Matalan Architecture and Infrastructural Investigation

2670 words (11 pages) Essay

29th Aug 2017 Computer Science Reference this

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  1. Introduction to my Organisation BLAG

I chose Matalan as my organisation to undertake my report on as it was the most convenient option since I work there part time and have worked with a lot of the systems they use currently. Matalan is a well-established fashion retailer based in knowsley and has over 200 stores across the U.K (Advameg, 2017). I decided to concentrate on a single store rather than the whole business as it would be too complex and be hard to gather all the information due to the wide scale of the company and this branch is called Matalan Sefton an is located on switch island retail park which is one of the first original stores to open in the company. I decided that the store was suitable store to use with the use of various technology used and the architecture and infrastructural system suggests that there was more than enough information that could be gathered in order to write an in depth report on.

  1. Collection of information

Before I started any writing of the report I made sure had permission to discuss Matalan’s information and explained it was for not non-profession use. I originally asked my manager which she agreed to participate. However, as Matalan are a nationwide company a lot of their IT is out sourced and the manager gave me the number of the IT department. I rang explained the situation and organised a meeting at their head office in Knowsley lucky enough this is not too far away. I made a questionnaire and brought this to the meeting where I typed the answers and the information can be found in appendix. I also discussed the stores information system infrastructure and was shown the companies system model however I had to create my own version of this and this can be found in the appendix 2. During the process of the report I was in constant contact with my manager using verbal communication and any questions I needed to ask was solved by him this was particular useful for the type of hardware the store had as the meeting with head office was a brief overview of all the companies stores an weren’t specific.

  1. Report Findings

The information gathered in this part is taken from appendixes 1, 2

3.1 Hardware & Software

The store has company standard three HP desktop PCs all have windows 10 implemented to be able to run the latest software to manage the store. Two of the desktops are located in the back office which are connected to the fax machine and printer. Another desktop PC is situated at the customer services help desk which is the most up to date out of them all due to the refurbishment of the store they decided to replace the old PC. This desktop PC is HP Pavilion 23 q141in N4R49AA Desktop PC with processor Speed of 2.2 GHz with 8GB of RAM this machine is used at the customer service desk and is used to search for delivers and return PayPal orders. The other latest Desktop PC is HP Pavilion p6-2014 Desktop PC Product with processor speed of 2.1 GHz and 8 GB of RAM this is used for the overall management of the store and this is connected to the fax machine HP 2140 Fax. The oldest is HP Pavilion p6112p Desktop PC with 8 GB RAM and 1TB hard drive and this desktop is connected to the HP LaserJet P2035 mono printer which is a quite old machine in comparison with the rest of the hardware this is due the lack of use. On these Desktop PCs office 365 business is installed and is used to communicate by email, store data in the cloud and use the software available such as word, PowerPoint. Matalan use HP desktops as they have a good reputation for lasting long and have a few years’ warranty and have the necessary platforms them to run various software. The store also has three IP Phone devices all the same model called MiVoice 5330e which is used to exchange calls, voicemails and allow to hold the call.

Matalan current use POS system called torex retail j this services allows the store to monitor transactions and stock levels, reports, manages the rota and manage the overall running of the store ect. (POSmatic & Software, 2017) suggests that Point of Sale system is a “connection with the hardware and software for checkouts… where individuals transport and place the items or products they have chosen to purchase from the location… so that credit card processing could be more easily and securely integrated.” This system saves the company time as doing it manual would take time. The system also captures details of the customers and stores them on their Matalan card and on the database, it shows what the customer has purchased on the card. For the till points Matalan also used the software peninsula for their barcodes and have installed their peninsula barcode scanners called Phoenix II on each till point to scan the barcodes of products and any promotion codes that is valid. This software stores all the current barcodes for all the products in the system with the price and recognised them once scanned.

Another software Matalan uses is Numero which is used to create reports on the performance level of the store and recognize different trends in the sales. For example, it will record hourly and daily totals then create graphs where you can compare the figures to different times for instances what was the sales total for this day 1 year ago and compare whether the business is up or down. These reports are useful for head office as it allows them to compare all 217 stores and gives them an idea which ones need to improve.

Matalan also uses Remote Pensoft to which is a payroll system that hosts the payrolls then Matalan can gain access to the system and processes the payroll. The system calculations the taxes for each individual from their national insurance number.

3.2 Operating systems FINISH TONIGHT

According to (Capron, Mitchell, & Swaminathan, 2001) “An operating system is a set of programs that lies between applications software and computer hardware; it is the fundamental software that controls access to all other software and hardware resources.” Matalan use several computer systems as stated previous they use windows 10 on all desktop PCs as it run the necessary software the store needs to be able to run it successfully without any major problems. They also use this the manufacturer as they offer a graduate for all the product if something goes wrong. Matalan use torex retail j as their POS system to operating the till system and have had this system since 2013 and has served them well with not too many problems and if there is there is an on-call technician to combat any issues.

3.3 Networking Facilities

(Englander & Engl, 2014) indicated that networking is an “essential component of modern technology infrastructure, providing the ability to interconnect” devices to make it” possible to share resources and services, to share and exchange data and knowledge and, even communicate.” Matalan networking facilities is network connected online to the store server which is then permanently connected through the Ethernet to the head office. Matalan network exchanges real time information from head office to the back-office system vice versa to maintain information for every single transaction processed, to be able to check current stock, check delivery date, and to able to keep up with the latest promotions across Matalan. This network is suitable for a huge company like Matalan which is important to have a good infrastructure as it connects all the stores to one place to distribute data and communicate fast.

