Information Systems Infrastructure

 Using the Case study provided in the Learning Resources, write a 2-page paper addressing the questions in the Case. Provide a minimum of one scholarly reference in your paper (cited and referenced in APA format).

-Double space your paper
-The paper must use APA format (6th edition)
-Minimum of 2 pages, excluding any cover page. That is, the 2 pages must be content related. 

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 Discussion Points 

1. Some virtual teams at Boeing have discussions focused on military aircraft. Do some Internet research on UC security mechanisms and identify and briefly describe several that Boeing should have in place to ensure the privacy and integrity of such discussions. 

2. To what extent do the UC benefits experienced by Boeing mirror those of other firms that have deployed UC capabilities over converged IP networks? 

3. To date, Boeing has not implemented the full range of capabilities available through UC systems. If you were the CIO at Boeing, what additional UC capabilities would you implement? What benefits would you expect Boeing to derive from deploying these capabilities? 

Sources [MICR10] Microsoft Case Studies. “Boeing Expects to Lower Costs and Improve Productivity with Messaging Solution.” March 16, 2010. Retrieved online at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?casestudyid =4000006703.

 [MICR11] Microsoft Case Studies. “Boeing Promotes Knowledge Sharing for Global Workforce with Communications Solution.” April 29, 2011. Retrieved online at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Lync-Server2010/Boeing/Boeing-Promotes-Knowledge-Sharing-for-Global-Workforcewith-Communications-Solution/4000009654. 

[REED08] Reed, B. “AT&T snags big Boeing voice/data contract.” NetworkWorld. August 12, 2008. Retrieved online at: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/081208-boeing-att-contract.html 

C1-1

CASE STUDY 1

UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS AT BOEING

The Boeing Company (http://www.boeing.com/), headquartered in Chicago,

Illinois, is the world’s largest manufacturer of military aircraft and

commercial jetliners. Boeing has more than 159,000 employees working in

70 different countries who require effective communication to develop and

build some of the world’s most complex products using components from

more than 22,000 global suppliers.

The company’s workforce is one of the most highly educated in the

world. Most employees hold a college degree and many hold advanced

degrees. Collectively Boeing employees have very broad and deep

knowledge that can be harnessed to solve problems and design next

generation products.

Like many major corporations, Boeing has experienced an uptick in the

number of employees who work remotely or travel the majority of each work

week. Boeing’s engineers number in the thousands and are purposely

scattered worldwide to support the company’s global operations.

Boeing organizes its employees into work and project teams. Given the

company’s size and geographic footprint, many of Boeing work’s teams

include globally dispersed members. Engineers on the same team may be

separated by multiple time zones and thousands of miles. Time zone

differences and distance frequently present teams with communication

challenges when they are faced with time sensitive issues that must be

resolved quickly.

http://www.boeing.com/

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Additional communication issues are associated with the sheer breadth

and depth of Boeing’s knowledge base. When faced with questions about a

particular part included in one of Boeing’s new airliners, an engineer can be

challenged to identify the right person in the company to contact for

answers.

  • Collaboration Technologies
  • Boeing knows that continual innovation is important to its long term success.

    It also recognizes that effective communication among its employees,

    customers, and suppliers is an important enabler of continual innovation.

    Boeing has traditionally relied on a variety of systems to facilitate

    collaboration among its employees and business partners. As illustrated in

    Figure C1-1a, Web conferencing, audio conferencing, desktop sharing, and

    mobile voice and data services have been used by Boeing employees to

    facilitate communication among geographically dispersed team members.

    Historically, these capabilities have been provided by different third-party

    providers who were selected on the basis of their ability to provide high-

    quality communication services at competitive rates.

    By the mid-2000s, Boeing had begun its migration toward unified

    messaging and unified communications. At that time, instant messaging (IM)

    was one of the more popular messaging services used Boeing employees. At

    Boeing, IM has traditionally been supplemented by Web and audio

    conferencing services as well as by desktop sharing services. The capabilities

    provided by these services are especially important when answers to

    complex questions are needed. During the mid-2000s, more than 100,000

    employees used conferencing services each year. As you might expect,

    conferencing services represented a significant percentage of Boeing’s

    annual communication expenses.

    C1-3

    As collaboration technologies, the desktop sharing and conferencing

    systems worked well alone, but it was not easy to get them to use them

    simultaneously for a virtual team meeting. To use them in combination

    required scheduling conference rooms equipped with at least one phone lines

    C1-4

    and data drop. It also required reserving conferencing time with one or both

    service providers, getting all locations logged in to each service, and

    performing some quick set up tasks and tests at the beginning of each

    session. Hence, while it was possible to use multiple collaboration capabilities

    at the same time, this was not easily or transparently done. Advanced

    planning was needed at all locations to have satisfactory interactive

    conferencing and desktop sharing sessions.

    Over time, it became increasingly more apparent to Boeing that a

    superior collaboration platform was needed. While the company’s

    subscriptions to third-party services did support collaboration among

    geographically dispersed team members, Boeing began to feel that it needed

    something that was both easier and more robust to achieve the levels of

    collaboration, innovation and responsiveness that it aspired to have.

  • Converged Network Project
  • In 2008, Boeing signed a $400 million contract with AT&T to consolidate its

    existing voice and data networks into an IP-network. Boeing began using

    AT&T’s WAN services, audio conferencing services, and wireless voice and

    data services. Moving the bulk of its communication facilities to a common

    IP-based network infrastructure enabled Boeing to roll out unified messaging

    services to more of its employees. The converged network project also set

    the stage for its subsequent move to unified communications.

