# 4Cs of Engineering and Management Assignment

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Student Convergence In the absence of a more specific context, convergence denotes the approach toward a definite value, as time goes on or to a definite point, a common view or opinion, or toward a fixed or equilibrium state. Convergent is the adjectival form, and also a noun meaning an iterative approximation. Types of convergence: Technological Convergence:

Technological convergence is the tendency for different technological systems to evolve towards performing similar tasks. Convergence can refer to previously separate technologies such as voice (telephony features), data (productivity applications) and video that now share resources and interact with each other, synergistically creating new efficiencies. Convergence in this instance is defined as the interlinking of computing and other information technologies, media content and communication networks that have arisen as the result of the evolution and popularization of the Internet as ell as the activities, products and services that have emerged in the digital media space. Many experts view this as simply being the tip of the iceberg, as all facets of institutional activity and social life such as business, government, art, journalism, health and education are increasingly being carried out in these digital media spaces across a growing network of ICT devices. Also included in this topic is the basis of computer networks, wherein many different operating systems are able to communicate via different protocols.

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This could be a prelude to artificial intelligence networks on the internet and eventually leading to a powerful super intelligence via a Technological singularity. Technological Convergence can also refer to the phenomena of a group of technologies developed for one use being utilized in many different contexts. This often happens to military technology as well as most types of machine tools and now silicon chips. Uniform Convergence: In the mathematical field of analysis, uniform convergence is a type of convergence stronger than point wise convergence.

A sequence {fn} of functions converges uniformly to a limiting function f if the speed of convergence of fn(x) to f(x) does not depend on x. The concept is important because several properties of the functions {fn}, such as continuity and Riemann integrability, are transferred to the limit (f) if the convergence is uniform. Supplier Convergence: Supplier convergence is a term used to describe the ongoing trend of companies offering a combination of services or products that were previously supplied by separate companies.

It is not to be confused with product convergence, where one product combines and replaces several others; rather, supplier convergence happens primarily through mergers and acquisitions, or through the expansion of larger companies into areas previously dominated by specialty businesses. Telecommunication Convergence: Telecommunications convergence is a concept dating back to AT in 1928 but has evolved in the 21st century to dominate the market positioning of telecoms operators.

It is reflected in the product portfolio operators offer (vertical integration), and in the channels through which their products are sold and serviced (horizontal integration). Telecommunication convergence is a disruptive technology. Communication media including electronic media, telecommunications media and broadcast media were discrete business operations providing distinct services. Broadcasting, voice telephony and on-line computer services were operated on different platforms: TV and radiosets, telephones and computer and were managed by different Business Support Systems.

Different broadcasting media were each regulated differently by different regulators. Telecom Media Convergence is about crossing multiple industries. No longer are companies confined to their own markets. Fixed, mobile, and IP service providers can offer content and media services, and equipment providers can offer services directly to the end user. Content providers are consistently looking for new distribution channels. Convergence is the combination of all these different media into one operating platform. It is the merger of telecom, data processing and imaging technologies.

This convergence is ushering in a new epoch of multimedia, in which voice, data and images are combined to render services to the user. The key result of convergence at a macro-business level is the merger of the telecommunications and media / entertainment industries. Call Centre A call centre or call center (see spelling differences) is a centralized office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone. A call centre is operated by a company to administer incoming product support or information inquiries from consumers.

Outgoing calls for telemarketing, clientele, and debt collection are also made. In addition to a call centre, collective handling of letters, faxes, and e-mails at one location is known as a contact centre. Need of Call Center Services: Outsourcing is a powerful business model which Transfers the responsibility of one or more of the company’s functions to an efficient and reliable source allows the company to focus on its core competency:- ? Reduces capital investment. ? Reduces requirement of man power. ? Helps in business expansion. Tasks Handled & Mode of Operation: Types of calls are often divided into outbound and inbound.

Inbound calls are calls that are made by the consumer to obtain information, report a malfunction, or ask for help. These calls are substantially different from outbound calls, where agents place calls to potential customers mostly with intentions of selling or service to the individual. It is possible to combine inbound and outbound campaigns, but it is not a common practice. Call centre staff are often organized into a multi-tier support system for a more efficient handling of calls. The first tier in such a model consists of operators, who direct inquiries to the appropriate department and provide general directory information.

