I am attending IBM’s launch event for its new Business Analytics and Optimization service line and scheduled a quick post to point readers to the announcement – there is a press kit at www.ibm.com/press/analytics.
I am excited about this. Firstly it’s a big deal for IBM Global Business Services to add a service line so it is great for those of us in the industry to have them add one focused on decision technologies. Secondly I really like the focus on decision-making and on improving decisions, making them faster and predicting their outcomes – it is nice to see the focus on results not on “plumbing”.
IBM has been working on lots of different initiatives in this area and this announcement pulls them all together. For instance, the Center for Business Optimization has been running for a while focused on how to apply technology like ILOG’s CPLEX optimization technology to business problems. This service line should also complement some of the existing ones – for instance the Application Innovation services can use it to build smarter applications, the Customer Relationship Management group can use it to improve customer treatment decisions and the Supply Chain Management group can use it to optimize supply chains.
Personally I also see tremendous value from the combination of this service line with the WebSphere stack, especially with the recent acquisition of ILOG’s business rules management system. Business rules are a great tool for operationalizing analytics and optimization and ILOG/IBM already have lots of clients using rules and optimization together and many more, like Equifax, using business rules to put predictive analytics to work in transactional systems. Business rules also allow you to apply the semantics of a situation and combine that with analytic insight and optimal solutions to take the most profitable action and take it quickly.
More to come.