MCPC 605: MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS – 2020/2021 ACADEMIC YEAR FINAL EXAMINATION Part B CASE STUDIES.
Choose one (1) case study and answer all the questions related to that case study.
CONSOLIDATED BANK OF GHANA (CBG) FINDS A NEW RECIPE FOR ANALYZING ITS DATA.
In August 2018, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BOG), announced a merger of five local banks in Ghana, namely Beige Bank, Construction Bank, Royal Bank, Unibank and Sovereign Bank into the new Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG). The new Consolidated Bank becomes an Indigenous Ghanaian Universal Bank licensed by Bank of Ghana under the Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930). The bank was capitalized with GHS 450 million (USD 92 million) and a bond of GHS 5.76 billion (USD 1.18 billion) to help cover its liabilities. The bank started operations on August 1, 2018, with its Corporate Head Office located in Accra, and currently has over 114 branches across 13 regions in Ghana. The combined banks has more than 200 global products and services, $30.5 billion in revenue, and over 40,000 employees. Ten of its products and services, namely retention guarantee, advance payment guarantee, performance security, bid security, shipping guarantee, LPO financing , business cash-backed, empress term loan, express temporary overdraft, and SME Smart Loan each have annual revenue exceeding $2billion. Thus, running these banks required huge amounts of data from all of these products and services. This is clearly the world of big data. The uncertain global economy and the crises in the banking sector has significantly led to a significant fall in the money supply, and a decline in credit and growth, hence companies such as Consolidated Bank must constantly identify opportunities for improving operational efficiencies to protect their profit margins. The bank decided to deal with this challenge by focusing on optimizing six strategies, namely business realignment, channel optimization, process costs, staff productivity, technology and automation, and vendor relationship to support a faster pace of growth for the bank’s revenue stream and asset base than for its overhead costs. Managing all these requires timely and accurate data from the various branches. To ensure that the new Consolidated Bank of Ghana would be able to use all of its enterprise business data effectively, the general manager of the new bank decided to employ two large SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, namely, SAP S/4 HANA, Oracle NetSuite ERP, one for the 114 branches across the country and the other for all other global business. The combined bank also had to rethink its data warehouse. Before the merger, Unibank bank had maintained nearly 20 terabytes of data in a SAP Business Warehouse and was using SAP Business Warehouse Accelerator to facilitate operational reporting. SAP Business Warehouse is SAP’s data warehouse software for consolidating organizational data and supporting data analytics and reporting. The SAP Business Warehouse (BW) Accelerator is used to speed up database queries. Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG) management wanted decision makers to obtain more fine-grained views of the data that would reveal new opportunities for improving efficiency, self-service reporting and real-time analytics. SAP BW Accelerator was not suitable for these tasks. It could optimize query runtime only for a specific subset of data in the warehouse and was limited to reporting on selected views of the data. It cannot deal with data load and calculation performance and required replication of Business Warehouse data in a separate accelerator. With mushrooming data on the merged company’s retention guarantee, advance payment guarantee, performance security, the warehouse was too overtaxed to generate timely reports for decision makers. Moreover, Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG) complex data model made building new reports very time consuming-it could take as much as six months to complete. Consolidated Bank of Ghana needed a solution that would deliver more detailed reports more quickly without affecting the performance of underlying operational systems. CBG business users had been building some for their own reports using SAP Business Objects Analysis edition for Microsoft office, which integrates with Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. This tool allows ad hoc multidimensional analysis. What these users needed was to be able to build self-service reports from a single source of data and find an efficient way to collate data from multiple sources to obtain an enterprise-wide view of what was going on. CBG decided to migrate its data warehouse from its legacy database to SAP BW powered by SAP Skycrew Technologies, SAP’s in-memory database platform, which dramatically improved the efficiency at which data can be loaded and processed, calculations can be computed, and queries and reports can be run. The new data warehouse would be able to integrate with existing SAP ERP applications driving day-to-day business operations. The bank worked with IBM Global Services consultants to cleanse and streamline its existing database. It archived and purged unwanted or unused data, with the IT department working closely with business professionals to jointly determine what was essential, what was still being used, and what data thought to be unused had been moved to a different functional area of the company. Cleansing and streamlining data reduced the database size almost 50 percent, to 9 terabytes. According to Skycrew Technologies, CBG Group leader of Global Business Intelligence, in addition to providing better insights, the new data warehouse environment has achieved a 98% improvement in the production of standard reports. This is due to the 83% reduction in load time to execution time to make the data available, and reduction in execution time to complete the analysis. CBG can now accommodate exploding volumes of data and database queries easily, while maintaining enough processing power to handle unexpected issues. The company is also able to build new reports much faster and the flexibility of SAP makes it much easier to change the company’s data model. Now CBG can produce new reports for business users in weeks instead of months and give decision makers the insights they need to boost efficiency and lower operating costs.
Give six (6) reasons why a company like the new Consolidated Bank of Ghana would want to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system such as SAP S/4 HANA, and Oracle NetSuite.
Describe six (6) benefits of the new Business Intelligence Infrastructure (i.e. Data warehouse) adopted by the Consolidated Bank of Ghana.
Why is data quality so important to the managers of the new Consolidated Bank of Ghana? Provide five (5) reasons.