If a caller requires more assistance, the call is forwarded to the second tier, where most issues can be resolved. In some cases, there may be three or more tiers of support staff. If a caller requires more assistance, the caller is forwarded to the third tier of support; typically the third tier of support is formed by product engineers/developers or highly skilled technical support staff of the product. Call centres have their critics. Some critics argue that the work atmosphere in such an environment is dehumanizing. Others point to the low rates of pay and restrictive working practices of some employers.

There has been much controversy over such things as restricting the amount of time that an employee can spend in the toilet. Furthermore, call centres have been the subject of complaints by callers who find the staffs often do not have enough skill or authority to resolve problems, while the dehumanized workers very often exhibit an attitude of apathy to even the most abusive customer. Owing to the highly technological nature of the operations in such offices, the close monitoring of staff activities is easy and widespread.

This can be argued to be beneficial, to enable the company to better plan the workload and time of its employees. Some people have argued that such close monitoring breaches human rights to privacy. Equipment: A call centre is often operated through an extensive open workspace for call centre agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a telephone set/headset connected to a telecom switch, and one or more supervisor stations. It can be independently operated or networked with additional centres, often linked to a corporate computer network, including mainframes, microcomputers and LANs.

Increasingly, the voice and data pathways into the centre are linked through a set of new technologies called computer telephony integration (CTI). Call centre technology is subject to improvements and innovations. Some of these technologies include speech recognition and speech synthesis software to allow computers to handle first level of customer support, text mining and natural language processing to allow better customer handling, agent training by automatic mining of best practices from past interactions, and many other technologies to improve agent productivity and customer satisfaction.

Automatic lead selection or lead stearing is also intended to improve efficiencies, both for inbound and outbound campaigns, whereby inbound calls are intended to quickly land with the appropriate agent to handle the task, whilst minimizing wait times and long lists of irrelevant options for people calling in, as well as for outbound calls, where lead selection allows management to designate what type of leads go to which agent based on factors including skill, socio-economic factors and past performance and percentage likelihood of closing a sale per lead.

The concept of the Universal Queue standardizes the processing of communications across multiple technologies such as fax, phone, and email. There are a large number of patents covering various aspects of call centre operation, automation, and technology. One of the early inventors in this field, Ronald A. Katz, personally holds over 50 patents covering inventions related to toll free numbers, automated attendant, automated call distribution, voice response unit, computer telephone integration and speech recognition. 2 3 Strengths & Weakness:

Criticisms of call centres generally follow a number of common themes, from both callers and call centre staff. From callers, common criticisms include: Operators working from a script Non-expert operators (call screening) Incompetent or untrained operators incapable of processing customers’ requests effectively Overseas location, with language and accent problems Automated queuing systems—this sometimes results in excessively long hold times Complaints that departments of companies do not engage in communication with one another Deceit over location of call centre (such as allocating overseas workers false English names)

Requiring the caller to repeat the same information multiple times Common criticisms from staff include Close scrutiny by management (e. g. frequent random call monitoring) Low compensation (pay and bonuses) Restrictive working practices (some operators are required to follow a pre-written script) High stress: a common problem associated with front-end jobs where employees deal directly with customers Repetitive job task Poor working conditions (e. g. poor facilities, poor maintenance and cleaning, cramped working conditions, management interference, lack of privacy and noisy)

Impaired vision and hearing problems The net-net of these concerns is that call centers as a business process exhibit stratospheric levels of variability. The experience a customer gets and the results a company achieves on a given call are almost totally dependent on the quality of the agent answering that call. Call centers are beginning to address this by using technology to standardize the process all agents use. Anton and Phelps have provided a detailed HOW TO to conduct the performance evaluation of the business whereas others are using various scientific technologies to do the jobs.

However more popular alternatives are using personality and skill based approaches. The various challenges encountered by call operators are discussed by several authors. 4 5 Customer-premises equipment Customer-premises equipment or customer-provided equipment (CPE) is any terminal and associated equipment located at a subscriber’s premises and connected with a carrier’s telecommunication channel(s) at the demarcation point (“demarc”). The demarc is a point established in a building or complex to separate customer equipment from telephone company equipment.

