The purpose of this report is to give an analysis of MIS policies of Ufone Telecommunication Ltd. We evaluate the weaknesses and strengths. We will find MIS policies in organization and how far they are contributing to the business plan and we will also find how to improve the quality of product and the pressure of customers and frustrated employees.
Analyzing the overall MIS approach in Ufone, we discuss the three policies. These policies do have a lot of weaknesses in them with some strong points as well.
At the end we give our recommendation about how these MIS policies can be effective once again and how they can improve the production level through reward system. Ufone needs some immediate and drastic changes to keep the business going
Ufone is a subsidiary of Pakistan Telecommunication Company. Government heads Pakistan Telecommunication Company. It is the only Pakistani-owned cellular service provider in the country. It was founded 9 years ago with a fundamental target to build one unique telecommunications entity of Pakistan identity. Government adopted Ufone in January 2001, since then it has seen a dynamic and full throttled speed of development and prosperity.
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PTML, a 100% owned subsidiary of PTCL was established to operate cellular GSM 900 services. The company commenced its operations, under the brand name of Ufone, from Islamabad on January 29, 2001. Ufone expanded its coverage and has added new cities and highways to its coverage network. Ufone now covers over 300 key cities and prominent highways across Pakistan providing the customers best quality service and value for money.
With a total current investment of over $350 Million, including a contract of $161 Million for expansion & capacity for 2006-07, PTML believes in solid commitment to growth, security & reliability. Ufone uses Siemens’s infrastructure, and gets ongoing superior technological support from Siemens. Most importantly, it has Siemens’s support in business Management.
A system can be simply defined as a group of interrelated or interacting elements forming a unified whole. Many examples of systems can be found in the physical and biological sciences, in modern technology, and in human society. Thus, we can talk of the physical system of the sun and its planets, the biological system of the human body, the technological system of an oil refinery, and the socioeconomic system of a business organization.
A system is a group of interrelated components working together toward a common goal by accepting inputs and producing outputs in an organized transformation process. Such a system (sometimes called a dynamic system) has three basic interacting components or functions:
Input involves capturing and assembling elements that enter the system to be processed. For example, raw materials, energy, data, and human efforts must be secured and organized for processing.
Processing involves transformation process that converts input into output. Examples are a manufacturing process, the human breathing process, or mathematical calculations.
Output involves transferring elements that have been produced by a transformation process to their ultimate destination. For example, finished products, human services, and management information must be transmitted to their human users.
A manufacturing system accepts raw materials as input and produces finished goods as output. An information system also is a system that accepts resources (data) as input and process the min to products (information) as output.
FEEDBACK AND CONTROL:
A system with feedback and control components is sometimes called a cybernetic system, that is, a self-monitoring, self-regulating system.
Feedback is data about the performance of a system. For example, data about sales performance is feedback to a sales manager.
Control involves monitoring and evaluating feedback to determine whether a system is moving toward the achievement of its goal. The control function then makes necessary adjustments to a system’s input and processing components to ensure that it produces proper output. For example, a sales manager exercises control when he or she reassigns salespersons to new sales territories after evaluating feedback about their sales performance. Feedback is frequently included as part of the concept of the control function because it is such a necessary part of its operation.
A familiar example of a self-monitoring, self-regulating system is the thermostat controlled heating system found in many homes; it automatically monitors and regulates itself to
COMPONENTS OF AN INFORMATION SYSTEM:
An information system is a system that accepts data resources as input and processes them into information products as output.
An information system depends on the resources of people (end users and IS specialists), hardware (machines and media), software (programs and procedures), data (data and knowledge basis), and networks (communications media and network support) to perform input, processing, output, storage, and control activities that convert data resources into information products.
This information system model highlights the relationships among the components and activities of information systems. It provides a framework that emphasizes four major concepts that can be applied to all types of information systems:
People, hardware, software, data, and networks are the five basic resources of information systems. A people resource include end users and IS specialists, hardware resources consisting of machines and media, software resources including both programs and HARDWARE RESOURCES.
The concept of Hardware resources includes all physical devices and materials used in information processing. Specially, it includes not only machines, such as computers and other equipment, but also all data media, that is, all tangible objects on which data is recorded, from sheets of paper to magnetic disks.
Example of hardware in computer-based information systems are:
Computer systems, which consist of central processing units containing microprocessors, and variety of interconnected peripheral devices.
