The Client Communications Center's Self Publishing & Management (SPM) tool makes it easy for sales and marketing personnel to quickly disseminate information. Account executives (AEs) can quickly send product information and announcements to customers either as emails with collaterals as attachments or by shipping printed materials. Product managers can publish information to the intranet by filling out a simple online form and instantly publish sales advisories, job aids, customer presentations, technical documentation, and customer collaterals to the AT&T intranet and extranet. All an AE or product manager needs to do is log onto the SPM website, specify what information to publish and how (and to whom), and the Client Communications Center takes care of the details of actually publishing it, whether it's by sending emails, sending PDFs to be printed, or publishing to the intranet.
The goal is to free marketing and sales personnel from the time and overhead of a web publisher, and to simplify and automate the publishing process to give the subject matter expert control of communicating directly with AT&T customers.
Client Communications Center SPM platform is flexible, scalable, and expandable for supporting different products and accommodating new features. Currently three projects are supported, each with a different output:
Offer Information Library (OIL). SPM publishes information from product managers to the Offer Information Library (Online repository of AT&T Product Information) webpage where it can be accessed by AEs. All the product manager needs to do is to select what material to publish, and the SPM automatically places it in the appropriate place in file structure of the content management system (CMS).
AE Emailer for emailing collateral to customers. Offers a set of email templates with pre-written product descriptions for emailing to customers. Customer collateral can be sent as attachments.
Client Communications Collateral for shipping printed collaterals. Uses a shopping cart to allow the AE to easily select documents that are then forwarded to printing or repro center before being shipped to the customer. Cost charges for printing and shipping are handled automatically.
Flexibility to accommodate additional products as needed is built in by leveraging the Raptor and Fusion technologies, both developed in Research.
The AT&T Labs Fusion/Raptor technology enabled the rapid development of a customized user interface on top of a generic CMS. The business partners defined extremely detailed business rules, user requirements, user interfaces and functions for the Client Communications Center. From those detailed business requirements AT&T Labs Research leveraged the Fusion framework to build SPM according to business specifications in less than half the time it would have taken to develop an enterprise-level project of this magnitude.
Raptor was developed for creating simple to complex customized online reports. From standard data sources, it can generate reports in specified formats (text or graphs) using user-specified business rules. It also gives the flexibility of predefining data drilldown paths for OLAP (On Line Analytical Processing) functionality. Reports can be preserved, updated, and shared with other users based on individual user and group security permissions. Users can also specify pre-defined report schedules and receive report execution notifications, through email. All of these features are available to the end users through a standard web interface.
Raptor can easily be integrated with any Oracle database applications using J2EE architecture and involves easy steps that can be performed by the user with minimal training.
Fusion is both a platform and a pre-built base application framework that can accommodate specific features as required. The platform was built using Spring, Hibernate, Struts Tiles, JSTL and the latest standards in good application design; it provides services for all database access (having centralized transaction management using AspectJ advice), auditing, menu functionality, role authorization, and CSP authentication; it has been integrated with Raptor to provide configurable reporting and searching functionality; and provides the overall UI infrastructure. The base application provides examples of how to use the platform that can be customized or leveraged when building your own application to reduce development time.
The Center's use of the Fusion framework is applied throughout the custom user interface. The Client Communications Center UI has a standard header, menu, footer, and messaging content for all the pages. The messaging content displays success, error, warning, and information feedback to users. Most of this feedback comes as a result of database transactions and validation errors. Besides Fusion's robust UI infrastructure, the Client Center also leverages Fusion's centralized database connection and transaction management for all database access. Centralized error handling, notification, and logging of errors come with the package along with user profile management, user authentication (user id and password), user administration, and roles. Fusion out of the box comes fully integrated with Raptor.
This powerful combination of Fusion and Raptor enable development time to be reduced significantly, saving time and money when automating business processes with complicated collaborative workflows.