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Think Clearly, Act Decisively, Feel Confident

Dr. Sven Roden
Unilever

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Applying the principles and best practice of decision analysis allows the Decision Analysis Group at Unilever to analyze decisions that are complex in nature and have a high degree of uncertainty. It is not just about being good at probabilistic analysis; it is also about making sure the company is addressing the right problem and gaining commitment to action. In this presentation, Sven Roden will discuss what Decision Making Under Uncertainty means to Unilever and how Decision Analysis techniques are at the forefront of making a cultural change to the way Unilever approaches and analyses strategic decisions. Also discussed will be how Unilever’s relationship with Palisade helped them in their journey, and how they are constantly looking internally and externally to identify future trends and applications and evolve their tools and models to be at the forefront of applying Decision Analysis.

 

Palisade and Trends in Risk Management

Sam McLafferty
Palisade Corporation

Palisade products @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite are used across a variety of industry sectors. As such, Palisade sees multiple perspectives on risk management. Trends are emerging that emphasize risk management as an enterprise discipline rather than just a localized fire-fighting technique. Sam will briefly review common threads in risk management that Palisade sees developing across various sectors such as finance, insurance, healthcare, and energy.

He will also discuss the latest release of @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite for Excel, new version 5.5. @RISK 5.5 is available in five new languages and brings a number of important new features that improve usability, save time, and enhance Monte Carlo simulation analyses. Sam will discuss how @RISK is meeting the growing demand for risk management by making quantitative risk analysis more accessible than ever.

 

Accelerating Product Design with
Simulation and Stochastic Optimization

Andy Sleeper
Successful Statistics

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The key to successful new product development is to anticipate and prevent problems before they happen. Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) is a system of risk-prevention tools used by world-class companies to launch new products of the highest quality, in the least time, and at the lowest cost. Simulation and optimization tools are among the most powerful DFSS tools, allowing engineers to prevent performance and capability problems before the first prototypes are built. What once required months or years to discover now takes only minutes to prevent.
This case study demonstrates a suite of tools every engineer must know to be competitive:

  • Deterministic optimization prevents performance problems
  • @RISK Monte Carlo simulation identifies capability problems and improvement opportunities
  • RISKOptimizer stochastic optimization prevents capability problems

 

Capitalizing Upon Market Inequities:
A Game Plan for Successful Sports Wagering

Clayton Graham
DePaul University

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Sports wagering brings two separate “markets” together. First is the production market or the game itself. The second is the wagering or betting market. As a matter of practicality, the wagering market is itself in balance, i.e., bet clearing is covered through the process of adjusting the cost-payout ratio (the line.) Betting lines are translated into an expected probability of winning. This resultant probability is frequently inconsistent with the probability of the team actually winning. Hence, the opportunity to capitalize upon the dichotomy between the inequities of the production and gaming markets will be detailed and quantified. The presentation will include:

  • Fundamentals of gambling lines and odds,
  • Identification of key metrics,
  • Methods of production modeling baseball and basketball (similarities and differences),
  • Integration of economics (investment) with production,
  • Economics of decision making.

Principal Palisade software utilized includes: StatTools, @RISK and Evolver. The presentation will have a heavy graphic and visualization emphasis. Theoretical statistics will be tightly tied with pragmatic realities of game modeling and economically based decision making.

Specific quantification will consist of:

  • Probabilities of winning a game,
  • Measurement bias of officials,
  • Quantification of player performance,
  • Expected values of return on investment,
  • Sports gambling optimizing algorithm.

Examples of actual results for current and past seasons along with predictions will be provided. In short, it’s “Card Counting” for sports!

 

The Collapse of an Unsustainable Paradigm: Prosperity by Debt (What Happens Now?)

Roy Nersesian
Columbia University

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There has always been pressure to free mankind from the constricts of a hard currency: “thou shalt not crucify mankind on a cross of gold” syndrome. Adding layers of debt to cash income expands the purchasing power of individuals and enhances economic activity. But debt reduces cash income via financing costs. As long as debt stays ahead of rising financing costs, individuals can live today by borrowing against tomorrow. But what happens when the day of reckoning cuts off further debt accumulation?

The speaker maintains that the purchasing power of individuals for all intents and purposes is permanently impaired. This has direct bearing on living standards, job opportunities, and economic activity. This does not necessarily mean an economic depression, but it does infer that any economic recovery will be shallow. The economic doldrums will not go away until the overhanging debt is liquidated one way or the other. @RISK is featured in this financial analysis.

 

Executive Pay for Performance Using @RISK

Marwaan Karame
Economic Value Advisors

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Traditional executive incentive plans often encourage mediocrity and in many cases lead to the destruction of shareholder value. We don't have to look far to find evidence of a company with a long-term decline in stock price and increasing executive pay packages. The issue with executive compensation is not about the amount being paid to CEOs, but rather on the measure of performance and the terms of their compensation plan.

Our Value Based Management (VBM) incentive compensation plan is designed to align management and shareholder interests, such that managers are rewarded for creating long-term shareholder value. The structure of our incentive plan simulates ownership, similar to a management buyout, however it has added advantages for both the manager and the shareholder. Our VBM plan uses @RISK's Monte Carlo Simulation as part of our analysis package. In this case study we will see why traditional compensation is a formula for mediocrity. We will also show how to create a pay for performance compensation plan that will maximize long-term shareholder wealth by aligning management and shareholder interests. Lastly, we will demonstrate how to calibrate a pay for performance compensation plan using @RISK.

 

Integrated Project Risk Analysis

Jay O’Connor
Turner & Townsend

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When conducting project risk analysis, it is not uncommon for the qualitative risk, quantitative schedule and quantitative cost risk analysis to be conducted separately and kept independent of each other. While some software packages attempt to integrate all three into one analysis, these efforts tend to fall short in one area or another. Turner & Townsend’s approach is to integrate the residual risks and opportunities along with the results from the schedule risk analysis into the cost risk analysis to develop a more fully integrated project risk analysis. The presentation will discuss our approach to risk analysis.

