Improved Decision Making Using Event Processing Program

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WHITE PAPER
Improved decision making using
Event Processing Platform
- Praveen Kumar

Introduction
As the Multi Service Operators (MSO)
companies march ahead through the
current economic uncertainty, there is a lot
of focus to reduce their operational costs.
At the same time improve their customer
experience with new products and services.
So what are the most common problems
that these companies are trying to address?
Based on research by Gartner and our
own interactions with a lot of clients in
this industry, the below seem to be on top
priority for most of them -
*
Enhancecustomer experience
through
value added features
*
Reduce call
center
volumes
and
costs,
by pro-active event monitoring
*
Achieve real-time visibility
on
potential
revenue impacting events to either
improve potential sales or reduce
churn
*
Improved
speed
to
cash
new
products
and services like Interactive TV
Both the business and IT sides of the
organization are trying to find meaningful
ways to address the above priorities. One
such way is to create an IT solution that
empowers business by providing visibility
into key events as they occur within an
enterprise for improved decision making.
The solution would be able to correlate
the events/triggers occurring within
an enterprise in real-time which drive
meaningful outcomes for the business to
act on.
External Document (c) 2014 Infosys Limited

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Today's increasingly competitive
advertisement, orders specific pay per view
actively identify an issue in the service
environment has helped the consumer
content, new service orders etc. Or if we
through monitoring of certain events and
to be able to move across brands and
look at other industries such as utilities the
triggers generated by end user devices like
products almost seamlessly. The digital
events could be those generated by smart
set-top boxes. By correlating the events
consumer is more informed, resulting in
meters, i.e. a meter reading going beyond a
and identifying potential problems, the
higher expectations in terms of the overall
set threshold or events to indicate demand
customer care can engage the consumer
end-user experience from his service
spikes etc.
early on such issues even before they
provider. As a result the organizations
actually happen. This will help improve
need to innovate and improve to provide
the overall customer experience, but also
an improved customer experience and
potentially reduce the call center volume.
optimize costs at the same time. This
With all this information and data available
is where companies will need to have
to an organization it could be turned into
insight into their business process and
very powerful insight and action yet few
the information flowing through these
business are acting on it. For example let's
processes for them to make more informed
take the instances of customer experience,
Organizations need to leverage their
and timely decision making.
one of the key focus of today's enterprises.
existing investments to create solutions
Traditionally, a customer calls for an issue
and platforms that not only provide pro-
in current service to the CSR to initiate
active visibility into certain events but also
a new ticket. It normally takes from few
support newer products and services.
hours to a week based on the request for
A carefully constructed event processing
it to be acknowledged and completed.
platform is one way to tackle these
In today's situation, the channels for a
challenges, but how do you get started,
As enterprises continue to adopt event
customer to connect with customer care
how can an organization approach this and
driven architecture a scenario is created
are very nimble (IM, self-service, web, etc).
what are the pros and cons?.
where there are a versatile set of events
The turn-around-time for acknowledging
being generated by different systems
and responding to the issue effectively
within an organization. For instance for
should also be quick enough. One way
a Cable company, these events could be
of improving this is to be able to pro-
those generated by the set-top boxes
when - a subscriber tunes into a particular
channel, responds to a survey or an
External Document (c) 2014 Infosys Limited

