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Chapter 5

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Administrative Studies
ADMS 2511
Donna Rex

Chapter 5: 5.1 Network Applications: 1. Discovery:  The Internet permits users to access information located in databases all over the world.  By browsing and searching data sources on the web, users can apply the Internet's discovery capability to areas ranging from education to government services to entertainment and commerce.  It is critically important to know that there is no quality assurance applied to information on the web. o Anyone can post information to the web. o For example, as we see later in this chapter, anyone can edit a Wikipedia page (with some exceptions in controversial areas). o The rule about information on the web is: user beware! In addition, the web's major strength is also a challenge. The amount of information on the web can be overwhelming, and it doubles approximately each year. As a result, navigating through the web and gaining access to necessary information are becoming more and more difficult. To accomplish these tasks, people increasingly are using search engines, directories, and portals. Search Engines and Metasearch Engines:  A search engine is a computer program that searches for specific information, by keywords, and reports the results. A search engine maintains an index of billions of web pages.  It uses that index to find pages that match a set of user-specified keywords. o Such indexes are created and updated by webcrawlers, which are computer programs that browse the web and create a copy of all visited pages. o Search engines then index these pages to provide fast searches.  4 Main Search engines: o Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask  Metasearch Engines: o search several engines at once and integrate the findings of the various search engines to answer queries posted by users. Portals: Most organizations and their managers encounter information overload. Information is scattered across numerous documents, e-mail messages, and databases at different locations and in different systems. Finding relevant and accurate information is often time consuming and may require access to multiple systems.  One solution to this problem is to use portals. o A Portal is a web-based, personalized gateway to information and knowledge that provides relevant information from different IT systems and the Internet using advanced search and indexing techniques. o Four types of portals:  Commercial (public) Portals  offer content for diverse communities, and they are the most popular portals on the Internet. They are intended for broad audiences, and they offer fairly routine content, some in real time (for example, a stock ticker).  Examples are Lycos Canada and Sympatico/MSN  Affinity Portals  support communities such as hobby groups or political parties. They offer a single point of entry to an entire community of people with affiliated interests.  For example, your university most likely has an affinity portal for alumni.  Corporate Portals  offer a personalized, single point of access through a web browser to critical business information located inside and outside of an organization. They are also known as enterprise portals, information portals, or enterprise information portals. In addition to making it easier to find needed information, corporate portals offer customers and employees self-service opportunities.  Industry wide Portals.  An example is TruckNet, which is the portal for the trucking industry and the trucking community, including professional drivers, owner/operators, and trucking companies. TruckNet provides drivers with personalized web-based e- mail, access to applications to leading trucking companies in Canada and the U.S., and access to the Drivers RoundTable, a forum where drivers can discuss issues of interest. The portal also provides a large database of trucking jobs and general information related to the trucking industry. o These four portals are differentiated by the audiences they serve. Another type of portal, the mobile portal, is distinguished by its technology.  Mobile Portals: portals that are accessible from mobile devices. Any of the four portals above can be accessed by mobile devices. These mobile devices are typically wireless 2. Communication:  Electronic mail (e-mail): o the largest-volume application running over the Internet. A recent study found that almost 90 percent of companies conduct business transactions via e-mail, and nearly 70 percent confirm that e-mail is tied to their means of generating revenue  Web-Based Call Centres: o Effective personalized customer contact is becoming an important aspect of web-based customer support. o Such service is provided through web-based call centres, also known as customer care centres. o For example, if you need to contact a software vendor for technical support, you will usually be communicating with the vendor's web-based call centre, using e-mail, a telephone conversation, or a simultaneous voice/web session. o Web-based call centres are sometimes located in foreign countries such as India or the Philippines. Such offshoring is an important issue for Canadian companies.  Electronic chat rooms: o refers to an arrangement whereby participants exchange conversational messages in real time. o A chat room is a virtual meeting place where groups of regulars come to “gab.” Chat programs allow you to send messages to people who are connected to the same channel of communication at the same time. Anyone can join in the online conversation. Messages are displayed on your screen as they arrive, even if you are in the middle of typing a message. o Two major types of chat programs:  The first type is a web-based chat program, which allows you to send messages to Internet users by using a web browser and visiting a web chat site  The second type is an e-mail-based (text-only) program called Internet Relay Chat (IRC). A business can use IRC to interact with customers, provide experts' answers to questions, and so on.  Voice Communication: o Plain old telephone service (POTS), every call opened up a dedicated circuit for the duration of the call. (A dedicated circuit connects you to the person you are talking with and is devoted only to your call.) o The Internet divides data into packets, which traverse the Internet in random order and are reassembled at their destination.  Telephony, aka voice over Internet protocol or VOIP phone calls are treated as just another kind of data. That is, your analogue voice signals are digitized, sectioned into packets, and then sent over the Internet. VoIP significantly reduces your monthly phone bills.  For example, Skype provides several voice over IP services for free: calling other people on Skype, video calls on Skype, one-to-one and group chats, and conference calls with up to nine people 3. Collaboration: refers to efforts by two or more entities (that is, individuals, teams, groups, or organizations) who work together to accomplish certain tasks.  Work Group refers to two or more individuals who act together to perform some task.  If group members are in different locations, they constitute a Virtual Group (Team) Virtual groups conduct virtual meetings; that is, they “meet” electronically.  Virtual Collaboration (or e-collaboration) refers to the use of digital technologies that enable organizations or individuals to collaboratively plan, design, develop, manage, and research products, services, and innovative applications. o 2 types of Virtual Collaboration:  Workflow Technologies:  Workflow is the movement of information as it flows through the sequence of steps that makes up an organization's work procedures.  Workflow management makes it possible to pass documents, information, and tasks from one participant to another in a way that is governed by the organization's rules or procedures.  Workflow systems are tools for automating business processes. One key benefit of these tools is that they place system controls in the hands of user departments.  GroupWare:  refers to software products that support groups of people who collaborate to accomplish a common task or goal. Groupware uses networks to connect people, even if the people are in the same room. In this section we will describe some of the most common groupware products.  Groupware technologies are often integrated with other computer-based technologies to create groupware suites. (A software suite is created when several products are integrated into one system.) Lotus Notes/Domino is one of the most popular groupware suites. o The Lotus Notes/Domino suite provides online collaboration capabilities, workgroup e-mail, distributed databases, bulletin whiteboards, text editing, (electronic) document management, workflow capabilities, instant virtual meetings, application sharing, instant messaging, consensus building, voting, ranking, and various application development tools. All of these capabilities are integrated into one environment with a graphic, menu-based user interface.  2 Types of Groupware Technologies: o Teleconferencing is the use of electronic communication that allows two or more people at different locations to hold a simultaneous conference. There are several types of teleconferencing. The oldest and simplest is a telephone conference call. The biggest disadvantage of conference calls is that they do not allow for face-to-face communication. Also, participants in one location cannot see graphs, charts, and pictures at other locations. o Videoconferencing, participants in one location can see participants at other locations. The latest version of videoconferencing, called telepresence, enables participants to seamlessly share data, voice, pictures, graphics, and animation by electronic means. Conferees can also transmit data along with voice and video, which allows them to work on documents together and to exchange computer files. 5.2 Web 2.0 Web 1.0 was the first generation of the web. Key developments of web 1.0 were the creation of websites and the commercialization of the web. Users typically have minimal interaction with Web 1.0 sites, which provide information that users receive pa
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