The objective of HICOS is to develop an integrated case-processing system that takes full account of the needs of mobile and distributed staff, works over a hierarchy of machines of differing processing power and portability, and protects customer investment in existing host applications. This development is seen as vital in order to respond to a major and rapidly growing market in a Europe characterised by increased staff mobility, decentralisation, and the convergence of functions such as financial services and sales.
HICOS will go beyond conventional approaches to the processing of business cases by explicitly integrating support for distributed working and mobility, which is becoming increasingly typical of service organisations. Mobility requirements are addressed using the concept of a machine hierarchy, in which the functionality provided by each machine will be complementary to the others and where each provides a specific combination of portability and sophistication of support. In addition, comprehensive personal activity planning, information and communication support will be provided. Variable connectivity is addressed as an important issue.
Given that few such systems can be introduced into green-field sites, the HICOS project will investigate economic migration paths for existing systems, provide guidelines, and design and implement procedures to open up existing applications to the object-oriented case-processing system. The consortium includes user organisations who will provide system development capacity, testbed sites and an initial market for the integrated hierarchical case-processing system.
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