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At RR communications, it is obvious there is a problem that needs to be handled if they are to avoid

losing customers. The problem lies with the decentralized operations where each business unit has a
mandate to operate independently. The business units have the power to make and implement new
projects and make decisions without having to involve the whole firm. This has led to many problems
such as customers complaining of having receipts for each of the four products offered by the company
and would prefer having one receipt for all their transactions. Due to the division among departments, the
company has been unable to meet reporting requirements for the Sarbanes Oxley Act. It has proved
obvious that a shared IT service, which is standardized among all the units, is needed to ensure
everything goes well.
The first problem we see at RR Communications is that there is a definite lack of centralized and concise
IT governance. Currently all of the separate functions of the company have their own individual leadership
with no central leadership. For this reason, each of the sections takes actions and makes decisions based
only on how it affects their own particular departments. There is no coordination to ensure that the act of
one area does not negatively affect the rest of the firm. This in turn has led to a significant lack of
uniformity across the organization, which is hurting customer relations. There are unified databases and
each section maintains their own set of records; this is causing great frustration among their customers
who continually have issues when dealing with more than one area.
Much of the division of departments has been caused by a lack of central leadership. The CEO of the firm
has failed to unify the department or assert any control over the individual IT vice presidents. Even though
they reported to him, each had acted entirely independently. This continuous failure of leadership has
caused the department heads to develop a sense of isolation and self-survival. Even though a new
executive VP of IT has been appointed to bring unity to the firm, there has been severe resistance as
each department feels it will suffer. The lack of centralized management for so long has caused
significant discord between the departments that will take considerable effort to overcome.
In addition, this company attitude has filtered down from the VPs to the middle and lower management
creating an overall atmosphere that is dangerously disjointed. Even the suggestion of bringing together
the database systems and management has caused a near mutinous uprising and rejection of leadership.
The current managerial atmosphere has been around so long, the attitude of individualism has been
deeply imbedded in the corporate culture. While, individual thinking is useful to foster innovation and
creativity, when the entire organization acts to satisfy only its individual requirements, the firm overall will
suffer. Unless this attitude can be overcome, any attempt at bringing unity to the company will fail.
From the technical standpoint, RR Communications is suffering from a severely fractured information
management system. Every section of the company maintains its own individual customer databases,
which are in incompatible formats. If a customer maintains relationships with more then one division, they
get bills from each individual area. Customer issues often fail to get resolved because the departments do
not communicate or share information. This is causing problems with diminished customer satisfaction. In
addition, without a centralized database, full customer information and statistics are impractical to collect.
In addition to suffering by not being able to collect detailed records, the company is facing regulatory
issues by not being able to provide complete information on the companys activities, and significant
resources are being wasted to assemble simple reports.
Currently management and associates at RR Communications believe that a collective solution is
impossible, and any attempt to do so will cause them to suffer. While it may be true that the initial
implementation of such a system will require a significant collective effort, the end result will be well worth
it. It is also clear that much of the perspective of management is extremely short sided; projects are
selected only based on a very narrow and limited benefit view with no regard for their long-term viability.
As more and more systems have been patched together to fulfill immediate gaps, the overall collection of
programs has become a cumbersome, inefficient, and unmanageable mess. A truly efficient system
would be one that is all-encompassing and communicates across all facets of the organization to deliver a
unified and fully integrated information system that can add real value to the firm.
One other major issue at RR Communications is the proliferation of rouge projects completed without
oversight or regard for how they will affect the firm. In a large company every project should be examined
to determine how it could provide value to the organization before being launched. At RR Communication
projects are being launched that benefit only select areas and may in fact be causing a significant
negative impact to the rest of the firm. The company currently does not have a steering or operating
committee to oversee and exert control over these projects. Without any form of centralized control and
governance, these rouge projects will continue to sabotage the effectiveness of the organization.