 

Interpretive and Ethical Issues in using
Monte Carlo Simulations to Support
Executive Decision-Making

How to avoid giving your boss impressive, but misleading guidance

Dr. Robert Ameo
Principal of Market Modelers

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Simulations are proliferating throughout the business community powered by a troop of freshly minted MBAs armed with their requisite course on decision sciences and their student versions of Crystal Ball or @RISK.

Finance organizations are asking their analysts to “do a Monte Carlo”. Dutifully, the analysts select a handful of “key” variables, assign triangular or Pert distributions, set iterations to 1000, push the simulate button. The laptop’s screen displays a colorful histogram and a sensitivity analysis to add to the PowerPoint.

Lo and behold, the simulation analysis supports the original scenario model showing the mean or median simulated output to be just about in the middle of the distribution. Mission accomplished. Senior leadership is assured that the model has been tested by simulating 1000 potential outcomes. Management moves forward in their pre-decided direction with confidence bolstered by a state of the art Monte Carlo analysis.

This scenario happens every day and for so many reasons it is very wrong.

Using simulations to support executive decision-making introduces ethical concerns that are not present in “most likely case” scenario modeling. In this presentation, Bob Ameo discusses the ethical responsibilities of using simulation models to inform executive decision-making. Specific recommendations are made how to appropriately conduct and present outcomes from simulation models.

 

Simulating the U.S. Economy:
Where will we be in 100 years?

Dr. William Strauss
FutureMetrics

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There is an assumption that drives all of our expectations for how our economy will be in the future.  That assumption is one of endless economic growth. Clearly endless exponential growth is impossible. Yet that is what we base all of our expectations upon. We all agree that zero or negative economic growth is bad (just look around now at the effects of the Great Recession). But we also know logically that 2% or 4% annual growth every year leads to an exponential growth outcome that is unsustainable. 

To see where this growth imperative will take us we first have to see how we go to where we are today. This work first models the 20th century. The model is both complex and simple. The basic schematic of the model’s relationships is easy to understand. Furthermore, the core of the model is a simple production function that combines capital, labor, and the useful work derived from energy to generate the output of the economy. Complexity is contained in the solutions to the internal workings of the model. What is unique is that there are no exogenous economic variables.  Once the equations’ parameters are calibrated, setting the key outputs to “one” in 1900 results in their time paths very closely predicting the U.S. GDP and its key components from 1900 to 2006. 

The experiment in this work is about the future. If the model can very closely replicate the last 100 years, what does it have to say about the next 100 years? From 1900 to 2006 there are periods in which there was parameter switching. (The optimal parameters and the years for the switching were found using a constrained optimization technique.) That suggests that in the future there will also be changes. The experiment uses @RISK’s features to generate new combinations of parameters for each of tens of thousands of runs of the simulation. Changes in the parameters represent potential exogenous policy choices.

The “doing what you did gets you what you got” scenario leads to a surprising and unsettling outcome. The experiments using @RISK do find a path that works. Obviously if it is not “business-as-usual” that leads to a stable outcome, it is some other way. The policy choices that lead to a stable outcome suggest that the future of capitalism is not going to be what we expect it to be.

 

Strategic Portfolio Decision Analysis
in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Ahmad R. Saadat
Momenta Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical drug development is characterized by massive capital investments and equally significant risks. Recent statistics indicate a commercialization success rate of about 10 percent with estimated combined costs of $1 billion dollars for each product. However, the rewards of success are often products with billion dollar sales, patents that limit competition and high profit margins. This potential successful outcome has attracted much capital to start‐ups in this industry over the past few decades. The combination of high capital requirements, high failure rates and high but rare and uncertain returns, leaves a low margin of error on strategic decisions and requires a more quantitative approach to the decision making process.

While older, more established and well-capitalized pharmaceutical companies can withstand the risks of failure; there are many start‐up companies with limited resources that are aspiring to become the next successful pharmaceutical firm. Given the industry’s low rate of development success, one could argue that the investors and executives of these firms plan to beat the odds. For these start‐ups, the business model is to raise cash through venture capital firms to get products from concept into the clinic followed by additional financing through either public stock offerings or non‐dilutive out‐licensing or partnerships. More recently, as a result of the recent financial crisis, funding through venture capital and public offerings have significantly decreased, resulting in wide spread company restructurings to preserve capital. Moreover, the financial distress of the potential licensors has resulted in lower valuations and less lucrative deals. In this unforgiving environment, it is imperative to develop and execute a robust business strategy focused on risk management.

Diversification of risk through a portfolio of products is a widely used strategy for all pharmaceutical companies. The portfolio is comprised of projects with varying level of investment, probability of success and commercial opportunity. However, the optimization of the portfolio, to ensure that it meets strategic objectives, requires an often‐ignored analysis of its components and their contribution to overall risk and value. This presentation proposes a method to analyze portfolio decisions using industry statistics, a hypothetical product portfolio, and simulation techniques that aim to optimize management decisions and answer many questions including but not limited to: How many and what type of projects should be included to meet the required diversification profile? What are the impacts of various decisions on value and risk of a portfolio in the future? What are the most significant events and the impact of changes in assumptions? What are the probabilities of extreme scenarios – i.e. breakeven point and very large returns? This method can be used to support strategic investment decisions in an existing portfolio of pharmaceutical products (with or without existing cash flows), investing in a start‐up, licensing a product, collaborations and M&A activities.

 

So You Think You Have the Right Data?

Andrea Dickens
Unilever

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Have you often wondered how good your data is? Collecting data about future uncertainties from experts has a number of hidden traps. In this interactive session we will make you aware of some of the most common sources of bias, and suggest ways to overcome them.

 

A Stochastic Simulation Model for Dairy Business Investment Decisions

Dr. Jeffrey Bewley
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Kentucky

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A dynamic, stochastic, mechanistic simulation model of a dairy enterprise was developed to evaluate the cost and benefit streams coinciding with investments in Precision Dairy Farming technologies. The model was constructed to embody the biological and economical complexities of a dairy farm system within a partial budgeting framework. A primary objective was to establish a flexible, user-friendly, farm-specific, decision-making tool for dairy producers or their advisers and technology manufacturers.

