IBM: ILOG Acquisition Benefits Key SOA, BPM Offerings

An IBM exec says its ILOG purcahse will strengthen 3 key areas of its SOA and BPM porfolio -- Business Rules, Optimization and Virtualization. Watch for ILOG's impact in IBM WebSphere, Tivoli and Lotus product lines, IBM says.

Tags: Business, IBM, Business Rules, BPM, SOA, Optimization, Management,

A key IBM exec says Big Blue will strengthen 3 key areas of its SOA and BPM offerings thanks to its $340 million acquisition of business rules software firm ILOG. The sectors are: Business Rules, Optimization and Virtualization.

"ILOG will supplement our BPM Enabled by SOA initiative through its software, 3,000-plus customers in 30 countries, more than 500 partners, and strong marketing expertise," said Sandy Carter, IBM's Vice President, SOA & WebSphere Marketing, Strategy and Channels in a posting her IBM blog, SOA Off the Record.

In specific, ILOG will strengthen IBM's BPM and SOA offerings across IBM product lines, including WebSphere, Tivoli and Lotus, according to press reports. "When completed, this acquisition will strengthen IBM's BPM, SOA and overall software leadership," Carter added.

Separately, another IBM exec said the ILOG technologies will help IBM deliver critical business information in real-time, allowing clients to more quickly make better business decisions. "Companies across all industries are looking for technologies to help them manage their processes with more flexibility so they can keep up with changing business conditions," said Tom Rosamilia, general manager, IBM WebSphere, in a statement.

Inside Details of IBM-ILOG BPM, SOA Plans
Carter noted that ILOG's products include Business Rules Management System, optimization and visualization tools, supply chain application assets, as well as middleware offerings. Carter described the future impact of ILOG on IBM SOA/BPM products this way in her blog:

We anticipate that we can use ILOG's technology to add significant capability across our entire software platform. This includes improved rules and business optimization capabilities for Information Management offerings, better visualization for Lotus and Rational products, and enhanced optimization within Tivoli solutions. ILOG's optimization products, along with their supply chain management extensions, will also support key practices in Global Business Services, such as the Center for Business Optimization.
Carter went on to offer IBM/ILOG details on three (3) distinct areas:

  • Business Rules -- Business rules describe the operations, definitions and constraints that companies use to achieve their goals. IBM currently delivers rules capabilities through the IBM BPM Suite and WebSphere Process Server. With IBM's BPM Suite, users can define a business rule such as "Determine the most senior driver who is qualified to drive a particular truck type." With ILOG's end-to-end Business Rules Management System, governing the rule over the lifecycle is more easily accomplished. The user can effectively assign and manage the rule in many different processes and applications. In addition, ILOG adds the ability to manage more complex rules. For example, users can define "Determine the most senior driver who is qualified to drive a particular truck type, who will not require overtime pay during the drive time, is available within the next 2 hours, and has had at least 1 hour break in the last 8 hours."

  • Optimization -- Optimization software uses mathematical algorithms to identify the best use of resources to achieve business goals. Optimization, for example, can help power companies better manage power supplies, saving money and reducing carbon emissions. Supply chain management extensions leverage ILOG's technologies to improve supply chain efficiency and business performance.

  • Visualization -- Visualization software enables building interactive user interfaces for displaying large volumes of data in a manageable form to speed effective decision-making. One Spanish telecommunications group, for example, uses visualization software as part of an early warning system aimed at monitoring illegal activities. An IBM partner since 1996, ILOG already benefits IBM through its compatibility with software like WebSphere Business Events.
  • "ILOG's software allows businesses to more effectively manage and automate the decision making process, giving companies an opportunity to react with incredible speed and accuracy," IBM's Rosamilia added.