Inside Story: Movers & Shakers
Some of the biggest names in the high-tech software and consulting universe – IBM, SAS, Microsoft and Fair Isaac to name just a few – have seen the future of business in this increasingly international, interconnected world and the future is … analytics.
IBM, for example, recently acquired ILOG, a market leader in optimization software, and launched an ambitious plan to hire or retrain as many as 4,000 analytics consultants and professionals to support a recently launched network of Analytics Solution Centers around the world (page 7).
Earlier this year, SAS, a recognized leader in business analytics software and services with 45,000 customer sites worldwide, introduced a series of promising new products at its SAS Global Forum, “Competing on Analytics,” in which former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke on the topic “Leading with Confidence in an Era of Uncertainty.”
Microsoft is expanding its presence in the optimization and related analytics markets as evidenced by its appearance at the INFORMS Practice Conference in Phoenix in April, while Fair Isaac (now FICO) bolstered its credentials in predictive analytics with last year’s acquisition of Dash Optimization.
Despite the worldwide economic woes, this appears to be a good time to be riding the analytics bandwagon, whether you’re on the provider end or the benefits end.
And then there’s the story of Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest technology company with a supply chain to match, that both provided and benefited from analytics in the form of cutting-edge operations research and algorithms that tamed HP’s bulging product portfolio problem and returned $500 million to the bottom line at the same time. The work earned HP the coveted 2009 Edelman Award from INFORMS for outstanding achievement in operations research (page 32).
As always, I look forward to your feedback. Analytics is an interactive exercise. Contributed editorial ideas, articles and columns are welcomed.
– Peter Horner, editor
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