The basic deterministic model was created in Microsoft Excel. @RISK was employed to account for the stochastic nature of key variables within a Monte Carlo simulation. Net present value was the primary metric used to assess the economic profitability of investments. The model comprised a series of modules, which synergistically provided the necessary inputs for profitability analysis. Estimates of biological relationships within the model were obtained from the literature in an attempt to represent an average or typical U.S. dairy. Technology benefits were appraised from the resulting impact on disease incidence, disease impact, and reproductive performance. The economic feasibility of investment in an automated BCS system was explored to demonstrate the utility of this model.

An expert opinion survey was conducted to obtain estimates of potential improvements from adoption of this technology. Benefits were estimated through assessment of the impact of BCS on the incidences of ketosis, milk fever, and metritis; conception rate at first service; and energy efficiency. Improvements in reproductive performance had the greatest influence on revenues followed by energy efficiency and disease reduction, in order. Stochastic variables that had the most influence on NPV were: variable cost increases after technology adoption; the odds ratios for ketosis and milk fever incidence and conception rates at first service associated with varying BCS ranges; uncertainty of the impact of ketosis, milk fever, and metritis on days open, unrealized milk, veterinary costs, labor, and discarded milk; and the change in the percentage of cows with BCS at calving ≤ 3.25 before and after technology adoption. The deterministic inputs impacting NPV were herd size, management level, and level of milk production. Investment in this technology may be profitable; but results were very herd-specific.

Investment decisions for Precision Dairy Farming technologies can be analyzed with input of herd-specific values using this model.

 

Use of @RISK for Forecasting
Analysis of a Manufacturing Process in an
Environment of High Uncertainty

Dr. Jose A. Briones
SpyroTek Business Solutions

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Profitability projections in a manufacturing environment are directly tied to how the sales forecast fits with the capability of the operation. When a company has a large portfolio of products with very different operational production rates, the manufacturing capacity of the plant will be significantly impacted by the product mix to be produced. This in turn will have a radical effect on the output of the plant and the allocation of the fixed cost of production. In this case we present an example where a company is trying to decide how best to balance the sales of certain families of products to maximize revenue, maintain a diverse product line, and properly price each individual product based on the impact to the manufacturing schedule and fixed cost allocation.

 

Use of @RISK and RISKOptimizer to
Model Catastrophic Epidemiological Events

Mark N. Abramovich
Interdisciplinary Solutions, LLC

A variety of disease-spread models help quantify the potential effects of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions on pandemic influenza. But taken in isolation, such models are of limited utility when one considers, risk, resource allocation and the optimal selection of a portfolio of interventions, as well as the timing and implementation of such interventions in the face of uncertainty and random disease profile characteristics.

The PanálysisTM system for pandemic management uses a spreadsheet-based model that incorporates operational modeling techniques such as Process Analysis, Monte Carlo Simulation, Optimization and Constraint-Based Resource Allocation to project the effects of pandemics on hospitals, regions and their associated populations. Metrics used to measure the effects of pandemics on a population include overall fatalities, case fatality rates, and key resource shortage levels. As such, with PanálysisTM, the effects of a wide variety of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions can be measured in isolation of one another and in tandem with each other. This makes PanálysisTM a valuable tool for national, regional and hospital decision makers who wish to craft an overall strategy or design specific tactics to plan for, mitigate or respond to a pandemic. It can also be used as a tool for command and control during an event. It is also useful for researchers and commercial biotech developers interested in quantifying the potential effects of a single therapy.

 

Using the DecisionTools Suite for Risk Assessment in Competitive Electricity Markets

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar
Customized Energy Solutions

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The electricity industry has experienced a paradigm shift over the past decade with the emergence of competitive electricity markets. Traditionally, under the vertically regulated energy industry structure, all the risks of investment decisions were passed on to the consumers with guaranteed rate of recovery being assured for the utility companies. One of the main reasons for the move towards deregulation was to transfer these risks from consumers to market participants who have better information and capability to mitigate potential risks. Competitive electricity markets now act as one of the most efficient ways for price discovery, where even bilateral contracts are settled against these markets in most of the regions. These markets provide mechanisms for valuing various attributes of electricity through a number of markets such as energy, ancillary services and capacity markets. These competitive electricity markets also provide  various hedging mechanisms that can be used by market participants to mitigate their risk of price volatility. In recent years, there is also a focus on environmental attributes of electricity, with various regions adopting Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), mandating that a certain percentage of electricity be produced from renewable sources.

In competitive electricity markets where the value for energy and ancillary services varies from hour to hour and depends on the location in the electricity grid, it is quite challenging to evaluate investment decisions for both conventional and emerging technologies. We will discuss in this presentation how DecisionTools Suite software can be used for understanding the underlying risks and variability in the electricity markets, in order to make sound investment decisions. We will look at examples using real market data for various investment decisions, in areas such as energy storage, solar PV, wind and conventional fossil fuel plants, as well as transmission improvements.

 

Using the DecisionTools Suite to Perform
Multi-criteria Decision Analysis to Identify Sustainable Environmental Alternatives

Timothy J. Havranek
ENTRIX, Inc

The United Nation’s Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainability is often cited: “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, Oxford University Press 1987). Interest in sustainability is steadily increasing as individuals, corporations and governments consider issues such as global warming, the collapse of financial markets, and urban sprawl.

Sustainability concepts have now become part of managing cleanups (i.e. remediation) at hazardous waste sites. In April 2008, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published its Green Remediation Technology Primer thereby launching its green remediation initiative. The primary goal of green remediation is to integrate sustainable practices into decision making, thereby increasing the environmental, social, and economic benefits of cleanup.