Examples are microcomputer systems, midrange computer systems, and large mainframe computer systems.
Computer peripherals, which are devices such as a keyboard or electronic mouse for input of data and commands, a video screen or printer for output of information, and magnetic or optical disks for storage of data resources.
The concept of Software Resources includes all sets of information processing instructions. This generic concept of software includes not only the sets of operating instructions called programs, which direct and control computer hardware, but also the sets of information processing instructions needed by people, called procedures.
It is important to understand that even information systems that don’t use computers have a software resource component. This is true even for the information systems of ancient times, or the manual and machine-supported information systems still used in the world today. They all require software resources in the form of information processing instructions and procedures in order to properly capture, process, and disseminate information to their users.
INFORMATION SYSTEM ACTIVITIES:
You should be able to recognize input, processing, output, storage and control activities taking place in any information system you are studying.
INPUT OF DATA RESOURCE:
Data about business transactions and other events must be captured and prepared for processing by the input activity. Input typically takes the form of data entry activities such as recording and editing. End uses typically record data about transactions on some type of physical medium such as paper form, or enter it directly into a computer system. This usually includes a variety of editing activities to ensure that they have recorded data correctly. Once entered, data may be transferred onto a machine-readable medium such as a magnetic disk until needed for processing. For example, data about sales transactions can be recorded on source documents such as paper sales order forms. (A source document is the original formal
record of a transaction). Alternately, salespersons can capture sales data using computer keyboards or optical scanning devices; they are visually prompted to enter data correctly by video displays. This provides them with a more convenient and efficient user interface, that is, methods of end user input and output with a computer system. Methods such as optical scanning and displays of menus, prompts, and fill-in-the-blanks formats make it easier for end users to enter data correctly into an information system.
PROCESSING OF DATA INTO INFORMATION:
Data is typically subjected to processing activities such as calculating, comparing, sorting, classifying, and summarizing. These activities organize, analyze and manipulate data, thus converting them into information for end users. The quality of any data stored in an information system must also be maintained by a continual process of correcting and updating activities. For example, data received about a purchase can be
(1) added to a running total of sales results,
(2) compared to a standard to determine eligibility for a sales discount,
(3) sorted in numerical order based on product identification numbers,
(4) classified into product categories (such as food and non-food items),
(5) summarized to provide a sales manager with information about various product categories, and finally,
(6) used to update sales records.
OUTPUT OF INFORMATION PRODUCTS:
Information in various forms is transmitted to end-users and made available to them in the output activity. The goal of information systems is the production of appropriate information products for end users.
Common information products messages, reports, forms, and graphic images, which may be provided by video displays, audio responses, paper products, and multimedia. For example, a sales manager may view a video display to check on the performance of a salesperson, accept a computer-produced voice message by telephone, and receive a printout of monthly sales results.
STORAGE OF DATA RESOURCE:
Storage is a basic system component of information systems. Storage is the information system activity in which data and information are retained in an organized manner for later use. For example, just as written text material is organized into words, sentences, paragraphs, and documents, stored data is commonly organized into fields, records, files, and database. This facilitates its later use in processing or its retrieval as output when needed by users of a
CONTROL OF SYSTEM PERFORMANCE:
An important information system activity is the control of its performance. An information system should produce feedback about its input, processing, output, and the system is meeting established performance standards. Then appropriate system activities must be adjusted so that proper information products are produced for end users. For example, a manager may discover that subtotals of sales amounts in a sales report do not add up to total sales. This might mean that data entry or processing procedures need to be corrected. Then changes would have to be made to ensure that all sales transactions. would be properly captured and processed by a sales information system.
RECOGNIZING INFORMATION SYSTEM:
There are many kinds of information systems in the real world. All of them use hardware, software, network, and people resources to transform data resources into information products. Some are simple manual information systems, where people use simple tools such as pencils and paper, or even machines such as calculators and typewriters. Others are computer based information systems that rely on a variety of networked computer systems to accomplish their information processing activities. As business end user, you should be able to recognize the fundamental components of information systems you encounter in the real world. This means that you should be able to identify. The people, hardware, software, data, and network resources they use. The type of information products they produce. The way they perform input, processing, output, storage and control activities. How they support the business operations, managerial decision-making, or competitive advantage of a business.