What is an Event Processing
Platform?
The "Event Processing Platform" solution was
primarily conceived for organizations having
business applications, capable of generating
business events directly (out of the box) or
indirectly (through additional development)
and include multiple source channels like in
the case of an MSO. The solution is designed
to capture business events occurring within
an enterprise, correlate, enrich and create
meaningful outcomes for the business to
act on. The below diagram provides a high
level view of what the solution would look
like for a typical organization.
Customer Data
Meta Data
Application
Subscriber Data
Meta Data
Event Delivery Module
Managers
Reporting Module
Internet
Mobile Network
As outlined in the above diagram, the
Event Aggregation & Processing Module
Reporting
Dashboard
solution consists of a few key modules.
Each of these modules handle specific
functionality and described below.
Process Work ow
Call Center
The Event Delivery Network comprises of
Alerts & Events
the engineering network infrastructure
Delivery Infrastructure
and the various channels which are
Event Cache
CEP
responsible for delivering the event data
ESB
from the source systems. This module
could be set of systems and applications
which are responsible for connecting the
external facing engineering systems and
Home TV Network
Downstream Module
Field Agents
networks with the internal IT applications
Downstream &
of an organization. This module typically
3rd Party External
Systems
could include the following among other
things, the delivery infrastructure which
manages the signal path along the network,
end user systems which are responsible
Figure 1: Event Processing Platform
for generating the events, Conduit servers
acting as an event gateway for various
channels etc. Example: In case of an MSO
along with BPM-EAI products. CEP enables
modules can be fed into this module for
this constitutes the video engineering
in analyzing the event stream and deriving
appropriate reporting to the stakeholder
infrastructure.
patterns out of them, to identify if the
teams. In essence this module will be the
events match a particular pattern. Such
consumer of the aggregated and enriched
events could then be fed into a workflow,
events for defining actionable outcomes.
governed by specific business rules - for
This could include business activity
aggregating the events and derive a
monitoring (BAM) dashboards, alerting
meaningful outcome.
modules - for proactive monitoring by the
stakeholders etc. The alerting activity could
be integrated with other applications to
The Event Aggregation & Processing
notify key stakeholder teams like Call Center,
Platform is one of the key pieces in the
Field Agents, Managers etc., on specific
Customer Data Module holds the
overall solution, which is responsible for
happenings in a business process within an
information for the customer profile details
capturing the event messages routed by the
enterprise to be acted on.
like - the Customer name and address,
delivery network. This platform is responsible
device and asset information associated
for capturing, aggregating and correlating
with the customer (MAC address, device
the incoming events with application
information etc.). Usually this could typically
metadata and customer data to derive
be a CRM system in an organization which
meaningful information for an enterprise.
would be the system of record for the
There could be an optional enrichment of
customer data.
Downstream Modules can be the consumer
the event data (based on the event type and
systems which act on the enriched
the application associated with it).
information. Further on, once the responses
are aggregated, processed and enriched,
the aggregation platform will need to
The Reporting Module can provide
integrate with downstream systems for
a dashboard view of things that are
consumption of this data.
happening within the enterprise in real
The platform could typically include a
time. The correlated data from previous
Complex Event Processing (CEP) engine
External Document (c) 2014 Infosys Limited

