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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Essay on SEO

Research Essay on SEO

Adapting a Writing Style

Introduction
Adapting to your audience is a crucial writing skill for one who wishes to reach a broad and general audience or introduce a new concept. Sentence structure, sentence length, and vocabulary must be accounted for when writing about a technical or specific subject in order for the audience to understand it. This paper will analyze a particular article and apply these principles in order to exemplify the adaptation process. The article chosen is an online instructional reference entitled “SEO 101: Getting High Google Placement”. The piece is a 12 page how-to guide for website owners who wish to promote their website through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. Although the tutorial is tailored towards beginners more so than experts, there is still a overwhelming of computer jargon and acronyms that can be confusing for some people.
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Adjustments
In this article, there are many terms and concepts that are introduced from scratch, which ensures that the reader will not have too much trouble understanding them. The main issue with this article is the presence of technical vocabulary describing concepts related to Internet practices and computer code such as HTML, Javascript and Flash. The assumption that all website owners are familiar with computer programming codes such as HTML is the first piece of evidence that indicates that some changes should be made.

Vocabulary
On the first page of this article, the author makes reference to “ tags”. As a website programmer, this may be obvious. However, for a beginner or an investor who is not familiar with computer language, this concept is completely abstract. In order to make this more comprehensive for the general audience, the author should describe or define the purpose o TITLE tags in a website before mentioning it. This issue reoccurs throughout the article when the author makes reference to META tags and A HREF links. A short introduction to these codes should be made before mentioning them throughout the article. Other terms such as ‘dead links’, ‘page weight’, and ‘dedicated IP address’ are not explained.

Article Structure
This article contains a lot of general yet useful information about SEO practices. Although it is broken down into 12 parts, the beginner may find it hard to find the information he or she requires. It would be helpful to change the table of contents to include numbering system, in order to provide a more comprehensive presentation of the different sections and subsections of the paper. Furthermore, the structure of the sentences is a little scattered, as there is little utilization of paragraphs.

Conclusion
The article chosen is directed at a general audience, which makes this analysis a little more interesting in terms of identifying aspects that could be improved upon in the aim of adapting to a general audience. The author demonstrates suitable sentence length, providing short and easy to read sentences. The author also does a satisfactory job of explaining most of the concepts throughout and providing definitions for terms. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement through adjustments, such as more detailed introductions of technical concepts and less use of computer jargon.
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Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on SEO topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Online Education Essay

Online Education Essay

Online education presents itself in different ways. This includes distance learning, computer-based learning, distributed learning, and lifelong learning (Volery and Lord, 2000). Although these methods vary slightly, they hold one common denominator, which is unfavorable misconception. While there are misconceptions about many aspects, such as the credibility of online universities and their learning potential, there are many indicators that attending online courses as well as in class courses are equally effective forms of educating oneself.

An experiment conducted by Nova Southeastern University, examining students enrolling in similar courses with the same professors with the only difference being an online versus in-class setting, examined this issue. The resulting posttest score average for online and in-class students were 77.80 and 77.58, respectively, on a 100 point scale, a minimal difference in favor of online studies (Schulman, & Sims, 1999). Research studies similar to this one have proved that online learning that borrows from distance, computer based, and distributed learning is a viable option for anyone wishing to pursue post-secondary education. However, one should be properly informed about the nature of online education before considering pursuing it. This paper will outline the reasons one may want to choose online education, the key factors to a successful and effective online education, and the advantages of choosing online education.
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Choosing a university can be a difficult decision in one’s development in one’s life and choosing an online university is not any easier. There are many considerations such as the subject of interest, credibility of the university, and the financial requirements and capability of the individual that must be evaluated. In recent years there has been a visible skyrocketed usage of personal and portable computerized systems. The economic growth of the Internet, IT, and social networking along with the globalization of the world market has encouraged many universities and students alike to pursue online education. This has created more opportunities and simultaneously tighter competition for students, with some students even deciding to take on multiple workloads simultaneously.

