Business Diversification Strategies in the Italian Energy Markets

The liberalization and privatization processes have forced public utility companies to face new competitive challenges, implementing strategies to gain market share and, at the same time, keep the old customers. To this end, many companies have carried out mergers, acquisitions and conglomerations in order to diversify their business. This paper focuses on companies operating in the free energy market in Italy. In the last decade, this sector has undergone profound changes that have radically changed the competitive scenario and have led companies to implement diversification strategies of the business. Our work aims to evaluate the economic and financial performances obtained by energy companies, following the beginning of the liberalization process, verifying the possible relationship with the implemented diversification strategies.

Innovation in Business

Innovation, technology and knowledge are the trilogy of impact to support the challenges arising from uncertainty. Evidence showed an opportunity to ask how to manage in this environment under constant innovation. In an attempt to get a response from the field of Management Sciences, based in the Contingency Theory, a research was conducted, with phenomenological and descriptive approaches, using the Case Study Method and the usual procedures for this task involving a focus group composed of managers and employees working in the pharmaceutical field. The problem situation was raised; the state of the art was interpreted and dissected the facts. In this tasks were involved four establishments. The result indicates that these focused ventures have been managed by its founder empirically and is experimenting agility described in this work. The expectation of this study is to improve concepts for stakeholders on creativity in business.

Process-based Business Transformation through Services Computing

Business transformation initiatives are required by any organization to jump from its normal mode of operation to the one that is suitable for the change in the environment such as competitive pressures, regulatory requirements, changes in labor market, etc., or internal such as changes in strategy/vision, changes in the capability, change in the management, etc. Recent advances in information technology in automating the business processes have the potential to transform an organization to provide it with a sustained competitive advantage. Process constitutes the skeleton of a business. Thus, for a business to exist and compete well, it is essential for the skeleton to be robust and agile. This paper details “transformation" from a business perspective, methodologies to bring about an effective transformation, process-based transformation, and the role of services computing in this. Further, it details the benefits that could be achieved through services computing.

Using Ontology Search in the Design of Class Diagram from Business Process Model

Business process model describes process flow of a business and can be seen as the requirement for developing a software application. This paper discusses a BPM2CD guideline which complements the Model Driven Architecture concept by suggesting how to create a platform-independent software model in the form of a UML class diagram from a business process model. An important step is the identification of UML classes from the business process model. A technique for object-oriented analysis called domain analysis is borrowed and key concepts in the business process model will be discovered and proposed as candidate classes for the class diagram. The paper enhances this step by using ontology search to help identify important classes for the business domain. As ontology is a source of knowledge for a particular domain which itself can link to ontologies of related domains, the search can give a refined set of candidate classes for the resulting class diagram.

Supply Chain Management: After Business Process Re-Engineering

This paper is prepared to provide a review of how an automotive manufacturer, ISUZU HICOM Malaysia Co. Ltd. sustained the supply chain management after business process reengineering in 2007. One of the authors is currently undergoing industrial attachment and has spent almost 6 months researching in the production and operation management system of the company. This study was carried out as part of the tasks in the attachment program. The result shows that delivery lateness and outsourcing are the main barriers that affected productivity. From the gap analysis, the authors found that new business process operation had improved suppliers delivery performance.

Increasing Value Added of Recycling Business Management: A Case of Thailand

This policy participation action research explores the roles of Thai government units during its 2010 fiscal year on how to create value added to recycling business in the central part of Thailand. The research aims to a) study how the government plays a role to support the business, and its problems and obstacles on supporting the business, b) to design a strategic action – short, medium, and long term plans -- to create value added to the recycling business, particularly in local full-loop companies/organizations licensed by Wongpanit Waste Separation Plant as well as those licensed by the Department of Provincial Administration. Mixed method research design, i.e., a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods is utilized in the present study in both data collection and analysis procedures. Quantitative data was analyzed by frequency, percent value, mean scores, and standard deviation, and aimed to note trend and generalizations. Qualitative data was collected via semi-structured interviews/focus group interviews to explore in-depth views of the operators. The sampling included 1,079 operators in eight provinces in the central part of Thailand.

Quality-Driven Business Process Refactoring

Appropriate description of business processes through standard notations has become one of the most important assets for organizations. Organizations must therefore deal with quality faults in business process models such as the lack of understandability and modifiability. These quality faults may be exacerbated if business process models are mined by reverse engineering, e.g., from existing information systems that support those business processes. Hence, business process refactoring is often used, which change the internal structure of business processes whilst its external behavior is preserved. This paper aims to choose the most appropriate set of refactoring operators through the quality assessment concerning understandability and modifiability. These quality features are assessed through well-proven measures proposed in the literature. Additionally, a set of measure thresholds are heuristically established for applying the most promising refactoring operators, i.e., those that achieve the highest quality improvement according to the selected measures in each case.