CPE generally refers to telephones, DSL modems or cable modems, or purchased set-top boxes for use with Communications Service Providers’ services. Also included are key telephone systems and most private branch exchanges. Excluded from CPE are over voltage protection equipment and pay telephones. Cellular carriers may sometimes internally refer to cellular phones a customer has purchased without a subsidy or from a third party as Customer Provided Equipment. It is also notable that the Fully qualified domain name of DSL and cable lines connected to a residence will often be prefixed with ‘cpe’.

Collaborative Computing Collaborative computing is a term describing a variety of activities where people interact with one another using desktops, laptops, palmtops, and sophisticated digital cellular phones. As computers are best at handling data and representing information, person-to-person communication is enriched by an ability to share, modify, or collaboratively create data and information. We believe collaborative computing is the future of the Internet. The Internet will evolve from its current role as a channel for information dissemination to a person-to-person communication medium.

This is precisely where CollabWorx sees its role: we build, deploy, and support tools for personal interaction over the Internet. 6 Collaborative Product Development 7 Collaborative Product Development (Collaborative Product Design) (CPD) is a business strategy, work process and collection of software applications that facilitates different organizations to work together on the development of a product. It is also known as collaborative Product Definition Management (cPDM). 8 Technologies and methods used Clearly general collaborative software such as email and chat (instant messaging) is used within the CPD process.

One important technology is application and desktop sharing, allowing one person to view what another person is doing on a remote machine. For CAD and product visualization applications an ‘appshare’ product that supports OpenGL graphics is required. Another common application is Data sharing via Web based portals. Specific to product data With product data an important addition is the handling of high volumes of geometry and metadata. Exactly what techniques and technology is required depends on the level of collaboration being carried out and the commonality (or lack of) the partner sites’ systems.

Specific to PLM and CAx Collaboration Collaboration using PLM and CAx tools requires technology to support the needs of: People Effective PLM collaboration will typically require the participation of people who do not have high level CAD skills. This requires improved user interfaces including tailorable user interfaces that can be tailored to the skill level and specialty of the user. Improved visualization capabilities, especially those that provide a meaningful view of complex information such as the results of a fluid flow analysis will leverage the value of all participants in the collaboration process.

Effective collaboration requires that a participant be freed from the burden of knowing the intent history typically imbedded within and constricting the use of parametric models. Organizations Community collaboration requires that companies, suppliers, and customers share information in a secure environment, ensure compliance with enterprise and regulatory rules and enforce the process management rules of the community as well as the individual organizations. Data The most basic collaboration data need is the ability to operate in a MultiCAD environment.

That is, however, only the beginning. Models from multiple CAD sources must be assembled into an active digital mockup allowing change and/or design in context. Real-Time Collaborative Product Design Product design is typically a highly iterative and interactive activity involving a group of designers who are geographically dispersed. A neutral modeling commands (NMC) based method is proposed to construct a real-time collaborative product design platform within heterogeneous CAD systems.

Different from the visualization-based approaches, models can be constructed and modified synchronously from various sites in the proposed collaborative design environment. Based on a translation mechanism between system modeling operations (SMO) and neutral modeling commands (NMC), every operation given by a user on one site will be translated into a NMC and be sent to all the other sites through the network. When the other sites receive this command, it is converted into corresponding SMOs on the local system. In this way, the real-time collaborative product design with heterogeneous CAD systems is achieved.

Difference levels of collaboration If the collaborating parties have the same PDM and CAD systems the task usually involves the direct access and transfer of data between sites. The PDM system will have data storage at more than one site for the large graphics files, file may be copied between sites, how they are synchronized being controlled by the server(s). For the management server and metadata there are a number of options. There could be a single server that is accessed from all locations or multiple PDM servers that communicate with one another.

In both cases the PDM software controls access for groups defining what data they can see and edit. With different CAD systems the approach varies slightly depending on whether the ownership, and therefore authorship of components changes or not. If geometry only has to be viewed then a Product visualization neutral file format (e. g. JT) can be used for tasks such as viewing, markup (redlining) or multi-cad digital mock-up (DMU). It maybe that authorship does not change but components from one group needs to be placed in the assembly of another group so that they can construct their parts, so called work in context.

