Class 4 – ERP Systems
Ryerson has a set of systems to service the entire community, consisting of several legacy and
COS (Commercial off the shelf) systems
o Blackboard (learning management system – LMS)
Runs on a series of computer systems and servers in KHW basement. RAMSS
also uses the Oracle DBMS (Database Management System) to get student data
such as registration, etc.
o RAMSS (Registrar system)
o Oracle (Financial and HR systems)
Uses two enterprise systems: Financial IS, and HRIS.
Anything to do with money is connected in the Financial IS (library fees, etc)
o Other “best of breed” systems – bookstore, residence, library, RAC/MAC, etc.
EAI Middleware (Enterprise Application Integration) – The information bus
o Allows you to swap databases through the EAI Middleware, and supplies the
information from different databases
Enterprise Resource Planning – integrates all departments and functions throughout an organization
into a single IT system (or integrated set of IT systems) so that employees can make enterprise-wide
decisions by viewing enterprise-wide information on all business operations
o Solution to incompatible applications
o Addresses the need for global information sharing
o Avoids the expense of fixing legacy systems
Legacy Systems – are older computer technology still in use (most of this software has been
written in the 1960s). ERP can separate the data from this software and so solves the problem of
these aging systems still in us
Functional Systems – Serve single business departments or units
At the heart of all ERP systems is a database; when a user enters or updates information in one
module, it is immediately and automatically updated through the entire system.
Personal (Textbook) Notes
Social Responsibility – Government / Corporation / Organization / Individual has a responsibility
Corporate Policy – refers to the position a firm takes on social and political issues
Corporate Responsibility – Part of Social Responsibility: Includes everything from hiring minority
workers to making safe products. Sustainable or “Green” IT – Manufacturing / use / management / disposal of IT in a way that
minimizes environmental damage, critical part of social responsibility of a corporation
Energy Consumption of IT systems is very costly. In fact, in a typical data centre over 30% of the
energy goes to the IT equipment. Using better cooling techniques and better designed
computers, companies can save millions in operating costs per year for IT systems
o Energy Rebate Programs are available in Ontario for small businesses, offering
incentives to upgrade to energy-saving applicants, and to meet energy efficiency goals
in the Ontario Building Code
o Stricter carbon emission laws are making it a necessity for business to use energy
Sun Microsystems designed the first multi-core chip. Marc Tremblay who was Sun
Microsystem’s chip architect knew that faster chips would run hotter and burn out, so he
created the multi-core with several processors running on a single piece of silicon. They each run
cooler and collectively get more work done.
o HP created Smart Cooling for use in data centres. Thousands of heat sensors monitor
temperatures and the software direct
o Water-cooling is a popular technique used to cool hot chips more efficiently than the
conventional method of blowing cold air onto them.
Virtualization is a framework that divides the resources of a computer into multiple execution
environments. Allows IT managers to easily load multiple programs on a single machine and
move programs between computers on the fly, making maximum use of a server cluster. Saves a
lot on energy costs because previously servers could only run 1 app at a time, and the server
was always on even if that app was not in use
Google experimented using alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power in its data
centres, but ultimately decided that these efforts are in vein and canceled the program.
Sustainable IT Disposal refers to the safe disposal of IT assets at the end of their life cycle
o Ensures E-Waste (old computer equipment) does not end up in a landfill where toxic
substances can cause problems
o Many hardware manufactures (Toshiba, Dell, Sony) now offer take-back programs for
o Canada’s provincial laws require that e-waste be recycled. They created the Electronic
Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC) to manage e-waste programs.
These programs currently target 5 general categories: PC’s , notebooks,
monitors, printers, and televisions.
Companies like LinkedIn, the professional networking website, are being used more and more
by large and powerful firms to seek out suitable candidates for employment
o Gives companies the ability to stay in touch with former employees
o Powerful job-searching tool, and employee-seeking tool
o Helps create a community with potential customers
With the progress of technology the Virtual Workforce – people working at home through the
internet – is growing steadily. Tools for the Virtual Workforce include:
o Mobile Commerce – the ability to purchases goods/service through an internet enabled
o Telematics – Blending of computers and wireless telecommunications technologies with
the goal of efficiently conveying information over vast networks to improve business
o Electronic Tagging – a technique for identifying and tracking assets and individuals via
technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification and smart cards.
Section 4.2 – Enterprise Resource Planning
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - integrates all departments and functions throughout an
organization into a SINGLE information system, so that employees can make decisions by
viewing enterprise-wide data on all business operations.
o EX: Taking data from across an enterprise, consolidating and correlating the data, and
generating enterprise-wide organizational reports.
o Provide organizations with consistency across the board
Legacy Systems is an older computer technology that remains in use even though there are
newer systems available. They often remain in place because they still do their assigned job,
respond adequately to user requests or because the cost of replacement is too high.
o Some issues with converting include issues of data transfer, compatibility, etc.
o Functional Systems are informational systems that serve a single business unit, such as
Issues can occur in Information Systems when there is no consistency. If a single department
such as sales decides to implement a new system without considering other departments,
inconsistencies can occur throughout the entire company. It is important to keep data
consistent across the ERP.
An ERP system can provide information to the headquarters of a company that is large and has
multi-site operations world-wide. An ERP system can help to obtain operational efficiencies,
lower costs, improve supplier and customer relations, and increase revenues and market share.
o An example is the City of Winnipeg. The city was struggling with inconsistent data across