The benefits of hosted solutions

Cloud computing offers many advantages over more traditional software channels. There is an interesting analogy here between computing power and electricity (elucidated well in the book The Big Switch: rewiring the world, from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr 2008) – cloud computing offers computing power and business applications served up from a “centralised power plant”.

At Biarri we are excited about the advantages of cloud-hosted solutions instead of the more traditional desktop approach, in particular:

  • All clients run the latest and greatest version of the software
  • Accessible anywhere there is an internet connection
  • From a development point of view, problems can be solved once in a controlled computing environment. This lets developers concentrate more on features of value to customers and less on making software robust enough to run under many different environments (OS versions or variants for example).
  • Avoiding desktop licensing issues (e.g. tying software to a particular machine with awkward process for transferring license to another machine)
  • Short-circuits problems with desktop software deployment
  • Instant support – pursuing the electricity analogy, this would be like having a handyman always immediately on call to fix your problem
  • Scalability – ability to increase the computing power required on demand by “spinning up” more machine instances in the cloud
  • And best of all for our business clients – available on a low-cost monthly subscription (with the ability to easily turn on and off the service) without an arduous IT deployment

Biarri’s Workbench continues to be developed and enhanced and offers a hosted solution that comprises many different optimisation engines that all “plug in” to a central, flexible hosted architecture. In keeping with Biarri’s key values of accessibility and power, the user interface offers both a workflow-oriented interface with rich data manipulation and visualisation functionality.

Accessibility – at work every day

The posts below describe Biarri’s approach to deliver optimisation through accessibility of a number of different channels. Whether it is modelling in excel, a Biarri inside engine, by using the Biarri Workbench or even a managed service – these are all great ways for businesses to quickly and affordably benefit from the power of optimisation and Operations Research.

On a more practical level each day we are seeing examples where Biarri’s open and accessible approach is giving customers the power to “drive” the model or application and get the benefits of new insights and approaches to complex problems which deliver savings.

The power of being able to change parameters and input data and re-run optimisations all in a matter of seconds means in a very short time customers have used Biarri’s tools to get a deep understanding of what drives cost and yield in a supply chain or business operation and the impact of the different levers they can pull to affect change.

We at Biarri believe that powerful insight and analysis should be available quickly, to answer the burning questions that management have. For this reason, every day the team at Biarri look for new ways to make our commercial mathematics more accessible for our customers.

Accessible Engines: Biarri Inside

From the start Biarri has been committed to providing easy access to powerful optimisation.  Our focus at inception was twofold being:

  • Custom optimisation models delivered through consultancy projects and
  • To deliver task specific engines made available on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis via the “Biarri WorkBench” (WB).

The strong demand for our analytical consulting services continues to surprise us and the WB is now in Beta with a launch expected later in the year.

However, a new delivery channel has emerged to provide even greater access to our optimisation capability.  Over the last few months we have been developing optimisation formulations and engines that other companies are embedding in their own software.  This ‘Biarri Inside’ approach allows companies to quickly and affordably add optimisation capability to an existing application and leverage Biarri’s expertise in formulating and coding optimisation engines.

We are responding to the demand for the ‘Biarri Inside’ approach by ensuring the optimisation engines that we develop have a well documented and designed API so  each can be easily incorporated into existing solutions.  We are now involved in a number of projects that leverage this delivery channel for accessible optimisation.