Chapter 4: Architecting on Demand Workplace Solutions

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In this chapter we will work through a second case study to further illustrate the development process presented in Chapter 3. The case study presented here focuses on a Business-to-Employee (B2E) portal. Such portals have applicability in any industry setting where organizations focus on creating streamlined, more fluid, more responsive and productive working environments for their employees. The goal is to make everyone a "knowledge worker" in an organization where individuals can use self-service human resource (HR) systems, boost collaboration, communicate anywhere, and otherwise relate to one another and to the company in a whole new way.

These knowledge workers should have a single point of access to the information and tools they need when they need it. Such a site aligns with IBM's On Demand Workplace (ODW). This case study explores some of the common elements associated with any ODW solution. At the end of the chapter we will see how a generic large reusable asset can be derived for this broad class of solutions.

4.1 Retail case study introduction

For this activity, we will build a Portal solution for International Food and Beverage (IFB), a retail customer,. What follows is a solution description that has been documented after an initial set of meetings with the customer.

4.1.1 Company background

IFB is a leading worldwide restaurant chain, with annual sales of around US$ 4 billion, 30,000 employees, and nearly 480 restaurants. It was originally a UK-owned company that grew to a multinational corporation with restaurants throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America. It had a workforce of 10,000 full-time and 20,000 part-time employees spread across the corporate offices in Manchester, UK, the regional offices in each geography, and the restaurants themselves.

IFB wants to improve business efficiency significantly by providing each employee with a tailored set of tools needed to perform his or her tasks in an easy-to-use and personalized user interface delivered to a wide range of client devices. The resulting system should provide more complete automation and integration of IT services. By delivering a streamlined employee training infrastructure, training costs can be reduced while improving the ability to manage workforce skills. The solution must leverage existing legacy systems, yet minimize the overall complexity of the enterprise architecture.

IFB wants a system that will become the primary point of interaction with resources, such as HR functions, financial systems, supply chain systems, e-learning, and key performance indicators, as well as provide new ways to communicate and work electronically with others.

4.1.2 Core functions

  • Delivery of company news, policies, and reports to employees, with information filtered according to employee role/position.

  • Access to PeopleSoft HR applications and data.

  • Employee schedule system—Allow employees to see their schedules from both browser and kiosks. Employees will also be able to identify scheduling conflicts through this interface.

  • The creation of a task management system—This system will permit the creation of task lists and assignment of tasks to employees, document expectations and task completion goals, and include the tracking and management of tasks.

  • Provide an efficient mechanism to verify inventory and reconcile the central stock management system from the store floor—This needs to integrate with the existing PeopleSoft SCM system.

  • Facilitate efficient employee-to-employee communication, both direct and asynchronous.

  • Delivery analytics of key performance indicators by employee, store, and region to various managers.

  • Provide an education facility to streamline employee training.

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Architecting Portal Solutions
Architecting Portal Solutions: Applications Development
ISBN: 0738498645
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 82
Authors: IBM Redbooks © 2008-2017.
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