This presentation demonstrates an approach for analyzing the overall sustainability of hazardous waste site clean-up alternatives using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) as supported by Palisade DecisionTools. MCDA provides a transparent, systematic process for evaluating alternative strategies that have multiple costs and benefits (environmental, economic, and social). The presentation includes the application of the MCDA process to a fictitious site that includes many of the issues and complexities associated with a hazardous waste cleanup project. The techniques presented can be used to evaluate the sustainability of any business decision.

 

Advanced Time-Series Forecasting Models and Methods

Dr. William J. McKibbin
McKibbinUSA, LLC

Analysts are frequently confronted with scenarios where a forecast based on historical data is required. The presentation will introduce methods for building stochastic time-series forecasts in spreadsheets, using methods ranging from simple moving averages to GARCH.

 

Integrated Quantitative Project Risk Analysis - Structuring the Model Effectively

Jay O’Connor
Turner & Townsend Inc.

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A project risk analysis is only as good as the model that was used to prepare it. It is critical that the model be constructed to reflect the risks specifically associated with the project. The model must be able to accurately reflect the risks associated with schedule, quantities, cost and the residual unmitigated risk items from the qualitative risk analysis. The model should also take into account the interrelationships and dependencies of these items.

The presentation will address these issues and present examples of how results can vary based on the level of detail used in preparing the risk analysis.

 

Targeted Analyses and Compelling Communication: A Formula for Successful
Value Creation in Management Science

Michael A. Kubica
Applied Quantitative Sciences, Inc.

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The value of quantitative science projects too often remains unrealized for would-be consumers. Despite flawless analyses, sophisticated reports and dazzling presentations, the message goes unheeded by those who could most benefit: If only they understood how to operationalize the results. The clarity with which quantitative scientists view the practical application of results is often paralleled only by their inability to generate that same clarity in their customers. The result is that good management science is at best ignored and worst, misunderstood (and misapplied). This workshop describes steps we as quantitative scientists can take to foster understanding, generate novel insights and stimulate actionable results with our clients. 

 

 

Automating @RISK with VBA

Dr. Chris Albright
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

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» Download the example files

I have written a book, VBA for Modelers (now in its third edition), where I teach ordinary Excel users how to automate Excel with VBA. I also teach a course at Indiana University for MBAs from this book, and it is quite popular. One possibility that very few people seem to be aware of is that VBA can be used to automate other software, including add-ins for Excel, provided that the developers of these software packages expose their object models to programmers. Many have done so, including Palisade with @RISK. I will demonstrate what it takes to automate @RISK with VBA using two examples. The first is a general template for any simulation model, and the second is a useful program for grading students’ @RISK models. If you know VBA for Excel, the battle is more than half over; the same basic language still works. All you have to learn is the object model of the add-in and how the software developer, in this case Palisade, expects you to interact with its software. If you envision using this programming functionality for an occasional project only, the learning curve will perhaps be too steep. But if you can see the benefits from using it often, the VBA approach should be well worth the time it takes to master.

 

Introduction to the DecisionTools Suite 5.5

Erik Westwig
Palisade Corporation

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This session will show you how to use the elements of the new DecisionTools Suite 5.5 as a comprehensive risk analysis, optimization, and statistical analysis toolkit. Each of the products in the suite, @RISK, RISKOptimizer, Evolver, PrecisionTree, TopRank, StatTools, and NeuralTools, will be presented, showing how they can be used to solve practical problems in the real-world.

 

Introduction to @RISK 5.5

Thompson Terry
Palisade Corporation

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This introduction to @RISK 5.5 will walk you through a risk analysis using various example models. Key features of @RISK will be highlighted, and new enhancements in version 5.5 will be pointed out along the way. You will experience the intuitive interface of @RISK 5.5 as you define distributions, correlations, and other model components. During simulation you will be able to see all charts, thumbnails, and reports update in real time. View results with a variety of graphing options, including new cumulative-histogram overlays, scatter plots in scenario analysis, and more. There’s so much to see, we’ll cover as much as time permits.

 

Custom Software Applications using
@RISK 5.5: Schedule and Cost Risk Analysis

Dr. Javier Ordóñez
Palisade Corporation

@RISK and DecisionTools Suite software ship with full-featured development environments that allow you to create custom applications using Palisade technology directly in Excel. Using a customized VBA interface and simulation model in Excel, we will show how @RISK can be used to model cost uncertainty and risk events that will affect total project cost. This way, users can run the model without learning how to use @RISK. Using a custom interface, we will show how to model cost ranges and risk registers through the use of probability distributions. We will also discuss how to measure correlation between variables, how to add a correlation matrix into a model, and the impact of correlation in a result. Once the simulation model is run, we will learn how to assess the contingency required and develop mitigation strategies.

 

Best Practices in Modeling

Dr. Michael Rees
Palisade Corporation

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This session covers some ideas in modeling best practices, in both Excel models and @RISK models. Topics include issues in model design, structure, formatting, error-checking and a variety of tools related to sensitivity analysis. We also mention some uses of Palisade’s TopRank for model auditing and checking.

 

Introduction to StatTools 5.5 and
NeuralTools 5.5

Dr. Chris Albright
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Thompson Terry
Palisade Corporation

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In this session we will learn how to use Palisade’s two data analysis tools: StatTools and NeuralTools.

StatTools is a Microsoft Excel statistics add-in. This session will cover how to perform the most common statistical tests, and will include topics such as: Statistical Inference, Forecasting, Data Management, Summary Analyses, and Regression Analysis.

NeuralTools imitates brain functions in order to “learn” the structure of your data. Once NeuralTools understands the data, it can take new inputs and make intelligent predictions. The new predictions are based on the patterns in known data, and offer uncanny accuracy. NeuralTools can automatically update predictions when input data changes, and it can even be combined with Palisade’s Evolver or Excel’s Solver to optimize tough decisions and achieve desired goals.

 

Advanced Features in @RISK 5.5:
The @RISK Library and More

Sam McLafferty, Erik Westwig, Doug Stauffer, and Howard Duncan
Palisade Corporation

@RISK 5.5 includes new functions, interface features, graphs, and simulation archiving capabilities. Join us for this interactive discussion about what’s new in @RISK. See how the @RISK Library has been enhanced for simulation archiving and sampling. A portfolio optimization example combining the @RISK Library and RISKOptimizer will be shown. Additionally, we’ll cover other topics of interest as time permits.

