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Why use EDM for call routing vs say using a BPM tool?

I got a question in a comment the other day on the use of Enterprise Decision Management (EDM) for call routing. The particular question was why/when to use EDM for call routing instead of a BPM tool but it could just as easily have been about why to use EDM in place of the routing in a call center application or CRM system.

The answer is fairly straightforward. EDM is an approach to automating, and improving, operational business decisions. In the case of call routing I might, or might not have a business decision. I may, for instance, simply route calls based on call volume, queue length or geography. In this case I am not really making a business decision as the decision is inherent to the process I am automating. This kind of routing is best done in a BPM or call center application. This could be analytically enhanced by using analytic techniques to analyze process flow but it is still a process decision.

But what if the routing is based on the status of a customer in terms of gold customers, silver customers etc? Well then I am taking a business decision as to which segment each customer belongs. I might change the rules of this segmentation based on new experience or based on the analysis of new data (if I am using an analytically-derived decision). I might still use the BPM environment to handle the actual routing but I would use EDM to automate the key decision as to which segment to use for each customer. Similarly if the routing is dependent on how likely a customer is to default on any new debt (something I calculate using predictive analytic models) or their likelihood to accept cross-sells then I should use EDM to automate the business component of the decision.

These business decisions, the ones suitable for EDM, are those most likely to be re-used across systems or processes. One can imagine the website using the same decision as part of its personalization of the site for a customer or the billing process using it to determine which offers to print on the monthly statement. One could also imagine that business experts with no understand of this particular business process - that of routing calls - would have input on these decisions. Marketing folks might do work on cross-sell propensity and customer status might be managed by a diverse group of people. The details of routing will clearly be owned by the call center folks.

James - did this answer you?

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