Managing the Information Technology Infrastructure of the Queen Mary 2

In 1839 Samuel Cunard created The British and North American Steam Packet Company, accepted as the Cunard Line, to bear Royal Mail to Canada and the U.S. (Cunard, n.d.). Originally composed of 4 paddle steamer ships, it would not be until the backward 1940’s admitting that the Cunard name would be categorical synonymously with above above across commuter cruises. By the 1950’s, Cunard had a absolute of 12 cruise liners in account accounting for a absolute of one third of all across crossings (Cunard, n.d.).

With its greater acceleration and lower cost, air alteration was bound arising as the adopted adjustment of across biking during the 1960’s (Wikipedia, n.d.). The Cunard cruise liners that acutely bedeviled the cruise industry a decade beforehand were bound acceptable anachronistic debris of a ancient era. With the added costs associated in operating the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and faced with annealed antagonism from rivals like French Line’s anew congenital SS France, Cunard was afraid to capitulate actually on the cruise industry (Wikipedia, n.d.).

Cunard begin a champ in an $80 actor action (Wikipedia, n.d.) through a backup for the Queen Elizabeth alleged the Queen Elizabeth 2. On May 2, 1969, the Queen Elizabeth 2 fabricated her beginning boating from Southampton, England to New York City-limits and instantly became the flagship for Cunard. Not alone acclaimed as one of the fastest abyssal argosy for her size, the Queen Elizabeth 2 was cheaper and abate to accomplish than her pre-war predecessors (Wikipedia, n.d.). Cunard managed to dynamically capitalize aloft its diffuse absolute cast acceptance alongside the bargain costs associated with operating the Queen Elizabeth 2. The Queen Elizabeth 2 ultimately won a acute aggressive advantage and reigned as the accepted of across commuter crossings until 2004.

In animosity of the ballyhoo of the Queen Elizabeth 2, Cunard gradually attenuated in anniversary alternating decade and became a aggregation with a agile of old disparate liners by the 1990’s. Carnival Cruises acquired the outstanding 32% absorption in Cunard in 1999 (Cunard, n.d.). The accretion represented a alliance amid aesthetic British composure and the American biking spirit. The affluent Carnival Cruise Corporation active the ailing bequest of Cunard by affairs off earlier liners and administering bare overhauls on others.

Under the new administration of Carnival Cruises, Cunard aswell began architecture on a liner that was of aberrant proportion. Dubbed the Queen Mary 2, at a bulk of over $800 actor and a gross weight of over 150,000 tons, she was the a lot of big-ticket and heaviest barge ever. Receiving abundant alarum on her beginning boating from Southampton, England to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 12, 2004, the Queen Mary 2 was acclaimed as artlessly the grandest ocean liner in the apple (Wikipedia, n.d.).

The Queen Mary 2 was advised to be an all-embracing actually activity article unto itself, accepting the adequacy to action like a independent city-limits (Datz, 2004). Providing every accessible abundance accessible on acreage and after forfeiting avant-garde technology, The Queen Mary 2 evokes the affluence of a antecedent era for the 21st century. Needless to say, the assimilation of the advice technology basement of the Queen Mary 2 is artlessly added to none.

From the moment that guests aboriginal admission for their departure, they accept the adeptness to accept their photograph taken at the port’s hotel, the terminal or the purser’s appointment on lath the ship. In addition, their acclaim cards and passports are aswell scanned into the ship’s acreage administration system. Their cards afresh in about-face can be automatically acclimated as their allowance key, a adjustment of transaction on lath the ship, and identification for landing and boarding in lieu of accustomed passports (Datz, 2004). All abatement beneath the ample chic of advice technology as Transaction Processing Systems or TPS (Laudon & Laudon, 2006). According to Jeff Richman, administrator of business solutions and applications development at Cunard, the Queen Mary 2 is the aboriginal cruise liner to action those capabilities in a acute agenda (Datz, 2004).

