This is the 33rd excerpt from the second book in the Defen series: BIT: Business Information Technology: Foundations, Infrastructure, and Culture
Note to readers: in reviewing this stuff myself I'm struck by both how much and how little has changed since 2002/3 (the date of this tour). I'm thinking this whole Wintel culture thing needs revision - and one of those revisions might be a second tour, focused on the situation in 2008/9. Comments on change would therefore be of particular interest.
Each sales office has a Windows 2003 Server which acts as the local file and print sharing solution while also running both Exchange and Outlook servers.
The primary Windows based applications in the sales offices are:
In addition the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser is becoming increasingly important for things like access to the self service benefits management and compensation review facility; forms printing, and the collaborative communities initiative (CCI) currently under development using the Notes HTML client.
Headquarters operations have a different emphasis with more access to custom developed tools such as the analytical data warehouse, significantly more use of computational frameworks like Microsoft Excel, and use of tools like Microsoft Word for forms generation rather than just forms completion or printing.
There are about forty Windows 2003 servers dedicated to boot, file, and print services between the two headquarters buildings. In addition, there are dozens of custom applications that run on dedicated servers to perform special functions including customer information routing, statistical analysis, postage rate and addressing (zip codes) management, and a janitorial services tracking application with its own copy of SQL-Server.
However the universally deployed (at headquarters) server applications are:
The major current development initiatives out of the data center (late 2003) are aimed rolling out an integrated, company wide, identity management framework; at extending data warehouse access to selected sales offices and/or agencies; and, at integrating credit management with the sales quotation system.
Notice that getting the facts right is particularly important for BIT - and that the length of the thing plus the complexity of the terminology and ideas introduced suggest that any explanatory anecdotes anyone may want to contribute could be valuable.