Whether one is focusing on his career while maintaining online education or simultaneously enrolled in a traditional university-campus setting and taking additional online courses, there are many reasons to choose online education. Volery and Lord place the reasons for the growth of online education into four major categories; expanding access, alleviating capacity constraints, capitalizing on emerging market opportunities, and serving as a catalyst for institutional transformation (2000). Meeting a state’s educational needs in under-populated areas can be more costly in a traditional educational setting, the growth of the amount of people wishing to study, lifelong learning has created new student segments such as executives and working adults. The movement away from public funding for institutions requires these institutions to search for new streams of revenues (Volery and Lord, 2000).

When students consider online education, there are critical factors that weigh in on the effectiveness of the delivery of the actual information. The availability of tools such as a course conferencing system, electronic mail, slides, and virtual libraries provide students with various methods to intake information. However, there are certain and important factors which should be evaluated when determining the quality or effectiveness of an online education, which all stem from the categories of technology, instructor characteristics, and student characteristics. The factors to be considered include the ease of access and navigation (Can they log in at anytime of day?), the interface (Is it comprehensive and appealing?), interaction (Is there sufficient capability for communication between the teacher and the student?), attitudes towards students (What is the instructor’s personal approach?), instructor technical competence, and classroom interaction (Volery and Lord, 2000). 

Although the in-class format does hold it’s unique features that may be irreplaceable to some people, learning in an online setting provides students with features that otherwise would not be available in a traditional environment. This is why it is undeniable that online learning holds many advantages over traditional education. Although it is true that some universities, such as Duke, charge a premium for their online programs as opposed to their in-class counterparts, students who want to obtain their diploma online incur far less costs than those who have to actually attend an institution (Schulman, & Sims, 1999). Online students are not burdened with dormitory costs unlike students who live on residence and they do not require finances for transportation unlike those who study abroad.

Although it does not necessarily guarantee an effective form of education, online studies also compare favorably with traditional methods of education in regards to standardized test scores. Two separate studies, one conducted by the University of Michigan and the other by the University Pheonix concluded that computer-based learning yields higher scores than traditional education, with the latter study showcasing a 5-10% increase of scores among graduates (Schulman, & Sims, 1999) .

While a traditional learning environment may feel more personal at an elementary and even high-school level, post-secondary institutions often offer very large classes. Some students may perceive this as intimidating and feel that it is harder to approach a professor in non-“student-centered” environment (Kohn, 2003). These students may find it easier to communicate with their colleagues as well as with their professors through an email/ intranet system.Furthermore, in an attempt to qualify the term well educated, Kohn concludes that quizzes and test scores are an ineffective way to measure the quality of education; rather that in-depth projects and portfolios of assignments are better indicators of one’s ability to learn (2003). Because online education relies heavily on self-administered exercises, it is more practical for instructors to pursue these forms of instruction and evaluation.

As long as students understand the reasons they would like to pursue would like to attend an online university, are able to evaluate the program based on technology, instructor characteristics, and student characteristics, and are aware of the advantages that online education hold over other forms of education, they will be able to complete fulfilling and rewarding study programs online. In fact, one who pursues an online education shows a disposition to educate him or herself and isn’t that what being well educated is really all about? Not just the ability to raise and answer important questions, but to be self-motivated to do so (Kohn, 2003).
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Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on Online Education topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fleet Management Research Paper

Fleet Management System Research Essay

Executive Summary
Z, Inc. core business goal is to provide best of breed brokerage and logistical services to its clients. The CIO, Bob Braudy, believes Z, Inc. can improve operational productivity and increase business by introducing a Fleet Management System (FMS) that provides location-based services and near real-time traffic alerts on its existing enterprise network making information related to logistical services available to the company and its clients. Today, Z, Inc. has an enterprise network that includes a Web site as well as Intranet/Internet networking. The FMS system will integrate into the company existing Service Delivery Model as shown in Figure 1. The company presently uses the Internet and wireless technologies to send and receive text messages to its contract fleet of independent truck drivers to communicate.

