Disaster, unexpected situations and unpleasant surprises are a part and parcel of life. But, the imperative fact associated with them, is that such grave occurrence continues to occur most unexpectedly. Crisis can happen at any time, and the need of the hour is to have an integrated emergency response solution that is both accessible and efficient to identify, prioritize, diagnose and resolve incidents in a timely manner.
What it does
Meet CriSOS, a One-stop solution for Emergency Situations, powered by Pega Infinity. It is a next-generation crisis management solution designed to help individuals and businesses collaborate, plan, track response and share information. It’s a step-by-step guide that enables any one individual to follow the necessary incident response procedures, cover each of any business’s standard operating procedures, and release the necessary crisis communications.
Benefits and Features
CriSOS includes a comprehensive set of features to help users in difficult situations:
- Self-signup with Multi Factor Authentication: Ability for users to self-registration. This is secured with MFA through sending and validating OTPs.
- Multi-Channel application: Accessible to users through 6 different channels. A dedicated mobile app, voice-based Alexa integration, ability to interact with a chatbot, creating incidents through automated emails and external APIs add to ease of use and convenience to users. Visit this link for details on the APIs exposed.
- Case types based on emergency: An Incident case of over 40 categories and subcategories can be created. SOS feature (case type) is available for extreme emergencies.
- Dynamic Task Management: With an authority matrix, incidents can be effectively managed based on category and prioritization
- Dynamic questionnaires and SOPs: Pega Survey has been leveraged for dynamic Incident questionnaires for each category. Pega Knowledge framework has been used to create SOPs to guide CSRs
- Geo Tracking: Integration with the indigenous MapMyIndia and Google Maps to help identify customer location, critical for the solution
- Emergency Directory: Worldwide emergency contact look up.
- Efficient Notifications: Timely alerts in the form of emails, SMS and push notifications are sent out
- Real-Time Dashboard: Dashboards to help detecting incident patterns and emergencies for timely intervention
- FAQs: A Pegabot provides efficient and quick answers to Frequently Answered Questions
- User Feedback: Use of Directed Web Access to capture feedback without having user to login
How we built it
Built on Pega Platform 8.5.1, CriSOS leverages most out of the box features along with a number of capabilities essential for the functioning of a crisis management solution.
The following design and build strategy was used:
- Requirements: To build a robust crisis management solution, it was imperative that the requirements were clearly carved out. With comprehensive research, a combination of 40 categories and subcategories were identified. Detailed questionnaire for each category were created along with multi-dimensional authority matrix created.
- Design: Pega Express was used to build the basic foundation for the application. Most of the application backbone including Case life cycle, Personas, Channels and Data types were created here. Also, majority of the data elements and UI were built using the power of Pega Express. Utilized rich set of interfaces provided by Cosmos UI.
- Build: The Build stage was broken down into multiple sub stages. First the basic workflow was built out. Next, the 6 different channels were added including Alexa and Chatbot to extend the application capabilities. External integration including SMS service, Emergency Contact, MapMyIndia and so on were included next. Pega Knowledge was then included for SOPs. Finally, dashboard reports were added.
- Test: Finally, the solution was tested end to end using various test users and channels.
Overall, it was a rewarding experience for the team to be able to build and deliver an end-to-end solution within a span of 6 weeks.
Challenges we ran into
- Conceiving, designing and building and end to end solution within a short time-frame was certainly a challenge.
- Integrations like Alexa, MapMyIndia and SMS service was not easy as the team was building it for the first time.
- We also initially challenges in implementing the chatbot due to limitations associated with the current Pega Cloud instance. This was later resolved by moving to a different environment.
- There were other technical challenges related to dynamic class referencing and building complex workflows.
- Finally, compressing the solution design, features and the demo within a 5-minute video was a great challenge which we were able to overcome.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
- Considering the current pandemic situation, the entire team was remotely situated and also in different time zones. We used primarily video conferencing to communicate which was of great help.
- In spite of having project work and personal commitments, the team put in a lot of dedication and hard work to make this solution possible.
- Being able to deliver a multitude of features most of them requiring a lot of R&D, is something we take a lot of pride from.
- The team overcame all of these hurdles including health issues and showed a lot of determination and character to build, and document this solution.
What we learned
- We learned some cool features of Pega being able to expose our case through 6 different channels including Alexa. We were also able to implement Push notifications for the first time.
- We were able to successfully create Pega chatbot for case creation as well as a bot for FAQs.
- We were successful in integrating with MapMyIndia for geolocation and an external emergency contact API. Google Maps integration was another important feature we implemented.
- Using OOTB features including Pega Survey and Pega Knowledge turned out to be quite useful.
- We implemented DWA to capture User feedback which has been a long-time feature in Pega.
- Conceiving, designing, and building an application within such a short period of time provided us great opportunity to learn and work together as a team.
What's next for CriSOS - Help when you need it the most!
Though CriSOS includes a rich set of features, it can be extended in the future to include:
- Integration with Facebook/Twitter and other channels: This can be achieved to make CriSOS accessible across a variety of social platforms.
- Adding more categories and sub categories: As newer types of Incidents are identified, the current categories and/or sub categories can be enhanced further.
- Implement Decisioning: Pega Decisioning could be implemented to enable CSRs/ authority to take action based on previous interactions.