Process Designer for Cloud Computing (PDC)

The Problem

In certain areas of the business day, professional users are often dependent on support: They usually have an exact idea of what you need but cannot implement it alone. This requires an expert to be involved. But often the expert has other conceptions of the order than the customer – a problem that many companies know.

Many companies are optimizing their business processes to the very last, but at the same time they constantly adapt to new and higher requirements, changing partners and customers. This is the only way for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in the competition. This is difficult to implement without appropriate support from IT staff.

Until the mostly small and overloaded IT departments in SMEs have implemented process changes, weeks may pass – time that the specialist does not really have: if he wants to meet today's requirements in the business, he must be able to act agile and flexible.

The Solution

The Process Designer for Cloud Computing (PDC), a development of Fraunhofer ISST, provides this opportunity: It enables process models to be modeled and modified by professional users, so that the processes can run and function efficiently without the influence of IT departments.

The PDC also enables non-IT professionals to design business processes. In contrast to other process designers available on the market, the PDC of Fraunhofer ISST is not a technical, but a professional editor: All necessary information has already been prepared for the layman who only has to assemble the finished components according to the Lego principle. If an error occurs – that is, he builds a process that cannot work like this – the PDC immediately reports this problem.

The PDC is not only easy to handle, but also extremely flexible. It is provider-independent and can display different languages. In addition, the available process model elements in the taxonomy are expandable and their properties can be easily modified. This makes the PDC a tool for every user - whether from logistics, medicine or education.

In the end, the specialist can quickly and uncomplicatedly get to his solution, without having to deal with technical details. For IT staff these remain understandable nevertheless. In addition to the simplified modeling view, a technical view is also available.


Application Scenarios

For the Process Designer for Cloud Computing (PDC), application scenarios are conceivable in a wide range of areas, whether for process management in logistics, health care or insurance. Fraunhofer ISST has already implemented an application for the Logistics sector: Together with Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML and Logata GmbH, the Logistics Mall has been established.

Application Scenario Logistics

The Logistics Mall is a virtual, cloud-based marketplace where logistics IT services and logistics processes are offered as commercial objects. In terms of a digital shopping center, the Logistics Mall simplifies the selection and assembly of module components into individual supply chains. Companies can assemble logistics IT »on demand« according to their own ideas by combining the functions of different providers into an individual overall package. The user selects the optimal solution for his needs at the touch of a button. He only has to pay for what he uses and can thus save the usual initial investments in the required infrastructure.

The PDC is the tool with which users assemble and modulate processes in the mall. The plain modulation view makes it easy for any user to flexibly and accurately map their business processes.

Application Scenario Healthcare

In the field of healthcare, processes are ubiquitous – both in administration and in treatment. The assignment of appointments is an example which shows that processes have to be adapted and optimized continuously: Surely you have once been annoyed by long waiting times at the doctor. In order to ensure a smooth running in the medical practice, many process variations are conceivable. For example, the average waiting and speaking time depends on the attending physician or the discipline, so it must be planned differently depending on the situation. In addition, it can be useful to e. g. remind patients of appointments that have been fixed long in advance.

With the PDC, each physician's office can make individual adjustments to such standard processes without having special IT expertise or a dedicated IT department.

Application Scenario Insurance Industry

External influences can also make it necessary to adapt processes at short notice. Due to the flood in 2013 the number of claims for elementary insurances has rapidly increased. The policyholders concerned are dependent on quick regulation. In such extreme situations, processes can be temporarily modified by e. g. reviewing the damage cause only once and not, as usual, every individual case of damage. This can save valuable processing time and the large number of operations can be processed in an acceptable time.

Here it is necessary that the department itself has control over the process modeling and can make changes at short notice without IT support. This is exactly the philosophy of the PDC: the specialist can independently create an executable process for its application area using the PDC and does not need the help of IT specialists for it.