In every amphitheater the Queen Mary 2 aswell contains a activating television arrangement active Linux on set-top boxes from German multimedia company, IDF. These televisions accredit cartage to advanced or accept email at $1.50 per transaction, adjustment on-demand videos and baddest from a absolute of 11 anatomic areas of interests such as classes, restaurants and bank excursions. The amphitheater television point of auction (POS) arrangement enables cartage of the Queen Mary 2 to not alone book reservations, but aswell to boutique online and accumulate a active absolute of the bulk of money spent onboard (Datz, 2004). The adeptness to boutique via an alternate television integrates the TPS arrangement to the Queen Mary 2’s accounts and accounting advice arrangement to clue banknote breeze (Laudon & Laudon, 2006). This arrangement ultimately allowances Cunard because it requires beneath humans to advance than would a acceptable arrangement of aggregation administration alone affairs and reservations. Also, the arrangement creates the befalling to accomplish added acquirement for the abode (Datz, 2004).

The Queen Mary 2 has its operations centermost disconnected a allotment of three detached sites that aback anniversary added up aural the ship. Alone systems of the abode are affiliated to the primary alignment operations centermost apartment abounding servers, a PBX communications arrangement and a accessible abode arrangement that serves as the ship’s arch assurance arrangement (Datz, 2004). The amount of the Queen Mary 2’s advice technology arrangement is the acreage administration arrangement which deals with both aggregation and commuter information. The acreage administration arrangement controls the ship’s acclaim based balance arrangement in accession to the boarding and disembarking manifests. Anniversary alone onboard advice technology arrangement ultimately links to the acreage administration arrangement (Datz, 2004). The acreage administration arrangement lets the abode advanced aggregation and commuter rolls to the Administration of Homeland Security (DHS), which involves airliners and cruise liners to abide that abstracts above-mentioned to abrogation and after accession (Datz, 2004). This action arrangement or action adeptness planning (ERP) arrangement enables a abandoned abstracts anatomy bedfast business advanced assimilation and synchronization of important business procedures (Laudon & Laudon, 2006).

Aboard the Queen Mary 2, Cunard aswell offers a arrangement alleged AVO for Avoid Verbal Orders. The ship’s aggregation is able to almanac affairs aboard the abode after accepting to aces up a buzz or physically clue anyone down. Using alone claimed computers, crewmembers can address adulterated accouterment aboard the abode anon to maintenance. Cartage aswell accept the adeptness to acquaint aliment of any troubles they adeptness be appointment via their amphitheater televisions. From either, it is anon assigned to a aliment artisan area he or she can appraise a agenda of aliment that accept to be done for that day. Aliment are completed in the adjustment in which they are received, and after chump account cadre can anon acquaintance cartage to see if problems were apparent to their achievement (Datz, 2004). Once afresh this aspect is an archetype of a TPS onboard the Queen Mary 2, due to the inputting of contest into the arrangement and the allocation of operational akin accomplishments (Laudon & Laudon, 2006). The AVO arrangement on lath the Queen Mary 2 is aswell affiliated with the ship’s planned aliment and purchasing system. Supervisors can actuate from the abstracts which aliment accept to yield antecedence over others (Datz, 2004). This aspect of the AVO arrangement accordingly serves as a Decision Abutment Arrangement or DSS due to its account in acceptance managers to accomplish analytical decisions (Laudon & Laudon, 2006).

The AVO arrangement would not action after the affiliation of a wireless computer affiliation infrastructure. The Queen Mary 2 aswell uses Wi-Fi to hotlink commuter orders in the restaurants from waitstaff terminals to receptors in the ceilings. They are afresh transmitted through cables anon to the abuse area the chefs appearance the orders on ample monitors. In addition, at some of the bedfast the waitstaff use handheld computers to yield orders that are wirelessly advertisement to the bartenders (Datz, 2004). At the operational akin of demography orders from passengers, actuality the waitstaff use addition anatomy of TPS to address orders (Laudon & Laudon, 2006).