Managing, Sustaining, and Future Proofing the Business of Educational Provision Following Large-Scale Disaster and Disruption

A catastrophic earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale struck the Christchurch, New Zealand Central Business District on February 22, 2012, abruptly disrupting the business of teaching and learning at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. This paper presents the findings from a study undertaken about the complexity of delivering an educational programme in the face of this traumatic natural event. Nine interconnected themes emerged from this multiple method study: communication, decision making, leader- and follower-ship, balancing personal and professional responsibilities, taking action, preparedness and thinking ahead, all within a disruptive and uncertain context. Sustainable responses that maximise business continuity, and provide solutions to practical challenges, are among the study-s recommendations.

Assessing Semantic Consistency of Business Process Models

Business process modeling has become an accepted means for designing and describing business operations. Thereby, consistency of business process models, i.e., the absence of modeling faults, is of upmost importance to organizations. This paper presents a concept and subsequent implementation for detecting faults in business process models and for computing a measure of their consistency. It incorporates not only syntactic consistency but also semantic consistency, i.e., consistency regarding the meaning of model elements from a business perspective.

Scenarios of Societal Security and Business Continuity Cycles

Societal security, continuity scenarios and methodological cycling approach explained in this article. Namely societal security organizational challenges ask implementation of international standards BS 25999-2 & global ISO 22300 which is a family of standards for business continuity management system. Efficient global organization system is distinguished of high entity´s complexity, connectivity & interoperability, having not only cooperative relations in a fact. Competing business have numerous participating ´enemies´, which are in apparent or hidden opponent and antagonistic roles with prosperous organization system, resulting to a crisis scene or even to a battle theatre. Organization business continuity scenarios are necessary for such ´a play´ preparedness, planning, management & overmastering in real environments.

Improving Quality of Business Networks for Information Systems

Computer networks are essential part in computerbased information systems. The performance of these networks has a great influence on the whole information system. Measuring the usability criteria and customers satisfaction on small computer network is very important. In this article, an effective approach for measuring the usability of business network in an information system is introduced. The usability process for networking provides us with a flexible and a cost-effective way to assess the usability of a network and its products. In addition, the proposed approach can be used to certify network product usability late in the development cycle. Furthermore, it can be used to help in developing usable interfaces very early in the cycle and to give a way to measure, track, and improve usability. Moreover, a new approach for fast information processing over computer networks is presented. The entire data are collected together in a long vector and then tested as a one input pattern. Proposed fast time delay neural networks (FTDNNs) use cross correlation in the frequency domain between the tested data and the input weights of neural networks. It is proved mathematically and practically that the number of computation steps required for the presented time delay neural networks is less than that needed by conventional time delay neural networks (CTDNNs). Simulation results using MATLAB confirm the theoretical computations.

Storytelling for Business Blogging: Position and Navigation

Truly successful bloggers, navigating the public to know them, often use their blogs as a way to better communicate with customers. Integrating with marketing tools, storytelling can be regarded as one of the most effective ways that businesses can follow to gain competitive edge. Even though the literature on marketing contains much discussion of traditional vehicles, the issue of business blogs applying storytelling has, as yet, received little attention. In the exploration stage, this paper identifies four storytelling disciplines and then presents a road map to business blogging. This paper also provides a two-path framework for blog storytelling and initiates an issue for further study.

A Usability Testing Approach to Evaluate User-Interfaces in Business Administration

This interdisciplinary study is an investigation to evaluate user-interfaces in business administration. The study is going to be implemented on two computerized business administration systems with two distinctive user-interfaces, so that differences between the two systems can be determined. Both systems, a commercial and a prototype developed for the purpose of this study, deal with ordering of supplies, tendering procedures, issuing purchase orders, controlling the movement of the stocks against their actual balances on the shelves and editing them on their tabulations. In the second suggested system, modern computer graphics and multimedia issues were taken into consideration to cover the drawbacks of the first system. To highlight differences between the two investigated systems regarding some chosen standard quality criteria, the study employs various statistical techniques and methods to evaluate the users- interaction with both systems. The study variables are divided into two divisions: independent representing the interfaces of the two systems, and dependent embracing efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction, error rate etc.

