Discussion Question (Week 3


³Discuss the main problems an organization can encounter in achieving integration. Are there successful alternatives to integration? Use examples from your own company or one you know well.´

TABLE OF CONTENT 1. Introduction 2. Necessity for enough Integration 3. Case Study 4. Conclusion

1. Introduction Integration implies making things in order, and the combined action among different positions and divisions within an institution whose functions are varied but mutually dependent in the effort of process of making value addition. This perception can be made suitable for connections which are vertical, where integration and synergy would mainly imply a controlled approach which is cohesive wherein policies are executed and enough inputs are given on the results (Strauss, 1962, pp161). Yet, unification is more often made applicable, in the entire

organization, to horizontal or connections which are lateral, or among varied institutions which makes a framework in order to perform a particular action.

2. Necessity for enough Integration

Unification requires more demanding tasks than ever before, since firms try to access more difficult alignment tasks as a result of internationalization and competition which is severe. In order to encash the chances provided by internationalization, firms are enlarging the domain of their global markets and the avenues of inputs. Global firms are also spreading their manufacturing tasks internationally, to regions which provide cost effectiveness and input gains, and at the same time, global service oriented firms are covering a broader area in order to be accessible to and nearer to new customers (Ford and Frean, 2002 pp. 13).

3. Case Study:

Cisco: Supply chain integration through a private exchange

According to Kraemer and Dedrick (2002, pp. 7), Cisco has been acclaimed as the major company globally in accessing unification of information and processes at various levels in the market chain, since it being a global provider of hardware as well as software for the benefit of the World Wide Web through goods like the routers, configuration tasks and additional software. Cisco has been able to project itself as an institution through providing the linkages to its allies in the supply chain by making use of a difficult framework base which made possible most of its trade affairs to get transacted over the web site. During the period of this research, the

³ecosystem´ of Cisco made use of two important bases which are outward-facing, which are unified with its inside ERP system.

The network of the clients ( Cisco Connection Online: CCO) enables the clients and those who resell to accept the orders, place orders and align by making use of the software for placing orders which is automated. The customers also are able to utilize the technical assistance online, the technical expert¶s forum and agents who favor the client service. The production side extranet (Manufacturing Connection Online: MCO) is the avenue for the contract producers, infrastructure service givers, and suppliers, enabling approach to real-time order and fulfillment information. The supplier community has straight approach to order data enabling a quick and alert action to the needs of the consumers. In almost all the fields, whether it be an action, a process or a functionality, it has been web oriented by making sure of the reliability of culture and action inside the trade and mainly to the entire institution it helps. It was rendered difficult in the scenario of this research to collect information with which it would be possible to assess, for instance, in scales or quartiles, the benefits attained by suppliers and clients by making use of the SCM methods of Cisco online.


Yet, the entire people interviewed accessed a considerable functional gains viz, the clarity of the orders, a less of infrastructure drawbacks, low reliance on changing forecasts, lesser inventories, and processes which are more consistent.

According to Whitaker et al (2001, pp.9), the framework provided by Cisco shows how an exchange which is private can be made in order to assist the distribution network among various institutions. Yet, ³it is essential to acknowledge that there exists a conspicuous company or prime mover´ (Bagchi and Skioett-Larsen, 2002 pp. 89) in this company which describes and handles the distribution network activity. Cisco functions with the members of the distribution network and helps them in taking the process which is web based so as to attain functional equality. This instance gives an exceptional illustration of a firm which has made unified international distribution network through the provision of solutions which are web based through the various levels. Other companies have tried to get this by public or marketplaces which are partnership oriented. (Laseter et al, 2001), but mostly the instances revealed failure to provide because of an amalgamation of technological problems associated with the institution (the famous Covisint partnership in the automobile sector which shut down in 2004 is an illustration). We recommend that the exchange method which is private handled by Cisco is logically most apt solution for market place since it shows the functional situation of a distribution network in the international trade in the present day scenario. Essentially, it can be seen that ecosystem got introduced because of the perception and functional efficiency of the mover of this distribution network. Cisco¶s trade theory so also the goods and the institution itself are comparatively novel productions, uninterrupted by the package handled by most trade companies. Almost all the trade drives in networks and deed based conditions practiced for decades or even longer periods, and also having capitals and It infrastructure which are sound which require time to get substituted. For these companies, the hurdles to unification are based on structure and culture because of the problems of remodeling the functional activities, both inside and outside.

4. Conclusion


The most efficient distribution network solutions which the Cisco has done have stood as an important aspect for its achievement, enabling more attention on vital development functions. So also, the ecosystem is not a virtual consortium of equals and it can be held that Cisco has successfully managed its capitals in order to attain a place of power. In this situation, Cisco holds the institutional elasticity, IT and worker efficiency and the powerful market place ( for both the clients and suppliers) in order to move through an agenda of innovation viz, the ecosystem. Yet, in this case, that the dominancy has been made use of to provide quality and gains within the distribution network associates through the clarity made possible by unification of activities through the entire chain.


1. Bagchi, P. and Skjoett-Larsen, T. (2002), ³Integration of information technology and organizations in a supply chain´, The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 89-108.

2. George Strauss (1962), ³Tactics of Lateral relationship: the purchasing agent, Administrative Science Quarterly, 7(2), pp. 161-186.

3. Kraemer, K. and Dedrick, J. (2002), ³Strategic use of the internet and e-commerce: Cisco Systems´, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Vol. 11, pp. 5-29.

4. Laseter, T., Long, B. and Capers, C. (2001), B2B Benchmark: The State of Electronic Exchanges, Booz, Allen and Hamilton, McLean, VA.

5. Rensis Likert (1961), New Patterns of Management, New York, McGraw-Hill.

6. Richard Ford and Alexandra Frean (2002), National offenders register will protect children, The Times, October 15, p. 13.

7. Whitaker, J.D., Murphy, M.D., Haltzel, A.H. and Dik, R.W. (2001), ³Private exchanges: the smart path to collaboration´, Supply Chain Management Review: Global Supplement, July-August, pp. 8-11.


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