Thursday, October 26, 2006

Press Release: ILOG Announces 2007 First Quarter Results

PARIS and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 26

ILOG(R) today announced results for the first quarter of fiscal 2007, ended September 30, 2006. Revenues for the quarter amounted to $35.8 million and diluted earnings per share were $0.07. This compared with revenues of $30.7 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.11 for the prior year's first quarter.

"This quarter we returned to double-digit growth, with revenues up 16%, and we achieved solid growth in combined license and maintenance revenues for our business rule management system (BRMS) products at 20%. We also had higher revenues in each of our geographies -- including strong 22% growth in Europe," said ILOG Chairman and CEO, Pierre Haren. "Our profitability has been temporarily impacted by the timing of our research tax credit and higher taxes than last year. At $69 million, our cash position remains strong, and has allowed us recently to make two investments that will help us build for the future."

License revenue growth was led by BRMS, as the adoption of this technology into the IT mainstream continues. The mainstream appeal of BRMS is underscored by the growing diversity of markets in which these solutions are being deployed, which is reflected in ILOG's first quarter deal activity. While financial services and insurance companies continue to dominate BRMS purchases, the Company signed several sizeable deals in other market segments, including a major UK publisher of phone directories, a leading U.S. logistics and transportation company, and a large U.S. healthcare provider network...

See the press release.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What's The Greatest Software Ever Written?

Now here's an interesting story by Charles Babcock in InformationWeek, Aug. 14, 2006:
"First, let's set criteria for what makes software great. Superior programming can be judged only within its historical context. It must represent a breakthrough, technical brilliance, something difficult that hadn't been done before. And it must be adopted in the real world. ...

The AI application that produced the first real breakthrough was the inference engine, a system with a knowledge base of conditions and rules. Such a computer can match a condition, such as a 104-degree fever in a patient, to a rule, such as the fact that bacterial infections cause high fevers. One of the best, the Mycin medical diagnosis system, could correctly identify bacterial infections in people based on their symptoms 65% of the time. That's better than most nonspecialized physicians. But it never moved out of the lab into popular use. No one knew who to sue when it was wrong.

My favorite AI package was IBM's Deep Blue program, which defeated chess Grand Champion Garry Kasparov in a six-game match. ... AI software can be impressive, but all my examples fall short of being among the greatest. ... Continuing into modern times, Google, in one aspect at least, represents great software. ... American Airlines' Sabre system was great, showing how software could evolve beyond the tactical needs of business and into the strategic. Sabre had the ability to match a customer's travel needs with the flights available at a travel agent's office. ... So how do I rank my candidates on a list from 1-12? In descending order, the greatest software ever written is: ...."
Source: August 14, 2006: What's The Greatest Software Ever Written?
Keywords: inference engine, expert system, AI

Find the "Knowledge Activist" in your company

Here is an interesting point about Subject Matter Experts by Kirk Kness, vice president of strategy and architecture at Baltimore-based financial services company T. Rowe Price Group Inc.:

Innovative employees often figure out how to handle exceptions and new scenarios that aren't covered by standard processes. However, these employees often don't have the time or the means to communicate their innovated solutions to colleagues.

Kness said CIOs and architects who are planning to launch a Web 2.0 strategy should find the "knowledge activist" in their companies. Knowledge activists are the people who are enthusiastic about understanding how processes in the business work. They are the people who are constantly looking to innovate the way they do things.

What a great term, "knowledge activist". That fits right in to the three main ideas I discuss on this blog: process, rules, and knowledge. I've already put this buzzword in a presentation I'm working on right now. Thanks Kirk!

Here's the rest of the story:

By Shamus McGillicuddy, News Writer 10.24.2006


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pratices + Procedures = Processes

Great post by Sandy Kemsley on Column 2 with some interesting observations.

First, SunGard has a BPMS product - does anyone know how it compares to BPMS/BRE tools like PegaRULES?

Next, I wonder if companies are getting ROI from exporting business process models from modeling tools into a BPMS for execution. Or are companies more interested in using the modeling tools simply for documentation?

Finally, this was a pretty neat way to define processes:

"I did like Roy's description of practices (determined by experienced specialists) versus procedures (executed by trained workers), and how they combine to make up processes. I also liked his phrase "enterprise technology sprawl", and his discussion of how an unstructured collage of technologies can start to dictate business processes. He made the great point that all compliance initiatives are based on process transparency, and (referencing the Aloha Airlines presentation about how they started modelling their business in order to organization themselves out of bankruptcy) that a near-death experience is a great motivator."

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Microsoft Rules 1.0 for MS Office

I discovered David Strommer's blog about .Net and Enterprise Architecture recently.

One post caught my eye, Microsoft Rules 1.0 for MS Office, which is about a story called Rules 1.0 that I wrote about Rulebase Management Systems. David's quote is spot on:
"One of the most difficult challenges of any application development effort is accuratly capturing the business processes and rules." - - David Strommer

Well said. Thanks David.

