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Ac Milan

In: Business and Management

Submitted By balighov
Words 2948
Pages 12
AC MILAN

Fall 2014

Part 1: The Company
Back on December 16, 1899 Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club was officially formed, but the first time Milan's name appeared publicly was on Monday, December 18 in an article by the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. Founded by English lace-maker expatriate Herbert Kilpin and businessman Alfred Edwards, the AC Milan become quickly one the most prestigious football teams in Italy and Europe. Thus, the fact it was founded by English men made the club named Milan, the city name pronounced in English, instead of pronouncing it Milano, as for the all-time rival FC Internazionale Milano.
The Associazione Calcio Milan has spent almost its entire history in the top flight of the Italian Football Championship, the Serie A. To date, AC Milan is the second most titled club in the world with 7 champions’ league titles, among other international trophies, right behind the Real Madrid and its 10 champions’ league titles (taking into consideration that Real Madrid won half of its champions’ league titles in the 60’s.) However, under the last 28 years of Italian Billionaire and Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s chiarmanship, the Associazione Calcio Milan have won more titles than any other team worldwide. Thus, Silvio Berlusconi is considered as the most successful football club president of all times, even if there is a debate about it since Real Madrid fans consider Santiago Bernabeu as the owner of this title because of his 60’s successes.
Throughout its history, the AC Milan has left its mark over the European Football. Indeed, the club has seen many prodigious players wearing the red and black shirt, but also several fabulous coaches that had led the team to some of the most memorable wins and records. For instance, the Swedish magic trio formed of Gunnar Nordhal, Nils Liedholm and Gunnar Gren, nicknamed “Gre-No-Li” in the 50’s, started a new era in the Milan Italian domination history. Another extraordinary trio, from Netherlands this time, was formed by three times “ballon d’or” winner Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard, shoved the team, under the command of considered greatest coach of football modern era Arrigo Sacchi, to win the European Champions League two times in a row, thing no other team succeeded to achieve since then. Among these players, the Via Turrati club (as called in Italy after the club’s headquarter street name) have also seen other legends as Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Rui Costa, Andriy Shevchenko, Kaka, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta, Ronaldo (the Brazilian), Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for players. These legends were coached by other legendary tacticians as Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Cappello, Carlo Ancelloti, and so on.
Thus, all the successes and trophies obtained through decades because of the participation of best players of their times from all around the world made the AC Milan one of the most feared, respected and well know clubs in the world. Their red and black jersey and “devils” or “rossoneri” (red and black in Italian) nicknames make anyone directly think of the Milan club along with its history of successes but also failures (as of the Istambul champions league final game lost in the penalties shootout against Liverpool while Milan was advantaged by 3 goal after half time) and creates a customer value of the AC Milan brand which make it one of the most valuable sport club in the world.
Nowadays, the AC Milan is entering a new era with the transfer of powers from old time president Silvio Berlusconi and his vice-president Adriano Galliani to the president’s young daughter Barbara Berlusconi, as she is now ranked in third position in the clubs officers chart.

In fact, the club is facing, since 2008, financial problems and is cutting its operational (wages and salaries) and reducing considerably its transfers budgets. However, the new economic strategy resides in making the club become self-efficient and not relying on Berlusconi’s massive investments through his wealthy conglomerate Fininvest, which owns the club. However, according to this strategy, and one of the recent successes of Barbara Berlusconi, the creation of Casa Milan, which is the new modern high-tech headquarter of the AC Milan (which is no more in Via Turrati), including a museum on the glory of the club, restaurants, shops and so on. This great success is adding value to the club, who already was recognized as a model of technology uses and modern practices through its Milan Lab Medical Center and Milanello Training Center.

Part 2: Description of the MilanLab, Milanello, E-Commerce and Information System As stated above, the Associazione Calcio Milan benefits from many Information Technology facilities. First one to come to mind is the obviously the MilanLab. Indeed, the MilanLab is the AC Milan’s high tech interdisciplinary scientific research center. The center’s headquarters is at the Milanello sports centre and has been operating since March 2002.
MilanLab provides technological support within the decision making process that aims to provide the best possible management of the club’s players individual well-being and health.

“The Mission of MilanLab is to optimize the subject’s efforts as they seek to achieve their sporting objectives and/or general health objectives”
Innovative ways to-do combined with science and technology made the MilanLab achieve excellence using Information Technology in the goal of attaining sportive excellence.
Because of these reasons, MilanLab is a model in the sport industry. However, the MilanLab is only one the many ways Milan is benefiting from technology. Another great example is the E-Store. In fact, the company has one the most efficient e-commerce online store with sales from all around the world, and a strategy of penetration of the Asian market (especially after recruiting Japanese international player Keisuke Honda), historically dominated by British Clubs (Manchester United, Liverpool…) The Milan E-Store does not only sell AC Milan jersey, the product one can allow to buy range from bags, mugs, shoes and jackets to events tickets and seasonal subscription.

