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چهارشنبه 25 آبان‌ماه سال 1390

ERP Fail: When Best Practices Meet Real Life

Open University PhD candidate Gabrielle Ford has a new perspective on why, despite an abundance of expert insight, so many ERP implementations continue to fail. TEC is collaborating with Ford to provide a 20-minute survey for ERP users, and is offering three-day free access to its evaluation models and vendor data to readers who complete the survey. Take the survey now. This post signals the start of several contributions from Ford regarding the relationship users have with their ERP systems.

Organizations adopt enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems because of the benefits they expect to derive from their use. The critical issue for success is not whether the system is used (because you aren’t given a choice—you will use it), but rather that benefits arise from its use. While system use necessarily precedes full benefits realization (that’s not to discount the potential benefits to be gleaned from the exercise of gathering requirements and defining processes prior to system selection and implementation), it is the quality of the use that influences the degree to which benefits are achieved.
چهارشنبه 27 مهر‌ماه سال 1390

Jobs in Information Technology

Technology plays a major role in the business world and computer jobs it are expected to grow rapidly in the future. The information technology field offers a wealth of opportunities for educated and trained professionals. In today's world, every business needs a department that is responsible for installing and maintaining the latest technology. Computer expertise and the ability to adapt to new technologies are very valuable skills in today's job market.

سه‌شنبه 20 اسفند‌ماه سال 1387

Expert System in Real World Applications

Introduction

An expert system is a computer application that solves complicated problems that would otherwise require extensive human expertise. To do so, it simulates the human reasoning process by applying specific knowledge and interfaces. Expert systems also use human knowledge to solve problems that normally would require human intelligence. These expert systems represent the expertise knowledge as data or rules within the computer. These rules and data can be called upon when needed to solve problems. Books and manual guides have a tremendous amount of knowledge but a human has to read and interpret the knowledge for it to be used.

A system that uses human knowledge captured in a computer to solve problems that ordinarily require human expertise (Turban & Aronson, 2001).

A computer program designed to model the problem solving ability of a human expert (Durkin, 1994).

An intelligent computer program that uses knowledge and inference procedures to solve problems that was difficult enough to acquire significant human expertise for their solutions (Feigenbaum).

Expert systems typically have a number of several components. The knowledge base is the component that contains the knowledge obtained from the domain expert. Normally the way of representing knowledge is using rules. The inference engine is the component that manipulates the knowledge found in the knowledge base as needed to arrive at a result or solution. The user interface is the component that allows the user to query the system and receive the results of those queries. Many ES's also have an explanation facility which explains why a question was asked or how a result or solution was obtained.

There are several major application areas of expert system such as agriculture, education, environment, law manufacturing, medicine power systems etc. In this article we will review about agriculture, education, environment and medicine expert system.  These four applications widely use among the practitioners due to the maturity of the field by revealing the acceptance of the technology by the commercial sectors. 

چهارشنبه 27 شهریور‌ماه سال 1387

Artificial intelligence

Artificial vision gets sharper all the time. Artificial walking has made great robot strides. But artificial intelligence is brain-dead. Why? Because while researchers have built awesome technology, they've failed to grapple with philosophy.

Early computer scientists like Alan Turing and John von Neumann attempted to spin logic circuitry into thinking machines. So they designed their creations to excel at tasks they thought embodied the heights of human intellect: calculating sums, analyzing geometry, and playing chess. In 1958, a computer beat a human chess player — albeit an inexperienced one — for the first time. Buoyed by this success, researchers embarked on a long attempt to invent a machine that could (a) talk just like Turing, (b) walk around in a robot body looking at stuff, picking it up, and using it neatly, (c) read newspapers and maybe correct the editors, and (d) program its own successors.

The notion of intelligent machines inspired a blizzard of books and movies, but practical returns were meager. Over the years, computers failed one commonsense task after another: manipulating unfamiliar objects, understanding natural language, distinguishing a dog from a cat. Despite steady advances in hardware, no machine could think as far as to laugh at a pratfall or make a bad pun.