Uber: Digital Disruptor
You’re in New York, Paris, Chicago, or another major city and need a ride. Instead of trying to hail a cab, you pull out your smartphone and tap the Uber app. A Google map pops up displaying your nearby surroundings. you select a spot on the screen designating an available driver, and the app secures the ride, showing how long it will take for the ride to arrive and how much it will cost. Once you reach your destination, the fare is automatically charged to your credit card. No fumbling for money. Rates take into account the typical factors of time and distance but also demand. Uber’s software predicts areas where rides are likely to be in high demand at different times of the day. This information appears on a driver’s smartphone so that the driver knows where to linger and, ideally, pick up customers within minutes of a request for a ride. Uber also offers a higher-priced town car service for business executives and a ride-sharing service. under certain conditions, if demand is high, Uber can be more expensive than taxis, but it still appeals to riders by offering a reliable, fast, convenient alternative to traditional taxi services. Uber runs much leaner than a traditional taxi company does. Uber does not own taxis and has no maintenance and financing costs. It does not have employees, so it claims, but instead calls the drivers independent contractors, who receive a cut of each fare. Uber is not encumbered with employee costs such as workers’ compensation, minimum wage requirements, background checks on drivers, driver training, health insurance, or commercial licensing costs. Uber has shifted the costs of running a taxi service entirely to the drivers and to the customers using their cell phones. Drivers pay for their own cars, fuel, and insurance. What Uber does is provide a smartphone-based platform that enables people who want a service like a taxi—to find a provider who can meet that need. Uber relies on user reviews of drivers and the ride experience to identify problematic drivers and driver reviews of customers to identify problematic passengers. It also sets standards for cleanliness. It uses the reviews to discipline drivers. Uber does not publicly report how many poorly rated drivers or passengers there are in its system. Uber also uses software that monitors sensors in drivers’ smartphones to monitor their driving behaviour. Uber is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. In 2018, it had more than 3 million drivers working in 600 cities worldwide, generating revenue of 2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2018. After paying for drivers, marketing, and other operating expenses, Uber still operated at a loss. More than 75 million people use Uber. However, Uber’s over-the-top success has created its own set of challenges. By digitally disrupting a traditional and highly regulated industry, Uber has ignited a firestorm of opposition from existing taxi services in the United States and around the world. Who can compete with an upstart firm offering a 40 percent price reduction when demand for taxis is low? (When demand is high, Uber prices surge.) What city or state wants to give up regulatory control over passenger safety, protection from criminals, driver training, and a healthy revenue stream generated by charging taxi firms tor a taxi license? If Uber is the poster child for the new on-demand economy, it’s also an iconic example of the social costs and conflict associated with this new kind of business model. Uber has been accused of denying its drivers the benefits of employee status by classifying them as contractors, violating public transportation laws and regulations throughout the United States and the world, abusing the personal information it has collected on ordinary people, increasing traffic congestion, undermining public transportation, and failing to protect public safety by refusing to perform sufficient criminal, medical, and financial background checks on its drivers. Uber’s brand image has been further tarnished by negative publicity about its aggressive, unrestrained workplace culture and the behaviour of CEO Kalanick. Uber has taken some remediating steps. It enhanced its app to make it easier for drivers to take breaks while they are on the job. Drivers can now also be paid instantly for each ride they complete rather than weekly and see on the app’s dashboard how much they have earned. Uber added an option to its app for passengers to tip its U.S. drivers, and Kalanick resigned as head of Uber in June 201 7. (He was replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi.) Critics fear that Uber and other on-demand firms have the potential for creating a society of part-time, low-paid, temp work, displacing traditionally full-time, secure jobs —the so-called Uberization of work. According to one study, half of Uber drivers earn less than the min ‘mum wage in their state. Uber responds by saying it is lowering the cost of transportation, expanding the demand for ride services, and expanding opportunities for car drivers, whose pay is about the same as other taxi drivers. Does Uber have a sustainable business model? The company is still not profitable, and continues to subsidize the cost of many of its rides. Uber has competitors, including Lyft in the United States and local firms in Asia and Europe. New, smaller, competing firms offering app-based cab-hailing services are cropping up, such as Sidecar and Via. Established taxi firms in New York and other cities are launching their own hailing apps and trumpeting their fixed-rate prices. Uber is pressing on, with new services for same-day deliveries, business travel accounts, and heavy investments in self-driving cars, which management believes will be key to lowering labour costs and ensuring long-term profitability. After a self-driving Uber car struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona in March 2018, Arizona suspended autonomous vehicle testing in the state, and Uber stopped testing autonomous cars in California, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. Even before the accident, Uber’s self-driving cars were having trouble driving through construction zones and next to tall vehicles like big truck rigs. Test drivers had to take over the car almost every mile. It is still too early to tell whether Uber and other on-demand businesses will succeed.
Question 1 Analyze Uber, using Porter’s value chain model.
Uber, the globally popular ride-sharing platform arrived in Ghana in 2016. Analyze Uber in Ghana using the competitive forces model.
a. How disruptive is Uber in Ghana? Give four (4) reasons.
b. Identify four (4) ways that technology has helped Uber to compete in Ghana?