Lack of common information and enterprise IT strategy has caused several problems for the business
and the IT departments of RR communications. Customer service has suffered and customer
dissatisfaction has grown. Lack of common information has made it difficult for management to monitor
the businesses as a whole. Business units are unable to exchange information and remain unaware of
the other divisions work. There is little sense of how the divisions work together to meet the companys
overall goals. The accounting problems make it difficult to present shareholders with accurate financial
information, and the system is not cost-effective in any case. Furthermore, each division working at
individual level to attain its success makes them rigid and unable to adapt to changing requirements;
under these circumstances even the implementation of new technology will be extremely difficult. The
organization cannot operate efficiently as a whole or at division levels, and the costs are bound to keep


As many annoyed customers can probably agree, being transferred from one department of the company
to another over and over again to resolve a simple issue is one of the main reasons many companies
lose customers. This is certainly an issue at RR Communications. The main cause of the problem seems
to be the division of the different business units. This lack of unity is caused by a faulty commission
system that rewards individual performance over company profit. The fact that the four CIOs refuse to
work together and resort to sabotaging the efforts of the others, serves to show that they are more
interested in their own selfish financial goals. While the president of the company may have been a
visionary and brilliant entrepreneur, he lacked the managerial skills to recognize the need to have a
unified commission system which would foster participation in a common goal, and thus a common
commission which is interdependent on all four business units would be most beneficial to the company.
Unifying IT Resources
The most important problem for RR Communications to correct is a significant deficiency of successful
information management, reflected by the confused state of their customer information databases.
Currently customer data is disbursed in separate databases for each section of the company, so that data
from one department is not available to another. Thus, customers are forced to maintain relationships
with multiple departments and receive billing from each. This separation means that valuable information
resources are not being effectively utilized, hurting the firms productivity and efficiency. To improve the
state of information capital at RR Communications, a complete overhaul of the current systems will be
necessary, from both an IT and business standpoint.
Information represents a vital asset to any company. This can be in the form of customer accounts, sales
records, research & development, financial statements, etc. However, in order to realize full benefits, the
same information must be readily accessible by all individual units, so that the company can leverage it in
the most efficient manner. The first step to correct the issues at RR Communications is to create a unified
data architecture that combines all information resources into a central database that is accessible to all
sections of the firm. By providing a centralized database clients will be better served by allowing complete
access to customer records throughout the company. This will also improve reporting abilities, lower
administrative costs, and greatly increase the value of information resources.
To achieve the greatest benefit to the company, RR Communications could consolidate its data from
multiple silos into a unified enterprise data warehouse (EDW) (Smaltz, 2011). This architecture provides
multiple benefits including a single location for all information storage reducing the amount of duplicated
efforts. This also greatly improves the integrity of data by providing a single version of the truth (Smaltz,
2011). When data is spread throughout multiple databases, invariable some of it will differ. For example,
a customers address may have been changed in one department but not another. These differences can
prove costly to a company. A centralized EDW means that only one record should exist for each customer
and reduce data discrepancies.
Having such a centralized system would also satisfy customer needs in a more efficient manner and
would help to cross-sell products, which in turn would result in higher profits and more profit for the
company. By allowing customers to have a single point of contact, and sharing information by
standardizing software and databases across the organization, information will flow more freely and
readily available thus giving the employees the ability to communicate in real time with accurate data and
maximizing customer contact to increase profits.
Having a decentralized IT function is not conductive to achieve an enterprise vision because by keeping
the separate business units separated, it keeps pertinent information out of reach of other business units,
and thus allows missed opportunities to maximize profit. Also, the lack of communication among the units
creates chaos and disorganization in the organization and gives precedence to individual goals above
company goals, which in turn will end up hurting the overall enterprise vision and may even spell the end
of the enterprise altogether. Finally, having a decentralized IT function creates customer frustration such
as in the case of getting several bills for different products. This frustration may cause the company lost
customers and lost profits.
Information Stewardship & Information Management Policy
The difficulty in implementing this solution is the current state of the databases scattered about the firm;
many are in incompatible formats, so that significant effort will need to be invested to bring together all of
this data into a single, shared IT service system accessible to all. In addition, not all data is equally
valuable to each unit. Efficiency necessitates allowing employees access to the information that is most
pertinent without inundating the various departments with extraneous details. For this reason, whatever IT
solution is implemented must be able to adapt dynamically to the storage and retrieval needs of each
department. Another challenge to creating a centralized system is the role of information stewardship.