This kind of understanding will help you be a better user, developer, and manager of information system.
THE EXPANDING ROLES OF INFORMATION SYSTEM:
You will also see that the roles given to the information systems functions have expand significantly over the years.
TRENDS INFORMATION SYSTEMS:
Until the 1990s, the role of information systems was simple, transaction processing, record-keeping, accounting, and other electronic data processing (EDP) applications. Then another role was added, as the concept of management information system (MIS) was conceived. This new role focused on providing managerial end users with predefined management reports that would give managers the information they needed for decision making purposes.
By the 1970s, it was evident that the pre-specified information products produced by such management information systems were not adequately meeting many of the (DSS) was born. The new role for information systems was to provide managerial end users with ad hoc and interactive support of their decision-making processes.
MANAGEMENT SUPPORT SYSTEMS:
When information systems focus on providing information and support for effective decision making by managers, they are called management support systems.
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS:
Management information systems (MIS) are the most common form of management support systems. They provide managerial end users with information products that support much of their day-to-day decision-making needs. Management information systems provide a variety of reports and displays to management. The contents of these information products are specified in advance by managers so that they contain information that managers need. Management information systems retrieve information about internal operations from database that have been updated by transaction processing systems. They also obtain data about the business environment from external source. Information products provided to managers include displays and reports that can be furnished (1) on demand, (2) periodically,
according to a predetermined schedule.
DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS:
Decision support systems (DSS) are a natural progression from information reporting systems and transaction processing systems. Decision support systems are interactive, computer-based information systems that use decision models and specialized database to assist the decision making process of managerial end users.
EXECUTIVE INFORMATION SYSTEMS:
Executive information systems (EIS) are management information systems tailored to the strategic information needs of top management. Top executives get the information they need from many sources, including letters, memos, periodicals, and reports produced manually as well as by computer systems
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS:
Knowledge Management systems (KMS), Workers create, organize, and share important business knowledge wherever and whenever it is needed. For example, many knowledge management systems rely on Internet and intranet Web sites, knowledge bases, and discussion forums as key technologies for gathering, storing, and disseminating business knowledge. In this way, knowledge management systems facilitate organization learning and knowledge creation and dissemination within the business enterprise.
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STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS:
The strategic role of information systems involves using information technology to develop products, services, and capabilities that give a company strategic advantages over the competitive forces it faces in the global marketplace. This creates strategic information system, information systems that support or shape the competitive position and strategies of an enterprise. So a strategic information system can be any kind of information systems (TPS, MIS, DSS, etc.) that helps an organization gain a competitive advantage, reduce a competitive disadvantage, or meet other strategic enterprise objectives.
BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS:
As a future managerial end user, it is important for you to realize that information systems directly support both operations and management activities in the business functions of accounting, finance, human resource management, marketing, and operations management. Such business information systems are needed by all business functions.
For example, marketing managers need information about sales performance and trends provided by marketing information systems. Financial managers need information concerning financing costs and investment returns provided by financial information systems.
INTEGRATED INFORMATION SYSTEM:
It is also important to realize that information systems in the real world are typically integrated combinations of several types of information systems we have just mentioned. That’s because conceptual classification of information systems are designed to emphasize the
THE SYSTEMS APPROACH:
The systems approach to problem solving used a systems orientation to define problems and opportunities and develop solutions. Studying a problem and formulating a solution involve the following interrelated activities:
1. Recognize and define a problem or opportunity using systems thinking.
2. Develop and evaluate alternative system solutions.
3. Select the system solution that best meets your requirements.
4. Design the selected system solution.
5. Implement and evaluate the success of the designed system.
DEFINING PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Problems and opportunities are identified in the first step of the systems approach. A problem can be defined as a basic condition that is causing undesirable results. An opportunity is a
basic condition that presents the potential for desirable results. Symptoms must be separated from problems. Symptoms are merely signals of an underlying cause or problem.
Systems thinking is to try to find systems, subsystems, and components of systems in any situation your are studying. This viewpoint ensures that important factors and their interrelationships are considered. This is also known as using a systems context, or having a systemic view of a situation.
example, the business organization or business process in which a problem or opportunity arises could be viewed as a system of input, processing, output, feedback, and control components.
Then to understand a problem and save it, you would determine if these basic system functions are being properly performed.