The primary use of the Internet is to access an online directory, a Web-based e-mail system, and other applications and services. There is an opportunity to introduce a Fleet Management System to track independent trucking fleets to obtain real-time location, communicate using existing communication technologies (e.g. e-mail or cell phone networks for voice or data), and provide near real-time traffic alerts that can provide at least one alternate route. However, the introduction of a Fleet Management System will require new contract negotiations with independent truck drivers.  
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The benefit is that Z, Inc. can collect comprehensive fleet management data directly on any truck in the fleet from the onboard computer using GPS information for remote 24/7 tracking and location data, instant e-mail alerts, activity reporting, and near real-time traffic alerts. The investment is costly and subscription services will have to be transferred to independent truckers to share costs. The timeframe to integrate and implement the FMS solution is readiness for production roll-out within one year of approval.

Business Objective
Z, Inc. strategic goals include the continuing growth and profitability of the company. The Fleet Management System will support these goals by increasing productivity of the independent trucking fleet by allowing the company to increase visibility of logistical activities by tracking and locating trucks and client assets anytime, anywhere. The FMS solution will also provide near-real time traffic alerts. The FMS solution will also improve profitability by reducing downtime, lowering fuel and operational costs, and provide remote vehicle diagnostics which is advantageous to both the company and independent truckers. Because Z, Inc. is focused on identifying a profitable solution and measuring its value after completion, the project team must meet the stated criteria.

Problems and Opportunities
In order for Z, Inc. to gain a lead over competitors there is a need to improve logistical communications between the company and an independent fleet of truckers. The need to have a solution that can be integrated into the company’s existing enterprise that provides anytime, anywhere data 24/7 to track and visually locate trucks and client assets and near real time traffic alerts is crucial. A unified solution is needed that can integrate the existing tools such as laptop computers, cell phones and other handheld devices, and Global Positioning Systems applications used by the company and independent truckers. The solution has to be reliable in mountainous regions where satellite coverage may be spotty. The use of the Internet via landline and cellular networks to communicate with independent truckers lack the visibility needed to track and locate a large trucking fleet.

The need to select three OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to participate in a RFP (Request for Proposal) has to be executed within 30 days during the planning of the project. During the 30 day period OEMs are invited to provide demo models and presentations of their products, including product roadmap for feasibility analysis. This is crucial to OEM selection.   

Assumptions and Constraints
The proposed Fleet Management Solution must be a valuable asset for Z, Inc. Independent truckers must support the solution, and it must pay for itself within one year by reducing operating costs to the company and independent truckers and generate new business. The company has an enterprise network that consists of the various systems related to customer relations, human resource, finance, and so on. What is missing is an integrated approach to fleet management that includes location-based tracking, traffic alerts, and voice and data communications. Integrating a Fleet Management System into the existing enterprise network requires only integrating the FMS servers and operational database which does not require any programming or coding.  Integration in this instance will require only connecting, configuring, and securing the FMS into the corporate Intranet. Internal IT resources can perform this work with support from the OEM vendor.

Currently, most OEM products offer GPS and location-based tracking, but automatic traffic alerts and alternative routing is a part of the product roadmap. To expedite the delivery of this feature Z, Inc. has to initiate a RFP (Request for Proposal) to candidate OEMs to design and integrate the traffic alert feature in advance of their present product roadmap which is scheduled in 3Q2011. The revision of the hardware platform that will be used to integrate the automatic traffic alert functionality is available presently. Some OEMs are currently negotiating licensing agreements with Automatic Traffic Notification Providers to introduce the functionality as a software upgrade. Z, Inc. expects to partner with one of the OEMs as an early adopter of the solution and therefore requires First Office Application (FOA). 

