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Day 1 of LLamaCon: Recap

By LLamasoft Editorial Team  June 16, 2020

Vision, Product Strategy and AI in Action


LLamaCon NOW officially kicked off on Tuesday, June 16, with an action-packed agenda which set the tone for the week ahead. This year’s event features four distinct Track Sessions; Risk & Resiliency as a Competitive Advantage, Data & Decisioning in Supply Chain, AI-Driven Supply Chain, and the New Demand Outlook.

Each of the four main track sessions features a combination of unique Customer Case Studies, 3rd Party Points of View, LLamasoft Solution Sessions and Panel Discussions.

LLamaCon NOW’s lineup of customer and partner speakers this year includes global brands such as Ashley Homestore, Cisco Systems, Grupo Bimbo, McDonald’s, JD Logistics, Agillitics, Peco Pallet, CGN, Natura, Miebach, Medtronic and Bain & Company, among many others.


Each year, the Partner Day Session serves as an opportunity for attendees to gather insight as to how LLamasoft’s extended network of alliances can leverage LLamasoft products / solutions to deliver value to their clients.

This year’s 3rd annual Partner session included companies such as Agillitics, Bain & Company, CGN, Miebach, Grant Thorton, enVista, Spinnaker and Chainalytics, and featured presentations from LLamasoft VP of Alliances, Paul Applegate, Group VP of Industry Strategy, Madhav Durbha; and Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Toby Brzoznowski.

Paul Applegate lead off the session by explaining to partners the power of leveraging llama.ai, LLamasoft’s enterprise decision-making platform. “You are going to hear everything you could possibly want to hear about llama.ai over the next few days. We have created an amazing platform that harnesses all of the desktop power that you’re used to and allows us to push improved decision-making out into the organization through personalized applications.”

He added “llama.ai is game-changing in the way it allows our Partners to build applications for their client’s unique requirements leveraging the LLamasoft platform.”


LLamaCon’s intro session featured LLamasoft’s CEO, Razat Gaurav, who officially welcomed all of the online attendees to the beginning of LLamasoft’s 10th annual event – LLamaCon NOW. He noted that the event being virtual this year has allowed for record-breaking attendance numbers (over 2,600+) from over 60+ countries around the world.

Gaurav set the stage for an exciting week of content, mentioning the 30+ unique sessions, opportunities to engage and interact with customers and partners, as well as the networking / eLLearning sessions.

Razat Gaurav addresses LLamaCon NOW attendees from LLamasoft’s Ann Arbor (HQ office)

He noted the three items he’s most excited for during this year’s LLamaCon; the live product demo of LLamasoft’s cloud-based llama.ai, the AI in Action session which dives into how global brands are able to arrive at practical solutions across the supply chain through the use of AI algorithms, as well as the first ever LLamaCon Hackathon!

Gaurav also utilized the opportunity to thank those who work in the supply chain arena for their innovative work throughout the COVID-19 crisis to ensure the delivery of critical materials and supplies to those who are in most need.

“This is a defining moment for supply chains around the world. We need to seize this opportunity to rethink and reimagine the future.” – Razat Gaurav


Although this year’s event is taking place in a virtual setting (instead of the originally scheduled Hollywood, Florida), the focus on supply chain’s has seemingly never been more important. The emergence of COVID-19 shined a global spotlight on supply chain design, preparedness and resiliency in every industry.

Gaurav began this session by explaining how in many ways, COVID-19 has been an accelerator for trends that were already emerging in consumer behavior, alternative sourcing, new business / operating models as well as the adoption of technologies. “But none of that is going to be possible without the proper usage of data” he noted. Gaurav went on to describe the distinction between the amount of data which is currently being generated by various systems and the amount of data that can actually be harnessed for smarter decision-making.

“Data is like water – there’s more water in the world than ever before, but not all water is drinkable.” He added “as industry leaders, we can move the needle in making our world a better place for future generations. Let us use this time of crisis to transform the way we are thinking.”

A highlight of the keynote, Razat explained the five key dimensions to LLamasoft’s vision of the future; Facilitating decisions across functional silos, converging decisions across siloed time horizons, democratizing the impact of algorithms & data-driven insights, enabling ongoing adaptation, and governing & optimizing policies across the supply chain.