Information stewardship involves the ownership and control of information to reduce discrepancies and
redundancies. To maintain the consistency and accuracy of data, information stewards need to be
appointed. Information stewards are businesspeople. They should be responsible for determining the
meaning of information chunks and their business rules and contextual use. They should be responsible
for the accuracy, timeliness, consistency, validity, completeness, and redundancy of
information (McKeen & Smith, 2009, p. 76).
A serious challenge to the consolidation of data at RR Communication will be consolidating all of the
disparate information from around the firm into a single enterprise data warehouse. It is very likely that
there will be duplicate information, conflicting records, incompatible data formats, and other
inconsistencies that will not lend themselves to easy integration. However, the reduction in duplicate and
conflicting information will be vital to the success of RR Communication. Duplicate data means an
increase in administrative work and overhead, and conflicting and inconsistent information means the
company is not performing at optimum levels.
The reduction of duplicate data, or data deduplication can improve the performance of virtual systems,
reduce network traffic and cut the costs associated with data protection. In addition, deduplication allows
backup data to be replicated more efficiently to other sites for disaster recovery (Symantec, 2011).
Duplication increases the amount of data a corporate network must process, reducing efficiency and
increasing costs. Storage costs increase as the same information may be stored and backed up across
multiple databases, again wasting resources. Finally, duplication of data significantly increases the
amount of labor required to utilize it in any useful manner. Clearly, RR Communication will need a
significant amount of data deduplication to create a useful, consolidated enterprise data warehouse.
To facilitate the proper stewardship of information, an information management policy needs to be
created that addresses these issues in a way that prevents such confusion and disarray. An information
management policy will dictate the rules and guidelines for how information is handled, who is
responsible for maintaining and updating it, and outline the policies and practices to do so (McKeen &
Smith, 2009). To begin to unravel the data mess at RR Communications they should define an
encompassing information management policy that will effectively address the issues of what information
is retained, who is responsible for updating it, how it is to be maintained, and who should have access to
it. Critical to the success of this policy will be the involvement of management from all functional areas of
the company. Each should be given the opportunity to contribute to the policy, and each individual needs
should be addressed.
In addition, the problem with this solution will be gaining acceptance from the different functional areas of
the business. There will obviously be conflicts of ideas and differences of opinion in how the policy should
be created and enforced. To improve the effectiveness of the policy it needs to be thoroughly enforced
from top management down. This means to gain compliance, RR Communications CEO needs to set the
example and pressure all levels of management below to do the same. Another strategy to encourage the
support of the divisional presidents for the shared customer service is by creating awareness that the free
information flow would be beneficial for all and would simplify business processes, thus allowing then to
increase their bottom line, and thus their bonuses. Finding opportunities to demonstrate small success
would help show the support being given to the divisions. To aid in compliance, a large corporate training
program should be initiated to ensure the policy is well known by all associates. Gaining compliance by all
of the business areas will be the most difficult part of this solution; the ingrained attitude of self-
preservation that exists at RR Communication will be difficult to overcome. However, change is not
impossible, but only by dedication of management. The initial implementation period will be the most
difficult, and if enforcement waivers the policy may fail.
Creating Useful Information from Raw Data
One characteristic of an enterprise system is ensuring seamless integration of a companys information
among all divisions, including financial and accounting Markus, M.L., & Tanis, C. (n.d.). Hence, to achieve
a successful enterprise system, a company must have its IT systems centralized to ensure information
runs smoothly and is relevant among all divisions, especially the financial and accounting information.
Considering the accounting problems brought up at the final meeting, the company obviously needs to
implement a centralized IT function. Moreover, it will be far more expensive to have an enterprise system
with a decentralized IT function, which is contrary to the aim of achieving an enterprise system.