In pursuing human-style intelligence, the geeks blundered into the deepest, densest, darkest thickets of metaphysics: consciousness, cognition, perception, self-awareness, and how "we" manage to "know" what we know. It turns out that activities like playing chess — things that require sorting and searching — are relatively easy to program, whereas tasks that require some understanding of the world at large, like doing the laundry, are unbearably complex. The metaphysical issues around AI are at a standstill, mainly because metaphysics is old and canny and doesn't move forward in the linear manner of technology. Researchers, their grand illusions and ambitions dashed, fell into a long "AI winter" of shrunken budgets and general indifference.

Nowadays, Google "knows" pretty much anything you ask it. But its insanely fast and powerful work is modestly described as data-mining, not thinking. That vast, globe-spanning, superpowerful, ultrawealthy Web spider has yet to awaken and declare, "I am Google."

But if it starts writing philosophy, all bets are off.

شنبه 3 شهریور‌ماه سال 1386

4 Steps to Spectacular Customer Service

Implement this simple 4-step process for creating a spectacular flashpoint culture of your own..

Most towns have at least one “flashpoint” business—a place that’s famous for its turbo-charged workers and lines of eager customers. These are the local hot spots that are “always jumping,” places in which employee motivation and customer satisfaction fuel each other in a flashpoint of contagious enthusiasm.

But flashpoint businesses don’t just happen by lucky accident. They have to be made to happen. If there aren’t many such businesses, it can only be because so few owners and managers understand the simple 4-step process for creating a flashpoint culture in their own workplaces.

Not convinced such a process could be that simple? Not sure any such process could ever work in your own business setting? Here’s a quick and easy way to find out.

Step 1: Invite your employees to come up with some ideas for improving the customer experience. For this process to work, the ideas for changes in behavior or procedure need to come from the workers themselves. The old way is to dictate in memos or training programs the kinds of behaviors management wants employees to adopt, and then try to legislate these new behaviors into the workplace—a way that has never worked. Employees will only get behind a change if it’s one they believe in. And employees are always more likely to believe in a change if the idea for it comes from themselves, instead of their bosses.

Step 2: Choose one employee idea, and help the employee(s) implement it successfully. The objective is to make the workers who came up with the idea look like heroes in customers’ eyes. If there are costs associated with the idea, helping with implementation will mean providing funding for it. (Think of this cost as an investment in positive word-of-mouth, the most effective form of advertising on the planet). If the idea requires changing a policy or procedure, do everything possible to make the change. Eliminate all obstacles to successful implementation of the employees’ initiative.

Step 3: Make it easy for customers to give positive feedback about the new initiative. It’s always good business practice to hear what your customers have to say—but few businesses make it convenient and easy for customers to give feedback on a regular basis. To test this process, make a point of soliciting feedback that relates specifically to the idea the employees implemented. Use various methods to collect feedback, especially that most powerful method of all: simple face-to-face conversation with the customers themselves.

Step 4: Let the employee(s) bask in the motivational effect of the positive feedback. This is where the magic begins. Let’s say an employee came up with the idea of installing a bench so senior citizens would no longer have to stand while waiting in line. When delighted seniors begin to rave about the convenience of the bench, tell them, "This bench was actually Terry’s idea. In fact, Terry, could you come over here for a moment—these folks would like to tell you something about your bench"

And now watch the effect this feedback has on Terry. You’re watching the first spark of the flashpoint effect: customer satisfaction driving up employee motivation, and employee motivation driving up customer satisfaction.

Once you’ve seen how well the process works, apply it again. And again. Keep the ball rolling by holding regular employee brainstorming sessions to come up with a rich supply of new ways to delight customers. Break a typical customer transaction down into its individual steps, and get employees thinking about ways to add a “wow factor” element in each step. Not every idea will be implemented, of course, but make sure enough are implemented to keep the positive customer feedback flowing in. And give your workers opportunities to hear this feedback directly from their customers. Immediate positive feedback from delighted customers is the primary motivational fuel all flashpoint businesses use to keep the fires of employee enthusiasm burning hot and bright.