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KM - Satyam Recognized by Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise (MAKE) as a Top Asian Knowledge Organization

MAKE sounds like a great idea. Are US firms eligible for this thing too? I can think of a few US firms that could make the list. You probably know a few, or even work for one...

Satyam Computer Services Ltd on October 18, 2006 has announced that it is among the winners of Asia's Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise Awards. The MAKE Awards are given to leading Asian organizations that leading enterprise knowledge to create value through innovation, product or service excellence, and operational effectiveness. Another chief consideration is a Company’s ability to transform enterprise knowledge into stakeholder value.The Company has a dedicated Knowledge Management team that continuously inventories the organization's knowledge, upgrades that Information, and disseminates it across the enterprise...

A panel of Asian Fortune 500 senior executives and internationally recognized knowledge management experts selected 16 winners from among 69 candidate organizations. Panelists rated Companies founded and headquartered in Asia on eight knowledge-performance dimensions that foster competitive advantage and intellectual capital growth.

The Company has been rated very high on the first two parameters.The criteria include an organization's ability to:
  • Transform enterprise knowledge into shareholder value
  • Deliver knowledge-based products/solutions
  • Create a knowledge-driven culture
  • Develop knowledge workers through senior management leadership
  • Maximize enterprise intellectual capital
  • Create an environment for collaborative knowledge sharing
  • Create a learning organization
  • Deliver value based on customer knowledge.
Full story:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Press Release: Fair Isaac Recognized as Business Rules Management Systems Market Leader

Fair Isaac Recognized as Business Rules Management Systems Market Leader

October 02, 2006 09:21 AM Eastern Time

Industry Analyst Report Credits Fair Isaac’s Leadership to the Continued Success of its Award-Winning Blaze Advisor Business Rules Management System in the North American Market

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE:FIC), the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, announced today that leading analyst firm IDC has recognized Fair Isaac as the worldwide revenue leader in the Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) software market.

In the new IDC report titled “Worldwide Business Rules Management Systems Software 2006-2010 Forecast and 2005 Vendor Shares” (IDC #203627, September 2006), Fair Isaac leads the worldwide BRMS revenue category in 2005 with revenues of $45.1 million, growing a strong 28.6 percent compared to revenues of $35.1 million in 2004. Fair Isaac is ranked as the leader in BRMS market share with 23.9 percent worldwide and 33.4 percent in the key America market.

According to IDC, business rules management tools centralize the definition, discovery, storage, and submission of the vast quantity of rules used in business operations to provide organizations with greater automation, more responsiveness to change, and less expensive distribution and maintenance of their business activities. IDC anticipates that revenue for the worldwide BRMS market will continue to grow from its 2005 level of $188.5 million to $455.1 million in 2010, based on “the strong role that business rules management systems will have in building out the application infrastructure platforms.”

See the rest of the story...


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

$6 Billion Business Mistake at Airbus caused by Poor Process Mgmt

I like to tell executives that business rule engines help prevent business mistakes. As a matter of fact, I am extremely confident that preventing business mistakes provides enough ROI on its own to justify the investment in business rules management and technology.

So one of my favorite sections in the Business Rules Knowledge Base is where I tell you about real life examples of business mistakes caused by poor rules management, poor process management, and poor knowledge management.

I've just added an entry on a business process mistake that led to a $6 billion profit hit at Airbus. Very interesting reading, at least to me...

Wayward Airbus - Cross-border clashes have led to costly production errors. Job One for a new CEO will be to unify the jetmaker. "Airbus' A380 double-decker jet is two years behind schedule, sending billions of dollars in potential profits down the drain. But the reason sounds too simple to be true: Airbus factories in Germany and France were using incompatible design software, so the wiring produced in Hamburg didn't fit properly into the plane on the assembly line in Toulouse. It's one of the costliest blunders in the history of commercial aviation, and it has plunged Airbus into crisis. Chief Executive Christian Streiff quit on Oct. 9 after only three months on the job...

The delays in the A380 mean EADS will take a $6 billion profit hit over the next four years...

When bundles of the cabin wiring started arriving in Toulouse early this year, assembly slowed to a crawl. Workers tried to make them fit into the fuselage by pulling them apart and rethreading the wires, but that proved to be impractical, and the effort was abandoned. Airbus says it has introduced new software to correct the wiring design, but it will take months for engineers to get up to speed on the new system. That's why Airbus now predicts it won't deliver the first A380 orders until late 2007... BusinessWeek, Oct. 23, 2006



Revenue Recognition rules are good candidates for Business Rule Engines

The Business Rules Knowledgebase aims to keep you informed on the business rules market. Here's an item that just crossed my desk a few minutes ago.

