UCB (A): Managing Information for Globalization and Innovation Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


The SWOT analysis will examine the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.


The UCB organization has all the resources that are required to achieve growth in this industry and also which leads towards customer satisfaction. The resources of the company are important assets for the organization that boost the profits for the company. The staff of the organization has the capabilities that are required to enhance innovation in the organization. Apart from this, the management makes use of SAP software and due to its use the assignments are quickly and accurately completed. This generates revenue for the business. There are three sections in the organization which are chemicals, films and pharma. The organization makes extensive use of its research and development activities for each of its three core sections. The task related to information systems and information technology has also been split so that there is no conflict between them regarding information sharing. Along with this all, different committees have been set up comprising of expert individuals who help to augment profit and also provide guidance for resolving the issues that are in the company’s benefit.


It was in October 2000 when the management of the company had took an initiative to expand the activities of e-commerce within the organization. A team was therefore, formed with the name of CHEMWeb. This team was formed by the Chemicals section. The main task assigned to this team was to perform a diagnosis on the chemical sector’s e-business activities. After the team had performed this diagnosis, the conclusions revealed that the resources of the team were not adequate and it lacked in the knowledge to progressthe tasks. Therefore, it shows that the management was weak in formulating a strong team for one of their sections. The company is facing issues of integrating the IT activities on a global level. Apart from this so far the company was successful in its business and was growing rapidly through acquisitions.


The company was now expanding beyond its historical geographic markets of Europe and Belgium. The company has therefore, achieved growth through globalization as its long standing goal for the organization. Therefore, the management of the company has now an opportunity to acquire other companies in other parts of the world to grow its own base. Apart from this, one of the opportunities for the company was to extend the existing SAP installation. This was neededby the staff at the early stages of planning for systems support for the human resources of the organization. However, Damien’s team had argued that the functionality provided by SAP was perfect according to the needs of the company. Therefore, the staff might have become demotivated for this reason. The company therefore, should extend the SAP’s installation. Although this is not a straight opportunity but it is surely an alternative for the currentsuccess of the business. Apart from this, there is the opportunity available to make statistical models from the information available in PeopleSoft. Also e-learning and e-MBA programs should be set up now considering the training for the global workforce.


The organization needs to pay its attention on some of the critical issues which are necessary for maintaining the performance of the company. The company should keep updating all of its systems, such as the MIS, IT and SAP so that it meets the requirements of the global markets. The database of the company and its operating system must be upgraded from time to time when it is necessary. Special attention should be placed upon the security issues. It can be seen that the security for TCP/IP networks is adequate but still as the business is expanding globally; the management needs to take strong measures to secure all the transactions which carry confidential data such as account numbers of passwords.


The current IT status of UCB is very robust and strong. It has a secure TCP/IP network which is due to its robust infrastructure. The TCP/IP network is very much reliable and connection-oriented. All the communication and all the data that is being transformed through this medium which is very much secure and the receiver of the information feels better about this and acknowledges the service. The applications can be simply launched through a web browser by logging in through each user’s individual password and usernames. Also the operations of the IT are split into global and regional operations. All the systems of the organization were upgraded with WindowsXP. Apart from this, another capability of the UCB’s IT system was that, the organization’s 3R Portal Project was a huge strength for the entire IT system of UCB. This provided the company with two set of advantages. The first one was that each individual can use any of the applications with simply a single username and password. Secondly, this project helped the users to access the corporate intranet and that system was password-protected. The management of the company is also using SAP which is generating revenues for the business................................

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