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Despite the range of products and services that Best Buy offers, the company has not yet incorporated the latest network systems in its information systems infrastructures. Although Best Buy has incorporated network systems in order to offer better service, the network systems incorporated by Best Buy show that the company has reached its networks limit. However, Best Buy has not yet integrated the latest network infrastructures in order to expand as well as produce better products that will make the company be more competitive. To ensure that Best Buy employs the latest network infrastructure in order to enhance the company market advantages, a network system upgrade needs to take place that will make Best Buy enhance competitive edges, and improve their customer’s experience to be ahead of its competitors. In total, this project has a proposed ROI that will fit into a 10 million dollar budget.
The need to enhance organizational agility as well as meet customers’ demand within the short term has led to the increase in the demand for information systems which include network systems that enhance the performance and availability of its website, including the reliable delivery of dynamically generated content. In addition, upgrading the network infrastructure will enable Best Buy to simplify its front-end infrastructure by off-loading traffic to a third-party service provider’s globally distributed network and reducing the utilization of its back-end servers. In addition, Best Buy stands to gain from upgrading to the new network design. Analysis of the existing network technology of Best Buy reveals that its network infrastructure cannot connect to all the locations that the company is operating. By upgrading to the new WAN technology, Best Buy will achieve voice data in the modern network infrastructures. In addition, Best Buy will have a 100% faster network compared to the existing network. The new network will also enhance efficiency among workers.
Finally, the current network system will provide the state of art E-commerce model that will ensure a fast consistent user experience at all times, even during peak traffic, which leads to higher customer satisfaction and more sales. Furthermore, Best Buy will achieve competitive advantages over its competitors, and it is estimated that Best Buy will be able to increase its profit by more than $2 million yearly.
Customer Introduction and Profile
Best Buy is ranked as the world’s largest consumer electronics company that is operating in several countries. Apart from being the largest electronic company, Best Buy operates in many countries that including North America, China, and Europe. At present, Best Buy operates more than 3,900 stores, and apart from selling a wide variety of electronic gadgets in the countries where it operates, Best Buy sells different assorted products such as computers, music, movies, and different appliances. Moreover, Best Buy offers installations, technical, and maintenance services. (Hoover, 2009). As you can see, Best Buy is on a mission is for every buyer to be happy and to grow. From the company’s portfolio, the company aims to increase its brand awareness around the world for the benefit their employees, partners, and customers (Best Buy, Inc., 2009).
The headquarters operates out of Richfield, Minneapolis, and has an employee base of 155,000 members. The majority of the employees base is made up of Department Managers, Salespeople, and, Technicians. To improve the status quo of Best Buy, Mr. Brian J. Dunn was employed as a Director of the company in 1985 when they operated a few stores. The mission for its employees was to use its expertizes to upgrade the company’s business portfolio. Thus, Brian J. Dunn presently being the president, CEO, and Director of Best Buy has used his 23-year career to take on new challenges.
Their enormous growth has resulted in an attractive set of financial data. In 2009, Best Buy reported 45.5 million dollars in sales. In the same year, they showed a net profit of 10.9 million dollars, which yielded $0.54 earnings per share. In 2008, Best buy had revenues of 40 million dollars and reported profits of $9.5 million. This created earnings per share of $0.46 in 2008(Hoovers, 2009). The financial data proves their Global presence and financial stability. By far, Best buy is the biggest consumer electronics outlet in the US and is benefiting from the demise of its archrival Circuit City. You can find a full set of financial data from the past 4 years in the Appendix.
Customer Goals and Constraints
Analysis of the current network infrastructure of Best Buy reveals that the company is only incorporating the Local Network Area (LAN) in all the countries that are operating. Typically, since 2004, Best Buy is still employing Cisco Works Wireless LAN in more than 640 retail stores in the United States. (Cisco 2009).
Best Buy operates in virtually all states in the US, and the technical problems with LAN are that its service can only serve the group of computers in a building or provide networks in the buildings close to each other. The setbacks of the LAN are that it cannot provide network access to large geographical areas. (Oppenheimer, 2004).
Presently, Best Buy operates in virtually all states in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Some countries in Europe, and China. The latest statistics reveal that Best Buy operates in 13 countries with 155, 000 employees. Thus, using only LAN for network infrastructures will not serve the business needs. Presently, Best Buy needs a network system that will be able to link all locations where Best Buy is operating and a system that is redundant, secure, and fast. The proposed network design will fit the objectives of Best Buy.
Technical Goals and Constraints
Analysis of Best Buy Network infrastructure reveals that Best Buy has not yet employed a network system that can provide network systems in all locations and countries that Best Buy is operating. This project proposes a Wide Area Network (WAN) for the Best Buy network systems. WAN is an existing network infrastructure that connects computers in large geographical areas.
With a mission of business globalization that Best Buy has launched in recent years, WAN technology will be the best option for the company’s business needs. The advantages of the new network are that it will have the ability to connect all the LANs of all locations where Best Buy is operating. Essentially, with the new network, Best Buy will have the opportunity of connecting all the branch offices in the United States to the headquarter office. Best Buy will also be able to connect all locations in the other countries with the headquarter office.
