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Customer-Adaptive Web Interface for the Configuration Of products and services with Multiple Suppliers

Objective

Focus of this project is to enable businesses to market complex customisable products and services by the new ways of electronic commerce.

CAWICoMS will develop the technology for:
(1) a new generation of configurations that will be able to deal simultaneously with multiple suppliers over a network; to interact with other configurators as well as with component catalogues; and to deal with different interaction styles and levels, depending on the customer;
(2) web-based human computer interaction that will b able to identify the skill-level, preferences, and needs of the customer. This will lead to products that better match their buyers' needs, and reduce costs by a more efficient sales process. Acting on a European scale makes it possible to bring together key players of the European telecommunications market with key players in research and development regarding configuration and human computer interaction.

Objectives:
CAWICOMS aims at the next generation of electronic commerce (EC) solutions for customisable products and services. CAWICOMS is initiated by the need of key players of the European telecommunications industry to adopt web-based selling systems for their customisable products/services.

Current technology is not adequate and must be improved in two ways:
(1) Providing the product that yields the maximum customer satisfaction out of numerous possible product configurations is a key factor for economic success The goal is to automate over the web the skills of experienced sales representatives who are able to adapt to the users needs and capabilities;
(2) As suppliers themselves must use customisable products and services of their sub-supplier, the collaboration of distributed configurators is necessary. CAWICOMS will provide solutions for realizing next generation cooperative configurators on the basis of adaptable, personalized user-interaction.

Work description:
CAWICOMS focuses on the development and the validation of: the techniques for adapting the interaction between the customer and the configurator to the customer needs and skills; the techniques for enabling a configurator to deal simultaneously with multiple suppliers over a network as well as with different kind of customers, including other configurators; the integration of these techniques into the end-to-end supply chain of complex customisable products and services.

As a consequence, the project is divided in seven workpackages:
WP1-Domain analysis and system architecture;
WP2-Distributed configuration ;
WP3-Adaptation techniques ;
WP4-Integration and revision of workbench ;
WP5-Validation and assessment ;
WP6-project management and coordination ;
WP7-dissemination, take-up and exploitation of the project results.

In order to reduce development risks, the project follows a spiral process: after an initial period of domain analysis, requirement specification and general design, it will move to the design and development of a first version of the configurator and adaptation techniques and their integration in the first prototype workbench; this will be followed by a first round of experimentation.

The assessments results will be fed back into the design, development and integration of a second version of the system, followed by a second round of experimentation for the purpose of validation. The first prototype will concentrate on dealing with multiple suppliers and on the end-to-end integration of sub-supplier catalogues and/or configurators. It will also focus on user modelling and on specifying the adaptive interaction during the configuration process. This will permit to validate and to refine the specifications in the first round of experiments. After 3 years, the final prototype will implement the specifications in order to take full advantage of the adaptation techniques.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

DEUTSCHES FORSCHUNGSZENTRUM FUER KUENSTLICHE INTELLIGENZ GMBH
Address
Erwin-schroedinger-strasse 57
67663 Kaiserslautern
Germany

Participants (6)

BRITISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLC
United Kingdom
Address
81 Newgate Street
EC1A 7AJ London
ILOG
France
Address
9, Rue De Verdun
94250 Gentilly
STICHTING E- AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFORMATION SERVICES
Belgium
Address
Avenue Louise 331
1050 Bruxelles
TELECOM ITALIA LAB S.P.A.
Italy
Address
Via G. Reiss Romoli 274
10148 Torino
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TORINO
Italy
Address
Via Giuseppe Verdi 8
10124 Torino
UNIVERSITAET KLAGENFURT - INSTITUT FUER WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK UND ANWENDUNGSSYSTEME
Austria
Address
Universitaetsstrasse 65-67
9020 Klagenfurt