Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Successful Windows Workflow Integration

The HUB is a new application I'm developing with my team of fine young developers that will give Make It Cheaper (the UK's number one business comparison service for Utilities) an extremely intelligent CRM application that both tracks customer journeys through the various business processes and fully integrates with the call centre's PBX (Avaya IP Office).

The HUB GUI is being developed in ASP.NET making good use of Ajax and Telerik controls.

The business layer is written in C# and uses Windows Workflow foundation for handling and moving tasks through the various business processes that I have previously mapped.

All application data - including Workflow tracking and persistence data - is held in SQL Server 2008 databases.

Using Windows Workflow foundation we will be able to track how long it takes to process opportunities that come into the call centre - either via our custom web services (used by partner websites) or Phone.

We have already intregrated Zeacom - a server that plugs into our PBX - and exposes real time call centre data to the HUB application. It also preserves all call data for rich reporting - this data will eventually be exported - alongside the application and workflow data - into a single Data Mart.

Over the last 2 weeks we have spent time successfully integrating Zeacom with the HUB. This enables us to automatically redirect existing customers to the same Energy Consultant that they dealt with previously. It will also allow us to pop up the customer information on the consultant's display - prior to them picking up the call. This will greatly increase customer satisfaction levels and consultant efficiency.

It also enables us to accurately track the source of each phone opportunity (in the same way we can for web service opportunities). This is important for tracking the success of marketing campaigns and opportunities sent in via our many partners like Moneysupermarket, GoCompare, uSwitch, Energyhelpline and UK Power - to name a few.

This week we have started plugging in the Windows Workflow components that I had previously built. By the end of the day we successfully integrated one workflow with our opportunities web service. This went suprisingly well - so I'm very pleased with this progress.

Because tasks can takes hours or days to complete and many are undertaken by Energy consultants or Operations staff, I have opted to use State Machine workflow.

I will keep this blog updated with progress throughtout the build and will start uploading useful code that readers may fine useful.

That's all for now - but a good day today!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Woking,United Kingdom

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