PLASTIC de­vises ef­fect­ive field ser­vice de­vel­op­ment meth­od­o­logy

The IST FP6 Project PLASTIC deals with the development of a methodology for the design and effective implementation of mobile services. The methodology comprises the model-driven design of services particularly taking into account non-functional properties of the to be built services like for instance service level agreements (SLAs) or contextual information. The implementation as significantly eased by semi-automatically mapping the design to software through using the PLASTIC middleware stack which is tuned towards use on mobile devices like hand-sets, PDAs or ultra-light PCs. Moreover, PLASTIC devises tools for the on-line and off-line validation of the resulting software artefacts.

The usefulness of the tools and the middleware has been assessed by the industrial partners (Telefonica, Vtrip, Pragma, IBM, and Siemens) through implementing applications from the eHealth, eVoting, eLearning and eBusiness domains. C-LAB contributed to the eBusiness prototype from the Field Services Management (FSM) domain which is especially targeting emerging agile service
organisations: here PLASTIC is used to handle the dispatching of field workers. By involving contextual information referring to the technician, the service organisation or the to be maintained object itself, the dispatching can be adapted and thus optimized. Beyond this, completely new interaction schemes can be established which fully exploit the availability and affordability of high-bandwidth mobile, wireless networks. For example, by using according PLASTIC primitives, the routing and acceptance of maintenance requests can be handled within a group of field workers. The dispatching may involve data like personal agenda / preferences, calendar, positioning (the latter was featured inside a concept demonstrator) information ... which is handled outside a most likely centralized CRM system. Hence today's and future (also known as B3G) networks become an integral part of CRM systems rather than an extension to it.

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