 

Selected Applications of the
DecisionTools Suite in the Pharmaceutical Sector

Dr. Michael Rees
Palisade Corporation

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This session presents a variety of pharmaceutical-related applications of the DecisionTools Suite. Models shown relate to areas such as individual drug development decisions (including phasing, valuation and real options), project portfolios (including basic aggregation, optimization and development time uncertainty), optimization and general business planning. The models shown use Palisade’s @RISK, PrecisionTree and Evolver.

 

Selecting the Right Distribution in @RISK

Dr. Michael Rees
Palisade Corporation

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This session covers the choice of the appropriate distribution in @RISK. A variety of approaches are presented and compared, including pragmatic, theoretical and data-driven methods. The use of distributions to treat a variety of risk modeling situations is discussed, and some new distributions and features in v5.5 are shown.

 

Introduction to PrecisionTree 5.5

Erik Westwig
Palisade Corporation

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This presentation combines an introduction of the enhanced user interface, tighter Excel integration, and new features of PrecisionTree with demonstrations of how PrecisionTree can be used to analyze various problems in decision analysis.

 

Custom Software Applications using
@RISK 5.5: Retirement Planning,
Asset Management, and Oil Fields

Dr. Javier Ordóñez
Palisade Corporation

@RISK and DecisionTools Suite software ship with full-featured development environments that allow you to create custom applications using Palisade technology directly in Excel. Using customized VBA interfaces and simulation models in Excel, we will show how @RISK can be used to plan investment strategies for retirement, manage a portfolio of assets, and assess the risks in prospecting for oil. These examples demonstrate how users can run a model tailored to their needs without learning how to use @RISK. Using a custom interface, we will show how to define uncertain elements in each model and how to interpret the simulation results.

 

Introduction to Project Risk Management
using @RISK for Project

Dr. Javier Ordóñez
Palisade Corporation

The aim of this seminar is to give people a basic understanding of how @RISK for Microsoft Project works, including hands-on experience for setting up and running simulations, and interpreting the results.

Attendees will learn about the key functionality within @RISK for Project in step-by-step method, enabling them to quickly become familiar with basic concepts and terminology.

In addition to graphing and quantifying the risk in a business plan, you will learn how @RISK for Project, using Monte Carlo simulation, enables you to:

  • Calculate the probability of success
  • Graph the margin of error around the most likely outcome
  • Quantify and prioritize the risk drivers
  • Quantify the amount ‘@RISK’

Introduction to RISKOptimizer 5.5 and
Evolver 5.5

Thompson Terry
Palisade Corporation

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RISKOptimizer and Evolver use powerful genetic algorithms to perform optimization in Microsoft Excel. RISKOptimizer builds on traditional optimization by adding Monte Carlo simulation to account for uncertain (stochastic), uncontrollable factors in your optimization problem. This session introduces you to these powerful tools, showing you how to set up a model, define constraints within the model, and ultimately arrive at the optimal outcome. Examples of resource allocation, budgeting, and scheduling will be included.

 

 


Presenters

Dr. Sven Roden, Keynote Speaker
Senior Decision Analyst
Decision Analysis Group
Finance Academy, Unilever

Dr. Sven Roden is a senior Decision Analyst within Unilever’s Finance Academy. Dr. Roden acts as an internal consultant, leading decision analysis evaluations on problems where teams have been struggling to find a solution. He is also involved in developing new methodologies and providing expert training and coaching to Unilever's financial managers. Prior to joining Unilever, Sven worked for BNFL as a Technology Strategist and research physicist.

Mark N. Abramovich
Principal
Interdisciplinary Solutions, LLC

Mr. Abramovich is the Principal of Interdisciplinary Solutions, LLC and the architect of the Panálysis system of pandemic management. Panálysis is an epidemiologic model that projects healthcare demands during a pandemic to include critical product requirements and staffing needs. The conceptual framework for Panálysis was derived through combining his experiene as a financial analyst and operations manager with elements from the fields of public health and epidemiology.

Since the release of Panalysis, Mr. Abramovich has been recognized by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for his expertise in the fields of pandemic influenza, emergency preparedness and vaccine uptake. He recently sat on a CDC scientific merit review panel. Currently, he is the principal consultant for Intedisciplinary Solutions' work with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for a Major Metropolitan Area to develop new and novel strategies to provide essential medical services during a pandemic, which could be implemented nationwide.

Mr. Abramovich previously worked as an Associate Equity Research Analyst for Wachovia Securities, the investment banking arm of Wachovia bank. At Wachovia, he helped to create financial models and to publish research on publicly traded companies for Wachovia’s institutional clients. Prior to his work at Wachovia Securities, he worked as an operations supervisor for Airborne Express where he helped to manage to company’s largest station which was located in New York City.

Mr. Abramovich is a prior United States Marine Corps Officer and served as a combat engineer. He held the positions of Platoon Commander and Company Executive Officer. One of Mr. Abramovich’s collateral duties in the Marines was that of Company NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) Officer. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain.

He holds a BA in history and political science from New York University and went on to earn an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he concentrated his studies on entrepreneurship and strategic management. He has also completed a basic science curriculum at Hunter College.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Mr. Abramovich serves as an elected Director for his Co-Op Board in lower Manhattan where he resides with his 12 year old brindle boxer Winnie.

Dr. Chris Albright
Professor of Operations & Decision Technologies
Kelley School of Business
Indiana University

Dr. Albright’s professional interests and expertise are in Spreadsheet Modeling for Optimization, Statistical Analysis and Simulation, Developing Excel Add-ins for Statistics, Statistics for Research, Stochastic Models in Management Science, Quantitative Methods for MBA Core, Web Page Development and Database Access with .NET, Data Mining, and VBA for Excel. He is the author and co-author of many books, including VBA for Modelers; Data Analysis and Decision Making (with Wayne Winston and Christopher Zappe) ; and Practical Management Science (with Wayne Winston). Also, Dr. Albright developed the statistical add-in StatsPro for Excel, later developed as StatTools by Palisade Corporation.