Razat then described the key elements of LLamasoft’s cloud-based enterprise decision-making platform, llama.ai. This platform is the piece which transforms LLamasoft’s vision into a reality, through the power of a scalable cloud architecture, living data foundation, integrated insights, rapid scenario modeling, and a personalized user experience.

Gaurav wrapped up his keynote by highlighting LLamasoft’s top priorities as a company; passionately delivering on customer success; developing the next generation of talent for AI; and constantly investing in technology innovation.

“We have a unique opportunity to be able to harness the power of all the latest technology, data, and science, and transform the world for [better access to] food, for medicine, for vaccines, for healthcare, for the climate, and for sustainability of the planet.” – Razat Gaurav


After the opening remarks from Razat, it was time to share LLamasoft’s product strategy and roadmap, highlighted by key members of the LLamasoft Product team and a live demo of llama.ai, LLamasoft’s AI-powered enterprise decision-making platform.

LLamasoft Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Toby Brzoznowski, began the discussion with an overview of llama.ai, its background, development journey and how it will ultimately become a differentiator for customers of LLamasoft’s supply chain analytics technology.

“The expansion of personalized apps, and providing the ability for teams to build their own, has allowed our customers to deploy a variety of really interesting use cases.” – Toby Brzoznowski

Following Brzoznowski’s opening remarks, LLamasoft’s VP of Product Management, Vikram Srinivasan, provided viewers with a live demo of the platform, followed by LLamasoft’s EVP of Product & Delivery, Karthik Mani, closing out the session with some additional context to the llama.ai platform, its adoption, usage statistics, and roadmap.

Mani highlighted some key product priorities going forward which include cloud enabled scale to perform analytics at deeper granularity, enhancements to the digital twin, more solvers that leverage ML & optimization, more tools which leverage user’s own algorithms for unique challenges, as well as a seamless experience for non-cloud solutions.

“I want to reiterate that llama.ai is ready now, for you (customers & partners)” – Karthik Mani

Mani concluded the Product Strategy session by reiterating that LLamasoft is committed to providing its users with the best tools possible in order to solve their unique supply chain problems.


In October 2019, LLamasoft acquired the Chicago-based artificial intelligence consulting firm, Opex Analytics, which now combines with LLamasoft’s global services team to offer AI strategy and custom development services. Together, they position LLamasoft as a market leader in applied AI solutions with over 200+ data science, operations research & SC domain experts.

LLamasoft General Manager and Senior Vice President, Mike Watson, began the session with an overview AI in the supply chain and its ever-evolving definition(s).

“You cannot create a single application and consider it artificial intelligence. AI is more of a mindset, and you need to lay a foundation.” – Mike Watson

After a brief intro, the spotlight turned to a number of LLamasoft customers who had the opportunity to answer questions relating to practical implementations of AI applications are fueling the desire for a bigger AI agenda. This included insights from Cisco Systems, Nestle, McDonalds, Grupo Bimbo and American Eagle.

“With AI, we are able to complete projects in weeks rather than months. It’s really enabled us to take on more, take it on faster, and most importantly – without the need of any additional resources. “ – Robin Butani, Senior Manager, Network Strategy & Analytics, Cisco Systems

After hearing each of these unique customer perspectives, Watson ended the keynote by urging attendees not to limit themselves when thinking about the potential applications of AI.

“Items like sustainability, cost reduction, root cause analysis, food safety, logistics and others can all benefit from AI” – Mike Watson


Day 1 of LLamaCon also marked the beginning of the week’s Hackathon challenge. The challenge invites data scientists to participate in the LLamasoft Hackaton competition that  tests participant’s machine learning and visualization skills and introduces a new technology, App Studio’s OpenX. For four to six hours over the course of the next three days, participants will work independently, within support groups, to solve a technological challenge using OpenX.

As part of the conclusion of LLamaCon on Friday, participants will present their findings to a panel of judges, who will award prizes to the top submissions!


The best part about LLamaCon NOW being entirely digital and free to attend, is that you can register at any point and have access to the content! Did you miss Day 1? Register now and gain access to the content on-demand, regardless!