    To better serve its mobile workers, one of the first enterprise-wide

    applications that Boeing deployed on its converged IP network was

    Mircosoft’s Office Communication Server. This was implemented to provide

    desktop sharing, VoIP, audio conferencing, instant messaging, and presence

    capabilities to all of its workers worldwide. This quickly became a popular

    supplement or alternative to the company’s traditional collaboration services.

    Boeing subsequently made the decision to upgrade to Mircosoft’s Lync

    C1-5

    Server to enable its employees to leverage enhanced presence, ad hoc

    collaboration, desktop sharing, and online meeting

    capabilities.

    Boeing’s collaboration capabilities before and after the creation of the

    converged IP network are illustrated in Figure C1.1. It is important to note

    that Boeing continues to subscribe to many of the collaboration services that

    it used prior to implementing its unified communications solutions. Hence,

    UC is best observed to be a supplement not a replacement to the

    collaboration systems that were already in place.

    One of the key changes associated with Boeing UC system has been the

    ability of employees to use the same softphone headset to support both

    office and mobile phone calls. Phone capabilities follow the mobile worker

    who can specify which device to route calls to on the fly. Their Boeing phone

    number is always the same whether they are in their office, at home, on the

    road, or working on the other side of the world. Detailed presence

    information about team members is provided via Lync’s location and activity

    feed capabilities. Supply chain partners are also able see the presence

    information of their key contacts at Boeing; this facilitates their interactions

    with engineering and maintenance teams at Boeing.

  • UC Benefits
  • Boeing’s converged IP network and unified communications capabilities

    enable employees share information and knowledge more quickly and

    effectively, regardless of their location. Boeing’s geographically dispersed

    engineers use these systems to share expertise with one another just as

    they could if they were in the same place at the same time. The ability to

    support unified communications capabilities over the converged IP network

    facilitates knowledge sharing and has become an important facet of Boeing’s

    collaboration and knowledge management strategies.

    C1-6

    The company’s unified communications system enables employees at

    remote locations to have the same capabilities that have in their home

    offices. Virtual teams benefit from being able to adjust their interactions to

    the communication mode that makes the most sense. For example, they are

    able to transition from instant messaging to a voice communication and/or

    desktop sharing session depending on what the situation requires. The UC

    system’s enhanced presence capabilities also provides real time information

    about the current availability and activities of other Boeing employees so

    that they can be brought into conversations about how to address time

    sensitive problem issues about parts, maintenance issues, or assembly line

    delays.

    Boeing has benefitted from increased productivity and efficiency at both

    the individual and team levels. Its UC capabilities and converged IP network

    have also helped the company rein in its Web and audio conferencing costs.

    Prior to the UC implementation, Boeing experienced double-digit growth in

    costs associated with Web conferencing. Web conferencing continues to be

    widely used by Boeing employees, but the annual costs associated with Web

    conferencing have leveled off as employees increasingly use UC desktop

    sharing and audio conferencing capabilities instead of third-party

    conferencing services.

    Boeing’s annual costs for audio conferencing services have decreased by

    more than 15% since implementing the UC system. While Boeing still

    subscribes to third-party audio conferencing services, these are being used

    less frequently for team meetings as the result of the company’s UC

    capabilities.

    The UC system has been positively received by Boeing employees. It is

    widely viewed as a platform that facilitates collaboration in an engaging

    manner. Boeing continues to have the reputation of being one of the world’s

    most innovative companies and its decision to implement unified

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    communications on a converged IP network demonstrates its commitment to

    deploy technologies that enable innovation.

  • Discussion Points
  • 1. Some virtual teams at Boeing have discussions focused on military

    aircraft. Do some Internet research on UC security mechanisms and
    identify and briefly describe several that Boeing should have in
    place to ensure the privacy and integrity of such discussions.

    2. To what extent do the UC benefits experienced by Boeing mirror

    those of other firms that have deployed UC capabilities over
    converged IP networks?

    3. To date, Boeing has not implemented the full range of capabilities

    available through UC systems. If you were the CIO at Boeing, what
    additional UC capabilities would you implement? What benefits
    would you expect Boeing to derive from deploying these
    capabilities?

  • Sources
  • [MICR10] Microsoft Case Studies. “Boeing Expects to Lower Costs and
    Improve Productivity with Messaging Solution.” March 16, 2010. Retrieved
    online at:
    http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?casestudyid
    =4000006703.

    [MICR11] Microsoft Case Studies. “Boeing Promotes Knowledge Sharing for
    Global Workforce with Communications Solution.” April 29, 2011. Retrieved
    online at: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Lync-Server-
    2010/Boeing/Boeing-Promotes-Knowledge-Sharing-for-Global-Workforce-
    with-Communications-Solution/4000009654.

    [REED08] Reed, B. “AT&T snags big Boeing voice/data contract.”
    NetworkWorld. August 12, 2008. Retrieved online at:
    http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/081208-boeing-att-contract.html

    http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?casestudyid=4000006703

    http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?casestudyid=4000006703

    http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Lync-Server-2010/Boeing/Boeing-Promotes-Knowledge-Sharing-for-Global-Workforce-with-Communications-Solution/4000009654

    http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Lync-Server-2010/Boeing/Boeing-Promotes-Knowledge-Sharing-for-Global-Workforce-with-Communications-Solution/4000009654

    http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Lync-Server-2010/Boeing/Boeing-Promotes-Knowledge-Sharing-for-Global-Workforce-with-Communications-Solution/4000009654

    http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/081208-boeing-att-contract.html

      Collaboration Technologies
      Converged Network Project
      UC Benefits
      Discussion Points
      Sources

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