The automatic traffic alert functionality will offer a competitive advantage as Z, Inc. will be first to market this before competition does. This is the area where Rapid Application Development (RAD) is required. Z, Inc. has to negotiate with OEMs about designing and integrating the missing feature, near real-time traffic alerts, into their solution. The OEM will use RAD (Extreme Programming or Scrum methods) to deliver the solution in 30-60 days. This is agreeable to our project timeline. Extensive input from Z, Inc. and the independent truckers is required to support RAD development in order to meet the listed timeline. Concurrently, the Z, Inc. Sales and Marketing Team has to negotiate an agreement with truckers to increase per load cost by 0.5%, which may require mediation to complete within 6 months. The solution will also provide Central Monitoring capabilities that can be viewed by the Z, Inc. dispatchers or the Network Operations Center (NOC).  The business analyst team must lead the effort as a project team that requires participation from truckers, clients, and various parts of the organization. The solution must run on the company’s existing hardware and software, and integrate seamlessly into the trucker’s existing tools and applications. The solution should also require minimum technical support. It must be user friendly and must be easily accessible by end users, truckers, and clients and yet secure from unauthorized users.

Alternative Solutions
Options and Recommendations
There are three options for addressing this opportunity:

  1. Do nothing. Z, Inc., is doing well, and can continue to operate without a FMS project.
  2. Purchase an FMS-specialized software and hardware application to support this new capability with little in-house development.
  3. Design and implement a FMS capability in-house using mostly existing hardware and software. Based on the time constraint, availability of new technology, and in-house intellectual assets, we believe that option 2 is the best option.


Project Requirements
The main feature requirements of the Fleet Management System include the following:

  1. Tracking of trucks. Z, Inc. must be able to track the location of the trucks and therefore GPS position information is recorded for real-time location that can be mapped using digital mapping software or satellite imagery for real-time status and location, and visually displayed on a personal computer at the company dispatch center.
  2. Near real-time traffic alert. Independent truckers must have the capability to receive advanced notification of traffic conditions. In addition to giving directions, the applications must offer live traffic information and alert the drivers to bottlenecks, roadwork and accidents before the drivers get to them. Plus the traffic alerting must be able to respond with at least one alternate route.
  3. Central Monitoring and Tracking
  4. Other function?


Budget Estimate and Financials
Risks and Opportunities
The primary risk in wireless communication is a down-time in transmission. The possibilities for this may come from several sources, and forethought in fabricating a backup plan in each case would keep uptime to a maximum. Those situations that may cause downtime in communications occur in each of the phases of transfer:
  1. Computer-based crashes and offline conditions create a first-level downtime, since the origination of the messages becomes halted without Internet applications. A supplemental computer system, in another department or location, supplied with identical software applications and hook-ups, would be functional as a secondary service base for dispatch in the case of computer breakdowns.
  2. ISP downtime is less likely but still possible. Including a backup plan, as simple as a dial-up phone connection to another service provider, would mitigate interruption to fleet truckers while in route.
  3. Application interruption may occur when using the Internet as medium to transfer data to truckers. The outsourcing of traffic flow from a third party is highly reliable, depending on the source, but not always guaranteed for 100% access time. A secondary option such as MapQuest traffic online, or direct reading from Google traffic, would supply the Z Inc. dispatch with information that would be used manually in situations that require human interface. 
  4. Trucker-systems breakdowns are likely to be rare, but expected to happen over the course of a year. This would be a realistic viewpoint by Z Inc. when calculating the number of trips booked annually, the size of the fleet at any one time, and the number of miles traveled per contract. Implementing a secondary transmission unit per truck is not out of line, when considering the likelihood that each independent trucker already owns a laptop as well as a cell phone, with alternatives such as a Blackberry unit or RFID already installed with the assigned load.

The target result in fabricating a backup system to each phase of communications is to maintain a constant communication between Z Inc. and the assigned fleet. The multiple phases of data transfer require dissection of each step, from origination of data transfer at dispatch to the traveling side of the contents, between initiation of trip and end of cargo transfer.

