7. Management systems

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7. Management systems

As companies and organizations grow larger and expanded throughout the world, the information to manage customers, suppliers, employees and production as well as report to regulators grows in quantity and complexity. Today, several vendors offer integrated solutions that can be implemented to provide customized systems to manage entire organizations.

Learning outcomes

  • investigate the range of management systems available
  • understand the special needs of global businesses
  • use the web as a research resource


  • business - operations, management, administration, planning, transaction processing, decision support, sales and marketing, customer support, employee training, enterprise systems - SAP, SalesForce, Oracle, Banner, Blackboard - planning, implementation [5]

Selected media

  • Information Systems (CC-BY) - Chapter 11. Opportunities in business to business systems, Chapter 12. Opportunities in peer-to-peer systems
  • Optional - Tomorrow's Technology and You - Chapter 5. Productivity Applications


  • Less Software - Supply Chain Management Application for acquiring, managing and selling inventory, managing logistics and order fulfillment processes. http://www.lesssoftware.com/
  • SalesForce.com - customer relationship management (CRM) - sales tracking, forecasting abilities, point-and-click customization, real-time analytics, instant collaboration http://www.salesforce.com

Study questions

  • What are some of the ways that business support systems support business?
  • What are some of the demands for management information?
  • What kinds of decisions are made based on decisions support systems?
  • What impact has e-commerce had?
  • What are some examples of peer-to-peer systems?


  1. Before you start the reading and the assignments, take a few minutes to think about what you already know about the topic - Management systems. Write a sentence or two about this in the I know... discussion.

  2. Read, view, listen to the selections in the Suggested media list for this module.

  3. Choose 1 word from the Keywords list for this module. Find 3 web articles that provide information about the word and how it relates to the course. Post the word, links to your selected web articles, and a brief description about your selection for each, to the discussion Management systems keywords. Follow links provided by 3 other students, review their suggested articles, and write a brief reply to the author for each. Include a critical thinking question for further discussion with other students.

  4. Open textbooks - most are free in their electronic format, and many only cost $30-50 for the print version. Look through the list of Open Textbooks and pick one for a topic of interest to you or for an actual class.
    Take a look through the textbook. What do you think? Would you use a book like this? Is the difference in cost between published textbooks these books important to you? Are any of your instructor using open textbooks in their classes? If so, which ones? Post a link to the open textbook you select and your comments to the Open Textbooks discussion.

  5. There are so many web services and technologies available for free, it is important to have a current list for reference. One technology is the wiki that can be used by anyone. For this collaborative writing assignment, the Great Technologies List can be edited by everyone. Add 2-3 technologies to the list. Include your initials after your entries (eg. ..vt).

  6. Design challenge - Rather than develop their own information systems, many companies and individuals decide to buy a pre-built system. Less Software sells a suite of supply chain management applications that are based on the SalesForce.com information system. Look through the information about the product as a service offerings for both companies. Deployment and acceptance are then extremely important. What are some of the considerations that must be included in deployment and acceptance if you acquire information systems? Suggest some specific acceptance criteria that you might incorporate into your Lifecycle information system in 2-3 sentences. Post your reply to the discussion topic Design - Deployment and Acceptance .

  7. Information System Lifecycle Project - Continuing the process of building your selected Information System topic that you will "develop" over the duration of the course, this week focus on deployment and acceptance of your selected information system. Are you planning a single launch date - all users starting to use the new system on the same day? Can you train all users in advance? Is the support staff ready to handle the questions from new users? Is there a pre-defined list of criteria for determining that the new system is in production? Are there alternative plans to deal with problems if they arise? Post this information to the discussion topic Lifecycle - Deployment and Acceptance. Also, add the same information to your own WikiEducator user page.

  8. Reflection - What was ONE important thing you learned this week? What was ONE point that was not clear? Your response should be two or three paragraphs. Submit to I Think... assignment.

Learn more...

Some clarifications… --Valerie Taylor 18:38, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Management systems - If you work for a big company, your management is using some form of management system or systems. Your employee records, payroll information and pay checks or direct deposit is one that you hope is working correctly. If the company makes products, sells products or sells services, there will be systems to manage these functions too. These systems may be limited to just a single function - payroll, or they may be integrated - one big system that combines all these functions.
  • Deployment and Acceptance - these are steps in the system development process.
  • Deployment (launch,  roll-out) - Once the system has been built and tested by the developers, it must be set-up for use by the intended users. For complex systems, like a payroll system, this can take months to train people, install hardware, make sure network connections work properly.
  • Acceptance - Again, depending on the system, and how it is "launched" there is usually some formal process to determine that every part of the system is working properly and the primary users are satisfied.
  • Acceptance criteria - Pre-defined list. Making a list in advance is important to ensure that all the important features and procedures are complete and work as they should. The list is often made as part of the system planning and design.
  • Usually "cloud" applications services run on the provider company's computers. These are just complex web applications. There is nothing to download. That's part of the service. The software is updated at the provider's end so they can update it anytime they need to. You still access your information and process your data without interruption.
  • Salesforce.com - This is a great option for companies who need an information system to run their business but prefer to buy the processing service rather than own computer applications and employ at lot of technical staff.
  • The Salesforce building and sign can be seen from Highway 101 in San Mateo. Less Software is a small group who work from their homes in Southern California.
  • Blackboard is a learning and course management system "product" - similar to Catalyst/Moodle. Universities and companies pay a lot of money to the owners to use Blackboard. Moodle is "open source" and is available for anyone to use without charge.
  • Great Technologies is one of my favorite assignments. These are all examples of Computers, Data Processing, and Applications. There is so much interesting stuff out on the web. While I try to stay current, students always find wonderful sites that I had not previously seen.
  • Collaboration for the final project - We will be using WikiEducator which is designed for people to work together. The "groups" are 2-3 students so there won't be big issues with coordination. The "deliverable" is similar to the MidTerm but you are not working alone.