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Institutt for informatikk seminar: Tuesday 9 April, kl. 10:15-12:00, Lunch room, 3rd floor

Building an Information System for a Startup Company - The BroadStreet Communications, Inc Experience

Jim Williams


BroadStreet Communications, Inc. started as an idea in the summer of 1999, was formed as a company with 8 founders in February of 2000, and currently employs over 300 employees with offices in 6 cities in the U.S., Mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia.

Broadstreet was a telephone company offering voice and data services to small and medium sized businesses employing packet switched, broadband, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technologies. This technology offers significant cost and service offering advantages over the traditional analog loops and leased lines traditionally used to provide voice and data services to a customer's premise.

The utilization of information technology to contain costs and provide a high level of service to internal users as well as customers was the ultimate goal of the information system design but with the need to remain with the boundaries of the business plan. The difficulties of building an information system that would integrate all aspects of the highly complex telecommunications industry is the focus of this talk. We will discuss the technological, personnel, industry, and economic issues that all interact in making system design decisions.

We will also discuss issues related to hardware, system software, application software, networking, scalability, reliability, buy vs. make decisions, requirements engineering, Flow through Provisioning, interfaces with the public telephone network (PSTN), reciprocal relationships with other telephone companies, and the difficulties associated with adopting new packet switched technologies for voice. Finally, we will discuss how a systems approach from the beginning provides an invaluable guide to achieving successful information system.

BroadStreet Communications closed down in December 2001 due to lack of venture capital.

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