Jerome Reygrobellet presented the STMicroelectronics application where various TIBCO technologies including CEP were used to improve operational efficiency in the their manufacturing processes by “identifying and removing non-value-added tasks” as production proceeded. STM are in the semiconductor business – $10B in sales in 2010, 53,000 employees, and 14 production sites around the world, and launched this productivity improvement program in 2007, with the IT project started in 2008. The first version of the application was delivered in 9mths (June 2009). The project involved using RFID to track and trace the production components, and a “Smart and aware Sampling Tool” to optimise the amount of manual testing at each stage of the production process. The goal was to achieve a >10% improvement in production efficiency and achieve an ROI of less than a year – in fact the results for the first version were an improvement of 14% and an ROI of < 6 months. Impressive.
Richard Brenton Jr gave an excellent presentation on PJM’s use of TIBCO BusinessEvents for operational visibility – the control rules for the electricity supply grid, executing against operational events. The main point made here was that for true business control of rules, you need to not only business rules in the vocabulary of the business, but represented in the form the business requires (i.e. one shape of rules management does not fit all).
PJM have built a custom operations dashboard that includes the ability to control and update the supply control rules. Their rules management system or BRMS? MS Sharepoint! Sharepoint provides the workflow, version control, etc, for the “rule objects” that in turn are sent to the running rule engine as rule parameters. This exploits the power of the underlying Rete rules engine with the programmed rules being business rule templates. So Sharepoint is the rule repository, and new rules are fed to the system as events (with an update latency of 2ms). So a Sharepoint form provides the BRMS user interface…
Richard gave a good example of the power of the rule-driven, event-based approach. This past Summer’s East Coast US Earthquake (and subsequent shut-down of a major nuclear power plant) was followed by Hurricane Irene. PJM operators swiftly updated their control rules to suit. Given not many businesses in the E USA would have predefined rules for an earthquake followed by a hurricane, the ability to adapt “on the fly” using business rule technology proved pretty useful.
Doug Safford from AllState Insurance gave a fascinating overview of a large Insurance IT department’s migration from a high-overhead ($1B pa budget!) mainframe shop to an architecture-driven organisation. This primarily revolved around the introduction of a standard ESB – a business event bus in this case, with a standard middleware solution (TIBCO EMS) with a standard framework (to handle the governance needs of tracking, logging, etc). It also involved much simplification of the IT processes: going from 10 to 2 data centers, for example, and from 15,000 (!!) to just 4 (!!!) AS400-class servers.
Doug mentioned that the enablers for their Business Process Management were frameworks, services, events and rules. Of these:
- Services are carefully managed: they have deployed 4,000+ TIBCO BusinessWorks engines in the service and framework areas!
- Moving to an Event Driven Architecture allowed much more business control of their business events, such as standardised routing and de-duping. The events feed their CEP engines as well as their Data Warehouses for analytics.
- Separation of the business logic / rules was seen as critical in such a regulated industry; they could not afford to have volatile rules replicated in software code around their systems. AllState have standardised on TIBCO BusinessEvents as their rules engine (with 800+ engines today, and the fastest growing tool deployment for them).
In terms of the ROI for their investment, Doug mentioned:
- Marketing campaigns can now be deployed from new in weeks rather than 6-12 months, or from existing campaign templates in days rather than months.
- Rule changes, such as for routing leads to agents, can be done overnight, usually from the BAM reports. In one example they monitored the success rates for agents in closing business, re-routed more leads to them, to gain a 15% increase in closing rates…
I would not be at all surprised to see this AllState IT transformation to be covered in business management books and MBA programs in future!
Jérôme Rodrigues and Florian Splendido of Orange, the mobile arm of France Télécom, presented on their architecture for handling M2M – basically large numbers of devices communicating (here via Orange SIM cards) and requiring both state management and message routing.