In addition to that, AC Milan benefits from internet for a Customer Relationship Management as it has active Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Instagram, Flickr, Goolge+ Accounts and a Youtube Channel. This way the club is always updating the supporters and customers with any recent activity or promotion. More, there is also a Milan TV Channel.
As a result of this, one can easily spot the huge variety of products and services the company is offering while benefiting from all recent Information and Communication Technologies, E-commerce and Customer Relationship Management. These are factors that make a company more competitive and profitable over its competitors.
Last but not least, these factors display all the efforts implemented to achieve strategic and business goals. However, the focus of this paper will be on a different Information System build for high level companies and that the organization enjoys using since 2010. Indeed, Tagetik is the new Unified Performance Management Information System the AC Milan implemented a few years ago. This Information System is a solution for companies that seek a clearly superior level of financial expertise in a single unified solution for planning, forecasting, consolidating, close, reporting, profitability management, disclosure, governance, risk, compliance and analysis.
In the past, AC Milan used to rely on Microsoft Office products for planning, reporting, forecasting and analysis. Then the company needed for more accurate forecasts, faster reporting cycles and deeper analysis. As a result, there was a need to implement a new Corporate Performance Management System.
On account of this, the organization’s goal was to implement a single solution that could flexibly manage its changing internal and external requirements on financial information, but also access its underlying systems as well as other key applications, for example, the ones that contains information on player’s performance.
After evaluating several leading Corporate Performance Management Systems, including Oracle Hyperion, SAP Outlooksoft, and IBM, the company chose Tagetik to unify its various management processes. In addition to its strong integration with Microsoft application, the software also provides powerful auditing features such as the automatic production of notes as well as drill-down and drill-through options for tracking individual values.
Therefore, implementing Tagetik was through 4 steps:
Step 1 was about financial planning, consolidation, financial close and transfer data to Fininvest (whose AC Milan is a subsidiary) first. Step 2 was the standard reporting in compliance with UEFA and COVISOC guidelines and norms. Then the Step 3 was about the performance and contract management for AC Milan’s individual players. It took the organization 11 months to implement these 3 first steps. The fourth and last step was integrating new information in management reporting and enhancing budget-actual comparisons.
After switching to Tagetik, the company noticed an instant improvement in the quality of information. In fact, users can now access and analyze a wide range of information in a single, reliable source and easily share it with others. Since the software automates many different processes, users can eliminate duplicate tasks and save valuable time. More, the AC Milan organization has gained the insight it needs to effectively measure each player’s performance during individual matches of the Italian football league – the Serie A, as a well as prestigious tournaments such as the Champions’ League.

