How Smart Are Your Widgets?
Yani Blanca, Vice President of Solution Architecture with Amdocs Product Group, has written the following guest post about how widgets should be deployed in digital transformation.
A first step of digital transformation is enabling omni-channel, omni-device access to self-service care and commerce, i.e. empowering (almost) any action from any screen (PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone etc.) via any touch-point (call center, IVR, retail store, self-service, mobile app etc.).
In principle, digital transformation should minimally impact existing back-end systems. It requires exposing back-end capabilities—typically via REST APIs—and aggregating and bundling them as widgets for insertion into the presentation layer (user interface).
Here arises an interesting technical architecture dilemma that directly impacts the business. What software architecture best supports the needs of omni-channel, omni-device functionality? What level of functionality should be widgetized? Or, more specifically, where should you maintain the business logic – in the presentation layer or in the widgets?
Service provider personnel know just how complex business logic can be even in the most routine processes, such as “Customer Orders a Product”, which can require the orchestration of literally dozens of tasks (represented by low-level API’s).
In the initial wave of digital transformation, service providers developed widgets, which performed very basic, atomic functions. These service providers are essentially recreating the entire accumulated business logic of the backend systems in widget form! This is a major, costly, time-consuming, potentially inefficient undertaking, which misses the value of widgets for digital transformation. Widgets should deal with presentation aspects only. They should have minimal impact on back-end systems and keep the front-end layer indifferent to business logic and flows.
Service providers would do better to embed the business process logic inside “business process widgets”, or what could be called “composite widgets”, and in that way minimize the impact and complexity of the presentation layer.
About the author: Yani Blanca is Vice President, Solution Architecture with Amdocs Product Group. Yani has more than 30 years of experience in Information Technology projects in the areas of Communications, Financial Applications, ERP, Billing, CRM and more. Yani helps leading service providers across the globe - such as Vodafone, AT&T , Telstra, Bell Canada, Telefonica, T-Mobile/Deutche Telecom, Globe, Rogers, Sprint/Nextel, Singtel - with needs analysis, and with the development and implementation of IT systems for CRM, Sales & Ordering, Service Fulfillment and Billing. Prior to his current position, Yani held leadership roles in Sales, Strategy, Account Management, Site management, Product Management and Marketing.
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The Three Prerequisites for Digital Transformation
Three prerequisites for Digital Transformation:
- Change the way you think
- Change what you offer
- Change how you offer it
If you thought Digital Transformation was just about making everything simple and available on mobile, you’re missing the revolution.
A digitally transformed service provider thinks, acts and interacts differently.
In this interview with Marc Smith, Group Editor, European Communications & Mobile Europe that took place at Mobile World Congress in February, Amdocs’ Rami Schwartz, President, Product Business Group, shares a simple, familiar experience that gives a taste of what a digital experience can, should and will look like.
Imagine you need to upgrade your cable Set Top Box. Today you call your operator and schedule a technician’s visit. On the appointed day you hang around, scared to leave the house, hoping that the technician will turn up more or less on schedule, with the right equipment.
Now picture a digital experience. You choose the technician you want from a selection of appropriately qualified professionals based on parameters like technicians you already know, how the technician’s availability matches your schedule and ratings they have received. On the appointed day, you receive updates on the technician’s location so you know if you have time to pick the kids up from school before he arrives. And once the technician has gone, you provide ratings and comments, which you can share on social media.
Watch Rami’s interview to hear more about how Amdocs CES 10 accelerates service providers’ journey to digital transformation, as well as how Amdocs CES 10 helps service providers to rapidly deploy and monetize solutions for multi-play, entertainment, enterprise customers and commerce.
About the author: Michael Isaacs has been involved in the communications industry for over 20 years, spending the last five with responsibility for marketing Amdocs’ extensive portfolio of communications industry offerings. When not running after his six kids, Michael is the guy connecting the dots to get a holistic view of industry challenges and opportunities.