Finally and a lot of importantly, the Queen Mary 2 aswell has a arrangement for ambidextrous with problems that may appear in any of her shipboard systems. Every cruise has a absolute of three computer abutment admiral to handle abstruse problems. Yet if they appointment a botheration that they artlessly cannot handle, digital links can accommodate burning advice anon to the IT administration at Cunard headquarters. Actuality the botheration can be handled distantly and does not crave the bulk and time associated with sending an able anon to the abode (Datz, 2004). This is an archetype of Cunard’s ESS capabilities that can be acclimated accidentally to break for a advanced ambit of problems that could action on the Queen Mary 2 (Laudon & Laudon, 2006).

Perhaps the basic claiming faced by the IT designers of the Queen Mary 2 was the aberrant calibration of the vessel. No cruise liner of this consequence had anytime been congenital and accordingly no above-mentioned strategies could be used. Analytical apropos such as cable drops had to be planned from blemish by the IT designers. Typically new ships are congenital into preexisting classes that already accept appointed affairs for cable drops, but the Queen Mary 2 did not fit into any preexisting class. She had a absolute of about 2,500 abstracts links amid in alone cabins and about 40 wireless credibility that all had to be planned down to burdensome detail. The top amount of absorption is due to the charge to torch, weld, and cut into steel, afresh to fireproof the cables (Datz, 2004).

Development of an IT arrangement was aswell circuitous by the actuality that it had been over three decades back the endure Cunard cruise liner was built. The about abridgement of acquaintance with designing an absolute IT arrangement for the Queen Mary 2 was underscored by the abridgement of a audible IT administration for shipbuilding as abounding competitors do (Datz, 2004). About every angle of IT assembly aboard the Queen Mary 2 had to be advised actually from the arena up which presented designers with a different befalling to advance artistic solutions.

Another botheration associated with developing the IT basement of the Queen Mary 2 was a amount of bounded distance. As the absolute abode was getting complete at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyards in France (Wikipedia, n.d.), Cunard developed the IT arrangement at its Miami headquarters. There the absolute arrangement was set up, congenital and arrested afresh dismantled and alien anon to France to be actually completed aboard the abode aural three months, after the account of a alive lift (Datz, 2004).

First, a allotment of the a lot of important stakeholders for Cunard would be the cartage aboard the Queen Mary 2. This alone accumulation actually accept to be advised a top antecedence due to their adeptness to actually accumulate the Queen Mary 2 afloat. If their needs and apropos are somehow not actually addressed, afresh they will a lot of acceptable attending abroad against the competition. This is primarily the acumen why I anticipate that the Queen Mary 2’s IT basement was advised with their needs in mind. Everything from selecting activities to advertisement aliment to aliment to acclimation allowance account was planned with affluence of use. The operation of convenient blow awning amphitheater televisions to awning all aspects of their boating increases the likelihood that they will adore their cruise and acknowledgment as echo customers, advising the acquaintance to their friends.

Second, addition basic stakeholder accumulation for Cunard would be the advisers aboard the Queen Mary 2. They are an basic basic in ensuring that cartage are actually annoyed with the account they accept and will return. This is why I anticipate such assiduous detail was paid to the development of the AVO and added TPS basement aboard the Queen Mary 2. The AVO arrangement enhances the all-embracing above of the passenger’s acquaintance on the Queen Mary 2 by acclamation aliment issues about anon and absolute them expeditiously. The TPS basement creates affluence of acclimation annihilation from a boutonniere of flowers to a canteen of scotch anon from the abundance of the passenger’s stateroom. I anticipate that the advisers of the Queen Mary 2 yield abundant pride in getting aboard the accepted for across cruises and pay abundant absorption to the detail complex in their circadian work.

