Mary Kay is a cosmetics business which faced the problem that every company wished they had. They were growing so quickly that the system they have in place was no longer a viable option to process the orders they had coming in, which ranged from 25-30,000 per day. At the outset of the company, they had a decentralized system. This meant that the orders were scattered across 4 different mediums: web, phone, mail, and desktop computers, and many mistakes were made as a result. With over 850,000 IBCs each having the capability to create their websites (150,000 created), the burdens on the decentralized servers was becoming too large. So, Mary Kay switched to a centralized system which could handle the increased need for storage and could manage the network. With the change from Compaq Alpha servers to the Unisys Enterprise Server ES7000 mainframe with 32 Intel processors, Mary Kay found that IBCs could enter orders in half the time and was set up to simplify the management of online operations as sales grew. But, there is always the underlying question of whether implementing a centralized system was the best option for Mary Kay. There is no doubt that the decentralized system needed to be changed, but Galen Shreck states that “a lot of data centers can’t be broken up to run multiple tasks at the same time.” Also, the system was chosen not necessarily because it was best, but because it was convenient to stay with the Windows 2000 operating system with the transition from servers to mainframe. Instead of choosing the centralized mainframe system, which is already outdated in today’s technology world, I would have chosen to implement a distributive network infrastructure. For many reasons that I will illustrate later, the centralized system will prove to be inefficient for the tasks that Mary Kay wishes to perform in the future.
Mary Kay has a simple problem, but there is not a simple answer. They have expanded at an increasingly fast rate with 4 different...
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