As our client's channels, programming packages, and theme packs continued to increase in number, their legacy automated systems had trouble keeping up. As a result, their systems were having difficulty identifying and maximizing up-sell opportunities and marketing offers for their satellite TV customers. The legacy systems were not flexible enough to accommodate quick and affordable business changes.
Our client realized that the complexity of their business and its speed-to-market demands were resulting in a need to change the current framework. They decided on a more robust and configurable rules-based Web service with a workflow-based architecture. This change would enable increasingly complex business services to be delivered at lower costs. Furthermore, this needed to be implemented without sacrificing rapid delivery to the marketplace.
Our challenge was to ensure a consistent application of business rules across different delivery channels, along with an easier method to maintain those rules.
The pace of business rule changes within the many product lines made using the existing systems comparatively unproductive. They knew that there had to be a better way. As a result, constant pressure to develop new channel packages and implement important changes in very short timeframes led to current business rules being implemented in the presentation layer (what the customer would see) and in the back-end legacy application.
The following functions needed to be accessible over multiple self-serve channels:
- The client's corporate Web site
- An internal call center thin-client application
- Satellite interactive TV (iTV)
It was also critical to gather and document the associated business rules to a centralized engine to ensure consistent application, easier impact analysis, and predictable maintenance across delivery channels.
This project required significant consulting effort to assimilate with the various business sources in order to derive suitable, consistent, and flexible rules while mitigating previously unavoidable resource drains. Having a single set of rules ensured consistent application of the finely tuned business rules across myriad channels and provided an easier method to maintain the rules.
VisionMAX was able to use its experience developing the satellite TV self-serve platform to satisfy these new requirements. VisionMAX built the solution on top of its incredibly adaptable VisionEngine, an application development and delivery platform that links a company's business rules with multiple back-office data sources and any front-end interface.
VisionMAX did the following:
Gathered and documented the business rules and flows for the self-serve functions and centralized them in the VisionEngine, which enabled the client's customers to:
- View current programming
- Change programming
- Impulse buy
- Notice recommended up-selling propositions
- Worked with the business/marketing teams to define the new call flows and conversations (wording) for self-serve functions.
- Integrated with existing back-end systems to pass validated customer transactions.
- Created a self-serve administration portal for client administrators to modify call flows and business rules, and to monitor system usage.
The business rules are self-documenting and customer-updatable. Testing time is dramatically reduced when updates are required since the rules are stored as metadata rather than being hard-coded, as was the case in the past. A single series of data flows drives all three front-ends.
The system was delivered in a short time frame (four months) and was on-budget. The system enabled the client to deliver increasingly complex business services at lower costs and within faster-to-market timeframes. This improved customer service, lowered costs, and increased revenues.