The Bead Bar is an arts and design oriented company that enables its customers to design and make their own clothing and accessories with appliqués, beads, strings, and fabrics. There currently exist three pisions in the company spread throughout the United States: seven studios, six franchises, and the Bead Bar on Board which is a portable Bead Bar designed for cruise ships. The Bead Bar has outgrown its paper-based system and is in need of an upgrade in today’s technology; the poor efficiency of the Bead Bar’s present system limits potential growth opportunities in today’s global business market. (Malaga, 2005).
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Systems in information technology all for globalization and solve most of the problems prevalent with paper-based systems including lost orders, invoicing errors, and order fulfillment delays. The Bead Bar's information technology needs include the initialization of business website, information sharing between locations, and data confidentiality and security; this means the Bead Bar is in need of a strong networking system which is vital for internal and external communications.
Computers are essential to the daily operations of a growing company such as the Bead Bar with the continuous processing of orders and the various benefits offered to the accounting professionals. While the Bead Bar seems capable of meeting its current expectations, the paper-based system has posed problems for the company; as management now believes that the Bead Bar brand no longer generates customer assurance. Problems are most evident are; the loss of orders, vague inventory status, shipment delays, and inaccurate customer information. Along with the problem of running the company with a paper-based system, employee concerns support further reasons for a new system.
The limited amount of computers caused the added expense of outsourcing work. There is currently no direct communication link from Bead Bar’s headquarters to its branch locations, or its employees “at-sea”. These problems are clear reasons why the employees of the Bead Bar require up-to-date client information, and accuracy in shipping schedules for their stores and customers. Recommendations were made by consultants to purchase computer hardware, software, and database management systems. Currently, there are 2 notebook computers, 14 printers and 14 personal computers. The personal computers are equipped with standard keyboards. 17 CRT monitors, printers 2.8 MHz processor, 512.8 MB of RAM, CD-RW drives, and 80 GB hard drives. Each of the computers uses the Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system.
The Microsoft Office Productivity Suite was acquired for employees to do word processing, organize presentations, and spreadsheets. Some employees insist upon one having access to Adobe PageMaker, QuickBooks, Interact Commerce Corporation’s Act! The Bead Bar operates on Oracle 9i database, which is a project database management system, intended to deal with the growing needs of the Bead Bar. As time moves forward, they are looking to arrange their records accurately through a network so their database can operate to its full capability.
In order to operate a well-organized business, it is essential for the Bead Bar to have a mesh topology. The mesh topology would work well for the Bead Bar since this type of networking system is extremely consistent, and communicates information quick and efficiently. This particular layout would focus on the trepidations of the executives, and since the Bead Bar is spread throughout the United States, it’s going to be cost-effective.
The mesh topology would be the best fit for the Bead Bar. The Bead Bar has several offices throughout the United States and the mesh topology would afford a way for the franchise locations to communicate back and forth. The mesh network is perfect for a business that will have several system links. This network is highly dependable because there is no hub needed. The Bead Bar articulated clear apprehension about how fast data would travel between locations, so a mesh network would without doubt attend to this interest. This network runs well because each node connects directly to the other.
The Bar must have a client-server architecture set up to facilitate their network. The client-server allocates computers, grant services, process requests, and act as a client. The server is an extremely powerful computer that is set up to handle multiple demands at the same time. The server is an indispensable source of memory, because it can function as a main foundation of all information storage that is pertinent to the operation of the Bead Bar. The server should be set up to share consumer data, and act as an effective storage unit.
The client-server network architecture would prove to be more beneficial to the executives of the Bead Bar, thus proving useful for the Bead Bar. Some executives would want to transmit communication to the various branches of the company. There are some materials that the executives would like to keep them secret and maintain full control of the main source of data. All computers do not have to act as clients and servers based on the fact that there is no need for every employee to have access to company data. The significance of the company data would be sealed with the client-server network.
In order to meet the needs of Bead Bar and its various locations, a strong and consistent networking system is needed. The mesh topology is perfect for businesses with various locations because of the speed and competence of the network. The company would always want to see that all computers associates with each other and the mesh network do fit that criterion. The server that is set up in this topology does not act as a hub, which in turn helps with the speed and success of transmissions. The mesh topology is the most cost-efficient topology that would meet the needs of the Bead Bar. The mesh topology is a good fit for the Bead Bar.
Nevertheless, the topology has its own drawbacks in that, it is requires more cables than any other LAN topologies, and it also has complications when it comes to implementation. The client-server design can be clarified as a pisive networking decision because it would regulate ease of access to company data. This proposal is based on compelling points made by the company’s stakeholders in respect to some possible security concerns that could affect the confidentiality of the company data. Some employees feel they should have access to all company data but that is not necessary. If a Bead Bar studio or franchise requires documents they do not have access to, they can send a request through the proper channels. The client-server database is suggested to protect the company overall.
Based on all networking recommendations that have been made, the Bead Bar will be able to run their business more proficiently. With suitable networking, now the database can function accurately. This will help the business to grow as a direct result of an increased exchange of ideas because of the networking topology and architecture.
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