Collaboration System in Australian Company
Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) is responsible for the marketing and distribution of Isuzu trucks in Australia. IAL hugely depended on their national dealer network to maintain its market position and distribution network. Isuzu Australia Limited relied on the old system to run its operations, which was now a liability. The old system required information to be distributed manually to the dealers, this method has long been outdated. The old system was considered erroneous, as information could be distorted or wrongly interpreted by the recipient. In addition, the old system was time-consuming as the information was delivered manually. Further, the system was costly to maintain as more resources were needed for it to run efficiently. Hence a more advanced system, specifically collaboration technologies was required to give IAL a competitive advantage.
IAL decided on using collaboration technologies to mitigate the current issues they were facing as a marketing company. IAL chose to use the services of IBM Websphere Portal and Workplace Web Content Management as an online portal and content management system to replace the current manual system. The features offered by the new system were ideal for IAL marketing strategies and distribution services.
The IBM Websphere Portal and Workplace Web Content Management system provided features such as instant messaging which the employees could use for communication. In addition, the new system could help the employees in publishing information themselves, and then share it amongst the workers for effective decision-making processes. According to Neat, (2004) the system further provides a secure means of communication that was less costly and required much less time for information to be relayed (Neat, 2004).
Another additional feature of the IBM Websphere Portal and Workplace Web Content Management system was the wiki feature. The wiki allows users to create content and share it amongst wiki users in the group. Through wiki, one can create, edit and post content that can be used for learning purposes or sharing information (Neat, 2004). The wiki feature enables the IBL staffs to mingle with outside individuals and customers that also have the wiki features in their system, providing a digital platform that can be used to interact with one another. IAL have integrated the use of the wiki for collaboration purposes, offering lessons within the staff members who engage in sharing new ideas, information and even decision pertaining the running of the company.
As much as the implementation of the new system has numerous advantages for Isuzu Australia Limited, there are several challenges that the company could face. For example, implementing of content management system can be very complex. According to Friedlein, (2002), the level of complexity also depends on the needs of the business, the duration to be deployed and the cost the company is to spend. In addition, not all employees will be happy with the introduction of a new system; hence a user acceptance testing has to be done to ease the tension of staff. Some of the staff might be outdated in terms of using new technologies, creating an avenue to sabotage the whole process (Friedlein, 2002).
Jordan, (2006) asserts that the cost of implementing and running the system might be higher than the set target. A company needs to invest more in the implementation plan - including, for example, timescales, key deliverables, review dates, User Acceptance Testing (UAT), to help in controlling costs and time. In addition, the company may take the staff to seminars and training to facilitate the system change, user interaction and knowledge. Once more, additional staff will be needed who are well versed in technology to maintain and run the system (Jordan, 2006).