Intelligent Workload Distribution

While I’m not doing much these days in the BPM space, I did recently have lunch with a friend of mine who works for Genesys Lab. I don’t normally talk about vendor products by name, but the iWD (intelligent Workload Distribution) product had a different enough approach from things I’ve seen that I thought I’d share it. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m doing this on my own time (and dime), simply because I thought the solution was interesting. Hopefully you will too.

In the past, the BPMSs that I dealt with (and the businesses trying to use them) were primarily focused on process automation and process management. Process automation tries to automate as many of the tasks within the process as possible. More importantly, the tools tried to put a process centric view around collections of tasks so that they could be more effectively managed. When successfully applied, these tools have delivered an increase in productivity, but there’s still plenty of room for more improvement. This is where iWD comes in.

iWD, as the name implies, focuses on the distribution of the manual tasks associated with business processes. It is not a BPM tool on its own, rather, it is solely focused on the distribution of tasks from your systems to the individuals that will execute them. Based on what I saw, you can think of iWD as a context-aware distribution engine. In some tools, a “worker” logs into the queue associated with a particular process and takes the next item off the queue. What if they’re not the most qualified for that task? What if there are other tasks associated with another process that are more important? What if customers have varying SLAs that cause one customer’s tasks to take precedence over another’s. By taking into account the customer and any associated SLAs, the skills and location of the workforce, and other factors, tasks can be distributed from across all processes to the global workforce in a more efficient manner.

Anyway, with context become increasing important in today’s systems, most commonly associated with location-based services, I thought this was a great example of using a variety of contextual items to improve the distribution of tasks in a BPM system. You can learn more by visiting the Genesys Lab website here. I’d love to hear other examples of context-aware computing, feel free to comment or send me a message.

4 Responses to “Intelligent Workload Distribution”

  • Not sure there is anything new here. The idea of a priority sorted inbox based on case attributes and worker qualifications exists in pretty much every commercial workflow product I know of. The more sophisticated ones support all sorts of tweaking of the rules that determine priority or who can work on tasks – eg if the number of cases in the queue for task x > n then add group y to the existing recipient list.

  • Thanks for the comment. I know iWD can also work across all task lists rather than solely within a single processes task list. On top of that, it is independent of the actual source of the tasks, allowing for global prioritization, even across multiple BPM systems. I’ll leave it to the Genesys team to comment further, I am more interested in the concept of dynamic prioritization based on context.

  • Dan Klimpel:

    Here are some of the factors that make iWD unique from other solutions.
    iWD gives an organization the ability to define and utilize the business value of a task. With iWD you can capture, prioritize and distribute your task based upon the value it provides to your organization to ensure that your highest value tasks are being worked first.
    iWD allows your organization to establish business rules and apply those rules across a single department or the entire organization. Within these business rules, iWD will automatically reprioritize and distribute tasks in real-time to workers who have the proper skill sets to process the task. To summarize this, iWD is all about making sure the right person, with the right skill set is working on the right or most high valued task.
    iWD leverages the Genesys world-class routing capabilities. This provides your organization with the best in class routing strategies and capabilities to identify the most skilled, available worked to process the task.
    iWD provides your organization with a global view of all the tasks. This global view provides insights into how your entire organization’s operation is adhering to your SLA’s and in some cases this provides the capability and visibility for some operations to define SLA’s. From this global view you also have a rich set of data that provides great visibility and gives you insights on how to better manage your business.
    iWD is lightweight and easy to install. This is a solution that can be defined and implemented in days or months versus months or years.

  • You’re not the only one that noticed. We’ve been looking at this to fill some of the whitespace between our SOA/BPM solutions and our human workflow-based apps (e.g. our process-driven CRM system). We can intelligently route real-time “interactions” whether they be phone calls, tasks (just a special case), or even better – social media interactions. Yes, all of this can be done in other ways, but if you’ve used Genesys for call routing, you can understand what’s special about broadening this to other uses.

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