Business Optimization

Efficient operations in complex business networks

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Organizations today are acting within an increasingly accelerated and networked environment of customers, suppliers, competitors and regulations.

Businesses all around the world face challenges dealing with large amounts of structured and unstructured data as well as tremendous variability and uncertainty within the data, processes, and markets. To sustain a competitive edge, companies’ highest priorities today are to adequately consider and exploit technology factors and market factors [1].

The Business Optimization group at the IBM Research – Zurich Lab is proud of more than a decade of acknowledged expertise in applying cutting-edge research and development to large business networks that face strong variability or uncertainty, namely Supply Chain Management, SmartGrids, and Transportation networks. We partner closely with other IBM business units and universities.

While each of our focus industries requires deep domain-specific knowledge, most of their business enhancements require a strong expertise to deal with large, stochastic networks. Not coincidentally, the portfolio of the Business Optimization group spans a wide range of relevant topics: from stochastic optimization via forecasting and simulation all the way to controlling and trading flexibility within networks.

The key success ingredient of these complex projects is the right mixture between innovation and stability — by combining “cutting-edge” and “practice-proven” elements within models, algorithms, software, infrastructure and processes. The “intelligent glue” between these elements originates from a deep domain expertise and several grains of creativity.


[1] IBM Institute for Business Value: Redefining Boundaries – Insights from the Global C-suite Study. IBM, Somers (NY), 2015.

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