While a centralized information management system will indeed offer benefits at RR Communication, if
there is no way to utilize and interpret that data, it is useless; this is analogous to being data rich and
information poor. Just because a company has loads of data does not mean that is fully informed. A
company such as RR Communication collects vast quantities of data, but having the resources to convert
that into useful information can be an extreme challenge. At RR Communication, they are facing a
double-sided problem; they have neither a collective data warehouse, nor do they have any effective
information management. Once the problem of centralization has been addressed, information
management can be.
One potential way to improve the use of massive amounts of data is using a metadata repository. A
metadata repository functions much like the card catalog of a library; while it does not specifically contain
the information, it provides an index of what is available, including the relevant points on what it contains,
as well as a pointer to locate the information (Moss & Brodie, 2002). This index provides an extremely
valuable resource tool to quickly locate pertinent information. In addition, the metadata repository should
be designed with the ability to hook into other systems that are developed to provide information to
mother systems as necessary. Establishing this framework now will offer increased benefits as more
systems are built off the central repository.
Addressing Corporate Culture
As seen in RR Communications, lack of common information and enterprise IM strategy can cause
several problems to the business and the IT department. RR Communications has encountered serious
customer service problems, due to lack of common information and enterprise strategy. In addition, lack
of common information makes it hard for the overall management to monitor the businesses. Business
units are unable to exchange information, and none is aware of the other divisions work. The company is
not in a position to strengthen its brand since no divisions work together.
To remedy this, a unification of the firm needs to take place from more than just an IT standpoint. The
disjointed nature of the firms information assets reflects a deeper separation of the personnel at RR
Communications. Departments work for their own ends with naught but passing concern for their effects
on the company as a whole. This lack of cohesion manifests itself in the behavior of the CIOs, divisional
managers, and even the employees, and has resulted in the severe fragmentation of corporate culture.
The fragmented IT systems are only a symptom of a much larger problem.
Before addressing the IT problems at RR Communications, the underlying culture of the business needs
to be transformed. This begins at the very top, with the president of the company and the highest leaders;
they need to be the first to set the example, and it is clear their current attitudes have set the company on
the disastrous course it is on. Removing the CIO team which has hampered the companys efforts at
unification up until now was a good step, but serious considerations now need to be taken to prevent
things from getting worse. Other associates could easily see firing the CIOs as a usurping of
departmental sovereignty; however, they need to use this as an opportunity to show that the company
can be brought together without sacrificing any of their needs.
To capitalize on this opportunity the president and vice president should bring together the next level of
management into a council of members to set the direction and culture of the firm in a way that promotes
unity and mutual respect. This council should be responsible for creating and fostering an atmosphere
that shows the benefits of the firm functioning as one. They need to prove to the management and
associates that their departments will have a say in decisions, and their needs will not be overlooked. To
improve the odds of acceptance, the council should be selected from leaders that have proven
themselves as examples of good leadership and who are respected in the firm.
Key to the success of this council will be keeping everyone on equal footing and ensuring that no one
area is given preference over another, especially in the beginning. It is obvious that certain departments
will have greater needs then others, and sometimes priority will need to be given to one area; however, if
this behavior is present from the outset they will receive much resistance from the firm, as this will
reinforce existing fears. Once a unity of the firm has been established, people will be more flexible to
accept changes after they see the benefits. It will be up to the president and vice president as leaders to
maintain these policies and be the example. As demonstrated in previous cases, the president has been
lax in demonstrating himself as a leader and this could prove damaging to any such plans to unify the
firm. Leadership must begin at the top, and the success or failure of a company often reflects the abilities
of its leadership.
Implementation Challenges
The advantages of a shared IT system eliminate some of the above-mentioned problems. A
single centralized and standardized IT operating system will enhance quick decisions across all the
departments, since all units will be looking at the same data. Furthermore, with a shared service,
customers will not have to visit different databases for the same company; rather, all their queries and
purchases can be done from one site that will serve them with all that they need from the company.