Dr. Robert Ameo
Principal
Market Modelers, LLC

Robert Ameo has over 20 years experience in health care management, marketing and business development. Prior to founding Market Modelers, he served in the corporate development group at Johnson & Johnson. He is a recognized expert and innovator in the modeling and forecasting of new technology adoption and market share. Robert has extensive experience evaluating investment opportunities and their portfolio impact for mergers and acquisitions, venture investing, research development, and marketing efforts.

Using his training as a psychologist and his extensive industry experience, he designs and executes targeted market and expert research experiments to quantify the defensible range of possibilities for new technology and product adoption. His forecasts are used both by start-up ventures to create a vision of their potential worth, and well-established biopharmaceutical and medical device companies to understand the true economic (uncertainty adjusted) value of their potential investments.

Prior to his industry experience, Robert was VP of Clinical Operations and Utilization Management for a national managed care company. He holds a behavioral science PhD from the University of Miami.

Dr. Jeffrey Bewley
Assistant Professor
Department of Animal Sciences
University of Kentucky

Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, is Assistant Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist, specializing in Dairy Systems Management, Dairy Decision Making, and Precision Dairy Farming, at the University of Kentucky. He received his BS from the University of Kentucky, MS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and PhD from Purdue University. Jeffrey has a keen appreciation for the opportunities automation provides for more precise management. His own work is in the technical and economic assessment of Precision Dairy Farming technologies, body condition scoring, and temperature monitoring. His outreach program is focused on developing tools and strategies for improved decision-making on dairy farms.

Dr. Jose A. Briones
Director of Operations
SpyroTek Business Solutions

Dr. Jose A. Briones has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University and is a graduate of the Business Administration Program of Wharton Business School.

Dr. Briones is currently the Director of Operations for SpyroTek Business Solutions. SpyroTek supplies specialty materials, software and consulting services to the manufacturing industry. Dr. Briones has 18 years of technical and commercial experience in the manufacturing industry, having held marketing, innovation, sales, engineering and research positions with several Fortune 500 companies such as Celanese, Air Products, Elf Atochem and Reichhold.

Dr. Briones’ expertise includes Product Development and Ideation support, Innovation Practices implementation, Business Model Assessments, Business Process Workflow Software, Six Sigma Processes, Project Risk Financial Analysis, Forecasting Models and Product Portfolio Pricing and Value Analysis.

Andrea Dickens
Decision Analysis Group Leader
Finance Academy, Unilever

Andrea Dickens joined Unilever in 1988 as a statistician. Since then she has had a number of roles in Unilever, but all with one thing in common: managing and analysing uncertainty.

Andrea now leads the Decision Analysis Group, which has been developing and applying a wide range of decision analysis techniques. These techniques have been deployed on probabilistic business cases and complex decision problems throughout Unilever. The group also leads the development and rollout of training courses for Unilever Managers in Decision Making techniques, and provides coaching to course participants. In addition, the Decision Analysis Group has an internal consultancy role where they provide facilitative leadership to analyse complex business decisions. These tend to be the large, difficult and sensitive problems, high stake one-off decisions, or problems that cross organisational boundaries.

Clayton Graham
Department of Management, DePaul University
Baseballwon.com

Clay Graham is an adjunct professor of Statistics and Economics at DePaul University. He holds senior positions with the Chaos Group, Inc. and Analytical Advantages, LLC where he functions as a management consultant specializing in analytical and graphic econometrics. His formal education includes a BS from Purdue and graduate degrees in Economics (MA) and Business (MBA - Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University). He was a NASA Scholar (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) during his PhD studies at Northwestern (concentration in advanced large scale computer modeling and mathematical simulation.) Clay has functioned in various advisory capacities to Purdue and Northwestern Universities.

His entrée into the education field first came while a volunteer for a citizens group in Barrington (evaluating academics, finances and taxes). The creation of integrated databases and innovative statistical modeling for that project drew the interest of many professionals and resulted in presentations to The White House, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Center for Governmental Studies (Northern Illinois University), and many boards of education.

Prior to his current undertakings, he was CEO of an upstart aerospace, laser mapping and engineering firm. He’s brought with him years of practical management and leadership experience from the metal finishing industry where he owned and operated his own firms in the Chicago area. He introduced effective statistical process control technology to many firms including: Motorola, Siemens and Ford. He served that industry by being president of the local trade association, a director of several national alliances and sitting on industry standardization and quality committees.

Prior to running his own companies, Graham was with one of the world's foremost Management Consulting firms - A.T.Kearney, lnc. where he introduced cutting edge computer and mathematical modeling to the transportation and service distribution industries. Clay has written and published extensively in the areas of profitability and control, marketing, financial risk, computer integrated manufacturing, and technology. He has been a featured and keynote speaker at many trade association and professional conclaves. He was awarded the top technical paper in the world at the Second Asian Metal Finishing Forum (part of the Tokyo World Exposition). At Interex Europe (Hewlett-Packard users) he presented an award-winning work on a fully integrated system of research and development, process control and management integrating: personal computers, micro-systems, programmable controllers and digital-analog interfaces. He was also the subject of a press conference by Alteon Networks at Networld + Interop (Atlanta 1998) where he introduced the first commercial application of large file transfer incorporating “Jumbo Frame Technology."

Clay and his companies have been the subject of articles in Forbes, Business Week, Modern Metals, Industrial Finishing and Arthur Andersen's Small Business Forum. In addition, the methods incorporated in the management of his firms have been utilized in academic case studies in the United States and Western Europe. He was selected to speak on “The Management of Professional Advisors” before a joint session of the American Bar Association and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He has served as an Advisor to the White House and Members of Congress in the areas of economics, environmental control and management strategy.

Timothy J. Havranek, MBA, PMP
Vice President of Business Solutions and Risk Management
ENTRX, Inc.