How has a leading Cable firm benefitted from an Event
Processing Approach?
The company specializes in cable and
Requirement:
the user interaction via the set-top box
broadband services across the US region.
remote controller. These selections are
As part of client's business focus for
As part of the interactive TV applications
then converted into an event with key
enhanced user experience, they had
initiative the requirement for the client was
information (like the set-top box address,
planned to launch a series of interactive
to build a solution to capture, correlate
user selection data, receiver info etc.) for
TV applications as part of their offering,
and aggregate user responses to the
a particular Ad campaign and relay them
staring with interactive advertising.
programs aired, provide visibility into any
to the internal IT applications for further
Interactive advertising is an innovative
network issues that might impact the TV
processing.
product, where in TV viewers can interact
signals reaching user set-top box, generate
with advertises in real time by providing
summary reporting for each advertising
their choices and opinions on the
campaign for user participation and their
advertised products. As part of this journey
responses.
The second key feature of the user agent
the key focus items for IT to support this
was to generate the iEvents from the user
program by building a processing engine
set-top box. An iEvent is a response event
for the user responses.
generated against a standard (dummy)
campaign across the MSO's nationwide
RFI is an interactive, information gathering
network (this is similar to a ping on a
and brand engagement tool that lets
network), from the user set-top boxes. The
marketers gain quick, actionable consumer
iEvents are then aggregated to create a
insights through in-Ad questions and
statistical map to generate the signal path
letting viewers interact with the questions
matrix across the MSO network. This will
The solution implemented to support the
via their remote controller (for set-top box).
help identify any potential issues with the
interactive TV application was based on
signal path for a specific region. This helps
Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format
in pro-active monitoring of the signal path
(EBIF) standard, which is an industry
Key to the success of this program was the
network and to take corrective actions.
standard specification for defining
implementation of two key platforms, a
This in turn reduces the possibility of an
multimedia content. The interactive
video engineering and an IT platform.
event not reaching the intended target
TV applications create enhanced TV
audience, thereby reducing potential call
experience to the end users, by allowing
center volumes and resulting in a better
them to interact with programs being
The video engineering platform was made
user experience.
aired through set-top boxes, using their
up of the video engineering and signal
remotes. The various types of interactive
path network setup for encoding the
applications include - pure TV based
advertising content and relaying them to
interactive applications like Request
the end user set-top boxes. The key part
for Information (RFI) via Interactive
to this is the user agent application that
Advertising, Polling, Trivia, Voting etc. - or
is built into the set-top boxes. The user
TV integration with Online applications
agents are responsible for de-coding the
such as Interactive Bidding, Social Media
interactive Ads and display them onto
(integration with facebook, twitter etc.).
the end user TV screens as a non-intrusive
splash bars. They are also responsible for
capturing the selections made as part of
External Document (c) 2014 Infosys Limited

The IT Platform is an event aggregation and enrichment platform which forms the key component in an overall interactive advertising
solution. This platform incorporates the business workflows and logic to capture, process and enrich the interactive responses from the end
user devices and generate the fulfillment request for the customers. It also generates statistical metrics based on the events and report the
to the stakeholder teams/applications. For example an advertiser might be interested in knowing how many customers were tuned into
the channel where the Ad campaign was played on, how many participated in the campaign, how many did not, what type of customers
participated in the Ad campaign etc. This type of information can be invaluable for the advertisers in developing targeted Ad campaigns. The
high level solution is outlined below:
Subscriber Data Module
Meta Data Module
Subscriber Data
Campaign Meta Data
Event Delivery Module
Event Aggregation & Enrichment
Reporting Module
BAM Dashboard
Oracle BPEL
2-Way Conduit
Event Data
Servers
Store
(Oracle DB)
COH Data Grid
Home TV
OSB
Network
Downstream Module
Ful llment
Statistical
House
Measurement
Figure 2: Interactive Advertisement Processing Platform for MSO
The solution was built on a typical BPM-EAI
orchestration and workflow logic for event
was built using Oracle Service Bus (OSB),
product suite, in this case Oracle Fusion
processing. The process component would,
and was responsible for integration of
Middleware - for aggregating the user
based on the campaign type, execute
the process component with the event
events based on the type of campaign.
the appropriate workflow to aggregate
data store, subscriber module, campaign
and enrich the user events based on
meta-data module etc. Along with that it
The event processing platform constituted
business rules defined and route them to
was responsible - more importantly - for
key components that made up the end to
the appropriate downstream application
connectivity with the external fulfillment
end solution. Like the Event Cache, a highly
and/or external entities. In this case, the
house and the statistical processing house.
available in-memory cache grid that was
process component involved workflow
It was also responsible for handling the
built using Oracle Coherence, to enable the
for processing the interactive Ad response
security - using client & server certificates -
delivery module to post the events in real
events for the RFI application which
for connectivity with external systems.
time without any latency. The event cache,
included - the workflow would sweep the
since it is an in-memory data grid provides
events from the event data store for every
a very high performance throughput along
campaign, enrich the event data with
The reporting module primarily constituted
with being scalable (supports both vertical
additional information from subscriber
of the Reporting Dashboard, designed using
and horizontal scaling).
module (subscriber data warehouse) and
campaign meta data, apply the business
the Oracle BAM component. The dashboard
rules to aggregate the events (Eg: aggregate
would give the business team a high level
the events by zip code) to create the
view into how a campaign went through
The Event Data Store is the holding area
fulfillment map for qualifying events, create
and also measure response across the
for the user events that are captured by
the statistical map for the events based on
demography. It provided a view of -
the event cache and written into the event
the business criterion defined to provide
tables on the data store. The data store was
additional sampling information on the user
*
built on Oracle RAC DB for high availability
interaction. Eg: User response measurement
The
total
number
of
and load balanced. The DB was designed
for a campaign, User product preferences,
positive
not only to handle large volumes of data
demographic data etc.
fulfillments created for a particular
and but also support faster reads/writes by
campaign
applying appropriate partitioning and index
*
The
statistical view
of
strategies.
the
campaign
response from users
*
Any
exceptions
as
part
of
the
workflow
The Process Workflow component was
The Enterprise Service Bus forms the
built using Oracle BPEL, incorporating
core integration layer. This component
External Document (c) 2014 Infosys Limited

