Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

@ Tibco TUCON: PepsiCo: Real-Time Business Decision Support (Manage with Events)

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This case is co-presented by PepsiCo and Infosys.  The business scenario is transportation management.  Transportation and logistics is a common use case for real-time information. 

The challenge was to more efficiently manage the dedicated fleet.  The cost of carrying the dedicated fleet during the downturn was exorbitant.  However, the cost (and risk) of not having a dedicated fleet during good economic times in untenable.

Showing a manual, labor intensive, decision making process to decide how to allocate shipment to either dedicated fleet or company fleet.

PepsiCo needed a way to communicate automatically with dedicated and company fleet carriers.  Needed a real-time business fact cost valuation for DF and CF trips, for financial comparisons.  Needed real-time feedback from carriers on trip and load modifications.  Needed a way to dynamically configure business rules.  Needed to automate the decision tree.  Needed to capture metrics for performance measurement.

Transition from PepsiCo presenter to Infosys.  [Little pitch here]

Tibco products used: BusinessWorks, General Interface, BusinessEvents and DecisionManager (business rule management).

Transition to another PepsiCo presenter.

Why BusinessEvents?

Provided capability to identify and quantify events and then take appropriate action.  Also, provided the ability to correlate events or create alerts based on events.  Provided ability to separate rule base from code base (BusinessWorks).

PepsiCo defines simple events and time events.  Talking about the event processing network: Event –> Channel –> Rule –> Action.

Now, he’s walking us through an event flow: New Trip Event from BusinessWorks source, dropped on JMS channel, rule checking capacity, another checking miles, another checking savings.  The savings rule is met, generates an action to offer load to carrier.

Walking through physical implementation now.  Components are Apache, Web Logic, BusinessWorks and Database Server, BusinessEvents, Tibco Decision Manager.

Transition to PepsiCo opening speaker, on business benefits.

Business Process Optimization:

  • Ability to scale dedicated fleet nationally
  • Ability to fully automate decision-making
  • Ability to strategically identify the placement of dedicated fleet and company fleet

Operational Efficiency:

  • A complex labor intensive is now being managed with minimum resources
  • An agile solution that provides flexibility to change in business rules with minimum code impact

Key Learning

  • Break complex actions into smaller actions that can be re-used
  • Capture enough data elements in your event for future expansion of business rules [“Context? of TripleStore from Vivek]
  • Involve business early in defining business rules, actions and data elements
  • Remember, the UI can kill a good system.  [To a user, the interface is the system].

In the business benefit discussion, the PepsiCo speaker kept referencing “Managing with Events?.  That’s a great mantra and way to view event processing. 

If you manage with events, automate known conditions, correlations and actions, then the people in your organization shift to only managing exceptions.  In management theory parlance, Event Processing is a technique to Manage by Exception.

1 Comment

How is it that just anybody can write a blog and get as popular as this? Its not like you've said anything incredibly impressive –more like you've painted a pretty picture over an issue that you know nothing about! I don't want to sound mean, here. But do you really think that you can get away with adding some pretty pictures and not really say anything?

Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.

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