3.4 Security issues FINISH TONIGHT

3.5 Legal & Ethical Requirements BLAG

Data protection

pci compliance

It code of conduct

As a company Matalan, must follow certain legislations with the importantly of the data they handle with certain penalties against the business if found not to be following. The company must follow the PCI compliance which (ControlScan, 2017) states is “a set of security standards designed to ensure that ALL companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.” Matalan must be follow this compliance within all their stores as they are held liable if the business fails to follow the strict legislation and would result in the company being fined or sanctioned. Matalan lack of security would damage the customers trust in the business however Matalan currently have a strong security defend. The security solution has been invested in which is normally is issue when stores fail to follow due to the lack of budget.

As Matalan store and use data they must follow the Data Protection Act which protects information held about people from being misused. According to Copyright, 2017, the Data Protection Act the information being stored must be:

  • Obtained fairly and lawfully
  • Used only for the purposes stated during collection
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the intended use
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than necessary
  • Processed in line with your rights
  • Subject to procedures to prevent unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage to personal data
  • Protected from transfer to an area outside the European Economic Area (EEA) unless adequate protection exists for that data

3.6 Key Areas

The Key areas for the Matalan is their head office department this is where the server replies on its network. I found this out first hand as a couple of months ago I was working on the tills the whole network went down which affected the chip and pin machines and this lead to the whole companies stores not being able to process no transactions with cards. The stores only back up were to use the old manual card imprinters which is not a very effective way to trade as it was time consuming. This highlights the importantly of computer systems for organisations as they are heavily reliant on them and wouldn’t be able to cope with the demand.

  1. Systems Diagram

Matalan current system infrastructure works effectively as it is simple and has good connectivity. However, I think the currently system should a back-up server in case anything goes wrong. This could be a network outside the company and in an emergency, there is that network to back it up which would decrease the chances of loss of earnings due to not being to complete sales.

  1. Strengths & Weaknesses of the Organisation’s Computer Systems FINISH TINIGHT
  1. Technological Strategies FINISH TINIGHT
  1. New & Emerging Technologies

When we discussed new technology, we looked at rival retailers and what they had implemented. With most of the big companies have starting to use E receipts which is an electronic receipt that emailed to the costumer once they have they purchased items. This is beneficial to not only the customer but the store itself as it saves money on printing and paper cost. It also allows Matalan to market to customers and for the customer they are less likely to lose their receipts.

Contactless is the latest technology hitting the high-street shops as it makes purchasing goods a lot easier and make transactions faster however Matalan haven’t yet implemented it into their stores but the manager stated that there has been talk of installing it this year across all store. A similar technology that could help the company sales is Apple/Android pay which is a digital wallet allowing safe payment by phone with finger print technology. This could increase sales as if the customer hasn’t got any cash/card on them they could still purchase items and follows the same benefits as contactless.

Matalan have a customer card system which the customer details are on the card allowing Matalan to market to the customer through email and send promotions. They have recently brought of a smartphone app called “Matalan Reward Card App” to replace the card, this has helped to promote offers by having the reward card on the app allowing the customer to see if they have any vouchers, alert customer if sale and update on the latest offers.

Another form of technology Matalan could introduce to store is IPad and installed them to be able to order items into store for example large items like furniture as they only sell these on the website.

  1. References
  • Capron, L., Mitchell, W., & Swaminathan, A. (2001). Asset divestiture following horizontal acquisitions: A dynamic view. Strategic Management Journal, 22(9)
  • Copyright. (2017, February 1). Data protection principles. Retrieved from https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/data-protection-principles/
  • Englander, I., & Engl, I. (2014). The architecture of computer hardware, systems software, & networking: An information technology approach (5th ed.). United States: John Wiley & Sons.
  • POSmatic, I., & Software, P. (2017). Point of sale (POS). Retrieved from http://www.posmatic.com/point-of-sale/what-is-point-of-sale.php

http://www.conceptdraw.com/How-To-Guide/LAN-Diagrams

Appendices

  1. Appendix A – Questionaire

Matalan Questionnaire:

  1. What Hardware is available for the store? Including any specialised resources?

3 desktops

Printer

Fax machine

  1. What software is available for the store to use?
  • Retail j
  • Retail manager
  • Numero software
  • peninsula software
  • Remote Pensoft- payroll
  • Windows pro
  • Webmail
  1. Are there any strategies for commissioning or developing new hardware or software resources?

contactless

  1. What Operating System(s) is available for the store to use?

Retail java pen

  1. Why is this operating system chosen to be used in store?
  1. What networking facilities does the store have?
  1. Are there any security issues on the network? What security features do you have in place to prevent security issues?
  1. Are there any new technologies helping to benefit the store?
  1. What are the legal/ethical requirements for the store?
  • Data protection
  • PCI compliance
  • It code of conduct

10. How does Matalan benefit from utilising computer systems?

  • Help trade
  • Quicker
  • Productivity increase
  • Increase sales
  • Management
  1. Appendix B – Hardware Specifications

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