You can tell that a lot of DST’s customers are dragging their feet moving to new technology when there has to be a session on moving from the old-style table-driven workflows to the newer portal and graphical process design. Stephanie Brown and Elaine Garcia of DST presented the possible implementation approaches, the training and consulting services that they offer to help with this, the benefit of bringing in new team members (possibly subject matter experts from the business side) for working with the graphical design tools, and how to build the internal vision and ROI to support the journey.
They discussed a number of strategies for refactoring, some of which require moving from the table-based workflows to processes, others that can be built around existing workflows:
- Redo the UI forms using the new forms tool, which provides both a nicer UI and some improved functionality, even against an older workflow.
- Replace custom code with functionality that is now part of the baseline product, such as QC sampling and complex date functions.
- Automating communications, such as sending an email to a client based on data values.
- Managing inbound email to initiate or merge with processes.
- Monitoring using the newer dashboards rather than the older BI application.
They wrapped up with a brief mention of Project Alloy, an initiative that they have for mutual fund clients to connect AWD with their TA2000 recordkeeping system. Basically, it’s a set of processes (I assume that this includes UI and other aspects, not just process flows) that embodies best practices for integrating these systems, greatly reducing time to implement.
Since the AWD10 server platform supports both old and new applications, there’s much less urgency behind moving to the new tools (which can be bad) but it also allows a more gradual – and possibly less painful – migration.
While I’m thinking of it, the DST conference organizers have put some thought into the conference logistics: generous lunch and break times, hands-on labs, and an “in case you missed it” breakout track that repeats some of the DST-delivered sessions. Plus, a higher percentage of women on stage than I have seen at any other vendor conference.