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Business and Support Systems Essay

The following paper answers questions on three different case studies. The case studies are Reality Gets Better, The Flash Crash: Machines Gone Wild and Piloting Valero with Real-Time Management.

Case Study 1: Reality Gets Better The difference between virtual reality and augmented reality is perception. Virtual reality is when a user totally enters a different reality visually. This reality is completely computer generated. Augmented reality users enter a mixed world of computer generated and real life images. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

The reason augmented reality is so appealing to marketers is because it offers them a different way to present their products. The goal of marketers is to present their product in such a way that people will remember it, be impressed with it, and ultimately purchase it. Augmented reality offers this through a series of interactive ads that can be used to impress and involve the consumer. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012) The reason augmented reality is useful for real estate shopping applications is it offers the buyer the opportunity to have an interactive view of a property that is up for sale without the hassle of making an appointment with a realty company. The ability to use a phone to get pricing information, and pictures of the interior of a property is a major time savor and very convenient. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

Based on what has been learned by this case study the applications for augmented reality are far reaching. A manufacturing company could use augmented reality to teach employees and to direct employees. Simply have the employee wear a helmet and they would not have to do much thinking on the job as they could be led to every correct decision. Augmented reality such as the real estate application could be used at the humane society to give clear pictures and understandings of the animals they have up for adoption.

Case Study 2: The Flash Crash: Machines Gone Wild? The conditions that preceded the flash crash were a market that was already low and moving lower, concerns by investors over the debt in Europe and current worries over the economy. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

Some of the benefits of electronic trading include; far faster trading than a human being could do, ability to analyze the market trends quickly and change what is being traded, lower cost and the ability to have a more liquid market. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

The features that contributed to the crash would be the automated selling put into place to sell regardless of time or price. The other feature would be the high frequency traders designed to purchase what was being sold and then sold when the price was lowered. Finally the automated systems put in low offers that are so low they are not very likely to ever to be accepted. In the conditions created by the electronic trading, those stocks sold. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

Due to the programming of the automated systems this crash could have easily been prevented if humans were in control of the decisions that were made. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012) They would have been able to set a better selling time and set the amount being sold. By doing the previous, none of the other events would have taken place. Case Study 3: Piloting Valero with Real-Time Management.

When developing the new dashboard the issues that needed to be addressed would be making sure the dashboard was set to measure the appropriate items, making sure the system was able to send real time data and making sure executives, those at the refinery level and those at the individual level could view performance. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012)

The measures of performance that the dashboards display include; inventory management, safety, plant and equipment reliability and energy consumption. (Laudon & Laudon, 2012) Some of the management decisions that could be made by using these displays would include whether or not to purchase new equipment, whether a plant needs to change its energy consumption, whether or not a plant needs to have more safety training, and whether or not a plant needs more inventories.

Valero currently uses a group decision support systems designed to link systems to corporate headquarters and each of the fifteen plants. Valero’s dashboards are very effective in piloting the company. As of 2009 a Valero executive said they were saving an estimated 140 million dollars a year in the seven plants that had the dashboard. He further said that they could estimate a savings of up to 240 million dollars once the dashboard was put into all sixteen of their plants. (Henschen, 2009) There would be no real point in developing a dashboard with information outside the company’s control. You cannot monitor events that you have no control over.


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