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DIALOG Keynotes – ILOG and IBM


PierrePierre Haren started up the keynotes with some personal comments about the excitement of being part of IBM, seeing more customers at DIALOG and hearing stories from customers about what they are doing with ILOG products. He is clearly enthused by the opportunity to reach more companies by being part of IBM than they ever managed before.

They stated their mission a year ago as “We help you make better decisions faster and manage change and complexity” but they could not have imagined the amount of change and complexity that has affected their customers since then. For instance, Oil has gone from $100 a barrel to $140 to $40! Having agreed to be acquired almost the first announcement IBM made was of its Smart Planet initiative and this, as I noted here, is a perfect initiative to leverage ILOG’s technology.

Tom Rosamilia came next – Pierre’s new boss. Tom identified four essentials for survival:

  • Adapt to embrace change
  • Streamline processes to make them more dynamic and manageable
  • Optimize to allocate resources efficiently
  • Visualize to transform insight into action for faster decisions
    Though I think visualization is just a step on the way to decision making…

TomIBM has been partnering with ILOG for 12 years and has recommended their products many times. IBM does not plan to mess with ILOG’s product strategy in terms of supporting OEMs, supporting multiple platforms. There was virtually no product overlap, which makes it easier to merge, and all the products were interesting – rules, optimization, supply chain applications and visualization. And finally Tom reiterated what he said earlier about a good cultural map.

Tom introduced Aviva Canada as an example. They use JRules to automate underwriting and make it available over the web. They use it on WebSphere and have found the products easy to use together and they have had great savings using the products.

Tom had Jeanine (sp) come and demo some visualization integration in business space (part of WebSphere). You can see the full demo here. The demo used some visualization and then showed the rules for supply chain site allocation, events about problems and more in a nice mashup. Tom then had some customers join him.

First was Kari Laine an IT Architect from if. If is a large Nordic insurance company with 3.5M customers. They started in late 2006 implementing a fully automated claims processing system. By early 2007 had selected WebSphere Process Server as their BPM/SOA platform. Added JRules in early 2008 and went into production in May of 2008. Now have 60% are settled the day they are received and are tracking to 50% handled within seconds – true straight through processing.

Next up was Mark Frost of Fiserv. Mark is Director of Business Strategy and Decision Science. Fiserv started optimizing because they were handling money supply for banking customers. They originally just used forecasting but realized that optimization could help improve the money supply. Started with open source and built a model but found the model ran all weekend. Not acceptable because they have 3 hours to do this for banks. They worked with CPLEX which could handle this and they got great results. One bank, for instance, saved $2Bn in cash handling! Huge ROI.

Tom ended by promoting IMPACT – a great show at which I will be speaking.

Sandy Carter wrapped it up talking about IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. This initiative focuses on dealing with the planet as increasingly interconnected, heavily instrumented and full of increasingly intelligent objects. These opportunities coincide with huge problems – $10B in fraud in the US healthcare system, $11Bn in wasted food in India and so on. To position for success, companies must emphasize agility and cost optimization over speed.

Sandy talked about Key Agility Indicators – measures of responsiveness like time to add a supplier, time to change policy rules as market risk changes, time to identify problems in a manufacturing process as information floods in from RFID chips etc. She talked about being green and the value of that, dynamic infrastructure, new intelligence and “smart work” as she did earlier. She used some great examples like Sear’s virtual model, Moosejaw’s retail communities, Stockholm’s smart traffic monitoring etc.

Clearly IBM feels that ILOG is going to be a great addition to the SmartSOA and Smart Planet initiatives.