Realizing Real Commercial Benefit from Workflow: A Report from the Trenches

Terri Lydiard, Peter Jarvis, and Brian Drabble

The AllDay Financial Services Group has the stated business goal of being able to sell any of its products, at any time of the day or night, in any place, and through any available channel to market. In this paper, we outline the business benefits this Group has obtained from the deployment of current workflow technology and short comings of the technology that are preventing the Group from completely satisfying its business goal. We then set out the research issues raised by this experience and discuss how emerging AI technologies could be exploited in satisfying them. The AI technologies discussed include information-gathering planning, general planning, and scheduling. We conclude by encouraging the formation of partnerships between workflow users, workflow vendors and AI researchers. Such partnerships will give researchers access to real problems that can be used to demonstrate the scalability of their work and provide evidence that will encourage vendors and users to exploit the technologies. The feed back will also guide researchers on where further research should be focused.


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