Through my list of writing exercises, I found a scenario that involved a company within the fake city, Kelsey, that I used in an earlier writing exercise. The ideas of the exercise were to approach it from a communication standpoint. If you worked public relations or otherwise for a company that met some kind of a crisis, how would the company need to handle it. This exercise actually falls under several parts, and this is the part regarding the general culture of the fake company within the city.
Smith Systems Consulting, Inc. (SSC) is a premier information technology (IT) provider for many of the businesses within the City of Kelsey. SSC not only caters to small and big businesses alike, but the company also provides services to international and domestic businesses outside of the City of Kelsey. However, the focus of the company resides in the Western United States. The company structure and overall business model revolves around onsite services for clients and server network reconciliation at the SSC workplace. Not much communication takes place outside of using computers and the internet. Understanding the intricacies of why SSC runs its business model using technology is essential to realizing the success of the company.
SSC originally started with five people but has grown to 350 people since its conception in 1984. The employee workforce is compiled of technicians of varying degrees of experience and expertise along with a general management staff. Given the nature of SSC’s services, the workers generally work both on and off the premises. While the base employees of the company are all technicians and computer savvy people, the management follows a more typical structure.
The overseer of the company is a Board of Directors, a group of partners with equal shares in the company. They oversee the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. Below the CEO are two managing partners. One managing partner runs the private enterprise sector while the other oversees the government sector. Below the managing partners reside individual directors and managers.
First, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) oversees and runs the technology aspect of the business and is the only manager to do so. Second, the financing and accounting department manager runs payroll, taxes, and budget. Third, the employee base is run by the manager of human resources. Finally, the marketing department is overseen by a director that helps advertise and promote the company’s services.
SSC serves a variety of clients, regardless of their business needs. While many small businesses use SSC services, the four largest is Riordan Manufacturing, Huffman Trucking, McBride Financial Services, and Kudler Fine Foods. SSC provides database management, website development, and more to those companies. Given the wide scope and size of those businesses, many of the service requests and security risks come from those four companies more so than any of the others. Much of the business revolves around the four biggest clients, however, the company still provides services to others as well.
The relation between SSC’s services and the general public is a close link. While the general public does not directly use the services provided by SSC, the effects of SSC can be seen in the consumption of products and services from the companies that utilize SSC’s technology. SSC serves the government by helping maintain their databases and website. Given that the government directly serves the public, SSC indirectly affects the public as well. The businesses that use SSC’s services also provide products, information, and services to the general public.
The products and services of SSC are mainly centered around the IT field and providing those technologies to clients. Setting up networks, storing data, and website development is at the forefront of SSC’s services. Each kind of technology has its own experts and technicians that specialize in those fields. SSC employs those technicians through specific training and technological advance.
SSC provides network design that includes the physical aspects of onsite servers for the company. This includes routers, wires, cables, and other computer-based entities. Purchasing a network design will ensure a group of professional technicians that always help maintain and run the network. Included within that package is internet security, network installation, training of an internal network support staff that works in tandem with the trained technicians, and a consistent testing of the network’s capabilities.
If a network is already set up or purchased, SSC also provides database design. Many companies require a massive amount of information to be stored, and this is where database storage plays a pivotal role. SSC will provide the design for the database along with the installation, maintenance, support, and operating system catered to the businesses’ specific needs.
SSC also helps with the increase of revenue and company interest through technology. Some companies will have a successful internal and external structure, and SSC helps integrate technology into the functioning aspects of the company. Doing so helps maximize productivity, achieve business goals, and defines, develops, and supports software projects within the company.
Regardless of network or database design, SSC also offers website development as a main service. Expert designers will design and develop a website for a business to use. A specific team of programmers will work with each company to help realize a vision for the company’s website. SSC will provide the domain for hosting the website at an affordable cost and will help maintain and care for the website in all aspects.
Almost all communication within the company is done through the company intranet, emails, service requests, and memos. The employees work in individual cubicles that must be a certain height and width to ensure privacy. Employees are given extensive background checks. No personal electronic devices are allowed in workstations, and access to the company intranet is restricted when working in off-site locations.
Communicating with the employees of the company takes place within the company intranet via onsite servers. Service requests are sent out for the different clients and are taken by the appropriate technicians. SSC also posts service requests and security concerns for their clients on the company intranet. All the communication takes place directly through onsite servers meaning all communication comes from within and on property.
It seems like most of the communication is done internally, which poses an idea of proxemics. All work is done through specifically shaped and sized cubicles with most onsite parameters. It is believed that environmental factors are a large part of understanding a communication setting, and the environmental factors of SSC show this. All communication is done internally and through technology indicative of a company centered around computers. While most proxemics involve nonverbal communication, a small part of it exists within SSC.
An obvious Actor-Network Theory (ANT) exists at SSC. There is a dissonance between social interactions and business because of restrictions on company access both on and offsite. In this article, it is stated that, “Our social lives are fundamentally changed by the increasing agency of technology . . . causes consequences of digitalization in the broadest sense.” The employees are constantly sitting at a computer screen delving into the digital world. Those digital factors, mostly non-human, have dictated a way of talking, socializing, and social cultures. Each department communicates and works internally and performs its duties without too much interaction with another. This leans towards adaptive structuration as well, but forms an ANT.
Smith Systems Consulting, Inc. is a company driven toward helping the public both directly and indirectly. Their employee base is filled with technicians, computer programmers, and a typical business structure of management and human resource departments. SSC serves many clients of different business types and models by providing expert technological services in the forms of networks, database management, and website development. All communication takes place through the company intranet in the form of memos, service requests, and emails. Proxemics and an ANT exist within the company and are defining factors in the communication process. SSC is a thriving company with an interesting network of both digital and metaphoric intricacies.