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Table of Contents
Introduction 3
E-business Architecture 4
Business goals 5
Networked applications 5
Information/Database 7
Foundation Technologies 8
Bibliography 10
What’s e-business? It is the transformation of every business process through using the internet and associated technologies. In this transformation, each part of the business becomes a part of an intrinsic network, which enables employees, suppliers and customers of a given enterprise to conduct their tasks. People usually try to make a point in differing e-business from e-commence, but as I see, e-commerce is a part of the e-business category, and an important one.
E-commerce can be defined as any business conducted over the internet. We have many examples of businesses, such as Amazon, E-Bay and Yahoo, that have achieved extreme on-line success and Virgin Atlantic is among them.
The are two basic categories of business conducted over the internet, Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B), and they share one common key aspect – use of Internet technologies to manage all aspects of the business.
In the following pages we will take a look at the steps that must be taken into consideration when developing a successful e-business architecture.
E-business Architecture
There are many different ways to define an architecture as they can take many forms, including logical views, scenarios (or sequence diagrams), physical views and deployment views. Each view provides a specific type of information within the diagram and is directed to a certain audience, including Web architects, data architects, application architects and end users.
A good, reliable e-business architecture can serve as your platform for future e-business applications. In creating an e-business architecture, you will want to ensure that you are developing and leveraging core components across multiple applications.
An effective e-business architecture should be built after a careful analysis of the way a company does business, for implementing an appropriate architecture is a way to make businesses overall more efficient. When developing an e-business architecture, a company must first take into consideration its current business structure or how they would like this structure to be if it’s a new business, and from that point develop an architecture that will take the business to a next level of organization and management.
Business goals
Before starting any business you should consider its objectives, in order to develop a strategy. It is the strategy that lays out how the objectives will be achieved and determines deadlines for achieving them. If and when the goals are reached the business will be successful.
Virgin Atlantic is UK’s second largest major airline; it had its first take-off in 1984 and nowadays has routes leading to the world’s major cities, having carried more than 38 million people to this date.
Their mission statement is “to grow a profitable airline, that people love to fly and where people love to work”.
Based on the above, we can consider Virgin Atlantic’s objectives as to its new website was to increase online sales activity for travel and holidays, maximize profitability, and enhance customer experience and loyalty.
In order to achieve these goals, Virgin Atlantic architecture was developed exclusively focused on the target on hand, and based on the little information available we will try to analyze it.
Networked applications
An e-business solution comprises more than simply developing a website. Within an organization there are many tasks that should be considered while developing the e-business architecture, such as email, production and supply chain platforms, customer service, databases, office intranet and many others.
These applications that are usually connected to a network and have their main resources shared amongst employees, suppliers and customers. A special emphasis must be given to client/server processing, web-enabled database applications, network object oriented programs, and data warehouses.
Virgin Atlantic has taken an integrated approach; one of their legacy computer systems covering the areas of maintenance, inventory and purchasing was recently replaced with Ultramain, a fully integrated maintenance, materials and procurement system developed by ‘Software Solutions United Ltd (SSU)’. They have also implemented ‘Eland’s Runway System’ that provides the interface to their legacy bookings system.