Mr. Havranek is a Vice President of Business Solutions and Risk Management with ENTRX, Inc. with over 25 combined years' experience in the environmental remediation and the oil and gas production industries. Mr. Havranek has managed numerous large-scale environmental projects throughout industry, working with multiple site owners, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders in the development of strategic and sustainable business liability and asset management solutions to minimize environmental and social risk. He is highly skilled in the application of quantitative decision analysis and probabilistic modeling to facilitate strategic planning for environmental projects, having developed a wide range of successful decision analysis models for more than 400 sites. Mr. Havranek holds MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelors Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Marietta College. He is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and author of the book Modern Project Management Techniques for the Environmental Remediation Industry.

Marwaan Karame
Value Based Management Consultant - Managing Director
Economic Value Advisors

Marwaan Karame consults businesses in the areas of Value Based Management (VBM) and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A). Previously, Mr. Karame worked in investment banking for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) and Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) advising companies in the areas of M&A, Private Placement, Debt Financing, IPOs, and VBM.

Prior to DLJ and CSFB, he worked for Stern Stewart & Co., leading Fortune 500 companies to create sustainable gains to shareholder wealth by aligning the interests of management with shareholders. Through a customized financial management system, incentive compensation design, and value based finance-training curriculum, Mr. Karame assisted companies to adopt the concepts of Economic Value Added. These concepts were applied to various industries including Automotive, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Industrial Manufacturing, and Oil Exploration and Production.

Preceding Stern Stewart, he managed Ivey Business Consulting Group, a boutique business-consulting firm that served small to middle market companies. Mr. Karame started his professional career working for one of the world's top sales organizations, Xerox, where he managed executive relationships with Canada's largest companies, selling Xerox's high-end information technology and services.

Mr. Karame has been a keynote speaker for several Wall Street Research Analyst seminars and has conducted workshops for 1,000+ Fortune 500 executives, lecturing on the topics of VBM and M&A. Mr. Karame has also authored several articles in publications including The Globe and Mail, American Executive, and The Trusted Professional.

Mr. Karame holds an MBA in finance from Richard Ivey School of Business and a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Economics from St. Lawrence University.

Michael A. Kubica
Senior Scientist, Econometric Modeling
Applied Quantitative Sciences, Inc.

Michael is Founder and President of Applied Quantitative Sciences, Inc. He has over 18 years' experience within the healthcare industry, and has been providing quantitative sciences consultancy since 1999. Michael has extensive experience in providing quantitative decision support solutions for leading pharmaceutical, medical device/diagnostics, and biotechnology companies, addressing a wide range of business issues. Prior to establishing AQS, Michael held the position of Vice President, Operations for Magellan Health Services. During his career Michael has also held positions of Director of Quality Management, Regional Director of Business Operations & Finance, and Hospital Administrator. Throughout his career, Michael employed sophisticated quantitative methods to forecast performance, streamline operations, and improve quality. Michael has an MBA and Master’s of Science in psychology. He serves as Adjunct Professor of Research Design and Statistical Analysis at St. Thomas University in Miami, FL.

Applied Quantitative Sciences, Inc. (AQS) is a consultancy specializing in assisting medical device, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies make decisions under conditions of complexity and uncertainty. They are a market leader in providing simulation and optimization models which are used by industry leaders for the purposes of forecasting, new technology valuation, business and strategic planning, supply chain management, and resource planning.

Dr. William J. McKibbin
Consulting Financial Engineer and Risk Analyst
McKibbinUSA, LLC

Dr. William J McKibbin is a consultant to management specializing in strategic and operational planning, business modeling, risk analysis, financial engineering, systems integration, process design, project management, due diligence, turnarounds, executive coaching, and team leadership. Dr. McKibbin's client list includes names such as Intel, Oracle, Chevron, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Pfeizer, Guggenheim Capital, and others. Dr. McKibbin has been in professional practice serving companies, boards, and executives in various capacities as consultant, director, and interim management since 1998.

Sam McLafferty
President and CEO
Palisade Corporation

Sam McLafferty is Palisade's founder, president, and CEO. He started the company in 1984 with the release of PRISM, a stand-alone Monte Carlo simulation package for DOS on the PC. PRISM later evolved into @RISK for Lotus 1-2-3, and then for Excel. Sam is Palisade's lead developer, with over thirty years of programming experience. He works closely with the technical and sales staff, ensuring that customer feedback is heard. He personally oversees the development and evolution of every one of the fifteen software products Palisade sells. Prior to Palisade, he was a risk analysis consultant.

Roy Nersesian
Center for Energy Marine Transportation and Public Policy
Columbia University

BS Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute followed by 8 years in the U.S. Navy with last position as Chief Engineer on a Polaris submarine. Graduated from Harvard Business School with a MBA and worked for a shipping company, a bank in shipping finance, and a consultant for a ship brokerage firm, and finally a professor at the School of Business, Monmouth University and Columbia University. He has written several books, one of which is Corporate Financial Risk Management published by Praeger Press, 2004. His most recent book is Energy in the 21st Century published by M. E. Sharpe. He is also associated with the Center of Energy and Marine Transportation at Columbia University, where @RISK simulation is an integral part of his course in quantitative analysis.

Jay O’Connor
Director
Turner & Townsend Inc.

With over 25 years of experience in the areas of estimating, planning and quantitative risk analysis for international projects, Jay understands the complexities that are associated with identifying and assessing project risks. His experience includes both the owner’s and contractor’s side of engineering and construction projects. He has worked in the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry sectors and the pulp and paper sector. His career has taken him to the United Kingdom, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.

Dr. Javier Ordóñez
Director of Custom Solutions
Palisade Corporation

Dr. Javier Ordóñez holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador and a MS in Project Management from the University of Maryland. Javier earned his PhD from the University of Maryland performing research on project risk analysis. His current research deals with cost and schedule integration and correlation issues through the use of Bayesian belief networks.

Javier's experience is in the areas of construction and project management, optimal project and capital investments selection, earned value management, engineering and project risk analysis, and operations research applications to engineering and management problems.