The sales function of a business can be viewed as a system. You could then ask: Is poor sales performance (output) caused by inadequate selling effort (input), out-of-date sales procedures
(processing), incorrect sales information (feedback), or inadequate sales management (control)? Figure illustrates this concept.
It is an in-depth study of end user information needs that produces functional requirements that are used as the basis for the design of a new information system. Systems analysis
traditionally involves a detailed study of:
1. The information needs of the organization and end users like yourself.
2. The activities, resources, and products of any present information systems.
3. The information system capabilities required to meet your information needs, and those of other end users.
An organization analysis is an important first step in systems analysis. How can anyone improve an information system if they know very little about the organizational environment in which that system is located? They can’t. That’s why the members of a development team have to know something about the
ANALYSIS OF THE PRESENT SYSTEM:
Before you design a new system, it is important to study the system that will be improved or replaced (if there is one). You need to analyze how this system uses hardware, software, network, and people resources to convert data resources, such as transactions data, into information products, such as reports and displays. Then you should document how the information system activities of input, processing, output, storage, and control are accomplished.
The most important system software package for any computer is its operating system. An operating system is an integrated system of programs that manages the operations of the CPU, controls the input/output and storage resources and activities of the computer system, and provides various support services as the computer executes the application programs of users.
The primary purpose of an operating system is to maximize the productivity of a computer system by operating it in the most efficient manner. An operating system minimizes the amount of human intervention required during processing. It helps your application programs perform common operations Database Management Systems.
A DBMS program helps organization use their integrated collections of data records and files known as databases. It allows different user application programs to easily access the same database. For example, a DBMS makes it easy for an employee database to be accessed by payroll, employee benefits, and other human resource programs. A DBMS also simplifies the process of retrieving information from databases in the form of displays and reports. Instead of having to write computer programs to extract information, end users can ask simple questions in a query language. Thus, many DBMS packages provide fourth-generation language (4GLs) and other application development features.
Examples of popular mainframe and midrange packages are DB2 by IBM and Oracle 8 by Oracle Corporation.
Other System Management Programs:
Several other types of system management software are marketed as separate programs or are included as part of an operating system. Utility programs, or utilities, are an important example. Programs like Norton Utilities perform miscellaneous housekeeping and file conversion functions. Examples include data backup, data recovery, virus protection, data compression, and file defragmentation. Most operating systems also provide many utilities that perform a variety of helpful chores for computer users.
Other examples of system support programs include performance monitors and security monitors. Performance monitors are programs that monitor and adjust the performance and usage of one or more computer systems to keep them running efficiently, Security monitors are packages that monitor and control the use of computer systems and provide warning messages and record evidence of unauthorized use of computer resources. A recent trand is to merge both types of programs into operating systems like Microsoft’s Windows NT Server, or into system management software like Computer Associates’ CAUnicenter, that can manage both mainframe systems and servers in a data centre.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
A high-level language is obviously easier to learn and understand than an assembler language. Also, high-level languages have less-rigid rules, forms, and syntaxes, so the potential for errors is reduced. However, high-level languages programs are usually less efficient than assembler language programs and require a greater amount of computer time for translation into machine instructions. Business Applications of Telecommunications.
Telecommunications is the sending of information in any form (e.g., voice, data, text, and images) from one place to another using electronic or light-emitting media. Data communications is a more specific term that describes the transmitting and receiving of data over communication links between one or more computer systems and a variety of input/output terminals. The terms teleprocessing, telematics, and telephony may also be used since they reflect the integration of computer-based information processing with telecommunications and telephone technology. However, all forms of telecommunications now rely heavily on computers and computerized devices. For this reason, the broader term telecommunications can be used as a synonym for data communications activities.
Figure illustrates some of the many possible business applications of telecommunications. It groups telecommunications applications into the major categories of enterprise collaboration systems, electronic commerce systems,
The Internet Revolution:
The explosive growth of the Internet is the revolutionary technology phenomenon of the 1990s. The Internet has become the largest and most important network of networks today, and is evolving into the information superhighway of tomorrow. The Internet is constantly expanding, as more and more businesses and other organizations and their users, computers, and networks join its global web. Thousands of business, educational, and research networks now connect millions of computer systems and users in more than 200 countries to each other. The Internet has also become a key platform for a rapidly expanding list of information and entertainment services and business applications, including enterprise collaboration and electronic commerce systems.
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