Monday, December 08, 2008

Idea #10 - Automate the customer support of server applications

The high cost of product support is affecting the financial health of the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) industry. Each developer in RD needs to be matched with one application engineer (AE) or product engineer (PE) to sell and support the software, making sales un-scalable.

Use intelligent software and online service to automate the after-sale support of EDA products, such that the design technology can be easily deployed to a large audience of the semiconductor design community at a moderate cost. In fact, this applies to other server software applications as well.

The support system will consist of three components:

  1. Online database of execution results composed of such characterization as design type, special tool options, quality of results at each step, scripts used, etc. Each run of a particular build contribute to a unique entry to the database.
  2. Search engine that finds correlation between runs in the database.This is the most interesting feature, which is to use data-mining algorithms to automatically identify reasons that contribute to the degradation or improvement of the final results between different runs.
  3. User interface that provides the results relevant to the user's current design from the database search.

Design expertise and user experiences are captured and organized in the database. They are provided to the user through the search engine, thus eliminating the need for application engineers.

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