ILOG have announced the Optimisation Decision Management System (ODMS), the industry's first complete system  for building custom, optimisation-based planning and scheduling  applications. With this system, users across industries can harness the  power of optimisation technology for developing state-of-the-art decision  support applications that solve complex business problems ranging from  near real-time scheduling to long-term strategic planning. Applications  built using ODMS provide business users with the ability to perform  what-if analysis and scenario comparison so they can understand their  options and balance their conflicting business goals. ODMS also provides a  platform for business users, IT and operations research experts to work  collaboratively in building and refining planning and scheduling  applications.

 Optimisation software is an effective method for planning and scheduling  in many Global 200 companies and organisations worldwide. However, prior  to ODMS, a complete set of optimisation modeling and application  development tools was not available. Users were forced to either make do  with generic applications that didn't fit their business, use Microsoft Excel-based models that were limited in their ability to find optimal  solutions, or build custom applications from scratch with little assistance. None of these solutions made it easy to deliver the quality of  what-if analysis and explanations needed to truly support the decision  making process, and sometimes, even failed to find the optimal solutions  to business problems.

 ILOG's ODMS allows organisations to leverage the power of optimisation  whether or not they have operations research professionals on staff. It  brings together ILOG's market-leading optimisation engines, ILOG CPLEX  and ILOG CP(tm) for constraint programming with its development tools,  ILOG OPL-CPLEX Development System for model development and ILOG ODM(tm)  (Optimisation Decision Manager) for application development. The complete  system supports the development of multiple types of optimisation-based  applications, ranging from strategic planning applications to detailed  scheduling applications. The system also supports the complete model and  application development process, starting with quick prototyping through  model and application refinement, to application deployment and  maintenance.

 "Every business routinely faces complex planning and scheduling  challenges. Part of the issue is the unique nature of the tactical optimisations that each company attempts to tackle. Traditionally  Optimisation engines require operations research PhDs to program and the  available software development environments lacked advanced optimisation  tools. ILOG has bridged this gap with the introduction of its Optimisation  Decision Management System," wrote Bob Parker, Vice President of Research  at IDC Manufacturing Insights in a recent research document. "Underpinned  with its highly regarded optimisation engines for both mathematical and  constraint solving, ODMS generates decision models that can be used by  business people to solve complex business problems."

 Using ODMS, businesses can now more easily consider building a custom  planning or scheduling application. Everyday business situations such as  determining the optimal electric power generation plan in the utilities  industry, determining advertising schedules that honor contractual  obligations, or scheduling workers while considering skills, preferences,  and vacation requests are all decision making problems that can benefit  from ILOG's ODMS. Whether a finance professional or a supply chain  executive is looking for cost savings opportunities or a marketing manager  is trying to decide upon the optimal campaign strategy, all these users  can now effectively harness the power of optimisation to reach the best  possible business decision.

 "We have been successfully using ILOG's optimisation technology to build  custom planning and scheduling systems for many years and they have proved  their leadership once again with ODMS," said Kazu Inoue, Director, NS  Solutions. "We believe these tools will help companies build even better  decision support applications in the future."

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