Copyright Paul Levesque.

About the Author

Paul Levesque has studied what he describes as "flashpoint businesses" - the kind in which motivated workers drive up customer satisfaction, and positive feedback from happy customers drives up employee motivation. http://www.keynoteresource.com Book keynote speaker Paul Levesque to speak at your next meeting. Paul Levesque’s latest book is Customer Service From The Inside Out Made Easy.  (Entrepreneur Press, 2006).

چهارشنبه 9 خرداد‌ماه سال 1386

e-commerce

E-commerce (electronic commerce or EC) is the buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet, especially the World Wide Web. In practice, this term and a newer term, e-business, are often used interchangably. For online retail selling, the term e-tailing is sometimes used.

E-commerce can be divided into:

  • E-tailing or "virtual storefronts" on Web sites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a "virtual mall"
  • The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data
  • e-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospects and established customers (for example, with newsletters)
  • Business-to-business buying and selling
  • The security of business transactions

E-tailing or The Virtual Storefront and the Virtual Mall

As a place for direct retail shopping, with its 24-hour availability, a global reach, the ability to interact and provide custom information and ordering, and multimedia prospects, the Web is rapidly becoming a multibillion dollar source of revenue for the world's businesses. A number of businesses already report considerable success. As early as the middle of 1997, Dell Computers reported orders of a million dollars a day. By early 1999, projected e-commerce revenues for business were in the billions of dollars and the stocks of companies deemed most adept at e-commerce were skyrocketing. Although many so-called dotcom retailers disappeared in the economic shakeout of 2000, Web retailing at sites such as Amazon.com, CDNow.com, and CompudataOnline.com continues to grow.

Market Research

In early 1999, it was widely recognized that because of the interactive nature of the Internet, companies could gather data about prospects and customers in unprecedented amounts -through site registration, questionnaires, and as part of taking orders. The issue of whether data was being collected with the knowledge and permission of market subjects had been raised. (Microsoft referred to its policy of data collection as "profiling" and a proposed standard has been developed that allows Internet users to decide who can have what personal information.)

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

EDI is the exchange of business data using an understood data format. It predates today's Internet. EDI involves data exchange among parties that know each other well and make arrangements for one-to-one (or point-to-point) connection, usually dial-up. EDI is expected to be replaced by one or more standard XML formats, such as ebXML.

E-Mail, Fax, and Internet Telephony

E-commerce is also conducted through the more limited electronic forms of communication called e-mail, facsimile or fax, and the emerging use of telephone calls over the Internet. Most of this is business-to-business, with some companies attempting to use e-mail and fax for unsolicited ads (usually viewed as online junk mail or spam) to consumers and other business prospects. An increasing number of business Web sites offer e-mail newsletters for subscribers. A new trend is opt-in e-mail in which Web users voluntarily sign up to receive e-mail, usually sponsored or containing ads, about product categories or other subjects they are interested in.

Business-to-Business Buying and Selling

Thousands of companies that sell products to other companies have discovered that the Web provides not only a 24-hour-a-day showcase for their products but a quick way to reach the right people in a company for more information.

The Security of Business Transactions

Security includes authenticating business transactors, controlling access to resources such as Web pages for registered or selected users, encrypting communications, and, in general, ensuring the privacy and effectiveness of transactions. Among the most widely-used security technologies is the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which is built into both of the leading Web browsers.