Interestingly Orange had gone through a build vs buy (i.e. tool vs solution) comparison for their M2M solution, and found that the use of a high-throughput, high-availability/fault-tolerent “event server” (a.k.a. TIBCO BusinessEvents) was the better solution in their case. Although Jerome and Florian mentioned that they did not consider the M2M handling as “CEP” per se, the need for data aggregation and useage throttling / quota management meant that some “complex events” are certainly involved in the solution. Their other comment was on the need for an in-memory solution, with the volume of data precluding a database-oriented architecture. And they also use TIBCO Hawk for monitoring their systems…
Sumit Sadana, VP Integration Middleware at Barclays Capital, and TIBCO CEP specialist Mukesh Gehlot co-presented on the Barclays Capital implementation of a Dodd-Frank reporting system covering real-time reporting and auditing of Swap Data Repositories (SDRs). They constructed a Compliance Risk Reporting application that involved validation, compliance and reporting rules allowing correlations between trade messages (as events), and outputting tailored reports that are routed to designated audiences.
The performance / throughput and state management requirements pointed to a CEP platform approach, TIBCO BusinessEvents, whose declarative rule capabilities allowed for better rules management and the ability to add and refine rules as required.
Another TUCON keynote today was FedEx’s Robert Carter, CIO. Robert gave a great intro into the increasing importance of real-time event processing, painting the timeline of FedEx from the introduction of the first scanner in 1979 and Fred Smith’s quote on “the information about the package is as important as the package itself”. This history also covered the exploitation of middleware (TIBCO EMS) in 2002 and another goal for FedEx IT… “we have to be zero latency”.
Today FedEx deal with 2Bn transactions per day and 10+Petabytes of data. Robert said they “… need event decision capabilities”, and so are now moving to event-oriented systems (including TIBCO BusinessEvents). When you have a parcel travelling down a conveyor at 400ft per min (>120m per min) you definitely need to make your decisions fast!
I was curious that the gym managers at the Aria Hotel left the entrance open, but still asked you to scan your room card as you collected a towel and and water bottle. Well, MGM Resorts CIO Becky Wanta explained all in a keynote at TUCON – they are using (TIBCO) technology to gain the “deep knowledge” of customers to provide the “intimate experience” normally provided to only the casinos’” high rollers” (or “whales”). So they are tracking your every move in what they call the “inlife” immersion programme – allowing MGM to make better decisions for each customers.
It might sound like Big Brother, but if it means getting you the experience you want while in Vegas, why not?
I happened to be visiting a TIBCO CEP client in the banking industry last week when the UBS “trading fraud” story gained steam. Some of the smarter investment banks are using technologies like CEP to get a handle on risk management, which has been, and will always be, a significant area of interest for banks and their regulators. As far as CEP technologies go, risk management is usually concerned with trade-state management make rule-based approaches more interesting than the trade-stream approach typically used in automated trading systems (and hence the useage of TIBCO BusinessEvents rules technology in this space over the usual ESP stream processing engines).
Risk and governance are of course often seen as aspects of the problem: situation awareness and track and trace of trading events. I hear that at least one TIBCO customer for example is using CEP for Dodd-Frank reporting (also considered a TIBCO Hawk monitoring rule engine as well as TIBCO BusinessEvents CEP use case).
TUCON (the TIBCO user group taking place in September) has announced some impressive speakers for 2011 that are users of CEP technology: as usual these will be great use cases…
From the latest TUCON brochure we have:
- Orange on “M2M: The Rise of Contextual Machines”
By 2020, it is expected that the number of connected machines – such as smart meters for utilities, automotive GPS intelligent trackers, healthcare sensors, or home appliances – will explode from a few million up to a billion.In this session, hear how Orange (one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators) is preparing for this revolution by providing businesses with real-time access to this deluge of data. As a result: providing enterprises with the opportunity to change the way they do business – and ultimately change our daily lives as consumers.By collecting and correlating data in real time, learn how businesses can deliver highly valuable information via the right mobile channel to their end users – while they are on the move – including how:
- Consumers can obtain real-time information about their water, electricity, and gas usage, allowing them to optimize their consumption and effectively safeguard natural resources.
