BizApps Course Design

Overview

Architecture and use of information systems (IS).

This introductory course in Information Systems (IS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) offers an overview of how IT is being exploited by firms, markets, and society; an emphasis on the dimensions of data, processes, concepts, and methods; and hands-on exercises that will prepare you to study, understand and work with such systems when you encounter them in business.

What’s in it for you?

Theoretical Understanding and Practice

  • Absolutely central to understanding Business Application Systems, as with academic, research, and professional work generally, is the ability to step back from examples and generalize: to view any particular instance in term of concepts, design, and principles developed over time.
  • So that, as we would describe what we find about Customer Relation Management (CRM) in the case of US Food Service, we will step back to examine how such systems are explained differently by vendors, textbooks, and professionals; how we might understand them from multiple perspectives; and how new technologies and circumstances, such as social media, might lead us think about businesses changing over time
  • Abstractions are also important to understanding how very similar underlying technologies may be put to different purposes, how new understandings and concepts may be applied to different contexts, and conversely, how complicated businesses and their processes might be integrated to achieve greater efficiencies.
  • Hands-on IT tools and methods. No less important for your preparation with be your learning, and learning how to learn, how the larger principles appear in most basic calendar, contacts, and word processing applications you may already be using on your pc and how mastery of these comparatively simple applications will serve as the basis for learning the more sophisticated ones.
  • In some instances, they are the very same technologies many cases, The Apache server you’ll learn how to install on your pc as part of your local WordPress instance is the very same as that used in 40% of all servers worldwide. The concepts and methods used to address issues of security, privacy, health, as well as the modeling of processes and workflows, are the very same as those used in large-scale systems as well.
  • When you learn how to use business process modeling notation to describe and analyze the drinking processes of your cat, you will be well on your way to analyzing and modeling any number of business problems
  • For some, overcoming fear of technology will the the issue; for others, learning how to slow down, pay attention to every detail will be key; and for still others, learning how to access online resources as for others the issue will be learning how to work in teams.
  • The tools and methods to be learned here are extensive, but to learrn them we may well have to learn how to learn.
  • Research Tools and Methods. All research begins with questions, like “how might we do this better?”, but also a rather standard protocal that varies a bit by field, including surveys of secondary literatures to see how others are thinking about it, collecting and analyzing evidence, reasoning one’s way to effective counter-measures, and learning what issues concern relevant professionals, how they talk about them, and so what one is expected to know if one is to take part.
  • In this class, you will learn different ways to create lists, outlines, tables, illustrations, and make arguments; how to use a variety of textual methods and applications, how to develop workflows including databases and project management applications, and so on so that when we prepare drafts we have half a chance of being prepared to write as researchers and professionals expect from us.
  • And we will write: every week you’ll add to your research notes, share the results of your homework and reflection, so that we can all learn form each other, and at the end of the semester you’ll collect all of it and submit a research portfolio for evaluation
  • Team Work and Communications. This is to say that many arrive in this class prepared to make presentations as if they know what they are talking about, but here we will have far more fun by confessing that you don’t know much and want to know more, finding lots of relevant experts and reporting on what they have to say and how differently they say it, and so orienting yourself for a rich communications context whereby you aim to solicit the opinions and support of others, welcome those who disagree with you, and change your mind or not when appropriate.
  • Just as important as collecting lots and lots of information, learning how to use databases, bibliographies, bookmarks, outlines, drafts, etc., etc., will be learning how to prepare for and work with others, turning problems into memorable conversations, and engaging colleagues as teams characterized by conversation, cooperation, and diversity.

Classroom exercises

Below are two of the major exercises for this semester, I’ve scheduled lots of smaller parts among them which we’ll discuss in class and which you’ll find posted to our class blog after class

I. Business processes

In our first study of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), we will learn how business procedures have been digitalized and integrated into large-scale ERP systems. Through study of process modeling with event-controlled process chains (EPC) and Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), students will learn how application systems are designed, including analyses of business practices, how they might be improved, and how technologies have been developed to assist at every step of the way.

  • We will wrap our heads around case studies of Oracle CRM in the example of US Food Service and other examples to develop a picture of real world CRM
  • We will examine CRM concepts, modeling, and methods and each develop sophisticated outlining methods to manage the volume and complexity of the problem as an object of study
  • We will “learn by doing,” beginning with optimization of our own PC use, applications, and methods as many — including including scheduling, coordination, information collection, analysis, and retrieval — deal with the same fundamental problems
  • We will model our methods and workflows to the end of analyzing and optimizing them using a variety of means, including our present and new note-taking and documentation systems as well as sophisticated BPMN methods and examples

Group blogs on current issues

This activity will give you an opportunity to install and use a WordPress test implementation on your pc and, by building and maintaining a website in your group, valuable experience developing your research and communications skills.

Topics you might choose from include: a) ”Change in CRM systems through Social Media”, b) ”Cybercrime as a threat to operational IT processes”, c) ”Influence of VR technologies on selected retail processes”, and/or d) ”agile project management method Scrum in practice”.

  • Work in teams of 6, writing in pairs, including your writing and what happened each week in your weekly portfolio
  • Two topics chosen from the above, five reports on each
  • Posting weekly on team blogs, scheduled alternate days
  • Everyone sets up a personal WP implementation for drafting, formatting, etc., and to learn how it works: interface and database, survey all additional features and the use of the wordpress.org
  • Following a variety of short research report design protocols and standards, lots of lots of practice note-taking and writing
  • Comments on each other’s posts (2 each week), lots of discussion with classmates
  • Including comparative and critical commentary by the third post of each topic