Key Benefits of the Solution
The platform was built to address certain key objectives to benefit the business. The solution had to not only scale to the existing subscriber
volume, but also be scalable for future expansion. Some of the key performance indicators and the benefits achieved by the solution are
outlined below.
Key Performance Indicator
Performance Achieved
Details
User Response Volumes
10 Million (2 M Positives)
The sample size was 10 M responses with 2 M positive responses
Transaction Throughput
32000 Transactions/Second
Transaction rate processed and persisted into the event data store
Number of records in the event data store to be filtered for events
DB Size
1.5 Billion Records
for a particular campaign
Fulfillment Map SLA
< 8 Minutes
Per campaign placement
Statistical Map SLA
< 7 Minutes
Per campaign placement
Geography Covered
US National
For national campaign footprint
External Document (c) 2014 Infosys Limited

How can the solution help organizations?
Although the example just mentioned
re-routing a field agent to address a critical
on user behavior to generate the following
is a cable company the approach can
event in the same neighborhood as he is
insight:
be applied to other industries where
currently servicing etc.
business events correlate with measurable
*
Audience
measurement
business outcomes. Below are some of the
Such pro-active interventions would
for
a
particular
advantages that can be gained out of such
enhance the relationship with subscribers
program or advertisement
a platform -
*
and improve loyalty and trust. This would
Capture and
build
also ensure that by engaging the customers
demographic
maps,
through pro-active communication, the
based on user choices
*
Build
a
feedback loop
overall support calls from the customer can
with
the
end-
Improve Customer Experience:
also be reduced, resulting in lowering costs
users based on their interactions
to the company.
For example the use case of "Construct
This kind of intelligence can be invaluable to
Signal Path Map" explained in the above
program content providers and advertisers
case study can be leveraged to identify
alike, so they can identify a target audience
issues with the signal paths within the MSO
for particular program or an advert based
network. In case of any issues identified,
Support New Products and Services:
on demographics etc.
pro-actively create notifications to the
The solution can be extended to support
stakeholder teams (like the networking
other event based use cases like Voting
teams, call center agents and/or field
(voting for MVP during NFL matches),
agents) to alert them on such issues. The
Polling & Trivia etc. The platform can
Support for Mobility:
actions could be - pro-actively analyze and
support nationwide advertising campaign
With the widespread adoption of mobile
identify any network/application related
as well local advertising. The platform can
devices, the customer interactions with
issues, communicate to the impacted
be extended beyond the realm of the above
media content happen more on mobile
subscribers on issues and communicate
mentioned products by defining new
platforms than the traditional TVs. The event
corrective measures, dispatching the
rules and workflows that govern the event
processing platform solution discussed here
engineers to check the specific locality/
processing for those products and services.
is not tied to any particular channel of input.
zip code in question for any impending
These rules and workflows can be easily
The event stream could be generated either
problems in the network, notify the call
plugged into the existing platform.
from a set-top box, a mobile device (mobile
center agents about the issue and affected
phone, tablets etc.) or even from a website.
areas/zip codes, so they can offer improved
As long as the event conforms to a pre-
customer service to the related issues.
defined meta-data structure, the solution
can process them.
Enhanced business intelligence:
The solution can be leveraged to build
intelligence to create value based
Today field technicians are mobile enabled
information for the business. For example, in
and reaching out to them is much easier
case of cable companies - the platform can
than ever before. This can be leveraged
be leveraged to aggregate the events based
to an organizations benefit, for example
External Document (c) 2014 Infosys Limited

