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September 07, 2012

Dexter's Rule-Based Expert System Makes Technology 'Smarter'

By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor

In the mid 1980s, a group of engineering professionals had an idea for a product – a deli kiosk for supermarkets. After the idea was developed, they decided to invest in the deli kiosk and call it Dexter, an acronym for deli express terminal.

Soon after this product was on the market, it was jointly decided that the deli kiosk market was not going to bring a lot of success, so they decided to also get involved in writing software as a side business.

It became evident that the software side business would be more lucrative then the supermarket business. So, they sold the deli kiosk business and began developing software for Nynex. Their new software company called Dexter Systems, Inc. was made of 20 highly technical employees who were mostly software developers.

Currently, Dexter designs and develops adaptable Web-based workflow systems that increase productivity and lower operating costs. Its solutions turn massive amounts of process data into the information used to drive results. Dexter’s software gives organizations the ability to improve performance by enabling them to react and adapt quickly.

“The most recent technology we are proud of is using Expert Systems to automate business processes in large organizations,” Jerry Skidmore, Jr., manager of business development, Dexter Systems, told TMCnet in an exclusive interview. “Expert Systems can be expanded horizontally to several other industries.”

Most importantly, Expert Systems improves performance and reduces headcount.

“You get to a point with software, where regular programs can only go so far. You have to get smarter software, which is where a rule-based Expert System comes into play,” explained Skidmore.

One of the most idea situations to implement Expert Systems, for example, is in logistics for assigning work to technicians. You need some rules on which logic to assign the jobs to those technicians. You can assign purely based on geography, for instance. But, when you throw in other factors like skills, job types, and different technologies, Dexter has an expert system that can sift through those rules.

This technology is based on a scoring system, according to Skidmore. “If you wanted a low score for your team like with golf, you could select which golfers played which holes to achieve lowest score. You can even select your team, arranging different golfers and different holes,” he said.

The Dexter Expert Systems establishes a scoring system to achieve lowest score, taking factors into consideration.

“The idea is that software needs to be smart and a rule-based system is one way to make it smarter,” said Skidmore.

In the future, Dexter plans to go beyond the telco market. The company hopes to package themselves into a SaaS (News - Alert) type situation. According to Skidmore, SaaS is the best business model out there for software companies and business in general.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Rachel Ramsey



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