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Case 2: Lufthansa Taking Mobile Computing to the Skies

Lufthansa wants to Keep 3,500 pilots

Trained on the latest technology and procedures Plugged into the corporate infrastructure Informed about schedules, weather events, and other facts that affect their jobs

Control costs Provide Internet access to passengers

Case Study Questions

1. Are many of Lufthansas challenges identified
in the case similar to those being experienced by other businesses in todays global economy? Explain and provide some examples. 2. What other tangible and intangible benefits, beyond those identified by Lufthansa, might a mobile workforce enjoy as a result of deploying mobile technologies? Explain. 3. Lufthansa was clearly taking a big risk with their decision to deploy notebook computers

Are many of Lufthansas challenges identifies in the case similar to those being experienced by other businesses in todays global economy? Explain and provide some examples.

While the specifics of each challenge are particular to Lufthansas situation, many are shared by other global organizations. Examples could include: Provide a mobile workforce with equipment that fits their needs while it does not get in the way of accomplishing their objectives (not only technical specifications, but also upgrades and updates, stability, etc) Distribute training and other non-directly value-adding activities during non-productive periods both to maximize efficiency and reduce downtime Provide adequate support to mobile operations while keeping a tight lid on cost and being able to justify the investment Redefine processes to accommodate new mobile technologies and needs of a distributed workforce including communication, meeting and decision making practices

What other tangible and intangible benefits, beyond those identified by Lufthansa, might a mobile workforce enjoy as a result of deploying mobile technologies. Explain.

Examples Increased, all-around, communication, both with the organization and with personal relationships (family, friends, etc). Especially important for a highly mobile workforce such as airline pilots. Remote access to corporate applications, important since increasingly more of the employees interaction is self-managed (payroll systems, expense reports, etc.) More productive time spent at customer locations and streamlined order taking and processing Ability to timely collect and report data on the competitive environment, both for the own organization and competitors (prices, volume, advertising, etc)

Lufthansa was clearly taking a big risk with their decision to deploy notebook computers to their pilots. What steps did they take to manage that risk and what others might be needed in todays business environment? Provide some examples.

Steps taken to manage the risk: Ensured that technical specifications for the equipment were acceptable to both pilots and the union, given the very special work environment they would be used in Increased the chances of user buy-in by providing convenient alternatives to traditionally cumbersome tasks (such as carrying manuals and technical documents around) Standardized on a unique hardware and software platform to reduce support and upgrade costs Structured the process in phases, pilot and general deployment, to both assess feasibility and obtain feedback before mass implementation

Training users (pilots) in the skills required to operate and become productive with the new hardware and applications, if they did not have them already Ensure that project analysts and support personnel had the skills required to carry on a project of this magnitude

Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4
Group mini case Report & Presentation Due on February 12 Mini case: Delta, Northwest Airlines, and Vancouver Airport: The business Value of Customer Self-Service Kiosks (87)

IT Hardware

Left: The on-board L2 cache. Right: The Pentium Pro processor core with 5.5 million transistors.

Source: Intel

Learning Objectives
1. Understand the history and evolution
of computer hardware. 2. Outline the major technologies and uses of computer peripherals for input, output, and storage. 3. Identify and give example of the components and functions of a computer system.

Learning Objectives
4. Identify the computer systems and peripherals you would acquire or recommend for a business of your choice, and explain the reasons for your selections.

