This is an individual project. Each student must complete a Case Study that provides the requirements analysis and a proposed solution for converged network solution. The target audience will be the organization’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). The Case Study deliverable is an MS Word document.
The completed Case Study deliverable is due by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the due date shown in the Course Schedule. See the Additional Information section of the syllabus for the penalty for late or missed assignments and projects.
The Case Study is valued at 12% of the course grade.
Catacomb, Inc. is a global logistics provider that offers fully integrated freight and supply chain services through managed warehousing and domestic and international freight forwarding. Services range from door-to-door domestic and international delivery services to total supply chain management. With branches across the United States and Europe and partners worldwide, Catacomb continues to expand, and it has experienced rapid growth through acquisitions.
Note: The term supply chain refers to all the elements involved in bringing an organization’s products from the raw-goods stage to the customer.
The Association for Operations Management (APICS) dictionary ((http://www.apics.org/Resources/APICSDictionary.htm) defines “supply chain management (SCM)” as the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand and measuring performance globally.
The Business Challenge
Catacomb is competing in an environment where freight transport is as much about keeping customers informed as it is about on-time delivery. The company has adopted web-based technologies for tracking freight, differentiating its services, keeping customers informed, and ensuring the on-time delivery that is Catacomb’s hallmark. As a result, Catacomb enjoys a very high level of customer satisfaction.
Its mobile workforce has rapidly increased, with drivers using PDAs to scan consignments, which are then synced in real time via GPRS links to headquarters applications that track the consignments. Customers use Catacomb’s web services to view the progress of orders, from dispatch to warehousing to final delivery. Customers also use Catacomb’s web-based systems to create freight documentation and generate reports. With the EDI interface, invoices and payments are transferred directly between the customers’ systems and Catacomb, saving both time and money.
As the company has expanded, the data flowing in the system have increased as well. Now, with more than 5,000 employees and thousands of customers worldwide, Catacomb is suffering from the effects of explosive growth. Demands on its wide area network (WAN) are exceeding capacity. The main data center has experienced several network outages and unscheduled downtime. The aging ISDN telephone system is failing, as the company has avoided the costly upgrades necessary to keep it operating at optimal performance. Telephone bills have increased without warning, and the voice mail system is overloaded.
Catacomb wants to provide increased bandwidth between all 47 of its US offices and the main data center. There are five (5) metropolitan areas that have four (4) to eight (8) Catacomb locations that need to coordinate among themselves: Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, and San Diego. The company desires a reliable and secure network to accommodate its planned growth as well as the unexpected.
The company does not want to spend any more on telephone services than it does today, and its goal is to upgrade the services while protecting against escalating costs from its ISDN service provider.
Efficiency and productivity goals for this rapidly growing company are of paramount importance, and there is a desire to provide capabilities and services that incorporate technology solutions to improve in those areas as well as retain the high level of customer satisfaction. Catacomb is also interested in reducing travel between its sites by implementing video conferencing.
In addition, Catacomb wants to be able to monitor and manage data and voice services, and ensure that capacity and usage is appropriate to its business needs.
Using this case study, you are to identify a minimum of five (5) requirements, analyze them, and offer a proposal that provides Catacomb with a converged network solution and explains how the components of the solution, and the solution as a whole, meet the identified requirements. The proposed solution must address each of the requirements identified. At least one (1) diagram must be incorporated to illustrate your proposed solution. You should do some research to address the cost issues and defend the proposed solution from a cost-benefit perspective. This is to be a general analysis of the benefits versus the cost of a converged network, not a full cost-benefit analysis with cost data.
Your deliverable will be a 3 – 4 page MS Word document. The page count includes the diagram(s), but does not count the cover page and references page. At least two (2) external sources (other than the assigned readings and other course materials) must be used, and citations and references must be in APA format. Your paper will be scored according to the Scoring Rubric below. The bolded attributes in the Scoring Rubric must be used as section headings in the paper. Be sure you have incorporated all required aspects of the assignment.
Attribute Full points Partial points No points Possible Points
Requirements analysis Analysis covers five requirements, defining them and providing explanations of each; and demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. Analysis covers one to four requirements, and/or lacks definitions and/or explanations for each; and may be lacking in demonstration of understanding of course concepts, analysis, and/or critical thinking. Analysis is not included, or does not identify any requirements. 3
Technology solution An appropriate technology solution is provided and thoroughly explained. It addresses all identified requirements. A technology solution is partially appropriate and/or partially explained. It may only partially address the requirements. No technology solution is provided. 3
Converged solution An effective converged network is proposed; work demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis, and critical thinking. The proposed converged network is not well-defined or is not appropriate, and/or the work may be lacking in demonstration of understanding of course concepts, analysis, and/or critical thinking. No converged solution is included. 2
Cost-benefit analysis The benefits of the converged solution are fully discussed in terms of relative cost of implementing multiple solutions. The benefits and relative costs of a converged network are partially explained or substantiated. No cost-benefit analysis is provided. 2
External research More than two sources other than assigned course readings or materials are incorporated and used effectively. One or two sources other than the assigned readings and course materials may be used, but are not properly incorporated or used and/or are not effective or appropriate. No external research is incorporated. 1
Document format The document reflects effective organization and correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; it is presented in a professional format; it incorporates illustrations or diagrams; and references are appropriately incorporated and cited, using APA style. The document is not well-organized, and/or contains grammar and/or spelling errors; it does not contain appropriate illustrations or diagrams; and/or it does not follow APA style for references and citations. The document is extremely poorly written and does not convey the information. 1
Total Points: 12