- Transportation companies and governmental agencies can track and trace containers in transit, ensuring the correct country sales taxes are being administered.
- Home owners can remotely interact with their domestic environment via home sensors to automate data-to-day actions (heating, air conditioning, lights) or take action on urgent events, such as a fire or burglary.
Featured customer speakers: Hugues Sévérac, director for M2M strategy and Vânia Ribeiro, manager of M2M products
- STMicroelectronics on “Sustaining High Levels of Productivity with CEP”
The production of semiconductors is complex, requiring several hundred steps over the course of two to three months. Facing rising global competition and falling electronic component prices, large-scale chip manufacturers must move through this process quickly – without sacrificing reliability – to stay competitive and meet increasing worldwide demand.In this session, hear STMicroelectronics – one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies – discuss how they sustain high levels of productivity at their assembly, testing, and packaging plant in France with their major IT projects. Specifically, the company will address how they are able to achieve this by optimizing the various metrology, SPC, and quality check steps alongside the manufacturing process with complex event processing solutions.
Featured customer speaker: Jérôme Reygrobellet, IT project manager, STMicroelectronics
- FedEx on “Shipping to Your World on Time, Every Time”
In the world of shipping, reliability and customer service are your business – which means every customer and every shipment matters. And when you’re in charge of shipping an average of 6.9 million packages each day around the world, operations must have the speed and agility to overcome any obstacle.In this session, hear how FedEx stays competitive with an event-driven, in-memory environment – one that can correlate data from the past with events happening in the moment and automatically redirect processes based on this insight. Also learn how this approach – in combination with analytics – provides the company with the scalability and versatility required to meet ever-changing business needs.
Featured customer speaker: Kim McBride, Technical Principal, FedEx Services
- PJM Interconnection on “Charged Up: Averting Crisis in a Large-Scale Environment with Event-Driven Solutions”
PJM Interconnection is the largest regional transmission organization in the world providing electrical reliability and market services to 13 states and the District of Columbia. To successfully balance an infrastructure of this size and magnitude, the software and control systems behind the scenes must be capable of keeping an entire world of real-time events under control.In this session, learn how this company transforms large volumes of finely-grained data into actionable insights – providing their staff with the ability to identify trends, sense potential problems occurring within the power grid, and efficiently direct energy flows before they become costly crises. Additionally, learn how this enables PJM to be more proactive in dealing with their customers, reduce operational errors and costs, and improve response times.
Featured customer speaker: Richard Brenton, senior technical architect, PJM Interconnection
- Con-way on “Seeing the Road Ahead to Customer Loyalty”
Imagine orchestrating hundreds of thousands of shipments moving through the transportation network at any given time. Then factor in the weather, traffic conditions, mechanical problems and other elements that could threaten a timely arrival. Add on the pressure that your customers expect you to be transparent and communicate detailed information to help their clients meet demands downstream. Welcome to the complex world of Con-way.In this session, learn how this award-winning transportation company is able to generate a greater level of customer loyalty by delivering a valuable and compelling customer experience: frequently providing customers with shipment statuses, alerts and invoices according to their requirements, and required reference numbers. In addition to hearing how this approach can greatly reduce the financial impact when a customer’s SLA or data requirements are not met, also hear how they will be able to better anticipate when threats might delay shipments and proactively adjust schedules and notify customers to minimize the impact.
Featured customer speaker: Maja Tibbling, principal Enterprise Architect
An interesting use case from the travel industry came up in conversation recently: an airline decided to upgrade its fraud detection efforts to be real-time and event-driven. This exploited their existing analytical applications for fraud detection in areas like ticketing, but made sure the events fed to them and the responses from them could be correlated and actioned at the time of the fraud (rather than in a report after the event). Result: something like $12M savings in the first year.
Not bad. Perhaps TIBCO should change the “2 second advantage” catchphrase to something like the “$12M advantage”!