The Boulder BI Brain Trust


River Logics Focuses on Corporate Performance Management

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RL logo.pngRiver Logic presented with Philip Higginbotham, VP Business Development, Carlos Centurion, VP Strategy and Marketing, and Shan McAdoo, VP Development. In the early 1990's, River Logic founded by Dr. Robert Whitehair, an expert in mathematically modeling of complex business processes. Teaming with a group of special Russian mathematicians, hundreds of models in a variety of industries, such as chemical, manufacturing, etc. Gradually shifting from services to products as their offering. Currently they are at 55% to 45% for service to product.

Carlos refers to their area as constraint-based modeling. When asked what's new, Philip answered, "The older modeling did small problems involving thousands of constraints, while their modeling can do big problems involving millions of constraints. Their product is Enterprise Optimizer as explained as "backbone of our Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solutions: Integrated Business Planner, Trade Promotion Optimization (TPO) Planner, and Integrated Delivery System (IDS) Planner. They working through partners who define the business problem of the actual corporate client, does the system integration, and branded into partner offering.

RL model1.pngShan explained a simple example of a manufacturing firm, showing the process linking into financial variables. Good discussion of the 'semantics' under the icons. For instance, the BUY object contains a set of tables that can be linked into the data warehouse tables. When the SOLVE button is invoked, current data is imported into the model processing.

Philip elaborated on six specialization packages of Enterprise Optimizer. The first was a medical delivery model. A live demo showed various optimization scenarios for a paper mill operation. An interesting outcome was to reduce production to increase revenue, since the efficient capacity limits were exceed.

Philip summarized their value proposition as: "For the first time, you can represent a business problem realistically without sacrificing complexity, run scenarios very quickly with low cost of ownership, and identify actions that maximize value to the organization with fact-based support across all functional silos."

My Take...

River Logic is pushing a contemporary marriage of Operation Research with Business Intelligence. Although the approach has a long legacy, their claims are innovative: reduction of requirements of deep modeling skills for business analysts, increase of the analytic power to solve large problems, and reduction of development time to days. 

The issue is how to clearly demonstrate the business value of constraint-based modeling to enhancing the current corporate BI/DW infrastructure and applications. They have tricky decisions ahead about strategies to leverage a value-add partner network. Several options are possible, such as enhancements to popular ERP modules and extension major analytic suites.

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