Javier has taught as an adjunct professor in the Project Management Program at University of Maryland and provides training in risk and decision analysis. He is also registered as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Dr. Michael Rees
Global Director of Training
Palisade Corporation

Michael has 20 years’ of business and finance experience, including roles such as Principal (Partner) at the strategy consultants Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) and Vice-President of Equity Research at J.P. Morgan. He has worked independently for 8 years, for 6 of which he was retained by Palisade Corporation to act as their Director of Training and Consulting. He is the author of Financial Modelling in Practice: A Concise Guide for intermediate and Advanced Level, John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

His academic credentials include a Doctorate in Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Algorithms, and a B.A. with First Class Honours in Mathematics, both from Oxford University. He has an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD in France, as well as holding the Wilmott Certificate of Quantitative Finance, where he graduated top of the course for class work and also received the Wilmott Award for the highest final exam mark. Michael is based in the UK and speaks fluent French and German.

Ahmad R. Saadat
Manager of Business Development.
Momenta Pharmaceuticals

Ahmad R. Saadat is the Manager of Business Development at Momenta Pharmaceuticals. His responsibilities include analysis of project, portfolio and deal valuations in support of licensing, partnership and financing activities, competitive intelligence and decision support. Ahmad has previously worked at Altus Pharmaceuticals and Acambis where he was responsible for strategic planning in finance and decision support for business development. He briefly worked as an independent consultant and performed market research and financial analysis to support strategic decisions for various organizations. Ahmad started his career in science as an enzymologist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Abbott labs and Chiron, where he contributed to research and development of drug candidates to treat a variety of indications in oncology and autoimmune disorders and co-authored multiple peer reviewed scientific publications. Ahmad obtained his Masters degree in Pharmacology from Northeastern University and MBA from Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.

Andy Sleeper
President
Successful Statistics LLC

Andy Sleeper is President of Successful Statistics LLC, a consulting firm providing customized DFSS training and problem solving services to clients around the world. Andy is the author of two books, DFSS Statistics and Six Sigma Distribution Modeling, both published by McGraw-Hill. Andy holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Statistics, and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

Dr. William Strauss
President
FutureMetrics

William Strauss is the President and founder of FutureMetrics. He brings more than thirty years of strategic planning, project management, data analysis, and modeling experience into the company’s stock of knowledge capital. Bill’s professional history includes executive positions as director, president, and senior vice president, as well as positions as senior analyst and field coordinator. He has an MBA (specializing in Finance) and a PhD (Economics).

Bill is a member of the New England Complex Systems Institute, a member of the Eastern Economics Association, a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and acts as Executive Consultant for Aviation Management Systems, Inc., and President of Lightval Mines, Limited. He is also engaged in an ongoing study of Monhegan Island, ME, economics through FutureMetrics, in association with the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission.

Bill currently takes some time in the fall and spring to teach a few business and economics classes at a small college near his home in western Maine. He has logged over 1,000,000 vertical feet of heli-skiing.

Thompson Terry
Senior Training Consultant
Palisade Corporation

Thompson Terry is a dedicated member of Palisade’s training and consulting staff. With ten years of experience at Palisade, including eight in technical support, he is recognized as an expert in all Palisade software products and their applications.

Thompson has led numerous regional training seminars on risk and decision analysis and provided customized onsite training in a variety of industries including insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, defense, and food safety. Clients Thompson has trained include: The Hartford, Unilever, Duratek, Eastman Chemical, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, National Rail (UK), RWE Thames Water (UK), National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago, Stone & Webster, and Northrop-Grumman.

Thompson is also on the board of directors of a local credit union’s not-for-profit, community development investment fund. He holds a BS in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University with specializations in economics, marketing, and finance.

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar
Senior Energy Consultant
Customized Energy Solutions

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar leads the Emerging Technologies practice for Customized Energy Solutions with focus on energy storage, renewables, demand response and smart grid technologies. He is an internationally acclaimed expert in areas covering electricity markets, emerging technologies, energy management and new product development. Rahul has been involved in evaluating economics of emerging technologies in deregulated electricity markets since 2004. His research and consulting activities have covered complete range of demand response and energy storage technologies including compressed air energy storage (CAES), Pumped Hydro, Sodium Sulfur (NAS), flow batteries (VRB & ZBB), Lithium Ion batteries and flywheels.

Rahul currently serves on the Board of Directors of Electricity Storage Association and is involved in providing inputs for the demand response and energy storage policy to FERC & various state agencies. He also serves as a Lead Analyst for "Global Energy Assessment" initiative of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) as part of an international team of experts.

Rahul holds a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Rahul conducted research on “economics of emerging energy storage and demand response technologies in deregulated electricity markets” under the guidance of Dr. Jay Apt, Dr. Lester Lave, Dr. Granger Morgan and Dr. Rahul Tongia at the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center. He also holds Masters in Energy Management from New York Institute of Technology and undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Walchand College of Engineering.

He is recipient of numerous awards including Computer Society of India’s Young IT Professional Award, Demonstration of Energy Efficiency Developments scholarship from American Public Power Association and is also recognized as one of the Legends in Energy by Association of Energy Engineers.

Rahul is member of various professional organizations including AEE, IET, IEEE and IAEE. He has also worked as an Energy & IT Consultant with various companies including EPS Capital Corp, Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) and Tata Infotech Ltd (now part of Tata Consultancy Services). He has authored over 40 technical papers including reports on demand response and energy storage for New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), American Public Power Association (APPA), Department of Energy (DOE) & National Energy Technology Labs (NETL), and various market participants including utilities, project developers and technology companies.

Erik Westwig
Software Engineer
Palisade Corporation

Erik Westwig received his BS in 1991 and MS in 1994 from the applied and engineering physics department at Cornell University. In 1998 he published the book Mathematical Physics with co-author Bruce Kusse, which was re-released in its second edition in 2006. Since 1995, Erik has worked as a software engineer at Palisade as part of the DecisionTools Suite development team.

 

 

 


 


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