Another advantage will be easy monitoring of the divisional unitstheir individual performances as well
as their contributions to the whole company. Another advantage for the company will be the ability to
monitor financial operations, since all operations will be reflected on one database centrally (Amces,
To implement the shared service strategy, it will be important to seek support of the divisional presidents,
considering they will be in charge of the units, which are the moneymaking branches. Their willingness to
participate in the construction of the shared service will benefit the whole company. The first step to the
implementation of this strategy will require assurances that it will benefit the whole company far more
than the current system that is facing opposition from not only the customers but also other stakeholders
such as the suppliers. In turn, since employees remuneration is awarded on performance, improved
performance for the whole firm will be an added advantage. Since the divisional heads are used to being
in control, it is important to remind them that having a shared service will not mean the imposition of
decisions from above. Rather, the shared service will make the operations of the whole organization work
in harmony for the purpose of easy monitoring customer convenience.
They should be included as part of the implementation team, so they can offer input on what they may not
want to change. For instance, many are worried they will have to do away with specific projects. Ensuring
them that these projects will continue after implementation of the shared service would increase their
support, as would helping them understand that the new, shared system will enhance the harmony and
efficiency of whole organization; eventually they will come to see that their roles will remain mostly the
Another way to improve the odds of success to a centralized data structure is by appointing a team to
oversee the maintenance of the data warehouse from an enterprise level. Ideally the members of this
team should be comprised of analysts from the important functional areas of the company. This can help
gain buy-in from the company due to the fact that the members of this team have already proven
themselves to be knowledgeable and capable in their previous environments (Smaltz, 2011). In addition
the benefit of incorporating these individuals is that individual departments will feel that they have
representation in the new system, and that their interests are protected. This will increase the potential for
global acceptance in the program.
Another way to increase compliance with the new systems is to implement an incentive program that
would drive associates to achieve the best results. Incentive programs drive people to reach specific
targets by offering them tangible rewards beyond their current compensation. At RR Communications, an
incentive program could be implemented to increase compliance and adoption of a new centralized
system. For example, the company could offer monetary bonuses to departments that lower their
operating costs using the new system the most. Another more abstract idea would be to have a small
bonus program for departments that offer ideas to enhance the productivity of the system. Many of the
departments have complained that a shared system would cause them to be overlooked; however,
offering this type of inventive would both encourage them to make enhancements of the system while
simultaneously demonstrating that their opinions count. Positive reinforcement, such as an inventive
program, help gain the compliance of the workforce in a much more efficient way then punishment or
negative reinforcement.
There are governance mechanisms and metrics that can be used to encourage the implementation and
use of a shared enterprise data system. The governance that needs to be put in place is the alignment of
divisional units with the IT department. The metrics must be aligned with transparency to ensure that IT is
in congruence with business operations. The governance mechanism should involve all departments
focusing on regulatory issues, risk alleviation and opportunity enhancement. The metrics used should be
concerned with making divisional data fit into an enterprise system. These metrics will identify areas of
weakness and avenues of improvement. To quote an analogy, Rome wasnt built in a day; and it will
take significant time and effort to remedy all the problems at RR Communications. Close governance and
metrics will aid in any improvement plan.
It is evident that RR Communications need an intervention in its customer service center. The lack of a
centralized customer care center is making it hard to provide unified services to customers. More so, a lot
of time is wasted by customers who have to be referred to different department for billing. Customers are
forced to have several accounts with the company for each division since each division is held with its
independent operations including billing (Smith & McKeen, 2007). This makes it hard for customer care
provision. Considering consumer service is very crucial for any business, RR Communications need a
centralized customer service center. A centralized service center will have many benefits to the whole
organization such as cost reduction, time saving, good management of customers data or information,
and customer satisfaction. I recommend a centralized customer service center for RR communications for
its advantages as predetermined below.
The divisional IT service means having separate audits for every division. Having each division with an
individual audit is expensive for the company since several auditors will be needed. Eliminating the
divisions will save some costs that would otherwise be used for the services of the auditors at every
division. With a single it department, data can be fed there and only one audit team will be required for
the whole company. This also means reduced time for audits since with divisions audits have to be put
together after each department has completed its audit (Smith & McKeen, 2007). Coordination among the
auditors will be efficient since information is collected from one point where all information concerning
company accounts is stored. Therefore, having a centralized service center will enhance such operations
across the whole organization.