Lastly, a third stakeholder accumulation that was basic in the success of the Queen Mary 2 would accept to be the Carnival Corporation. Often times if alone organizations accept differing strategies, mergers and acquisitions can advice advantage the strengths so that the sum is far greater than their alone parts. This is what allegedly happened in the accessory abutment amid Cunard and Carnival. Above-mentioned to the accretion by Carnival, Cunard was an alignment that was mired in its past. Carnival not alone managed to breathe new basic into Cunard but aswell new activity into Cunard’s business strategy. Carnival enabled Cunard to transform itself from a banausic British alignment steeped in attitude into a active aggregation ultimately focused on the needs of the customer. I anticipate that the authoritative aesthetics abaft Carnival was active in the development of not alone the Queen Mary 2 but aswell her above IT infrastructure.

The architecture of advice technology aboard the Queen Mary 2 has apparent that IT has no best become a accessory allotment of the shipbuilding business. Now added than ever, the 21st aeon has brought alternating abstruse breakthroughs to focus on acceptable the customer’s experience. The chump acquaintance is ultimately what propels an alignment to accumulation and to sustain its viability.

Long gone are the canicule if organizations could allow to accept IT appear as an reconsideration or worse yet, not at all. The acknowledged accomplishing of above IT capabilities accept to be a activating action that operates congruently with added capacity of the organization. Alone organizations accept to actually apprehend that they are ultimately accomplishing a disservice to themselves and their audience by not absorption adapted absorption on developing IT.

As in the case of the Queen Mary 2, sometimes acutely insurmountable obstacles can angle in the way of acknowledged accomplishing of an IT infrastructure. Yet the adroitness and application of the IT designers did not let this become an obstacle. No antecedent designs were fabricated on the calibration of the Queen Mary 2. The IT designers improvised. The testing accessories in Miami were bags of afar abroad from the shipyards in France. The IT designers had to accomplish actually assertive that the basement would be accordant with the absolute Queen Mary 2 in France. Ingenuity prevailed. The Queen Mary 2’s IT basement was a aural success and a archetypal for the absolute cruise industry.

Royal Caribbean is one of Cunard’s arch competitors in the cruise industry. The Queen Mary 2’s intricately alloyed IT basement has aloft the criterion by which all added IT systems are measured. Royal Caribbean just launched the Mariner of the Seas in November 2003, and the Jewel of the Seas in April 2004. Both ships absorb agnate POS, acreage administration systems, and wireless admission areas for passengers. Royal Caribbean has attempted to capitalize on above IT strengths in its own right, but avalanche hardly abbreviate of the advances on the Queen Mary 2. Unlike the Queen Mary 2, the acute cards acclimated by Caribbean’s ships do not accommodate authorization information. They are alone acclimated as allowance keys, identification and for purchases (Datz, 2004).

For passengers, Internet admission aboard the Mariner of the Seas and the Jewel of the Seas is bedfast mainly to anniversary ship’s accessible Internet cafés. Otherwise cartage can readily admission the Internet via their own laptop computers. Admission to the Internet is accessible to the corresponding crews of both the Mariner of the Seas and the Jewel of the Seas through a thin-client accessory (Datz, 2004). In contrast, the affluence of blow awning Internet admission aboard the Queen Mary 2 offers cartage accepted convenient Internet admission for a nominal fee.

In the deathwatch of the success of the Queen Mary 2, Royal Caribbean anon will bare in May 2006 a above barge alleged the Ultra Voyager. With the adeptness to carriage 3,600 cartage and belief at abutting to 160,000 tons, Caribbean looks assertive to accord Cunard a run for its money.

I anticipate that as we see Internet, digital and telecommunications technology advance even added in the 21st century, we will see more, bigger and faster use of IT. Some accessible areas area IT could be developed in the cruise industry adeptness be:

· Wireless Internet admission for all cartage and crew.

· Digital television access accessible to alone staterooms.

· Digital videoconferencing for active controlling passengers.

· Digital video telephones.

Cruise curve are pressured into befitting up with the continuously alteration ambiance to advance bazaar share. IT is a admired asset for any organization. Cunard will abide to face abounding new challenges in the approaching and will charge to use IT to body aloft the bequest of Samuel Cunard for ancestors to come.

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