Background Info - creating an IT system.


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Background Info - creating an IT system.

BACKGROUND INFO
---------------

Sir Alex Ferguson is the manager of Manchester United Football club.
As in any football club transfers play a big part. Clubs usually
contact each other to enquire about the availability of certain
players and to request the transfer prices. Being Manchester United,
one of the best football clubs in the world, several calls are
received each day about players, since all the players are such high
quality. The way the system currently works is that all calls
regarding transfers are sent to Sir Alex, since all the players are
his and he has to deal with the transfer request, which involves him
having to contact the other clubs back with transfer prices and
answers about the availability of certain players.

PROBLEM

Sir Alex is tired of other clubs hassling him all the time to find out
about his players and feels he is wasting a lot of precious time
dealing with transfers. He is especially getting annoyed because a lot
of transfers are set up and then broken down. Sir Alex is looking for
a way for the managers of other clubs to find out about his players
without continually bothering him so he can concentrate more on things
like training and tactics so that Manchester United can try and have a
successful campaign. This is where I come into it. Sir Alex Ferguson
and the Manchester United board have hired me to come up with a new
more efficient system that would allow the managers of other clubs to
find out information about the availability of his players and the
transfer prices, which would allow them to make their own decisions
and then they can contact the club when they feel they are certain
they want a certain player. The end users are the managers of other
clubs.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

So after discussions with the board and Sir Alex, I come up with a few
possible solutions:

Hiring new staff as representatives for the club, to talk to all the
other clubs: The way this would work is Sir Alex would make notes
about which players are available and give a transfer price for each
player. New staff would then be hired to operate the telephones and
would all possess a copy of these notes made by Sir Alex. When a club
then rang to enquire about certain players they would then use the
notes to inform the other club if the player they want is available
and give their transfer price. If a club is totally serious about
making a bud for the player the call will then be transferred to Sir

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Alex. These members of staff would have to sign a contract before
forbidding them to speak to anyone about any transfers.

The board and Sir Alex's response was to immediately turn this
solution down as they said it was not suitable. Firstly, they said
staff that would have to take up this much responsibility would demand
high wages and also this solution would still be wasting Sir Alex's
time because the staff wouldn't know all the details if a club started
asking certain questions about something like a players injury record.
This would mean the call would be transferred to Sir Alex and he would
have to waste precious time explaining the player's statuses or
organizing a possible transfer with the other clubs. I explained that
the staff could have full information about the status of the players
and could pass on this information but the board and Sir Alex was
convinced at this point that this was an unsuitable solution.

The use of an interactive telephone hotline: I then came up with the
idea for the club to use an interactive telephone hotline. This would
be an interactive hotline where all information is passed on through
the phone. So this special number will be sent to all the clubs in the
top league in the world and can even be displayed on the official
website. The managers will then ring the hotline, which will be
computer generated. By pressing numbers on the dial they can then
receive the information on the player they need. For example the
computer will say "dial the player you requires squad number in" and
then will proceed to name all the current squad members along with
their squad number and the end user will just have to dial in the
squad number i.e. for David Beckham they will have to dial a seven and
then a computer recorded message will then give all information on
things like the availability, the transfer price and personal details
(age, height, weight, etc.) of David Beckham. The end user will also
have the chance to listen to messages for player more than one time
and listen to the messages for any other player they desire. When they
have made a concrete decision they can they proceed to ring the club
with the personal number, which they possess. This way a lot of time
will be saved.

The only disadvantage for this system is that anyone that can get hold
of this number and can use it. Especially if its displayed on the
website. This means the hotline could be busy because Manchester
United fans and other fans for that matter, are constantly ringing it
to find out who is available to be sold. This will result in the club
managers having to ring the club for information because the hotline
is busy. Sir Alex and the board decide that this system is not
entirely suitable and ask me to come up with a different one.

The use of a booklet: The next idea I came up with was to send
booklets to all top league clubs at the beginning of every season and
any other clubs that request it. This booklet would contain full
information on the players and their status, as well as containing
information on the player's availability and their transfer prices.
Once the clubs are certain that they want a certain player they can
then ring Sir Alex on the personal number that they have.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

The disadvantage with this idea is that making updates will be
difficult. If a player's transfer cost goes up or down or they get
sold, a solution to that would be to distribute a new book every
month, but the cost of printing would be high.

The board and Sir Alex agree that this is quite a good idea and will
consider it but feels there are still other solutions that will be
better. They then ask me to come up with an idea that will allow
regular updates to be made to the system.

The use of a presentation on the website:I started thinking about the
Internet and something that can be placed on the official website. I
thought that something on the website would be best because it doesn't
really matter if members of the public and fans see it because it
might interest them and they wont even know the clubs personal
telephone (only all the top clubs know that.) The presentation would
have all the information about the players and also sate which ones
are available and give transfer prices for them. The good thing about
this is that regular updates can be made rather easily. So after
discussing the idea with the board and Sir Alex they decided it was a
suitable idea but asked me what type of presentation it would be. So
we discussed which would be the best system. We finally narrowed down
the presentations to the following:
======================================================================

* A written presentation on Microsoft Word and inserted onto the web
pages

* A database made on Microsoft Access and inserted on the web site.

* A slideshow presentation made on Microsoft Powerpoint and inserted
on the website

For the presentation made on Microsoft Word text and images can be
created and Wordart can be used as well. All this can then be
displayed onto the web pages.

For the presentation made on Microsoft Access a database can be
created and can be accessed on the official Manchester United website.

For the presentation made on Microsoft PowerPoint a slideshow can be
created and display on the Internet on the official Manchester United
website.

After explaining the limits of each type of software to the board and
Sir Alex they finally decide upon the system of having a slideshow
presentation, that will be able to be viewed through the official
Manchester United website. The presentation will feature information
on the players, the player's ratings, availability, their condition,
injury history and their estimated value. The main purpose of this is
for the other clubs to find out information on the players, but it
will interest fans as well.

An advantage of this is it the will show that the technology at the
club is at an advanced stage and they are more superior which will
attract sponsors, more fans and other players because they will be
impressed.

We then discuss security and backup and I tell them I can make the
slideshow write-protected so the end users cannot tamper with it. I
will also use virus-checking programs when importing files onto the
slideshows such as images. I also told them I would be able to use
certain programs to protect it from hackers. I then tell them for
backup I will save the slideshow, which will be on Microsoft
PowerPoint onto a CD-ROM disk. I think that with all the pictures,
texts, graphics and sounds on the slideshow the memory of it will be
over 1.44 MB so a floppy disk will be useless. This CD-ROM disk will
have the whole slideshow saved onto it so if something happened to it
this CD-ROM disk can be used as backup. This CD-ROM disk will be kept
safely by me. On top of this the slideshow can be saved onto another
CD-ROM disk that will be given to the club to keep safely and I will
also have the slideshow saved on my computer at home.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

So the board and Sir Alex order me to start creating the slideshow
using the Microsoft PowerPoint software. But before I start they have
given me their system requirement, which I have been told I should
follow fully:

* Information on the players full names, date of birth, caps,
position, birthplace, nationality, squad number, debut date,
height, weight, goals and previous clubs must be displayed on the
website

* The information must be taken from a reliable source and double
checked by another source to ensure that it is correct

* A current picture of each member of the current squad must be
placed on the website.

* The photos of the players must be high quality and in colour.

* The images must be the latest squad picture

* Each player must have their own separate slide displaying their
information

* The slideshow should be fully interactive

* Hyperlinks must be used a lot on the slideshow which will allow
the end user to navigate through the slideshow rather easily

* The slideshow must be protected from being tampered with by the
public. Only the creator must be able to modify it.

* The system must have a foolproof back up system.

* The CD-Rom disk that will be used as a backup disk, which will
contain all the information must be a high quality one and must be
stored safely by the creator. Another separate CD-Rom disk must be
made that contains all the information, which will be kept by the
club.

* The slideshow must be basic, which means a person who has never
used a slideshow before should be able to use it and navigate
through it quite easily. A list of all the clubs achievements must
also be displayed on the slideshow to give some backup information
about the club.

* More than one picture can be placed on the slides for each
separate player

* The images of the players must be presentable ones that promote
the clubs image

* The slideshow must also have information on the club on it.
Information such as the name of the chairman, the manager, the
address of the club and a bit of information about it such as the
name of the stadium and the date the club was founded in should be
in the slideshow.

* The background must be aesthetically pleasing but also look quite
professional

* All players should have the same background

* There should be a page where all the names of the player are
listed in order of their squad number

* There must be a page where the end user can obtain a list of all
players in a certain position and view their information. For
example, they would select midfielders and then a list of all the
midfielders will come up

* The slideshow must be able to be viewed through the official
website and must be clearly displayed on it

* Sounds must be used on the slideshow when doing things like moving
to the next slide. The sounds must be professional and suitable

* There can be special effects on it in places like when text
appears on the page but again this has to be suitable and
professional

* The colours used for the website, in places such as the
background, must be interesting and eye-catching, but professional
at the same time

* All designs for slides must be approved of by the school board
before starting to create the real slideshow

* The slides should be checked and tested thoroughly for any
mistakes or errors

* The overall outlook of the slideshow must be aesthetically
pleasing but in a professional way

* Buttons should be used with hyperlinks to navigate through the
pages. Hyperlinks should also be included in the text as well.
They can be used in the images as well - hotspots

* Suitable security measures must be taken. When it is on the
website it must be protected from hackers

* All language must be in (UK) English

* All language must be in a formal, professional tone

* Fonts can be in a special type, size and colour but must not be
unsuitable or unprofessional

* Mouse icons can be used to impress the end user by our use of
technology

* The slideshow must be enjoyable and must keep the end user
interested


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