In addition, with a centralized customer service center as well as IT, it will ensure information is collected
at one point making it easy to access information concerning any department from any point within the
company without having to refer to the division in charge. Hence, for the auditors, complying with the set
Sarbanes Oxley act will be easy since information about customer billing and accounts of the whole firm
will be centralized ensuring accuracy. Having the customer service centralized enhances business
operations and processes, ensuring best practices such as timely audits are realized.
With data consolidated in one central place, information can be exploited to breed new opportunities for
the company. When data is at one place for all the divisions, it is easier to have a broader picture
concerning how the divisions can create a new opportunities. Exploiting these opportunities jointly among
the divisions is better than going individually. Moreover, security can be more enhanced with a shared
service center since monitoring will be done by one entity. This will further reduce costs associated with
having each division taking responsibility of storing and maintaining its own data. Considering that RR
communications is currently having several softwares, consolidating information together for the whole
company is hard. Smooth flow of information across departments to ensure easy sharing is vital; not only
for the whole company, but for divisions too, considering information consolidation is a fundamental
instrument for doing business.
Consolidating the IT services to one centralized structure will require removing of service center hardware
from each division to one central department that will mitigate risks and have a common structural design
as well as policies that are easily reviewable for updating. A common security procedure will reduce risks
associated with information breech. Through the same procedures and practices, the company can
reduce file systems redundancy within the organization and enhance efficient document retention as well
as reduce costs.
Another reason to have one service center is to match the technical capacity of the company with its
vision. At the current divisional independence, the divisions exploit their own visions that are not in
congruence with the organizations vision and mission. Considering the companys vision is to have a
consistent brand across all the divisions, it is necessary to have cross-shared services across all divisions
to achieve this vision. The vision can be achieved through cross- sales of all the company services to its
customers, as opposed to each department having its selling strategy. Having a shared sales service will
serve to reduce the costs incurred when divisions do it individually hence creating a better chance for
profit across all departments. Having a central service center will ensure that the overall vision of the
company is followed since the central service center will be inclined towards the vision of the whole
company. This way, each division can have a chance of benefiting form other divisions, hence the
company as a whole (Smith & McKeen, 2007).
Having a single service center will allow easy outsourcing for the organization. Currently, businesses are
outsourcing majority of their operations to other professional companies for reductions of costs. With
independent divisions and IT strategies for each individual division, outsourcing will be quite complicated.
Having a central service center to oversee all requests will enhance efficiency as well as value. More so,
through the consolidation of IT services and information at one common place will reduce security risks
associated with outsourcing services. This will further ensure reliability and security of information.
A consolidation of information and IT services will enhance cross-services for customers such as billing
(McKeen & Smith, 2011). The company divisions at current circumstance hold their information secret
from each other, making it a competition within the divisions that raise the problem of billing where
customers have to be referred to other divisions for other services. With the consolidated information,
customers will only need to visit one department from which other information concerning other divisions
can be met. This will improve the perception of their whole company as a brand and the standing of the
company can be improved as well as customer satisfaction. There is need for the company to realize that
in the current world information is one of the drivers of businesses, which all businesses need to survive.
Having each division with its own information center reduces the chances of the company improving in
the future since the harmonious climate needed among the divisions for this achievement is minimal.
Having stipulated the advantages bound to arise or reasons why a central service center should be
achieved, it is important to consider how RR can be able to implement this recommendation with ease
and least resistance from the divisions. This is the first most likely problem to arise during implementation.
Hence, the first step should be generating support form all divisions, which has been quite hard up to now
especially from the managers who are self centered and concerned with their earnings that depend on
their performance. The managers also have a negative attitude towards merging of information and data
among the divisions through one central service. A three-point strategy can be used to gain their support.
