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First Look: IDIOM Update 2013


It’s been a while since I last got an update from IDIOM – several years since this update on IDIOM charging by the rule. To recap, IDIOM was founded back in 2001, has 12-15 FTE staff and is solidly based in New Zealand with largely NZ investors and about 80% of their revenue from Australia and New Zealand.

Recently their focus has shifted towards developing solutions and driving a royalty-based model through working with solution providers. Like many other companies in the Decision Management space they increasingly focus not just on getting the tools in people’s hands and letting them figure it out themselves but on working with someone to develop an initial solution using a combination of their software and approach. For instance they focus on getting prospects started with a one week paid Proof of Concept service. This makes it easy for the prospect to adopt their approach and tool in combination. Many of their projects come from folks trying to do something different from “traditional” IT projects.

IDIOM sees its product difference in a couple of areas, which together ensure that larger decision management responsibilities can be completely managed by business users more or less independently of IT:

  • IDIOM Decision Manager is focused on the overall decision models that control the valid state changes of core entities, rather than on individual atomic rules
  • IDIOM Decision Manager combines business logic and programming constructs with business rules to develop larger units of work inside a single execution context

IDIOM Decision Manager is extended by multiple value-add products. Besides the core IDIOM Decision Manager product and IDIOM Forms (for dynamic web forms) they have added IDIOM Decision Manager Workbench, Idiom Document Builder, and IDIOM Decision Tracker.

The workbench has a repository (containing the decision models), packages these up into processes containing many decision models and then supports scheduling and execution of these sets of decision models. This allows mass processing of data – from XML documents or from a database – using a sequence of decision models. The results can then be compared to see which set of rules will result in what. This allows potentially massive amounts of data to be efficiently processed using the decision models for portfolio analysis, data conversion/cleaning, simulation and comparison of possible rule updates etc.

Tracker is a deceptively simple tool that allows tagging of decision models/rules with policy tags. When source documents contain the same tags (using a tag in Word or Excel) it can be used to generate a spreadsheet showing the tags and the cross references for compliance and traceability.

IDIOM no longer makes IDIOM Lite available or charges by the rule but they continue to develop and support their software platform, working with clients to develop custom solutions on it. IDIOM is one of the vendors in our Decision Management Systems Platform Technologies Report, and you can get more information on them here.


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