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Preparing Marketing Plans – Sample one for Amazon.com – A handy tool for strategic IT managers

Overview Amazon.com offers Earth’s largest selection of online products. Being the #1 online retailer, it offers the most advanced and innovative ways of e-commerce that is capable to continuously deliver fastest, reliable, cheapest and most user-friendly online shopping experience for the customer. Marketing Strategy Focus and Market Segments Company’s mission is to become extremely customer-centric…

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Technology Cycles and Innovation

Technology cycles and innovation are two useful phenomena that can be used to explain how competitive advantage of companies can be maintained over time. Technology cycle can be defined as the period of time between the birth or introduction of a new technology and when it is replaced by a newer and substantially better technology….

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Costs and Benefits of Planning

Planning has advantages as well as disadvantages. This means that even though planning aids in improving organizational and individual performance, it might not work very well all the time throughout the existence of the organization. One important benefit of planning is that it encourages managers and workers to direct their persistent efforts towards activities that…

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“Cognitive Dissonance” and how to ease it

Cognitive dissonance is an insecure feeling, or lingering doubts, consumers sometimes have after making large purchases. One way to reduce Cognitive dissonance (CD) is to introduce full money back guarantee on dissatisfaction within a stated time period, say 2-3 weeks after purchase. Another way to reduce CD is by allowing product evaluations where the user…

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Market segmentation

Market segmentation is the process of separating the varied market into segments, each of which has similar characteristics. For example, a cosmetic company may segment its market according to age and sex, thus concentrating on baby lotion (age), adult shampoo (age), after-shave (sex) and eye-liner (sex). The organization could then do research in each segment…

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Accounting Vs Financial Management

Accounting can be considered as an information system that provides various tools to summarize financial performance or economic activities of an individual, family, organization or any other entity. The reports generated from an accounting system, aids the interested individuals, management, owners and creditors to make intelligent decisions in allocating resources. Financial management is the discipline…

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Process Control and Process Improvement

Process Management has its relevance when managers begin to conceptualize business activities as interdependent processes instead of functions and tasks. The basic requirement towards effective process management is IT enabled business process automation, usually an outcome of a reengineering task. For the processes to accomplish the set goals, we need to set various standards of…

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Adopting "Systems View" while Process Improvement

Systems view refers to analyzing a problem situation as a system of interdependent processes that exchange input and output. This view helps to identify the important processes and their relationships as far as maximizing the organizational efficiency and goal achievement is concerned. This leads to the main principle of process improvement which is to emphasize…

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Different kinds of diversity in organizational settings

Two major types of diversities is notable in an organizational setting, which every IT manager should take into consideration – Surface level diversity are those differences that are easily noticeable such as age, gender, ethnicity/race, culture, language, disability etc. Surface level diversity is easy to be measured and managers/recruiters can fall into the wrong practice…

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Working as team, not always good in an organization

Working in teams does not always ensure positive results. Two possible disadvantages are large number of employees quitting the job and “Social Loafing”. Teams require extensive learning of standard team policies and work procedures and adherence to specific individual responsibilities. This might lead to excessive team pressure when much is expected from each team member….

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Managers and their focus on diverse work force

Managing diverse workforce is a crucial skill for a manager since there exists both surface level (demographic, cultural and language) and deep level (personal differences in attitudes, values, beliefs and personality) diversity among an organization’s workforce. A diverse workforce has various advantages attached to it such as cost benefits by saving dollars spent on expensive…

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High Tech Worker Immigration Issues

Deepesh Joseph Kristen Schmidt Raja Sekhar Tunuguntla August 9, 2007 High-Tech Worker Immigration Issues Introduction The United States has a long history of immigration, right from the time when the land was occupied by wanderers from Southeast Asia to the Vikings and later to the Europeans. Due to the peculiar nature of American history, even…

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Future Trends in Enterprise Architecture

1. Introduction Enterprise Architecture (EA) has been in practice since last 3 decades and it is considered as the key enabler of Enterprise business success through effective alignment of business and IT. EA is an interesting concept and is subjected to constant research and development to cater to varying needs of complex and evolving business…

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Be informed, Gain knowledge!

One of the core aspects of human life is its need to be informed and thus gain knowledge to act wisely, conscientiously, responsibly and intelligibly. We all are constantly seeking information about some context – may be it is to solve an issue related to our day to day life/work or it might be a…

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Basic differences between managing information and managing knowledge? Is it necessary that we try to “get inside people’s heads” to capture it?

Information and Knowledge are two interrelated concepts. Information is processed data that has the capacity to give form or shape to a matter or to the mind. Formation of matter can be appreciated in the way that “messages passed from Genes instruct the cell machinery to build an organism” (Campbell J., 1982). Shaping of mind…

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Motivation studies indicate that not all people are motivated by the same factors or rewards

Motivation is a very important psychological driving force that every individual require to complete an effort. An effort well done, leads to better performance and due satisfaction of one’s unfulfilled need. As we see from Maslow’s need hierarchy, this unfulfilled need belongs to various categories from physical (lower order) to mental (higher order) (William C.,…

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Reengineering New York Public Library (NYPL)

After analyzing the NYPL website (www.nypl.org), it becomes clear that the Digital Library project is a part of a bigger reengineering initiative that has been in place in NYPL for past few decades. NYPL has realized the importance of refining its business processes by implementing efficient process automation systems. They have done extensive work on…

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Personal Internet Usage at Workplace