It includes financial strategy, mitigation of risks associated and compliance to regulation. Financial point
can emphasize the advantages the shared service is bound to raise, which will for the benefit of all the
divisions and organization as a whole. Risk mitigation will arise from security of information through
monitoring by one entity in a standardized way, while regulatory will be concerned with abiding to set
accounting rules of the Sarbanes Oxley act which the company has been having problems with
(Schwartz, 2007). The next step would be to lay out the vision of the company and show why it cannot be
achieved with division of operations among the divisions. This will impart some reasoning among the
leaders, and support fore all divisions should be ensured. The main aim is to make everybody in the
divisions aware of the role they will play and their stake to ensure thee is compliance and acceptance of
the strategy to build a one services center (McKeen & Smith, 2011).
One of the problems that could arise after implementation of a shared service center is ease of adoption.
Some employees who have been used to the old system will require to be trained how to work
harmoniously with a single service center. Many will be required to handle more information concerning
not only their divisions, but also other divisions. Hence, there will be need to have them trained to provide
a central service to the customers. Another problem would arise for the culture set by the independent
divisions prior to the implementation of a single service center. The current culture is of rivalry among the
divisions considering they have been competing among themselves. Killing the culture will be a little hard.
To deal with the problem the company will have to start early through brining people together and coming
up with tasks that can be incorporated in all divisions that allows all members to interact. The shared
tasks will enhance cooperation among the different divisions.
RR is having problems because of lack of a common service center. All divisions are held with their own
operations that aim at achieving divisional goals at the expense of corporate goals. The company is
lacking a strong unified brand to sell to customers since all divisions are accounted for independently.
This has made it obvious that a shared service will be the best for solving these issues.
RR needs to put in place an alignment of their IT services with the business units. Transparency must be
encouraged and joint responsibilities of IT ad businesses to achieve shared service center (smith &
McKeen, 2007). The company should also have a common enterprise vision for their systems. All the
departments should be included with emphasis on joint business opportunities and risk mitigation. The
top management should be in forefront to creating an atmosphere of improvement continuously with a
key focus on customer service to ensure the shared service center is successful.

McKeen, J. D., & Smith, H. A. (2009). IT Strategy; Issues and Practices (2nd Edition ed.). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
McKeen, J. D., & Smith, H. A. (2011). IT Strategy; International edition (2nd Edition ed.). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Moss, L., & Brodie, M. (2002, July). Data Rich, but Information Poor? Retrieved October 26, 2011, from
Information Management:
Schwartz, K/D. (2007). IT Governance Definition and Solutions. Retrieved from
Smaltz, D. H. (2011, July/August). Are You Leveraging Your Data or Is Your Data Leveraging You? HIT
Exchange , pp. 8-9.
Smith, H. A., & McKeen, J. D. (2007). Shared Services at RR Communications. Queens School of
Symantec. (2011, May 2). Deduplication and Efficient Data Storage. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from
PR Newswire

1. List the advantages

A single customer service center will yield both financial and human resource savings for RR
Communications by eliminating the allocation of duplicated resources to the multiple divisional and
regional customer service centers. With valuable resources freed from these multiple customer service
centers, the company will be able to allocate more resources to its value added activities and improve
operational efficiency.
RR Communications run four divisions, each with a distinct but a complimentary product. They are
internet, mobile, landline, and cable TV service. There is a deregulation in the telecommunications
industry and its becoming a norm for competitors to offer multiple services like RR Communications. RR
Communications customers have been complaining about double billing because the four divisions have
no working collaboration and thus, no way of knowing when the other division may already have sent the
bill. A single customer service center will consolidate the data of the customers of all divisions and by
addressing the problem of inaccurate billing, it will potential save the loss of dissatisfied customers to the
competitors. A single service center will also yield growth opportunities by marketing the companys other
services to customers that they may not already have and offer discount incentives on the purchase of
multiple products.
A single customer service center will allow comparison among the companys divisions in terms of
product quality, customer satisfaction, and retention rates so that more resources could be allocated to
troubled areas. A single customer service center will also make it easy to gather data about the
companys divisions and store them in standard formats for management analysis. By having access to
all the relevant information about the customers, the customer service center will be better able to
address customers questions and market companys products which would not have been possible with
separate customer service centers. It will also be convenient for the customers to call only one place for
all their questions and thus, will increase goodwill for RR Communications.

