Requirements Paper: Written for University of Phoenix

Requirements Paper:

Verizon Wireless is a leading company in the area of wireless communication and has approximately 89 million customers with annual revenue, as reported for 2008, of $58.6 billion. Verizon Wireless has an estimated 85,000 direct employees with its 2,000 corporate store locations and various other internal staff (Verizon Wireless, 2009). In addition to the 2,000 corporate owned locations there are significant numbers of authorized retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and many smaller, less well-known, retailers. In addition to the labor force that works directly for Verizon is a significant number of employees from various outsource providers like Sitel that provides a variety of services with its various call centers. The size and complexity of the Verizon Wireless organization presents significant operational challenges as the organization seeks to integrate the direct corporate locations and employees with the authorized dealers and outsource providers of customer service (Balch, 2010).

Verizon Wireless requires a greater level of integration between the three major account provisioning systems within the organization. The three current systems, for account provisioning, are ACSS, netACE, and eROES. Currently netACE and eROES, both web applications, allow store employees to access Verizon Wireless systems through a browser using a username and password. Verizon Wireless has limited what level of access each level can provide giving authorized retailers the lowest level of access to Verizon’s systems. Verizon Wireless could integrate the three different systems and still limit the degree of access it allows to the common system. Creating one common system, with various levels of access, could allow both corporate stores and authorized retailers to address customer issues more effectively thereby reducing the pressures on call-center customer service agents. Verizon Wireless could save significant money if it were to make greater use of store employees, already in place, to address a broader range of customer issues.

Hardware and Software

“In the past two years, Verizon Wireless has moved significant portions of the 10-year-old VISION billing system to Java and Enterprise JavaBeans running WebSphere on IBM’s AIX operating system (MKS, 2010).” This quote, taken from a case study conducted by MKS, Inc., gives considerable insight to Verizon Wireless’ current software and hardware systems. Verizon Wireless operates using a billing system they have labeled “VISION” – this same system has been in operation for a minimum of 10 years and in the past two or so years has been undergoing a transition to a use of Java and Enterprise JavaBeans. Verizon apparently relies on IBM servers using the AIX operating system and uses IBM’s WebSphere package to help integrate its different business systems. This information, on Verizon’s current systems, will help to identify the necessary skills and knowledge to perform upgrades to the system.

The most important upgrade requirements for this system involve making the system fully accessible from the Internet. In the beginning, phases of this development, it will be necessary to have developers with extensive knowledge in web-based programming languages like HTML, Java, and applications like WebSphere, Enterprise JavaBeans, and others. These knowledge skills will need to coincide with equal knowledge in more traditional programming languages such as C++ that has been used previously for the development of Verizon applications. With these types of abilities the developers can transfer the necessary capabilities from the current systems into the one integrated web-based application.

Hardware requirements for the upgrade project will require individuals with extensive knowledge in networking technologies and how various locations can be set up to interact with one another. Knowledge of Verizon’s current information infrastructure, using IBM servers with the AIX operating system, will greatly aid in an understanding of how Verizon’s systems need enhancing and how the development can proceed with existing hardware that is in place. Diagrams set up to demonstrate entity relationships, data flows, current hardware and their interactions, will help significantly with the development of the desired requirements.

Conclusions

ACSS is a unique proprietary software package used exclusively by Verizon Wireless. Operational information regarding the construction and functioning of Verizon’s systems is not widely available to the public. Verizon Wireless had a software development relationship with MKS, Inc. and this relationship brought about an MKS authored case study on Verizon Wireless’ systems. What knowledge can be attained, regarding Verizon’s current information infrastructure, can be attained through a careful look at the MKS case study. The MKS case study seems to indicate that Verizon has already made a great deal of progress toward integrating their systems and making them function more effectively. An efficient web application seems to be key to effectively dealing with customer issues within Verizon and the organization seems well on its way to creating that. A look at a prototype version, of the eROES system, seems to demonstrate that Verizon already has in place a significant amount of what is needed to create an effective integrated system (Verizon Wireless, 2010).

References

Balch, Phillip A. (2010). Feasibility Paper. Addison, New York: University of Phoenix.
Verizon Wireless Produces Quality Software in Less Time with MKS (n.d.) Retrieved on January 5, 2010 from http://download.mks.com/downloads/MKS_casestudy_VerizonWireless.pdf
Verizon Wireless About Us Facts-at-a-Glance (n.d.) Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from
http://aboutus.vzw.com/ataglance.html
Verizon FAQ (n.d.) Retrieved on January 4, 2010 from http://www.phonenews.com/phones/index.php/Verizon_FAQ
Verizon Wireless – e*ROES Prototype (n.d.) Retrieved on January 23, 2010 from
http://presentations.vangent-hcm.com/demo/verizonwireless/eroes/demo/eroes.html

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