As a Director of Security for your organization, what policies or plans could you implement that might help control or diminish personal Internet use at the workplace? Do you trust that employees will use common sense and good judgment, or will you risk employee backlash when they discover that you’re implementing monitoring software? Personal Internet…

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Spend Money or Lose It

Viscione’s article (as in Refernce section) pictures out how important is designing and implementing a continuously improving budget process, for any business firm to survive. He warns all business firms either small or big to build its budgeting system right from the beginning of first year of its inception. He suggests many helpful hints that…

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Strategic Alliances – Review and Case Study

The goal of Milne et. al. article is to study how non-profit alliances lead to shape environment policy and market behavior. Focusing on this goal, they developed five hypotheses and conducted extended research to prove or disprove them, thus determining the true behavior of alliances that exist between non-profit and non-profit, non-profit and governmental organization…

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Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning – An analysis from view points of Mintzberg and King 1. The way strategic planning originates: Mintzburg states that strategies can originate as specific intentions of the leaders, as deliberate strategies which take a linear path. King, on the other hand states that strategic planning originates from the need to identify best ways…

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Personal SWOT Analysis

Personal SWOT analysis is a good “data collection and analysis method” that we can use to arrive at high performance goal oriented plans. I feel that this is something that we do unintentionally, many times, during turning points in our life. We don’t do this process theoretically and we might be interested in deriving it…

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Motivation studies indicate that not all people are motivated by the same factors or rewards

Motivation is a very important psychological driving force that every individual require to complete an effort. An effort well done, leads to better performance and due satisfaction of one’s unfulfilled need. As we see from Maslow’s need hierarchy, this unfulfilled need belongs to various categories from physical (lower order) to mental (higher order) (William C.,…

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Assess Barnes and Noble’s response to the substitution threat from Amazon. How did Amazon respond in turn, and to what net effect?

Barnes and Noble’s Response: Barnes and Noble had started studying online business during late 1994. It was not in response of Amazon.com’s going online that they thought about doing online business. Their mission in starting online book retail was clear – To leverage Barnes & Noble brand name online. They soon realized the substitute threat…

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Traditional bookselling and Online bookselling – Comparing a customer’s willingness-to-pay

Traditional book selling and Online book selling – Comparing a customer’s willingness-to-pay for books supplied in these two business models. (i.e. Do they expect to pay less online? Why? What else do they expect from each method?)      The major differences between the customer’s willingness-to-pay in traditional book selling and its online version can be analyzed…

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How USPS Overcome Substitution Threat

Considering substitution threats, our US Post Office is faced with a serious threat from email and online banking. Their proposed solution is to raise the price of first class mail again. What do you think of that strategy? Have they all but given up? Is it their only recourse? What happens next? Considering the widespread…

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Amazon Vs Barnes and Nobles – How both companies differ in online book selling business

Since 2000, the competition between http://www.amazon.com/ and www.barnesandnoble.com/ has become intense with the entrance of competitors such as Borders and Books-A-Million Inc. Currently, as per the last traded values – 60.60 & 40.77 (Yahoo! Finance, 2007, April 27) and customer ratings – 97% & 92% (BizRates.com, 2007, April 27) , Amazon is ranked #1 in…

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Information Architecture and security

Information Architecture, in general, should be implemented in such a way that it makes the user feel safe and comfortable while surfing through the site. Providing links to privacy policy, Feed backs and the like would be good starting point. As indicated, there is no clear rule of thumb for internet governance and thus no…

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“Not only is shopping melting into everything, but everything is melting into shopping”

“Not only is shopping melting into everything, but everything is melting into shopping” (The above sentence is taken from the referred article) The article ‘The mauling of America’, by Wittman K., introduces the consumer oriented nature of retail architectures. The article brings into light the most visible forms of ‘Gruen effect’ where the consumer is…

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Get Customer Perspective First

“Instead of creating a clever new product before trying to sell it to customers, the anthropological approach requires companies to look at the customer perspective first and feed that information back to developers and designers.” (The above sentence is from the referred article) Thomas K.’s article is very much relevant in the context of user…

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"Farmers Vs. Cowmen"

“Farmers Vs. Cowmen” – Is a sentence from the referred book and below is my review, recommendations – I found this topic very interesting and thought provoking since it is directly linked to the way that our mindsets are molded by our educational/professional background. The way different professionals visualize the website is accurately captured. Having…

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“Navigation Systems aids us to chart our course, determine our position and find our way back” – While designing good websites

“Navigation Systems aids us to chart our course, determine our position and find our way back” (The above sentence is quoted from the referred book) I liked this analogy of a conventional navigation system as related to the web-site navigation systems since it supports the basic user need to browse through information with most satisfaction….

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"When information is stacked in time, it is difficult to understand context and evaluate relationships" – While designing good websites

“When information is stacked in time, it is difficult to understand context and evaluate relationships” (This is based on a sentence as referred in the article by Tufte) I would like to expand on this concept and relate it to need for grouping related content together. The idea is simple – Our mind is less…

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Scent of information

“..Scent of information..” (This is based on a reference sentence as seen in Krug’s User experience book) The above extract from Krug’s book caught my attention since often we deal with IA components that ensure scents of useful information while navigating or searching through the web site. The need to keep the user less distracted…

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“Elements of User Experience”

“Elements of User Experience” (My reflections on the referred article from Garret) Garret’s presentation of ‘Elements of User Experience’ touched all vital aspects of web development that can affect user experience. What I liked most is the way the document brings into light how these user elements gets their unique roles in a web-based software…