Analytics & Optimization Event Processing and Business Rules (and EDM)

Apr042006

Gene Weng sent me this great link on Complex Event Processing (CEP) - Workshop on Event Processing - Presentations and asked me some good questions. Some presentations mentioned rules as one way to process events - are they? This is indeed a key capability of business rules. Not only are business rules engines ideally suited to being event triggered they also allow for events to be filtered and combined to produce more complex events or to both send additional events and invoke other processes/services.  One of the attractions of using a business rules approach for this is that it would allow business users to collaborate with IT in the setting of the event policies. The IT folks could set up the events and data structures, typically a somewhat technical role, and then define templates for rules that business users could maintain. Thus an IT person might identify the various attributes of an event and how they can be compared or evaluated and set up a template. The business user would manage the specific instances - which attributes must have what...

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Analytics & Optimization More rules in more platforms

Apr042006

Interesting to see that JBoss has jumped on the rules bandwagon as reported, for instance in InfoWorld JBoss enhances middleware line.  Following on from the inclusion by Microsoft and Oracle of basic rules engines in their platform products this is part of an active trend for embedding rules. Despite working for a vendor of a business rules management system, or perhaps because I do, I see this as good news. Firstly it obviously validates the technology - major players in the platform and business process management space are investing in business rules technology as a way to deliver part of their solution (presumably the decisioning piece). Secondly this means that an ever increasing number of BPMS (Business Process Management Systems) and platforms have the infrastructure to support rules-based execution (Oracle, for instance, has defined "decision services" as part of its BPEL offering). This makes it much easier to integrate any rules technology with these platforms and this is key to leveraging rules across multiple touchpoints to get the...

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Analytics & Optimization High Tech CRM needs EDM

Apr032006

I saw an ad today for a session on the specific problems and issues of CRM in High-Tech companies. This made me think about Enterprise Decision Management and why it is so relevant in the solving of CRM problems faced by High-Tech companies. Technology-literate customers want self-serviceHigh-tech products have tech-literate customers. They want to be able to use the web (or mobile technologies or...) and serve themselves. They don't want to wait for you to be available when they have something they want at 2am. Oh, and they want self-diagnostics and self-configuration too. They don't want to talk to you, they want you to make it easy for them to look after themselves. High Tech products are often more complex to order, diagnose and repairThe first point is made more complex by this one. Everything to do with high-tech products can be more complex - how to assemble them, how to diagnose them, how to repair them, what to order to upgrade them, what's compatible with them. Not only do your customers want to do this themselves, but when you do send staff on-site...

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Analytics & Optimization The future of CRM

Mar302006

Scott Nelson gave a great presentation at Gartner's CRM Summit in London recently. I particularly liked this slide: I like this slide a lot as it clearly shows why I think EDM and CRM are going to converge. Look at the boxes - "differentiated", "personalized", "automated", "guided" - rules;  "predictive", "segmented" - analytics; "intelligent" - EDM. Predictive MarketingUsing predictive analytics to identify the right offers, right decisions, right actions. Right Time MarketingUsing business rules to process the events as they happen in true business activity monitoring fashion. Segmentation-based sellingUsing data and analytics based on that data to develop data-driven strategies that can be implemented as business rules. Guided InteractionsUsing business rules to script and direct CSRs and customers. Automated Enterprise ChannelsOnly possible if the core decisions within those channels are also automated. Resulting in differentiated, personalized, intelligent, automated...

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Analytics & Optimization Ch-ch-ch-changing….

Mar292006

Brad Appleton posted a great little piece on Unchangeable Rules of Software Change - Redux. He makes some great points in the article and I am going to shamelessly steal some. He identifies three pitfalls that are very pithy: Pitfall #1: No scope change-management so change overwhelms the team Pitfall #2: React to pitfall #1 by trying to prevent scope changes - "if only the requirements would stop changing before a single line of code is written, then the schedule wouldn't keep fluctuating so much" Pitfall #3: Requirements Analysis Paralysis to try and prevent problems His summary - "It's those darn users/customers/analysts that don't know what exactly they want at the outset. It's all their fault!" -  is perfect. This is the basic driver for many business rules implementations - those focused on rules that change often (one of the four types of justifications for business rules). Brad then outlines some rules that I also really liked: Rule #0: Change is Inevitable! Rule #1: Resistance is Futile! - There isn't a darn thing you...

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Analytics & Optimization Boosting Call Center Performance with EDM

Mar282006

Another great McKinsey on IT article - Using IT to boost call-center performance - caught my eye. One quote in particular leaped out:The next wave of improvements will probably come from using technology to automate contact with callers, to help front line staff resolve calls, and to handle call volumes more efficiently.If we think about how one could apply EDM in a call center, the first two issues come to the fore - automating contact with callers and helping front line staff resolve calls. These kinds of high-volume, automated transactions are the ideal target for EDM projects. Part of completing these transactions is to make a decision immediately, even when that decision must follow complex rules (state and local regulations that apply to this particular customer, retention policies, refund rules etc) and apply risk-based or opportunity-based criteria (estimated lifetime value of a customer, credit worthiness of a customer etc). Applying EDM in these circumstances means: Identifying the decisions that enable customers to self-server and call center staff...

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