Risks and Mitigation
Operations

Performance standards that support 99% up-time for day-to-day operations; Service level agreement that delivers performance levels of 99% or better of the time and fulfill 99% of its transactions on-time with minimum delay. How well the supplier manages risk factors associated with processes and handling fault conditions related to service interruptions. 

Security
The solution takes special precautions to guard against security risks such as breach of wireless transmissions and tracking systems that can compromise the whereabouts of truckers in transit.

Risk associated with contract independent drivers acquiring 0.5% percentage ownership cost of new technology added to each load must be negotiated on a short term basis as economic conditions govern the direction of costs.  

Cost of licensing technology and the need to choose from a couple of alternative business models that best fit the company business needs.  In terms of financing, determination about how much money is needed for investment and selection of a strategic investor.
Mitigating this factor…
Technology

Integrating company IT infrastructure to hosting provider as the need to maintain data security is essential. Flexibility of hosting provider service capabilities, cost, and performance are required.  Technological advances and platform migrations through modernization, delivering next generation software to remain competitive are necessary.  The technical architecture i.e. computing equipment, connectivity to the Internet, facilities, management services, and Internet security services (firewall protection) is important. Risk the software would be unable to meet business long term requirements due to scalability.

Voice and Data Communications
What should this feature of the product do? Describe how the existing voice and data communications can be integrated into the FMS solution.

Project Success Criteria
Team–B goal is to compete the FMS project within 1 year at a cost of no more than $X,000,000.00. The project sponsor, Dr. Bob Braudy, has emphasized the importance of this project improving productivity and revenue growth, and paying for itself by transferring costs to independent truckers. To meet the financial goal, the FMS must have trucker’s input and approval. It will be necessary to capture survey data from field testing and after rollout. The project is constrained by a 1 year timeline and should the project take longer to complete, Z, Inc. will then evaluate the success or failure of the project. If the solution provides good results in improving productivity and logistical efficiencies and helps promote a positive image to our clients as a best-of-breed Freight Forwarding and Brokerage firm, then the project will be a success.

Tests and Validation
A random selection of 100 independent truck drivers will perform an initial evaluation of three vendor products during the RFP period, and 30 days prior to integrating the final solution. The purpose is to evaluate the vendor product on the basis of features, functionality, and reliability for a period of thirty days before and after integration. Fleet Management Systems are mature commercial products, currently offering global positioning and location-based tracking. The development portion of the project is to develop near real-time traffic alert functionality. Near real-time traffic alert functionality has to be integrated into the vendor product and field tested by truckers for a period of 30 days prior to rollout. Testing of …

Internal and External Stakeholder
An important part of the project charter is the signature approval and individual comments of key stakeholders. Another important part is to get stakeholders to agree on the project charter. Key stakeholders are encouraged to communicate their concerns to be documented and addressed within the project. Z, Inc., considers this project to be a high priority and all resources committed to the project are expected to be assigned for the duration of the project. Testing and validation of the features, functionality, reliability, and security issues are major concerns that have to be considered within the project.

Governance
Discuss various aspects of governance from a project perspective… What ethical issues should the project consider? What are some of the organizational rules and practices to be followed?  What are Z, Inc., and Vendor responsibilities to the truckers and the public?  To ensure integrity and professionalism what laws and policies should be follow?

"For most very important projects I consider governance structure to mean those executives (C-level) and managers from the company who are directly affected by/responsible for ensuring the project is successful.  The governance board provides strategic oversight and guidance which includes necessary policies and resolving decisions that cannot be made at the operational (project management) level.  The governance group should be relatively small (a handful of folks, but who?).  In this situation, the individual who is project managing the entire project should be a member of the board.” (Dr. Bob, Team B post)

Project Closure
As was described earlier, Fleet Management System is designed in order to ease and improve Z, Inc. performance. It will provide company with the modern and developed tools, which will strengthen its competitive advantage. The process of introducing FMS into the company’s system is crucial yet complex and includes many details, which should be considered. Therefore, in order for the project to be successfully completed, several objectives and activities have o performed.