Revenue recognition rules are hard to understand, they change often, they may be subject to interpretation, and they are difficult to program using conventional (i.e. procedural) programming languages. According the news item below, Pegasystems (a BizRules partner) is currently working on revenue recognition rules and timing rules.

I happen to know a little bit (very little!) about revenue recognition rules. One of our BIZRULES customers is successfully using the PegaRULES rules engine to manage and automate these types of accounting / financial rules. So I wouldn't be surprised if Pega begins to use its own proven rules engine to drive their improved internal revenue recognition process forward.

October 17, 2006 07:08 PM ET Pegasystems Delays Filing 3Q Report

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - Business-process software company Pegasystems Inc. said Tuesday it will delay filing its third-quarter financial results while it continues an internal accounting review of the timing of revenue recognition for certain arrangements, including fixed-price services.

The company said it may restate previously issued financial statements when the review is complete. In the event of a restatement, Pegasystems said it expects that not more than $2 million of revenue previously reported through would be deferred into the 2006 third quarter or future periods.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Press Release: HealthMarkets Selects Haley As A Business Rules Supplier

Leading Health and Life Insurer Selects Haley’s BRMS Solution for Its SOA Environment

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Haley Systems, Inc. today announced that HealthMarkets, a leading provider of affordable health and life insurance for individuals, the self-employed, small businesses and students, has selected its Business Rules Management System (BRMS).

HealthMarkets selected Haley as a business rules vendor following a successful implementation of Haley’s BRMS. Among the key reasons for selecting Haley were the system’s platform independence, English authoring and support for a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) capability in both the runtime and authoring environments. HealthMarkets intends to use Haley in an SOA environment to achieve a shared business rule repository that will reduce duplicate business logic throughout multiple applications.

“We believe that the Haley BRMS solution enhances our ability to develop and support our business applications,” said Edward J. Zecchini, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of HealthMarkets. “We anticipate that Haley’s BRMS technology will enable our business and technical teams to respond quickly to the constantly changing landscape of regulatory, underwriting and marketing rules of the health and life insurance industry.”

For the full press release please see below.



Friday, October 13, 2006

Speaking of news, I was in the Miami Herald recently...

Well... any publicity is good publicity, right? That's me cheering for the Florida Marlins:

(If you like that, let me know and I'll post an even better picture of me in USA Today!)

OK, I admit it, this blog post has nothing to do with the rules of business. I'd like to take a break and tell you a little bit about me and my family. The theme for this story is baseball, children, and family.

Here's a picture of me and the kids, surrounded by the hot Marlins Mermaids cheerleaders. (Note to wife: It really was about 98degrees when this picture was taken!)

The kids were there modeling for the official Marlins photographer. Here are the girls heading into the dugout after a long day at the ballpark...

And here's the gang leaving the dugout, walking out the secret passageway the players use...

We had no idea that one of the pictures taken that day would become famous:

That's my girl! She's the famous "Marlins Girl" that thousands of people have seen on billboards along I-95 and the Florida Turnpike!

What a cutie! Here's cutie #2 with my brother and my lovely wife Michelle.

My brother works for the Marlins. Here is a close-up of his 2003 World Series ring. Michelle owns a children's gym called My Gym Children's Fitness Center.

Michelle and my favorite graphic artist in the whole world, Illeanne, started an e-commerce business last year called Our Family Stickers. They created car window stickers that show off your family and pets. Michelle drew 60 beautiful little people, and Ile added the finishing touch. You can buy these cute little stickers online at Tell them that BizRules sent you!


Article: Business in Balance - Where Rules Management and BPM Meet

Rules are in the news! It's great to see a cover story in Intelligent Enterprise magazine on BRE and BPM.

Here's a link to an interesting article by Bruce Silver: "Business in Balance - Where Rules Management and BPM Meet; Both rules engines and process management suites are vital to business agility and performance. Here's how to strike the right mix of techniques and score a perfect 10."

Also posted in the Articles section of the Business Rules Knowledge Base.

Review: Pegasystems Unifies Process and Rules

Been travelling a bit lately so I'm finally getting around to reading the rags. An in-depth review of Pegasystems SmartBPM Suite in Intelligent Enterprise has been added to the Reviews section of the Business Rules Knowledge Base.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Press Release: ILOG Reveals Its Acceptance Into IBM SOA Specialty Program - Quick Facts

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – October 11, 2006 – ILOG, a leading Business Rule Management System (BRMS) vendor, today announced its acceptance into the IBM SOA Specialty Program after successfully completing IBM’s extensive service-oriented architecture (SOA) technical and business requirements.

With this achievement, ILOG has integrated its JRules™ BRMS seamlessly with the IBM SOA Foundation, a single, integrated platform that combines application server and integration capabilities.

According to ILOG, ILOG JRules is the first Business Rule Management System to be integrated with the IBM WebSphere Process Server, a key element of IBM's SOA offering.


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