Capstone Experience: Books-A-Million Team

The Books-A-Million (BAM) team has been busy this semester in preparing to deliver a new security change request system to our client. The main task so far has been doing an in-depth build vs. buy analysis. After the team established BAM’s high level requirements they did vigorous research on different systems that would answer our client’s cause. With this expedient information, the team created a scorecard that weighed the cost of each product with the functionality it offered. In this scorecard, we weighted different functionalities based on the priority of the requirement. Once the magnitude of the functionality was established the team ranked each system according to their core functionality.

We continued product research and made contact with several different vendors. We investigated each product thoroughly through live demos and webinars as well as phone conferences with the vendors to answer our questions about their products. We also spent this time doing some preliminary research as to what it would take to build the system from scratch as well as the related risks and costs of that route. During this process we found interesting facts about different companies that use these different systems. Particularly Courion, one of our highly recommended systems, has worked with companies such as SunTrust, Regions, and Sirius XM Radio.

After we developed the scorecard and narrowed down the field of choices to a few solutions, we presented our final recommendation to our client. We found that one of our off the shelf applications exceeded the others in functionality and was even efficient enough to edge out the option to build. Recently our client has been negotiating a way for us to work on a sandbox of the system until they are ready for full-on production. We are also conducting personal interaction with the vendor to insure BAM’s desire to use their system. The rest of our semester will be formalizing the business processes, working with the vendor on the system production, as well as configuring and customizing the system for Books-a-Million.

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