Part 3: Improvements following the SDLC The previous part displayed the functions and impact of a high performance Corporate Performance Management System. It showed so many improvements the organization benefited from that one might think that the job is over. However, improvement is never a finite process. As seen in every Software Development Life Cycle, the last step is the Maintenance. This simply means that every system still needs changes to be implemented and update to be done. On account of this, in this part, we will focus on the aspects the organization needs improve in, by implementing an Information System that can be integrated with already existing Tagetik Corporate Performance Management System. The Tagetik software is more focused on the financial aspect of the company data than on the sportive side. However, once we have analyzed the company over the last decade, one weakness trend seems to be recurrent. Indeed, the AC Milan’s football players’ transfers during these last years include a high rate of failures. The example are numerous, with every year at least two players whose careers at AC Milan will be shortened due to adaptability issues, errors of castings, overrated potential players compared to their actual potential, or highly risky player’s purchase. For instance, in 2013, after the sale of some important players, the company had a certain budget to invest in new players in replacement of the leaving ones. Consequently, the team bought Alessandro Matri for 12 million euros, which was the highest purchase the AC Milan did in years. Unfortunately, only 4 months after his arrival, the player was sent free to Fiorentina because of his very low performances on the pitch. One can naturally question how such a great club can make such casting errors that, when we add up the costs of all these player bought at expensive prices and sold cheap or even for free. The Matri case is the most flagrant one, however the club was used to waste money in these kinds of wrong investments as for Robinho, Niang, Taiwo, Emanuelson, Flamini, Aquilani… etc. No one of these player ever reached the level of performance that was expected from him and transfer market value. Thus, once we have identified the problem, a solution needs to be implemented. Following the SDLC phases, we will try to implement a software that would get rid of these problems and improve the players purchases decision making.
First, the planning, feasibility and initiation phase. The goal of this project will be to improve decision making concerning footballer’s purchase and avoid errors of casting. In order to achieve that goal, the organization should build a database of all available football players in the transfer market with enough criteria about performance, evolution, market value and much more significant parameters. The point of doing so is to be able process these data and analyze it to the extent to make right efficient and effective decision. Economically building such a huge database and implementing the analysis software could be expensive. However, if the goal of improving the player’s purchase decision making is reached, the money saved out-weights the cost of developing the system. Operationally, these kind of database analysis software already exist, and there are no doubt that many football clubs already use and take advantage of them, as for Sporting Porto Football Club or Udinese who realize added values of more than 100% every year. Technically, as for the implementation of the Targetik, the Information System and Information Technology required to process such great quantity of data and analyze is already in place, the organization should then need to implement a software that would be integrated with the already existing applications.
Then, the requirement gathering and analysis. In fact, the problem resides in the lack of information the clubs recruiters suffer from when making decisions. Thus, more information is needed in order to improve the decision making and make economically valuable footballers investments. Gathering the maximum data about football players, then analyzing and rating these footballers according to numerous significant parameters that play a role in the success of failure of a player are the sub-goals to be attained first in order to get the decision making process as efficient and effective as possible.
After these phases completed, the design phase consists on thinking of the layout and format of the new software. The new software should be able to get integrated with the existing, or at least able to back up the existing data on players the organization already stores. In addition, the new software to be implemented needs to be user-friendly as users should input new data on players that might come on a daily basis in great quantity. The data security should naturally be guaranteed and also has to be retrieved easily following some simple queries. Finally, once the data processed, the software should display meaningful information about desired players in short time period (players transfers always need club to be highly reactive because of high competition.)
Now that planning, requirements and design are over, the organization should partially implement the software in order to run it, for one transfer market period for example, after it has collected existing and new data. This partial implementation will serve as a test, during the transfer market interval, in order to perform unit, system and user acceptance test at various levels.
Finally, once the system has been tested, it is time to fully deploy the software and get benefit from it by improving the decision making in terms of transfers. However, the system will still need maintenance and updates, and any required change should be done on time.
Thus, by implementing a football players’ database management system, the organization could improve its decision making in the transfer markets and avoid any other casting errors that used to result in a great waste of money.

Part 4: Recommendations, Solutions and Enhancement Developing and implementing a software in order to improve decision making might solve the players’ transfers’ mistakes. However, there are always fields were improvement might be needed. Indeed, implementing a high performance software is surely the right decision that will improve the overall company performance and reduce its costs. However, implementing such a software needs people to get trained to understand how to analyze information and get the best use of it. Thus, training session or even hiring transfer experts would be the right to recommend the company. Especially hiring transfer experts who would participate in elaborating the parameters to take into consideration when rating a player. Another recommendation would be that the company should keep transferring powers to new young officers instead of keeping the same chairman and vice- president since 1987. In fact, during the last 2 decades numerous things have changed and Information Systems, e-commerce and internet communication play a tremendous role in today’s way of doing business. As a result, Barbara Berlusconi would better fit the role of the head of this new era AC Milan, especially since she proved being able of great accomplishments with the creation of the CasaMilan. Then, once we talked about the IS, there is still place to discuss the IT. The MilanLab is the place where IT is predominant. However, one can easily notice the high level of injuries in the Milan squad players during the last years. Indeed, created 12 years ago, the company should consider updating the MilanLab Information Technology that might be out of date. Moreover, and even if the company is doing well considering that point, the company should invest more in IT regarding the Milan E-Store in order to provide new products, services (tour operator for instance, that would organize the entire travel in order to assist to a football game from all around the world) and business models in order to gain a competitive advantage over competitors. Finally, the last recommendation would about ethics. The AC Milan is an international organization with physical stores all around the world and supporters/customers from almost any country. On account of this, preserving a century’s right reputation and good image is primordial regarding the economic loss that an unethical behavior would cause.

References:
“AC Milan” Retrieved from www.acmilan.com
“Case Study: AC Milan” Retrieved from www.tagetik.com
“Management of Performance” Retrieved from www.pdfio.net
“L’AC Milan pilote ses performance avec TAGETIK” Retrived from www.finyear.com
“Assiciazionne Calcio Milan” Retrieved from www.wikipedia.com

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