“Green Growth” in Kazakhstan: Political Leadership, Business Strategies and Environmental Fiscal Reform for Competitive System Change

The objective of this research work is to discuss the concept of “green growth” in the Republic of Kazakhstan introduced by its government in the “National Sustainable Development Strategy” with the objective of transition to a resource-efficient, “green economy.” We believe that emerging economies like Kazakhstan can pursue a cleaner and more efficient development path by introducing an environmental tax system based on resource consumption rather than only income and labor. The key issues discussed in this article are the eco-efficiency, which refers to closing the gap between economic and ecological efficiencies, and the structural change of the economy toward “green growth.” We also strongly believe that studying the experience of East Asian countries on “green reform” including eco-innovation and “green solutions” in business is essential to the case of Kazakhstan. All of these will raise the status of Kazakhstan to the level of one of the thirty developed countries over the next decades.

Accessible Business Process Modelling

This article concerns with the accessibility of Business process modelling tools (BPMo tools) and business process modelling languages (BPMo languages). Therefore the reader will be introduced to business process management and the authors' motivation behind this inquiry. Afterwards, the paper will reflect problems when applying inaccessible BPMo tools. To illustrate these problems the authors distinguish between two different categories of issues and provide practical examples. Finally the article will present three approaches to improve the accessibility of BPMo tools and BPMo languages.

Diffusion and Impact of Business Analytics: A Conceptual Framework

We discuss a theoretical conceptual framework to help understand how the new business analytics technologies have diffused in firms. We draw on three theoretical perspectives for this purpose. They are innovation diffusion theory, IT Business Value and the technology-organization-environment theory. We develop a conceptual framework that helps understand the interlinkages among factors affecting diffusion of business analytics and its impact on performance.

Simulation Games in Business Process Management Education

Business process management (BPM) has become widely accepted within business community as a means for improving business performance. However, it is of the highest importance to incorporate BPM as part of the curriculum at the university level education in order to achieve the appropriate acceptance of the method. Goal of the paper is to determine the current state of education in business process management (BPM) at the Croatian universities and abroad. It investigates the applied forms of instruction and teaching methods and gives several proposals for BPM courses improvement. Since majority of undergraduate and postgraduate students have limited understanding of business processes and lack of any practical experience, there is a need for introducing new teaching approaches. Therefore, we offer some suggestions for further improvement, among which the introduction of simulation games environment in BPM education is strongly recommended.

Sustainability: An Ethical Approach Towards Project Business Success

For any country the project management has been a vital part for its development. The highly competitive business world has created tremendous pressure on the project managers to achieve success. The pressure is derived from survival and profit building in business organizations which compels the project managers to pursue unethical practices. As a result unethical activities in business projects can be found easily where situations or issues arise due to dubious business practice, high corruption, or absolute violation of the law. The recent spur on Commonwealth games to be organized in New Delhi indicates towards the same. It has been seen that the project managers mainly focus on cost, time, and quality rather than social impact and long term effects of the project. Surprisingly the literature as well as the practitioner-s perspective also does not identify the role of ethics in project success. This paper identifies ethics as the fourth most important dimension in the project based organizations. The paper predicts that the approach of considering ethics will result in sustainability of the project. It will increase satisfaction and loyalty of the customers as well as create harmony, trust, brotherhood, values and morality among the team members. This paper is conceptual in nature as inadequate literature exists linking the project success with an ethical approach.

A Promising Approach to Supporting Knowledge-Intensive Business Processes: Business Case Management

Through the course of this paper we define Business Case Management and its characteristics, and highlight its link to knowledge workers. Business Case Management combines knowledge and process effectively, supporting the ad hoc and unpredictable nature of cases, and coordinate a range of other technologies to appropriately support knowledge-intensive processes. We emphasize the growing importance of knowledge workers and the current poor support for knowledge work automation. We also discuss the challenges in supporting this kind of knowledge work and propose a novel approach to overcome these challenges.

A Quantitative Approach to Strategic Design of Component-Based Business Process Models

A new paradigm for software design and development models software by its business process, translates the model into a process execution language, and has it run by a supporting execution engine. This process-oriented paradigm promotes modeling of software by less technical users or business analysts as well as rapid development. Since business process models may be shared by different organizations and sometimes even by different business domains, it is interesting to apply a technique used in traditional software component technology to design reusable business processes. This paper discusses an approach to apply a technique for software component fabrication to the design of process-oriented software units, called process components. These process components result from decomposing a business process of a particular application domain into subprocesses with an aim that the process components can be reusable in different process-based software models. The approach is quantitative because the quality of process component design is measured from technical features of the process components. The approach is also strategic because the measured quality is determined against business-oriented component management goals. A software tool has been developed to measure how good a process component design is, according to the required managerial goals and comparing to other designs. We also discuss how we benefit from reusable process components.