Revision Date: 1/8/2010
Length: 6 pages

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) had implemented word recognition software, Assentor, in its U.S. brokerage arm to ensure its employees were not acting inappropriately in their dealings with customers and to protect company systems from viruses. This software scanned e-mails for flagged business words and archived the e-mails in a central database. The manager of compliance at CIBC's head office in Toronto, found that the decision to implement the Assentor software was much easier than deciding what to do in the event the software found something improper. Issues related to company ethics and employee privacy were raised. Acknowledging that occasional personal e-mails would be sent and received, he wondered what the legal ramifications would be if a manager found out about a private situation because Assentor had found a flagged word in a personal e-mail. He felt that clear communication with and upfront understanding from employees would help prevent negative impressions of this process so he had to determine the best way to inform employees about the e-mail scanning while enforcing CIBC's e-mail policy.

Teaching Note: 8B00E18 (4 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Risk Analysis; Privacy Issues; Management Information Systems; Management of Technology
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA