Republic Polytechnic: Facilitating Feature-Function-Stakeholder Fit in Enterprise System Implementation

“Not only is technology central to our campus, administration and learning, it is a way of life at Republic Polytechnic… if we don’t do, it is going against the potential of technology. We have no choice. It’s just a question of when we do it.” – A RP Top Management Staff

The Singapore government saw the need to cater to a projected increase in the local population and offer greater variety in terms of education. Consequently, the Republic Polytechnic (RP) Act was passed by the Singapore Parliament on 8 July 2002 and RP was officially established on 1 August 2002. RP had one year to put together their infrastructure before they took in their first batch of students in July 2003. From the onset, two key pillars were formulated to guide RP. Firstly, RP went completely paperless, mobile and wireless. Staff and students owned laptops, and everything from daily lessons to exams were done electronically. Secondly, RP employed a problem-based learning educational pedagogy that was unique in Singapore, as a means of differentiating itself from other local tertiary institutions. This led to the implementation of an enterprise-wide learning management system called the Learning Environment Online system (LEO). LEO went on to become an integral part of education in RP.


The Alexandra Hospital: Implementing Healthcare Information Systems

“We are a relatively small hospital with a big vision. We aim to improve health and reduce illness via providing a patient-centered quality healthcare system that is accessible, seamless, comprehensive, appropriate and cost-effective to everyone” – Director of Projects in Operations (DPO), Dr. Wang

In the early 2000, after Alexandra Hospital (AH) had been taken over by the National Health Group (NHG) the hospital, it was tasked with the challenge of restructuring its processes and relocating its premises to a new site in the northern part of Singapore in 2009. The process restructure includes introducing new ways of working as well as redesigning healthcare services around the patient’s needs. Essentially, one could expect a paradigm shift in the delivery of healthcare as a result of transformation into a hassle-free hospital.


National Library Board (NLB): Mediating IT-Enabled Transformation through Users

“The entire organization has played an important role in achieving this transformation. The staff believed in the vision we presented to them, and they were active participants in this process, making it their own, and helping the organization provide the kind of services that are available today. We are not just providing a knowledge-enriching environment to Singaporeans, our organization is a learning organization that constantly relooks at its services and improves itself constantly.” – CEO of NLB, Dr. Christopher Chia

Singapore identified its National Library as one of the organizations that can equip Singapore’s population in the quest to be a knowledge society. In 1992, a committee was established by the government to study the state of public libraries in Singapore and formulate a vision for its development in line with the needs of the nation. In particular, the committee focused on developing Singapore as an international information hub, in addition to providing library services to foster a knowledge society in Singapore and preserving Singapore’s literary heritage. The committee tabled its findings in 1994 in a report titled Library 2000.


Taiwan Teleservices & Technology (TT&T): Dynamic Capabilities Development in a Call Center

Taiwan Teleservices & Technology (TT&T), which was formerly the customer service department of Taiwan Cellular Corporation (TCC), a leading telecommunications service provider in Taiwan. TT&T expanded its range of clients from solely telecommunications companies to organizations in the insurance, airline, government, transportation and information technology sectors. Furthermore, several new service products, such as debt collection and telemarketing, were included to satisfy the diverse needs of its clients. TT&T categorized its service products into four types: inbound sales, inbound services, outbound sales, and outbound services.


DSTA: eGovernment Capabilities and Crisis Management in Combating SARS

“Our national strategy against SARS has three prongs: First, to detect and isolate SARS cases as early as possible. Second, to ring-fence detected or suspected cases, hospitals and clinics and personnel treating SARS cases and adopt robust screening and infection control procedures. Third, to contain the spread of the virus and guard vigilantly against outbreak in the wider community.” – Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs, Singapore

Singapore’s e-government systems have been highly rated for their extensive strategic and innovative use of information technology (IT) in delivering government services. Since the early 1980s, Singapore has continually introduced new information technologies to improve its government business processes. The result has been IT-knowledgeable human resources, as well as an IT infrastructure that provides citizens with a popular electronic channel for communicating and interacting with the government. Modernizing its vast government infrastructure using IT has been difficult. The process has involved redesigning services, introducing over 1600 e-services, and learning how to tailor and deploy electronic services. The result has been transformed public services. These investments proved crucial in 2004 when Singapore was hit with the outbreak of SARS.


Tzu Chi: Managing Crisis Response in Tsunami 2004

 In 1966, Venerable Master Cheng Yen founded the Tzu Chi Merits Society in Hualien, Taiwan as a local charity fund to provide relief and assistance for the poor. Tzu Chi works in missions of Charity, Medicine, Education and Culture with the spirit of sincerity, integrity, trust and honesty. The four missions of Tzu Chi, Charity, Medicine, Education and Culture, represent the Four Immeasurable Minds Buddha spoke of which are Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Giving. The four corresponding trends are Charity internationalization, Medicine generalization, Complete Education development and Culture depth development. The objectives of Tzu Chi are to bring purity in people’s minds, peace in the society and a disaster-free world and its principles are kindness, compassion, joy and giving through helping the poor and educating the rich. The goal of helping the poor and educating the rich is further developed into “One step, eight footprints” which consists of four missions together with Bone Marrow Donation, International Relief, Environmental Protection and Community Volunteering.


Wipro Technologies: Implementing Knowledge Management in an Outsourcing Organization

Wipro Technologies is the global IT services and products division of Wipro Limited, headquartered in Bangalore, India. Wipro Technologies generated revenues of US$943 million for the financial year ended March 31st 2004 and at the time of preparing this case employed more than 30,000 people, from 18 nationalities. Wipro Technologies operates as an autonomous entity headed by a CEO, who reports directly to the chairman of Wipro Limited. Wipro Technologies has more than 350 global clients, offering them a host of IT solutions including software application development and maintenance, research and development services, package implementation, systems integration and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services. Organized into a number of strategic business units called verticals (defined, based on the industry segment of the customer, e.g., Retail, Manufacturing etc.) and horizontals (defined, based on the technology focus, e.g., Microsoft technologies), Wipro Technologies has software development centers and sales and marketing offices spread across countries in Asia, Europe and North America. Between the years 1998 and 2000, Wipro Technologies more than doubled its employee strength (5000 to 10,000+) and with rapid growth and complex projects, demand for access to information increased dramatically. The organization felt it necessary to create a formal structure to manage the growing knowledge resources and to ensure that the organizational business units tap into each others’ expertise which would lead to shorter delivery periods for the customers.


India Inc.: Implementing Knowledge Management Systems

India Inc. was an IT services and products firm headquartered in India. India Inc. generated revenues of more than US $1.5 billion and employed more than thirty-five thousand people from more than twenty nationalities. India Inc. had more than three hundred and fifty global clients, and offered them a host of IT solutions including software application development and maintenance, research and development services, package implementation, systems integration and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services. With rapid growth and complex projects, the demand for access to information increased throughout the organization. India Inc. thus felt that it was necessary to create a formal structure to manage the growing knowledge resources and to ensure that the organizational business units tap onto each others’ expertise.


Satyam Computer Service: Sub-cultures and KMS Implementation

Satyam Computer Services Limited (Satyam) is a global IT services and consulting company. It employs about 15,000 people across development centers in 10 countries, in addition, its sales and marketing offices are in 45 countries. Satyam which was incorporated as a private limited company in Hyderabad, India in 1987, became a public limited company with its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 1992 and is currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Revenue-wise, Satyam has grown more than 500% over the last 10 years and is recognized today as one of the top 5 Indian companies in the IT Industry. In terms of personnel, Satyam which had only 75 employees (also known as associates or members) in 1993 has grown more than 200 times in a span of about dozen years to its current strength of over 15,000.


The British Council: Implementing Knowledge Management in a Geographically Dispersed Organization

“We’re a hugely distributed organization with a 126 offices in a 110 countries. We, at any one point, will have several thousand programs running across the world. Although the headquarters is here [UK], all of the activities take place on the ground in the countries. With an organization like that, unless we are quick and efficient about sharing our experiences, sharing our information about our projects, sharing information about each other, there is a danger that we duplicate and replicate. It is not efficient financially; it’s not efficient just from the point of delivery. So it’s recognized in the organization that effective knowledge management is critical for us to achieve our strategic aims.” – A Senior British Council Staff

In January 1999, Mr. Roman and Mr. Edwards, two members of the senior management team (SMT) within the Information & Services Management (ISM) department, authored a position paper in which they proposed the idea of formally managing the organization‟s knowledge. This paper emphasized the importance to the British Council (BC) of managing their knowledge and called for creating a knowledge management (KM) strategy for the organization. Mr. Roman and Mr. Edwards had been influenced by the KM efforts that had been taken at the World Bank, as well as pressures for a new approach to promoting the UK from the UK government.


Asian Development Bank (ADB): Implementing Knowledge Management

“Yes, we are a bank and we provide loans, financial assistance but we started to realize that we can often have more of an impact through a study than through a loan. And particularly, the combination of sort of financing and sort of expertise is what makes ADB unique. Head commercial banks are not interested in providing expert advice. And people who often provide advice have very little leverage.” – A Member of the Top Management Team of the ADB


Chemxlog: Knowledge Management across Organizations

“On that part, the basic directions are quite different. ChemXlog is very eager to solicit business, trying to put everybody on board the system. The freight forwarder’s basic attitude and direction are just like me. We don’t see immediate interest or savings. On the contrary, we incur more expenditure, more manpower and more work. So we are actually trying to bring each other down, they say: please come on board and we say: please give us more savings. Of course there will be some argument and some conflicts in terms of charges.” Director, Haulier

In early 2001, Simon, the logistics manager of PhotoChem, started to explore the idea of a web based collaborative logistics system. He wanted a system through which he could interact with PhotoChem’s logistics service providers online. Simon realized that it was inefficient to continue interacting with them the traditional way, i.e. through faxes and phones. After successfully convincing his management he started looking out for suitable vendors that could help him in his plan. He selected ChemXlog, an IT firm as the vendor. ChemXlog specialized in providing collaborative logistics systems for chemical companies. Ron, the account manager and Terence, the business development manager of ChemXlog were now to assist Simon in getting the service providers on board the system. Simon knew this was not going to be an easy task.


BankCo: Managing Knowledge Transfer in Outsourcing

BankCo is a multinational bank with 30,000 staff located in 50 countries. In 2001, after a review of its IS global technology business development and support organization, it decided to progressively switch its predominately more expensive ‘onshore’ locations in United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore, to its ‘offshore’ lower cost India and Malaysia locations. There were three main reasons for this move, as cited by its Programme Director. Other than to lower cost, the second objective was to reduce the risk of shortage of technology resources in its onshore locations, which was plaguing the technology industry in 2001. The third objective was to improve productivity and quality through centralization in the two offshore locations. By centralizing its operations in two key offshore locations, BankCo wanted to improve its cost of production through economies of scale.


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