This requires transfer of geometry from one format to another by means of a visualization format or full data translation. Between some systems there is the possibility of ‘data interoperability’ were geometry from one format can be associatively copied to another. If the ownership of a particular file is being transfer then full data translation is required using some form of CAD data exchange technology. For the translation process Product Data Quality (PDQ) checkers are often employed to reduce problems in transferring the work.

If different PDM/EDM systems are in use then either data structures or metadata can be transferred using STEP or communication between databases can be achieved with tools based around XML data transfer. Content Management Content management, or CM, is a set of processes and technologies that support the evolutionary life cycle of digital information. This digital information is often referred to as content or, to be precise, digital content. Digital content may take the form of text, such as documents, multimedia files, such as audio or video files, or any other file type which follows a content lifecycle which requires management. The process of content management Content management practices and goals vary with mission. News organizations, e-commerce websites, and educational institutions all use content management, but in different ways. This leads to differences in terminology and in the names and number of steps in the process. Typically, though, the digital content life cycle consists of 6 primary phases: create, update, publish, translate, archive and retrieve. For example, an instance of digital content is created by one or more authors. Over time that content may be edited.

One or more individuals may provide some editorial oversight thereby approving the content for publication. Publishing may take many forms. Publishing may be the act of pushing content out to others, or simply granting digital access rights to certain content to a particular person or group of persons. Later that content may be superseded by another form of content and thus retired or removed from use. Content management is an inherently collaborative process. It often consists of the following basic roles and responsibilities:

Creator – responsible for creating and editing content. Editor – responsible for tuning the content message and the style of delivery, including translation and localization. Publisher – responsible for releasing the content for use. Administrator – responsible for managing access permissions to folders and files, usually accomplished by assigning access rights to user groups or roles. Admins may also assist and support users in various ways. Consumer, viewer or guest- the person who reads or otherwise takes in content after it is published or shared.

A critical aspect of content management is the ability to manage versions of content as it evolves (see also version control). Authors and editors often need to restore older versions of edited products due to a process failure or an undesirable series of edits. Another equally important aspect of content management involves the creation, maintenance, and application of review standards. Each member of the content creation and review process has a unique role and set of responsibilities in the development and/or publication of the content.

Each review team member requires clear and concise review standards which must be maintained on an ongoing basis to ensure the long-term consistency and health of the knowledge base. A content management system is a set of automated processes that may support the following features: Import and creation of documents and multimedia material Identification of all key users and their roles The ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different instances of content categories or types. Definition of workflow tasks often coupled with messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content.

The ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content. The ability to publish the content to a repository to support access to the content. Increasingly, the repository is an inherent part of the system, and incorporates enterprise search and retrieval. Content management systems take the following forms: a web content management system is software for web site management – which is often what is implicitly meant by this term the work of a newspaper editorial staff organization a workflow for article publication a document management system single source content management system – where content is stored in chunks within a relational database 10 11 Implementations Content management implementation must be able to manage content distributions and digital rights in content life cycle. Content management systems are usually involved with Digital Rights Management Systems to be able to control user access and digital right. In this step the read only structures of Digital Rights Management Systems force some limitations on Content Management implementations as they do not allow the protected contents to be changed in their life cycle.

Creation of new contents using the managed (protected) ones is also another issue which will get the protected contents out of Content Management controlling systems. There are a few Content Management implementations covering all these issues. 12 Content marketing Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases.

In contrast to traditional marketing methods that aim to increase sales or awareness through interruption techniques, content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. The idea of sharing content as a means of persuading decision-making has driven content marketers to make their once-proprietary informational assets available to selected audiences. Alternatively, many content marketers choose to create new information and share it via any and all media.

Content marketing products frequently take the form of custom magazines, print or online newsletters, digital content, websites or microsites, white papers, webcasts/webinars, podcasts, video portals or series, in-person roadshows, roundtables, interactive online, email, events. The purpose of this information is not to spout the virtues of the marketer’s own products or services, but to inform target customers and prospects about key industry issues, sometimes involving the marketer’s products.

The motivation behind content marketing is the belief that educating the customer results in the brand’s recognition as a thought leader and industry expert. Marketers may use content marketing as a means of achieving a variety of business goals, such as thought leadership, lead generation, increasing direct sales, improving retention and more. Content marketing is the underlying philosophy driving techniques such as custom media, custom publishing, database marketing, brand marketing, branded entertainment and branded content.

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