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Chapter 5

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Administrative Studies
ADMS 2511
Cristobal Sanchez- Rodriguez

Chapter 5 notes: Network Applications - networks support businesses and other organizations in all types of functions - functions fall into categories: discovery, communication, collaboration and web services Discovery - internet helps 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 - critically important to know that there is no quality assurance applied to information on the web - anyone can post information to the web for example can edit the Wikipedia page - rule about information on the web is: user beware!! - the webs major strength is also a challenge since 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, uses that index to find pages that match a set of user specified keywords - such indexes are created and updated by webcrawlers, which are computer programs that browse the web and create a copy of all visited pages - search engines then index these ages to provide fast searches - people use 4 main search engines: Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Network and Ask - for a thorough search, people use metasearch engines - these allow to search several engines at once and integrate the findings of the various search engines to answer queries posted by users - examples are SurfWax, Metacrawler, Mamma, Kartoo, and Dogpile. Publication of Material in Foreign Language - to be able to access this information you need to use an automatic translation of web pages - Such translation is available to and from all major languages and its quality is improving with time - some major translation products are AltaVista, Google as well as products and services available at SDL/Trados - should companies care about providing their websites in multiple languages? The answer is yes. - since multilingual websites are now a compettive necessity because of the global nature of the buisines environment, discussed in chapter 1 - companies are increasingly looking outside their home markets to grow revenues and attract new customers - not enough for companies to translate web content - they must also localize that content and be sensitive to the needs of the people in local markets - to reach 80 percent of the worlds internet users, a website needs to support minimum of 10 languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Italian, Russian and Portuguese. - translation budgets for big multinational companies can run into millions of dollars - therefore many large companies user software, such as SYSTRAN, for their translations Portals - finding relevant and accurate information is often time consuming and may require access to multiple systems - solution is to use portals - Portal: 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 - 4 types of portals 1. Commercial (Public) Portals: content for diverse communities, and are the most popular portals on the internet - intended for broad audiences, and offer fairly routine content, some in real time - example are Lycos Canada, and Sympatico/MSN 2. Affinity Portals: support communities such as hobby groups or political parties - offer a single point of entry to an entire community of people with affiliated interests - example, your university most likely has an affinity portal for its alumni 3. Corporate Portals: offer personalized, single point of access through a web browser to critical business information located inside and outside of an organization - 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. 4. Industry Wide Portals: portals for entire industries - example TruckNet, the portal for the trucking industry and the trucking community, including professional drivers, owner/operators and trucking companies - provides drivers with personalized we based email, access to applications to leading truckling companies in Canada and the U.S and access to the Drivers Round Table, a forum where drivers can discuss issues of interest - also provides a large database of trucking jobs and general information related to the trucking industry Mobile Portals: are accessible from mobile devices, any of the 4 portals can be accessed by mobile devices Communication - many types of communications: email, call centers, chat rooms and voice - blogging is also a type of communication Electronic Mail - is the largest volume application running over the internet - a recent study found that almost 90 percent of companies conduct business transactions via email and nearly 70 percent confirm that email is tied to their means of generating revenue - for many users, email has all but replaced the telephone Web Based Call Centers - also known as customer care centers - example, need to contact a software vendor for technical support, you will usually be communicating with the vendor’s web based call center, using email, telephone conversation, or a simultaneous voice/web session - web based call centers are sometimes located in foreign countries such as india - such off shoring is important issue for Canadian companies Electronic Chat Rooms - electronic chat: an arrangement whereby participants exchange conversational messages in real time - chat room: virtual meeting place where groups of regulars come to “gab” - chat programs allow you to send messages to people who are conneted 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 - two major types of chat programs exist: 1. Web based chat program: allows you to send messages to internet users by using a web browser and visiting a web chat site - 2. Email based (text only) program called Internet Relay Chat (IRC): business can use IRC to interact with customers, provide experts answers to questions etc Voice Communication - with internet telephony, also known as 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 - example skype, provides several voice over IP services for free: calling other people on Skype, video calls on skype, one to one and group chates and conference calls with up to nine people Collaboration - third major category of network applications is Collaboration - collaboration: refers to efforts by two or more entities (that is individuals, teams, groups or organizations) who work together to accomplish certain tasks - term Work Group: refers specifically 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 organization or individuals to collaboratively plan, design, develop, manage and research products, services and innovative applications - an example of virtual collaboration, organizations interact with customers, suppliers and other business partners to improve productivity and ocmpetitiveness - tools to support collaboration such as workflow technologies and groupware tools, also wikis Workflow Technologies - workflow: the movement of information as it flows through the sequence of steps that makes up an organizations 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 organizations rules or procedures - these systems are tools for automating business processes - benefit: 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 - will discuss some of the most common groupware products: - groupware technologies are often integrated with other computer based technologies to create groupware suites ( a software suit is created when several products are integrated into one system) - Lotus Notes/Domino is one of the most popular groupware sites - lotus notes/domino suite (www.ibm.ca) provides online collaboration capabilities, work group email, 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 - two types of group ware technologies include electronic teleconferencing and real time collaboration tools Electronic Teleconferencing: - teleconferencing: use of electronic communication that allows two or more people at different locations to hold a simultaneous conference - several types of teleconferencing, oldest and simplest is the telephone conference call, where several people talk to one another from multiple locations - biggest disadvantage of conference calls is that they do not allow for face to face communication - also participants in one location can not see graphs, charts and pictures at other locations - solution to this is video teleconferencing, which participants can see one another as well as the documents - Videoconference: participants in one location can see participants at other locations - 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 fiels - several companies offer high end telepresence systems such as HP Halo system, Cisco’s Telepresence 3000 etc, use massive high definition screens up to two and a half metres wide to show people sitting around conference tables - telepresence systems have advanced audio capabilities that let everyone talk at once without cancelling out any voices Real Time Collaboration Tools: - the internet, intranets, and extranets, offer tremendous potential for people working in groups to interact synchronously and in real time - real time collaboration (RTC) tools help companies bridge time and space to make decisions and to collaborate on projects - RTC tools support synchronous communication of graphical and text based information - these tools are being used in distance training, product demonstrations, customer support and sakes applications - example computer based whiteboards, enable all participants to join in - during meetings, each user can view and draw on a single document ‘pasted’ onto the electronic whiteboard on a computer screen - computer based white boards can be used by participants in the same room or across the world - digital whiteboarding sessions can be saved for later reference or other use Google - this company is developing and deploying applications that span discovery, communications and collaboration - google is using its platform to enable its various strategies - companies application fall into 5 categories 1. search applications, which allow users to search web pages, news, books, maps, pictures and videos 2. communicate, show and share applications, which allow users to create and share their documents online and access them remotely, to create mailing lists and discuassion groups and to communicate with other users over the internet 3. Mobile applications, which consist of search and communication products specifically adapted for mobile devices 4. applications to ‘make your computer work better’ such as google pack and google web accelerator 5. applications to explore and innovate, which includes a number of tools for application developers, tools to build custom searches on the web and a list of potential google products that are under development, such as Google Mars, provides views of maps of mars created by NASA scientists or Google Accessible Search consists of a web search engine for the visually impaired Web 2.0 - according to tim o’reilly, web 2.0 is a loose collection of information technologies and applications and the websites that use them - these websites enrich the user experience by encouraging user participation, social interaction and collaboration - web 2.0 often referred to as Live Web or the Next Web - web 2.0 sites harness collective intelligence (for example wikis); deliver functionality as services, rather
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