چهارشنبه 9 خرداد‌ماه سال 1386

Information Age:People, Information & Technology

Smithsonian Photographs by:
Alfred Harrell, Laurie Minor-Penland, Eric Long, Jeff Tinsley and Dane A. Penland

Samuel Morse's original telegraph transmitter and receiver, 1837. Today's information age began with the telegraph. It was the first instrument to transform information into electrical form and transmit it reliably over long distances. The original Morse telegraph did not use a key and sounder. Instead it was a device designed to print patterns at a distance. The transmitter, in front, had code slugs shaped in hills and valleys. These represented the more familiar dots and dashes of Morse code. These patterns were printed at a distance by the receiver (shown in the rear). It recreated the hills and valleys as the arm was pulled back and forth by an electro-magnet, which was responding to the signals sent by the transmitter. Morse developed a key and sounder for his first commercial telegraph in 1844. ==Smithsonian Photo #89-22161 by Laurie Minor-Penland.

Morse/Vail telegraph key, 1844. This register was used to send the message "What Hath God Wrought" on the experimental line between Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland. ==Smithsonian Photo by Alfred Harrell.

Morse/Vail telegraph register, 1844. This register was used to receive the message "What Hath God Wrought" on the experimental line between Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland. ==Smithsonian Photo by Alfred Harrell.

 

 

An Edison Stock Printer. Labeled, "Gold & Stock Telegraph Co. Edison's Patent No. 215". As the electric telegraph sped information across the country, bankers and businessmen realized that they could profit from immediate knowledge of stock prices and other crucial data. The new technology shortened the time for decision-making and increased the pace and stress of the business day. But early telegraph service was expensive. Outside the business community, use of the telegraph spread slowly. ==Smithsonian Photo by Alfred Harre

 

The Atlantic cable of 1858 was established to carry instantaneous communications across the ocean for the first time. Although the laying of this first cable was seen as a landmark event in society, it was a technical failure. It only remained in service a few days. Subsequent cables laid in 1866 were completely successful and compare to events like the moon landing of a century later. Here, the cable on the left is representative of a style that remained in use for almost 100 years. The cable on the right, a coaxial cable, was part of the first transatlantic telephone cable laid in 1956. ==Smithsonian Photo by Alfred Harrell.

 

 

Alexander Graham Bell's early telephone equipment. To the right in this photograph are several of Bell's early experimental telephones. They depended on creating variable electrical patterns in wires as a needle moved up and down in a liquid. This approach led to problems with static. Later models, the telephones to the left, relied on the principles of magnetic induction. ==Smithsonian Photo #89-21085 by Laurie Minor-Penland.

 

 

A Bell commercial magneto-telephone from 1877. This was one of the first telephones on which both transmission and reception were done with the same instrument. ==Smithsonian Photo #74-2496 by Alfred Harrell.

 

 

Late 19th and early 20th-century telephones , including the tombstone (rear left), battery box wall model (rear center), and Strowger dial phone (right front). This group of telephones shows the changing design of instruments from the late 19th through the early 20th century. Note that the earlier telephones have no dials. Dialing a number only became possible after automated equipment was developed to make connections originally handled by human operators. ==Smithsonian Photo #89-22162 by Laurie Minor-Penland.

 

 

Information Processing devices. A doctor's stethoscope; a Hollerith Tabulating Machine, sorter, and pantograph punch; and (upper right) an Arithmeter, a type of cylindrical slide rule used by the insurance industry to compute average life expectancies. Industrialization in the 19th century made life faster and more complex. To cope with these demands, new means of calculating, sorting and processing information were invented. ==Smithsonian Photo by Laurie Minor-Penland.

 

 

Progress in Communications . An NBC microphone, Magnavox loudspeaker, Echophone "Cathedral" radio (1934), Western Electric Scissor phone and Edison stock exchange ticker. The advent of the telegraph led to a flood of inventions for communicating information in electrical form. ==Smithsonian Photo by Laurie Minor-Penland.