Solution Implementation Strategies
This section outlines the different options that are available to an enterprise looking to build the Event Processing Platform solution. There
typically could be two broad strategies that organizations can look at in terms of implementing the even processing platform - an On-Premise
Implementation or Cloud Implementation. Below are few pros and cons of these approaches.
PROS
CONS
1. Organizations have full control on
1. Higher initial development cost
On-Premise Development
the design and development of the
for the solution from scratch, this
application
includes hardware, software licensing
This is typical in house development by
and application development costs
organizations as part of their IT spends.
This involves application development
2. All the modules will be within the
organizational domain, bringing
2. Recurring yearly maintenance cost,
by the IT teams.
them together as part of an end-end
again includes hardware, software
solution, hence might be straight
licensing and application support
forward
costs
3. Might result in sub-optimal
utilization of resources (hardware,
software and labor)
4. IT is only an enabler for MSOs and
not a core business operation
1. There might be minimal or no
1. Data security and privacy concerns
Cloud based Implementation
upfront implementation costs to the
would need to be addressed -
organizations
possibly through encryption, non-
This is an alternative approach, where
disclosure agreements etc.
in enterprises can look at working with
2. No recurring support or
IT partners like Infosys in realizing the
maintenance costs
platform as a service (cloud offering)
2. Enterprises might need to adhere
and pay as you go model.
to the standard interfacing models
3. Reduced TCO with a "pay as you go"
provided by the cloud services
model
3. Organizations might have to
4. Flexibility in extending the platform
implement basic services on their
for other types of channels like
side - like the subscriber data
internet based programs, mobile
module for the enrichment of the
media etc., without worrying about
user responses to be used by the
scalability.
cloud services
The right strategy for implementing the platform for a particular organization depends on other factors such as type of functionality being
implemented, the scale and scope of the solution etc. While the right approach will need to be evaluated for a particular organization, the cloud
based option has some obvious advantages. The primary of them is to relieve the organizations from investing their resources on platform
implementation and allow them to focus on their core business - for example selling ad slots. A cloud based approach will help the client to
bring down their overall total cost of ownership (TCO) as they don't have to invest in hardware, software or application development.
Having the Event Processing Platform on a cloud would open new opportunities for the client organizations and the System Integration (SI)
partners alike. SI partners can also add a lot of value by offering cloud based services for such a platform. They can especially leverage their
service offering capabilities for realizing an effective cloud platform for their clients.
External Document (c) 2014 Infosys Limited

Conclusion
The Event Processing Platform can provide
an impetus to organizations in realizing
their business objectives discussed earlier
along with cost optimization. The solution
provides a platform to address the key
problem areas for business, at the same time
be able to scale up for new products and
services. This helps organizations to improve
customer experience and reduce their Total
Cost of Ownership (TCO) as well. Enterprises
can get innovative in realizing the solution
by adopting cloud implementation
strategy and leverage their SI partners, like
Infosys. Partners like Infosys, with their vast
experience in this domain and ability to
host cloud based solutions, can be an ideal
choice for organizations looking to build the
Event Processing Platform to address their
key business objectives.
External Document (c) 2014 Infosys Limited