FICO had an interesting announcement today – Blaze Advisor, their business rules management system, is supporting Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform for cloud deployments (the press release is here). The announcement is a first step only – at this stage Microsoft and FICO have focused solely on verifying the deployment of decision services built using Blaze Advisor to Windows Azure. Further integration and support for business rules management on Azure will presumably follow.
This is the right first step for FICO – make sure Blaze Advisor customers can deploy their rules to a cloud-based service – and I look forward to seeing further steps towards cloud-based rule repositories, cloud-based rule management and so on. Some smaller business rules companies have supported cloud-based deployment (Corticon, IDIOM, Zementis) but FICO is the largest vendor to make an explicit commitment to supporting cloud-based decision services. While I don’t yet see a lot of demand among my end-user clients for this, I do see more and more SaaS software companies that need and want to integrating decisioning and they will find this interesting.