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DIALOG Product Roadmap (not really)

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Nicolas Robbe came next to give some updates on the product roadmaps. To be honest what he mostly did was summarize recent developments – nothing really about futures.

First he talked about optimization and CPLEX’s 20 year history. With CPLEX 11 they feel they can solve 70% of the very hardest optimization problems – way up from its early days. Realistically optimization can be used for many problems and complete in a timeframe that works, supporting regular re-optimization for best results. Also introduced CP Optimizer 2.0 for constraint-based problems. Optimization has been big in IBM with both research and lots of projects in the consulting business where IBM has a Center for Business Optimization. The remaining challenges seem to IBM/ILOG to be focused on bringing non-math people to these capabilities. Needs tooling, what-if analysis, vsualization, enterprise deployment etc. Introduced Optimization Decision Manager (ODM) Enterprise in October to manage this and to create a platform for IT and LOB people to use optimization.

Business rules has been going well for ILOG over recent years. Introducing a business rules management system (BRMS) and extending this to include using Microsoft office. Now the focus is on treating rules (or I would say decisions) as an enterprise asset. This means that:

  • The business is in the driver seat not just supporting and collaborating
    • Testing and simulation for business users so they can feel confident in their changes
    • Decision traceability and insights to see what happened in the past, why it happened and what might be done about it
    • Use of Word or Excel to manage business rules
  • Business rules must be deployed anywhere (right down to the customer touchpoint like the cash register)
    • Recently added Rules for COBOL to add mainframe deployment
    • Rule Team server is at the heart of multi-platform deployment
  • Change control and governance must be re-thought.
    • Open sourced their rule management methodology
    • Rule certification also to improve developer community

They plan to continue to pursue the BRMS market, accelerate the BPM/BRMS market and provide integration with CICS.

Visualization is focused on a transformation to a Rich Internet Applications (RIA). The in-browser, highly interactive environment for the visualization tool is very cool and let’s you build some very rich applications. It supports things like maps, graphs, GANTT charts, calendars, organization charts and so on.

Nice summary of how ILOG got where it is – not much of a roadmap though.

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