Hi, I'm interested in the experiences of other AWA experts whose customers are already quite comfortable with technology, and not especially fond of enterprise software. Beyond job scheduling, how does your company use AWA?
Our little automation team maintains the AWA infrastructure at eBay, and [to boil down three paragraphs I just deleted], we enable developers to run the batch code they write, in a reliable and operationally appropriate way, so they can focus on writing code. That niche is well served.
But we have some new management lately, who asked whether we can leverage the product for other uses to save effort for our (internal) customers. (This was actually a surprise to me, as I think our general direction is to try to reduce lock-in on any paid product. But we are already pretty locked in, so...)
A lot of the strength of the engine is in the user interface, which programmers really don't get excited about because they can read and write complex logic themselves, and there's already a robust in-house platform for them to do it. Thus I'm interested in any outside-the-scheduling-box uses you've found that have been appreciated by programmers specifically. And, maybe just as important, their management -- essentially all technologists themselves.
My only idea so far is an approval engine for account management and/or change management, because ServiceNow apparently wants a ton of extra money for this feature. But I sense it could be a somewhat dangerous animal if implemented carelessly; they probably wouldn't charge so much if it were really that easy to build...
One caveat is that we don't want to have to implement every new wrinkle ourselves. For example, we don't want to build a new workflow whenever a new team wants to add an approval flow; we would rather build a flexible workflow up front, and have new customers follow some simple instructions to add their own arguments to it (such as filling out a VARA object with approver levels & names). Any new tool has to be self-serviceable, without a big learning curve for users.
Thanks in advance for your stories and ideas!
P.S. Haven't visited the forum since before the acquisition. Ouch...