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Understanding the Workflow Processes Module

Workflow Processes is the module in Siebel Business Process Designer that you use to create and administer workflow processes.

Workflow Processes Configuration Overview

Workflow Processes allows you to define your company's business processes using the Process Designer in Siebel Tools. Using Workflow Processes, you can define a process that consists of process steps such as start steps, decision points, subprocesses, or business services steps to complete tasks.

A task can be completed with either a predefined business service or a custom business service. Predefined tasks include updates to the Siebel database, notifications (such as an email or page), integration messages to external systems, and calls to invoke server tasks. Custom tasks can be defined by using Siebel VB or Siebel eScript.

Workflow Processes Administration Overview

Workflow Processes can vary from a simple process such as entering a product order to a complex process such as managing call center workflow. Complex processes can comprise multiple smaller processes.

Workflow Processes are administered through the Administration - Business Process views in the Siebel Client. Instructions for accessing and using the Administration - Business Process views are in For Administrators: Administering Workflow Processes.

Using Workflow Processes

Workflow processes can be invoked from events in the Siebel application or from external systems. Within the Siebel application, a process can be invoked from a workflow policy, an event (such as an insert of a record or a button click), or a server component.

From an external system, processes can be invoked using COM or CORBA. For information on invoking a workflow process, see About Invoking a Workflow Process.

Sample Workflow Process Scenario

To help you understand how the Workflow Processes module works, see the usage scenario Scenario: New Service Request. You can view sample workflow processes in detail by selecting the project Workflow - Samples in Siebel Tools.

Scenario: New Service Request

Prior to implementing Siebel Call Center, ABC Computing found itself unable to resolve many customer issues in a timely manner. To better track and manage service requests, ABC implements the Service Request module and automates the company's service-request management process.

The goal is to meet a service-level agreement (SLA) commitment by making sure that all newly-logged service requests (SRs) are resolved within a specific amount of time. ABC Computing wants the SRs to be assigned by the system to the best representative based on availability and matching skills. If the SR needs immediate attention, the company wants to notify the owner of the SR.

This automation is achieved using Siebel Business Process Designer. When an SR is logged, a workflow process is triggered. The workflow process calls Siebel Assignment Manager to assign the SR to the best available service representative. Based on the severity of the SR, Workflow might then send email notification to the representative, using Siebel Communications Server. Automating this process helps ABC Computing achieve faster turnaround time to resolve SRs and meet the company's SLA commitment.

ABC Computing defines its business process for a new service request with the Process Designer. Figure 1 illustrates a diagram of the process as drawn in the Process Designer.

The diagram demonstrates the steps and decision points involved when a new service request comes into the organization. The steps and decision points are displayed in the diagram in such a way that the flow of the work is clear.

NOTE:  The steps explained below are not generic; they refer specifically to the workflow process illustrated in Figure 1.

Each step is interpreted as follows:

  • Start. This is the start step initiating the process instance. The work item is the new service request.
  • Assign Service Request. This is a subprocess task. The service request is assigned to the appropriate agent based on the assignment rules defined in the Assign Service Request subprocess.
  • Severity. This is a decision step. The service request severity determines the next step in the process instance of the three possible paths: Critical, High, or Medium.
  • Send Email. This is an automated business service task. If the service request priority is critical, an email is sent to the assigned agent. This task calls the Outbound Communications Manager business service.
  • Priority High. This is a Siebel Operation update task. This step updates the service request priority to High.
  • Substatus Assigned. This is a Siebel Operation update task. This step updates the sub status to Assigned.
  • Email Error Activity. This is a Siebel Operation insert task. This task is triggered if an error is returned in the Send Email task.
  • Priority Very High and Dispatch. This is a Siebel Operation update task. This step changes the service request priority to Very High and the sub status to Dispatch.
  • End. This step defines the completion of the process.
Figure 1.  New Service Request Workflow Process
Click for full size image
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