First of all, since the introduction of FMS in a number one priority for Z, Inc, it needs to concentrate on this project, using all the available resources. All the departments have to perform their tasks in the time periods, which were stated above. There should be no delay in any of the required activities. People from different departments must be assigned to work on this project and provided with all the necessary information and resources.

Second of all, the beginning of all the necessary internal activities should be followed by contacting and meeting the parties, which will be involved in the project development. Those parties are manufacturers and end users. Project initiators must communicate the conditions of the contracts with the vendors and suppliers, who will provide the company with the devices. Since there are five products, which will be developed for the project, each product’s criteria must be discussed. Since end-users will be involved in the financial part of the project, this is crucial to communicate all the conditions and terms with them. All the details must be discussed and contracts are signed in order for the project to move on. It is important that all the time-frames will be followed and all the deadlines met.

Next activity, which should be performed by the team, includes the financial estimation of the project. After performing a second task, the worthiness of the project will be more comprehensible. Financial department then will need to work on the budget and allocation of resources.

Finally, devices must be accepted and tested. It is crucial to make sure that one of the products, which is completely new, will be checked for a quality. All the products must function properly without any technical failures. This is the last step in the project before installing the system and presenting it to the end users. Z, Inc must make sure that all the products and devices will be delivered to the customers in the best condition and perfectly functioning.

The project will be considered to be completed successfully in case all the activities will be performed accurately and will meet all the deadlines. The major objectives of the project, which include delivering faster and more convenient logistics solutions to the customers, will be attained through the collective and dynamic work of the projects’ members.  

Any deviation in the initial instructions, which are stated in the project proposal, must be communicated with project managers, sponsors and all the stakeholders. In this particular project, which needs to be completed within the limited period of time, project’s team might be faced with certain challenges, which will have to be resolved with the minimum risk to the completion of the project.  

Final report will provide project’s stakeholders with the detailed description of the processes and activities, which will be performed during the project. It will illustrate in what sequence all the activities were performed. Report will include all the challenges, which the project group was faced with, and it will then explain how those challenges were eliminated. Final report of the project will be designed in order to give a clear picture of how a project like this must be completed, and what problems might occur during the process. This will mainly be done in order to better understand the nature of such project in the future.

Conclusion
Z, Inc has developed a plan of finding easier and more convenient logistics solutions for their customers. Company has not only found a solution for delivering better quality service to its customers, but also found a way to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors in the market.

The project is concentrated on an introduction of a new system, which will allow Z, Inc products’ end users to enjoy the simplicity and convenience of their design and new features. Innovations will include such features as: 24/7 real-time vehicle location, detailed activity reporting, on board diagnostic data, near real-time traffic alerts, and interfaces to Z, Inc. enterprise databases. Almost all of these features are comparably new in delivering business and will definitely serve as a great tool for logistics companies’ costs reduction.  

Above stated project proposal has offered a plan, which will assist Z, Inc in achieving its goal and successfully introducing Fleet Management System into its routine. It has described the major and most important steps, which should be made in order to conclude this project. Departments, which must take part in this project, were listed together with their major tasks and responsibilities. Due to the urgency of the completion, project managers have estimated and set the deadlines, which must be met by the team.

The most important section of the proposal is the objectives, which need to be achieved by this project. It describes the necessity and importance if such an innovation both for the company and its customers. The objectives are mainly concentrated on improving both performance of Z, Inc in the market and increasing its competitive advantage and on providing products’ end users with comfortable and effective solutions for their logistics issues. 

The proposal also included the description of each tool, which will be introduced to the system and their advantages. It claims that the new system with its innovations will change logistics practices and results and will bring them to the next level. This claim is mainly based on the explanations of each product’s functions and abilities.

The paper gives a clear and detailed picture of how the project is about to be performed. It includes covers such important points as objectives, tasks, people and departments involved, budgets,  etc in order for the investors and stakeholders to understand its nature and necessity of its completion. 
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Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on Fleet Management topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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