The design of a WAN will require a connection through a network service provider that will link all the local offices of Best Buy around the world to the corporate headquarter office. Thus, in addition, the design process will employ WAN routers and layer 3 Cisco switches that will be used for the transmission.
Meanwhile, the Packet Band Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) tunnels through IP/MPLS Networks will be to design a WAN solution for Best Buy. Typically, ISDN is a dial-up technology that embeds WAN connections and has the capacity to support data, fax, voice, and video service connections. It should be noted that Packet Band ISDN protects user investments in ISDN equipment, terminals, and application and supports all the ability to provide high-speed capability and economically extend their ISDN reach as well as backup links.
PacketBand ISDN creates virtual circuits that allow synchronous ISDN services to run across IP, MPLS, and Metro Ethernet networks just as if they were using a real ISDN circuit-switched network. It supports 1Gbit/s and 10/100Gbit/s Ethernet. In addition, PacketBand ISDN PRI supports 1 to 4 PRI interfaces, E1, T1, and non-switched T1/E1 full or fractional “Leased Lines.” The system can be configured with both NT (network side) and TE (terminal side) presentations, which means it can operate either end of the IP network, connecting to either local equipment or to an ISDN carrier network (PATAPSCO, 2009).
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The advantages of ISDN WAN are the following:
First, it is cost-effective and it can employ both voice and data transmission that will not involve expensive and high-level technical requirements. (Hewlett Parkard, 2006).
The PacketBand ISDN WAN offers a higher VoIP quality that allows the router to offer QoS, which will offer high VoIP quality and performance. The VoIP has some additional features such as video conferencing, which serves the advantages for Best Buy to hold a meeting with the management of all its branches worldwide as well as holding a meeting with vendors and partners. (Cisco, 2009).
Existing Network Design Analysis
The existing network design analysis of Best Buy reveals that there are some critical areas that the existing network that is weak. The existing network reveals more loopholes than the benefits it provides. Typically, the existing network cannot provide VoIP for the company. It should be noted that the benefits of VOIP cannot be overlooked since the VoIP offers low-cost international calls compared to a traditional international call. Thus, the shortcoming of the existing network reveals that it has become obsolete for the needs of Best Buy.
In addition, there are many security areas where the existing network is weak. The existing network cannot support the security devices that are needed to protect the database of Best Buy. It should be noted that most organizations have moved towards the integration of Gigabit Ethernet switches that will be made easy to install a firewall from remote areas in order to enhance security devices. Typically, the existing security device is only one firewall between the internet, however, it has been revealed the exiting networks lack intrusion detection, and this is very vital in e-commerce. Thus, the existing network security provides absolutely no protection from the outside world.
Meanwhile, the existing network cannot provide the maximum security that could be used to protect all the areas where Best Buy is operating.
The other special weakness of the existing network is that it is prone to a serious fault. The existing network has been proven by not being able to support the needs of Best Buy. It should be noted that the existing network is prone to develop a fault that can lead to the damages of all machines.
Finally, the existing network cannot provide accessibility for the outside world. There is only one server that serves the areas that the company is operating, and this server cannot provide accessibility from the outside world. Thus, the existing system is not capable of supporting the very big network system that Best Buy needs for its business enhancement.
Technical goals and constraints of new network
The new network systems can provide the network performances that Best Buy will need for its Business viability. Typically, the new network provides technical and non-technical performances that could support all employees. To achieve the objectives of the new network, there is a need to engage the service provider that will be able to provide service that can offer transmission from headquarter to all other locations around the world. The WAN will consist of variable bandwidth where the T1 will be up to 1.536 Mbp, which will be used to support the new network.
Typically, the new network is tested to provide 100% services to both customers and employees. Moreover, the new network could provide the disaster recovery equipment that would be needed in case of fire, flood, tornado, earthquake, or other unforeseen occurrences. Although, the existing network cannot provide disaster recovery for all locations. Thus, a new network will overcome all these problems.
Finally, the existing network does not have an advanced firewall system. Thus, with the new network, there is a need to upgrade the security system because there will be the interconnection of network systems at all locations where Best Buy is operating.
Another constraint is that the new network will configure some IT features that are not embedded in the existing network systems. Thus, the existing IT department does not have adequate skilled personnel to manage the new network. Thus, there is a need to employ and train more IT technicians to overcome these constraints.
Cisco, (2008). Gain Strategic Advantages with Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), Cisco Inc.
Cisco, (2009).’Best Buy Improves Corporate Productivity with Cisco Aironet Wireless LAN Network Innovative Cisco Wi-Fi Infrastructure and Cisco Compatible Notebooks from HP Improve Operational Efficiency’, USA:Cisco Press.
Hoovers (2009).Best Buy Co Profile, Hoovers D&B Company. USA.
Hewlett Parkard (2006). ‘WAN Design Guide The Lower Layers January 2006’, Hewlett-Packard Development Company, USA.
Oppenheimer, P.(2004).’ Analyzing Business Goals and Constraints of Network Design’, USA: Pearson Education Cisco Press.