 

 

The ENIGMA Machine and Bombe. Armed forces have always been dependent on communications. During World War II, the German Army and Navy tried to keep their communications secret by using encryption devices called Enigma machines. These sophisticated coding devices could generate over 1 trillion different coding patterns. The Germans believed they were too sophisticated for Allied forces to break them. But in one of the best-kept secrets of the war, first the Poles, and later the British and Americans succeeded in deciphering messages. The wooden device in the foreground is a 4 rotor German Enigma machine, used for encoding. The large machine in the background is a "Bombe," used for breaking the code. Working out the details of codebreaking machines was one of the developments that fostered electronic computers. ==Smithsonian Photo by Laurie Minor-Penland.

 

 

The ENIAC, or the Electrical Numerical Integrator and Computer, was a large digital electronic computer developed by the US. Army and University of Pennsylvania late in World War II. This photograph shows only a small section of a machine that stretched around the walls of a room 30' by 50.' ENIAC was designed to compute ballistics tables, a task that required many tedious electronic calculations. But the designers made it programmable, so that it could also be set to perform many other calculation tasks. Because of its speed and flexibility, ENIAC set the stage for the emergence of the post-war computer industry. ==Smithsonian Photo #90-7164B by Laurie Minor-Penland.

 

 

This is the first model of the 45 rpm record player manufactured by RCA in the 1950's. The 45 rpm record was first introduced in 1949 by RCA. It quickly became popular among young people as a medium for popular songs. Rock and Roll music and the "45" grew up together. ==Smithsonian Photo by Eric Long

 

 

Homebrew Computer Club. Many of pioneer developers of personal computers prided themselves on being members of the "counter culture." They met at places like the "homebrew computer club" in Silicon Valley, California, and dreamed of giving computer power to individuals. The interest of such hobbyists helped create a viable market for personal computers, even before their capabilities were far too limited for office use. ==Smithsonian Photo #90-15065 by Jeff Tinsley.

 

 

An Apple I Computer. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the most famous members of the Homebrew Computer Club, designed the Apple I in 1976. It was a kit computer. Users bought the workings and built their own case. Many leaders in mainline computer companies like IBM and Digitial did not believe that personal comptuers were powerful enough to have a market. Sales of the Apple I and other PC's that followed proved them wrong. ==Smithsonian Photo #92-13442 by Eric Long.

 

Robot Auto Factory. This exhibit scene shows a welding robot in context, doing spot welding on an auto body. Most industrial robots used in the United States today do jobs that are monotonous, repetitive or dangerous to humans. Even so, they are replacing many jobs previously held by people. Robots in American car plants are often part of an elaborate computer network that controls all parts of the production process, from ordering parts to painting. The two computer screens in the lower right hand corner of the scene are terminals on this network. ==Smithsonian Photo #90-15048 by Jeff Tinsley.

 

 

An analog video disc and a digital CD-Rom disc, shot to show the rainbow-like reflections coming from their surfaces. New techniques of encoding and distributing digital information are pacing the spread of the information age throughout society. ==Smithsonian Photo #90-6894 by Dane A. Penland.

 

سه‌شنبه 8 خرداد‌ماه سال 1386

Chapter5-4:Summary

Summary

Dealing with costs, while not the most exciting portion of project management, is certainly one of the most interesting to the sponsor and doubtless to a great majority of your stakeholders. Although you may find cost planning tedious, having an accurate cost estimate will make life a whole lot easier when you start project execution.

Cost planning includes all of the processes to identify what you need to complete the project and what the costs will be. Resource planning is the process of determining what resources you need on your project and the quantity of each resource. Resources include people, equipment, and materials. Cost estimating is the process of determining what you will spend on the work required to complete your project. The accuracy of a cost estimate can vary depending on the type of estimate you are using.

Numerous techniques are used to create project estimates. Analogous or top down estimates use expert judgment and historical data to provide a high level estimate for the entire project or a phase or deliverable. Parametric modeling uses a mathematical model to create the estimates. The definitive method creates the project estimate by adding up individual estimates from each work package.

Cost budging takes the cost estimates and allocates them across the project schedule. A cost baseline is produced to use for forecasting and tracking.