Microcomputer Systems
Personal Computer (PC) microcomputer for use by an individual Desktop fit on an office desk Laptop small, portable PC

Microcomputer Systems
Workstation a powerful, networked PC for business professionals Network Server more powerful microcomputers that coordinate telecommunications and resource sharing in small networks

Information Appliances
Hand-held microcomputer devices Personal digital assistants (PDA)


Video-game consoles Internet enabled cellular phones

Hardware: Your Physical Interface

Characteristics of CPUs and RAM

Motherboard: memory components bus , chipset, CPU,

Motherboard: chipset
components of the chipset

memory controller I/O controller bus controller cache controller

types of chipsets

Motherboard: bus system

data bus address bus system/control bus expansion slots ISA, EISA, VESA,SCSI, PCI, AGP How local bus works? PCI vs VESA Bus speeds: Pentium 4 and AthlonXP

Whats a BUS?
A collection of wires through which data is transmitted from one part of a computer to another. A bus connects all the internal computer components to the CPU and main memory. There's also an expansion bus that enables expansion boards to access the CPU and memory Every bus has a clock speed measured in MHz

All buses consist of two parts -- an address bus and a data bus. The data bus transfers actual data whereas the address bus transfers information about where the data should go. The size of a bus, known as its width, is determines how much data can be transmitted at one time. For example, a 16bit bus can transmit 16 bits of data, whereas a 32-bit bus can transmit 32 bits of data.

Semiconductor memory
Microelectronic semiconductor memory chips Used for primary storage Advantage:

Small size Fast Shock and temperature resistance Volatility: must have uninterrupted electric


Two types of semiconductor memory

RAM: random access memory

Most widely used primary storage medium Volatile memory Read/write memory Permanent storage Can be read but cannot be overwritten Frequently used programs burnt into chips during manufacturing

ROM: read only memory

Bit and Byte

Bit (short for binary digit)

Smallest element of data Either zero or one Group of eight bits which operate as a single unit Represents one character or number


Representing characters in bytes

Computers use binary system to calculate

Decimal Octal Binary ASCII

Measuring storage capacities

Kilobyte (KB): one thousand bytes Megabyte (MB): one million bytes Gigabyte (GB): one billion bytes Terabyte (TB): one trillion bytes Petabyte (PB): one quadrillion bytes

Main Memory
basic concepts

memory banks (0,1,2): 64 Meg to 1 Gig SIMMs (single in-line memory modules), DIMMS (dual inline memory modules), SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) SIMMs older, DIMMS old, SDRAM newer PCs

additional references

Upgrading memory

Updating Memory
RAM is sold in the form of chips contained on small circuit boards called memory modules.
Most PCs have three DIMM sockets on their motherboards, and one or two of them are usually free. Adding RAM is as simple as plugging in new DIMMs

Disk drives

Overview Speed Interfaces: IDE, SCSI, SATA, IDE vs SCSI

CD and DVD basics: CD standard and DVD standards

A measurement of CD or DVD drive speed. Each x translates to either 153,600 bytes of data per second, the data rate of the CDaudio or 1,250,000 bytes per second, the data rate of the DVDvideo.

USB flash drives Overview

Magnetic Disks
Used for secondary storage Fast access and high storage capacity

Source: Quantum.

Source: Corbis.

Types of magnetic disks

Floppy disks Magnetic disk inside a plastic jacket Hard disk drives Magnetic disk, access arms, and read/write heads in sealed module RAID (Redundant arrays of independent disks) Disk arrays of interconnected hard disk drives Fault tolerant with multiple copies on several disks

Optical Disks

Uses of optical disks

Image processing

Long term storage of historical files of images Scan documents and store on optical disks

Publishing medium for fast access to reference materials

Catalogs, directories, etc.

Video games, educational videos, etc.

Interactive multimedia applications

Disk drive performance

Fragmentation Compression. Cache Swap file (paging file)

Fragmentation means two things:
File fragmentation: a condition in which individual files on a disk are not contiguous but are broken up in pieces scattered around the disk; Data Fragmentation: a condition in which the free space on a disk consists of little bits of free space here and there rather than only one or a few free spaces.

Zip Winzip

In John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address, he delivered this famous line:

"Ask not what your country can do for you -ask what you can do for your country."

The quote has 17 words, made up of 61 letters, 16 spaces, one dash and one period. If each letter, space or punctuation mark takes up one unit of memory, we get a total file size of 79 units. To get the file size down, we need to look for redundancies.

"Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what
you can do for your country."
"ask" appears two times "what" appears two times "your" appears two times "country" appears two times "can" appears two times "do" appears two times "for" appears two times "you" appears two times our dictionary:

ask what your country can do for you

Our sentence now reads:

"1 not 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 -- 1 2 8 5 6 7 3 4"

"Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what
you can do for your country."

full phrase takes up 79 units. Our compressed sentence (including spaces) takes up 37 units, and the dictionary (words and numbers) also takes up 37 units. This gives us a file size of 74, so we haven't reduced the file size by very much.

graphics cards: monitors: resolution, size, analog vs. digital printers: ink, laser, color, speed. Modems: phone lines, cable and DSL scanners digital cameras

Hardware: Your Physical Interface

Connecting Devices
Connecting devices enable your hardware to communicate with each other.
Busses system and expansion. Expansion slots and cards.

Ports and connectors USB, serial, parallel, and IrDA

Hardware: Your Physical Interface

Connecting Devices

Hardware: Your Physical Interface

Keyboard and mouse ports

USB port

Serial port

Parallel port

Hardware: Your Physical Interface

Connecting Devices

Popular connectors include:

USB (universal serial bus) the most

popular means of connecting devices to a computer. Serial connector usually has 9 holes but may have 25, which fit into the corresponding number of pins in the port. Parallel connector has 25 pins, which fit into the corresponding holes in the port.

Hardware: Your Physical Interface

Connecting Devices

Hardware: Your Physical Interface

Connecting Devices

IrDA (infrared data association) ports are for wireless devices that

work in essentially the same way as the remote control on your TV does.

Radio Frequency Identification

Tag and identify mobile objects E.g., store merchandise, postal packages, pets Use RFID chips to transmit and receive radio signals Chips half the size of a grain of sand Passive chips: do not have power source and derive power from signal in reader Active chips: Self-powered

RFID versus bar codes


Scan from greater distance Can store data Allows more information to be tracked

Privacy concerns due to invisible nature RFID Controversy

Additional Readings htm

Why do you think that Aviall failed in their implementation of an airplane parts and components inventory control system? What could they have done differently?

Reasons why Aviall failed would include:

The ERP system did not support adequately Avialls business strategies. The ERP implemented did not improve the basic operational support system needed by Aviall to provide timely supply chain management. The ERP system project did not adequately address the issue of systems integration between applications. The implementation of the ERP failed due to inadequate consideration of the magnitude of the project.

What Aviall could have done differently would include the following: Project planning through the use of some form of a systematic development process. Analysis of the business requirements prior to making decisions about the software to acquire for the ERP system. Project management should have been a higher consideration of Aviall.

How has information technology brought new business success to Aviall? How did IT change Avialls business model?

How IT brought new business success for Aviall would include:

System integrated by using common business databases managed by database software from Sybase, Inc. Designing the new combined system to properly access and deal with customized pricing charts for 17,000 customers who receive various types of discounts, and with an inventory of 380,000 different aerospace parts. Developing to reduce the cost per order from $9 per transaction to 39 cents. Customers are able to transfer their orders from an Excel spreadsheet directly to the web site. Customers have access to price and availability information in less than five seconds a real time feature. Sales force spends more time developing customer relationships than processing routine orders. Aviall can better match production to demand from the IT improvements.

How IT changed Avialls business model would include:

Changed Aviall from a catalog business to full-

scale logistics business. Aviall became a provider of supply chain management services through the integration of a range of Web-enabled e-business software systems.

How could other companies use Avialls approach to the use of IT to improve their business success? Give several examples.

Some Examples: Reposition a firm as a supply chain management services provider through Webenabled e-business software systems. Redesign the customer relationship management system to minimize the routine order processing and permit the sales force to focus on product and service development efforts that will grow revenue.