The role of information technology in business cannot be gainsaid. Many business firms have realized that technology is an enabling factor that promotes the attainment of business goals, and the Huffman Trucking Firm is not an exception. Business firms can realize better gains from utilization of IT tools such as networks, which can be aligned with business objective. Needless to say, information technology systems must be upgraded to meet the current needs of business and for the firm to achieve a return on investment. As depicted in the case, Huffman Trucking is making network service request in order to improve the current systems in it business location. With a goal to meet the needs of clientele, the firms have several systems that have been expanded across its business empire in Missouri, California, Ohio and New Jersey. Currently, Huffman Trucking has a telephone system that is made up of PBX systems, and Avaya digital phone system that rely on POTS and PSTN to serve the needs of the firm.
The four offices of Huffman Trucking have different systems of telephone networks. The New Jersey office makes use of a PBX intercom that connects the entire office using POTS lines with physical connection made of CAT 3 wiring. The Ohio office has an Avaya System that makes use of CAT 5 wiring to connect to the Cisco 10mb hub, which is considered a simpler way of connecting to network. This setup allows them to have individual phones at each workstation that is connected to the network through a CAT 3 wiring. The POTS standard, which is an old standard, is used in this office.
The office in New Jersey employs a different set of systems. The office has a PBX intercom that is connected to PSTN spanning the office. This PBX system relies on analog trunk lines and CAT 3 wiring to enable audio communication in the office. This office also has an external connection to New Jersey that is made up of a POTS lines. The PBX is split in a patch panel allowing for its distribution within the office. In Missouri office, an Avaya Digital phone has been setup. This phone handles all business communication needs of the firm and is connected to the telephone network via CAT 5. This location also has a PBX system and a simple phone connected to the workstations. On the other hand, the office in California has a PBX system that is connected to PSTN through analog trunk line. In addition, the office has a Nortel system that uses. The connection between the office and the plant at the site are connected via POTS to a PBX system.
Advantages and disadvantages of protocols used at Huffman Trucking.
The protocols used at Huffman have advantages as well as a share of their disadvantages too. Many vendors support the TCP/IP protocol because it is a well-known industry protocol that can be routed between networks (Hunt, 2002). The TCP/IP protocol also allows network clients to have internet access via workstation connected to a router providing internet access. However, the TCP/IP protocol has a high overhead that increases the amount of network bandwidth use that might slow down communication within the network. Another disadvantage of TCP/IP stems from the difficulty in configuring and managing it in enterprise scale, which may slow down troubleshooting or network upgrades. The speed of this protocol is also a reason why its users can prefer using IPX protocol.
IPS/SPX protocol is touted to be having less overhead as compared to other protocols. The IPS/SPX protocol is believed to be simplest and easy to configure. Even when this protocol is easy to configure, it cannot provider services such as the internet. In addition, this protocol cannot be scaled in an enterprise because it works better in a smaller network. With little support given by its vendor, the IPS/SPX is a protocol that cannot be relied on in for running business applications like those at Huffman Networking.
From the identified protocols; it is easy to note that IPS/SPX protocol is the widely used at the Huffman Trucking. Because of this, it is paramount that new systems be implemented to enable the use of protocols that will promote leverage of systems at the firm.