Analytics & Optimization Autonomic Telecommunications Networks

Oct122005

This "case study" is an amalgam of a number of Blaze Advisor business rules customers. Each of these is in production and together show the potential for business rules in particular to change the way telecommunications company's deliver services by making their networks more self-repairing. A global internet backbone provider with over 1,000 Points of Presence uses business rules to resolve network faults and alerts. Each PoP embeds a Blaze Advisor services that provides rules-driven expertise on how to handle network errors and alerts without necessitating more staff. Tracking and correlating system-wide network alarm information is a very difficult, time-consuming process. A major cellular network uses Blaze Advisor rules to analyze system-wide alarms and information gathered from the entire network. These rules allow Blaze Advisor to determine the uptime/downtime for all equipment on the network and so route calls through equipment that is running to ensure large revenue customers are content. Not only does this reduce the process time for alarm...

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Analytics & Optimization Operational Business Intelligence means Enterprise Decision Management

Oct122005

Keith Gile wrote an interesting article on operational business intelligence - The Time is Right for Operational Business Intelligence in Business Integration Journal - it is not available online yet, sadly. In it he says that BI solutions have "less of a history with tactical decision-making" and that "The next evolution is toward operational decision-making". "It's at the operational level - where line workers and customer-facing employees have to make individual transaction-level decisions - that BI is often excluded from the discussion"He goes on to use an example of a call center representative trying to decide which promotional product to offer each customer during a typically short conversation. Now it seems to me that what he is discussing here is the difference between "traditional" BI and Enterprise Decision Management, something I discuss at length here. I don't disagree with any of his recommended steps except the one he has omitted - selecting the right technology platform. He identifies four steps: ...

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Analytics & Optimization Sun using business rules to improve availability

Oct122005

Process automation for patch release management requires decisioning intelligence - what patches apply to a customer's specific software or hardware. Symptoms, issues, diagnostics and configuration management are required to put software and hardware together based on maintenance releases, compatibilities…etc. In addition the system needs to manage event conditions and actions, fail over and detections. Sun Microsystems plans to power the upcoming enhancements to Sun Preventive Services with Fair Isaac’s rules management technology. Sun Preventive Services enables Sun customers to significantly improve system uptime and availability, and reduce incident volume and cost. As a capability within Sun Preventive Services, Fair Isaac Blaze Advisor will enable Sun to deliver enhanced risk analysis services to its customers. These services include hardware, software and patch-level assessment as well as the examination of a variety of other critical systems data in order to identify and remediate potential IT issues before they can affect downtime. Committed to...

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Analytics & Optimization Outsourcing and business rules – perfect together

Oct102005

CIO Magazine today started a series of articles on outsourcing, including this one on Simple Successful Outsourcing. This article covers the kind of outsourcing that most often works - transactional relationships - with over 90% in the study quoted saying they were happy. The subhead speaks for itself:CIOs who outsource discrete processes that have well-defined business rules are almost always happy with the outcomeWell this is all lovely, but what about a process you want to outsource because you think it has well-defined business rules but it turns out your business rules are different from anyone else's? Are you out of luck or could you still build a transactional relationship while getting the flexibility to control your business rules? Well not necessarily. If your business process outsourcer can use a business rules approach to automate the key decision points in the process and give you control of those decision points, you can "customize" the process without changing the basic repeatability so key for cost effectiveness on your outsourcers part....

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Analytics & Optimization What is the difference between data mining and predictive analytics?

Oct062005

In a recent blog entry, Ted Kemp highlights an article on the basics of data mining. One question I get often is what is the difference between data mining and predictive analytics? Are they different or are they somewhere along a continuum? The article he mentions has an interesting quote:At one end of the spectrum, a customer-profiling data mining model that runs once a quarter may only involve the data miner and ETL developer. At the other end of the spectrum, making online recommendations will require applications developers and production systems folks to be involved, which is usually a big deal.So Warren Thornthwaite clearly takes the view that there's a spectrum because what he calls "a big deal" here is what I would call predictive analytics (likelihood of offer acceptance) embedded in a decision service (recommendation engine) that includes both the analytics and business rules about how and when to apply it. Thus rules and analytics or EDM. However there is some danger in this "spectrum" approach. Warren goes on to say:It's best to...

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Analytics & Optimization Calculating the potential ROI of business rules

Oct012005

David Linthicum wrote a great article in ebizQ earlier this year - The ROI of Your SOA. In it he gives a mechanism for assessing the value of agility:Agility is a strategic advantage that is difficult to measure in hard dollars, but not impossible. We first need to determine a few things about the business, including:The degree of change over time. The ability to adapt to change. Relative value of change. The degree of change over time is really the number of times over a particular period that the business reinvents itself to adapt to a market. Thus, why a paper production company may only have a degree of change of 5 percent over a 5 year period, a high technology company may have an 80 percent change over the same period. The ability to adapt to change is a number that states the company’s ability to react to the need for change over time. The notion being that the use of an SOA provides a better ability to change IT to adjust to needed changes in the business. Finally, the relative value of change is the amount of money made as a direct result of...

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