1. Is it possible to achieve an enterprise vision with a decentralized IT function?
The answer to this question really depends on what the meaning or intention is behind the
idea of an enterprise vision. If this simply means of having certain departments existing and
able to complete their tasks and accomplish their goals, basically that the enterprise is
functioning, than the answer is 'certainly.' As demonstrated in the case study, there were
multiple divisions for IT that were each doing their own thing, and while it wasn't pretty,
compatible or optimal, everything did, technically, work allowing each department to
function. As soon as the vision of an enterprise expands to a desire to work more efficiently,
unify tools and platforms, have stronger compatibility or be "one company" a decentralized
IT function becomes a massive hindrance. Turning to the case study again, each department
was replicating the efforts of the other departments by finding their own software/data
vendors, creating unique database systems and having their own support staff. This not only
made it difficult for clients who needed assistance, but meant there was excessive spending,
and an inability for multiple departments to come together to function as a a single entity
within the enterprise.
2. What business and IT problems can be caused by lack of common information and an
enterprise IM strategy?
There are numerous business and IT problems that can arise from the lack of common
strategy. In terms of IT there can be duplication of efforts, systems and tools leading to not
only multiple expenditures to yield the same results, but this may mean there is no strong
outline of how systems are set up or designed, there may be no map detailing the hardware
and software in place, which makes it far more difficult to not only run inventory, but
ensure that new expenditures are needed and not (again) duplicating tools that have already
been purchased or implemented. When different software and hardware solutions are used
across departments, this also leads to difficulties in compatibility. When the organization
wants to implement something new, it would be difficult if not impossible to determine if it
can be integrated into the existing tools, or this may result in unanticipated technical errors
arising from compatibility issues. Business problems stem primarily from an inability of
data to be effectively shared across groups, thus limiting the ability of various departments
to work together. Not only could this cause rifts to form between various groups, but it also
means that there could be issues with data consistency. This is especially troubling for client
data, as a change in one department may not be updated elsewhere due to data being stored
in different databases, the inability for data to be updated across databases, and even opens
up the potential for technical errors causing data that is normally consistent to suddenly
become disparate from similar data elsewhere. Additionally, when the business requires
technical assistance it is likely to be difficult to find the correct person with the knowledge
needed to resolve a particular issue if that department is using specialized systems that are
not consistent across the organization.
3. What governance mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure common customer data
and a shared customer service center? What metrics might be useful (think service level
agreements, etc.)?
Common customer data will require a standardized database, as well as regular auditing
procedures to ensure that data is only being modified/updated by those individuals who are
supposed to have access, as well as verifying accuracy for these modifications. Customer
service really depends on the objectives of the company. I worked on an inbound phone line
at a call center for 3 years - while this was technically brokerage service, arguably it was a
cutomer service center. Training had to be farily comprehensive so we could assist clients
with almost any issues they had, and on top of that reps have to know what departments
specialize in certain topics in case they need help figuring out what happened or resolving a
complicated problem. On top of that, there is regular review and QA of random calls to
ensure representatives are giving correct informaton and assisting the client based on the
standards and expectations set by the organization. Call reviews are measured on a scale
where there are certain objective actions that are required on every call, then measured
more subjective terms such as "professionalism". I work with a tremendous amount of
shared customer data, and everything is monitored, recorded and subject to audit
procedures. There is always the abilty to find out who did what, when, and every phone call
is recorded and maintained for a period of time. This of course protects the client as much
as it helps protect the firm. As far as data is concerned, I don't know if there are specific
service level agreements in place, but I do know that there is regular testing of what is
referred to as "host fallback" where all the primary systems are taken down for a period of
time, then brought back up. While this is frustrating for reps and clients who need access to
the data, the very small number of times I experienced an unscheduled outage the backup
systems performed well, all reps knew how best to work within the confines of the backup
system, and the discussion with clients about why certain things could not be done went far
more smoothly than if regular testing was not performed.

The case study this week describes the classic example of an organization which is
heavily decentralized into distinct lines of business (each with its own IT group)
that realizes their need for a flexible and responsible IT function, a common view of
the customer, and the elimination of redundant systems