Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
SOASOA 060000JRQN 603 Visits
1. What are you announcing today? A. IBM is acquiring Webify Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of industry-specific SOA software and services. Webify is a privately-held company, formed in 2002. The company is headquartered in Austin, TX, with a development lab in Mumbai, India. Webify has approximately 120 employees.
2. When did IBM close this deal?A. This deal closed on August 1, 2006.
3. What was the purchase price?A. We are not disclosing the purchase price.
4. Why did IBM acquire Webify? A. IBM has acquired Webify for its market leading industry-focused SOA software and services. Webify can accelerate the delivery of SOA composite business applications based on pre-built, customizable SOA assets, semantic models and policies. IBM Software Group and IBM Global Services will use Webify’s capabilities to enable clients to more quickly and flexibly create SOA applications that can be composed primarily from existing assets. Webify complements and extends IBM’s SOA software portfolio, including WebSphere Integration Developer, WebSphere Process Server, and the WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Webify has received significant industry recognition, most recently receiving two prestigious awards from ACORD, the Global Standards Association for the Insurance Industry.
5. What are the customer requirements that drove this acquisition?A. Clients want the ability to reuse existing assets in flexible SOA applications that can be built and changed quickly. Clients also require SOA applications that are focused on their specific industries. SOA is about reuse, and Webify takes reuse to the next level by putting it in an industry-specific context. Applications built using SOA principles and Webify technology can be assembled, deployed and changed with significantly less time and resources than traditional applications. Customers have asked us to provide the linkage from SOA to their specific industries, and the acquisition of Webify is the continuation of a significant commitment by IBM in that direction.
6. How does this acquisition allow IBM Software and Services to jointly serve clients?A. This is a unique acquisition for IBM – not just software, not just services, but both. Webify allows IBM to serve clients better by pooling the SOA-related efforts of several groups - Software Group, Global Business Services, Global Technology Services, and the Global Business Solution Center.
IBM Software Group will gain the Webify middleware technology, which extends IBM’s existing SOA Foundation and complements IBM’s SOA Lifecycle and Industry Solutions. IBM Global Services will gain Webify’s existing portfolio of SOA composite business services, as well as its methodology for creating new composite business services. Within IGS, Global Business Services (GBS) intends to provide service engagements based on existing Webify industry content and newly developed industry content. IBM’s recently announced Global Business Solution Center (GBSC) intends to create new composite business services. Global Technology Services (GTS) plans to host and provision existing and newly developed composite business services.
7. What industries are currently covered by Webify?A. Most of Webify’s current customers are in the Insurance and Healthcare industries. Development is currently underway for SOA composite business services in Banking, Telecom, and Public Sector. IBM plans to extend this development across a wide variety of industries. The Global Business Solution Center in India will have the lead role in the development of new SOA composite business services.
8. What is the Global Business Solution Center?A. The Global Business Solution Center in India, which was announced in March 2006, has the primary role within IBM for developing new SOA solution assets, such as the composite business services that are enabled by Webify middleware.
9. What do Webify products do?A. Webify provides middleware tools and runtimes for assembling and deploying industry-specific SOA composite applications. The software includes a wide variety of industry-specific content, including the ability to perform semantic mediation. This semantic mediation capability can significantly speed up the process of providing solutions for industry standards such as ACORD, HIPAA, SWIFT, IAA, HL7, XBRL, FIXML and eTOM, to name just a few. Webify’s industry content also includes business process models, product catalogs (insurance industry products, for example), industry message sets, pre-built Web services assertions, interfaces to third party industry services, and pre-built interoperability with the IBM adaptor portfolio.
10. Why did IBM buy Webify instead of one of its competitors?A. Webify is recognized as having the industry-leading SOA software and services focused on vertical markets.
11. How does the Webify technology extend the IBM SOA development and runtime capabilities? A. Webify extends and complements IBM’s existing SOA Foundation by adding an industry-specific layer that supports semantic mediation. The semantic and industry standards supported by Webify are those that are important to our clients in those industries. Current industry support is for Insurance and Healthcare, with Banking, Telecom and Public Sector in development. Support will be broadened to cover numerous additional industries. Current semantic and industry standards that are supported include ACORD, HIPAA, SWIFT, WS-I, IAA, HL7, XBRL, FIXML and eTOM.
Semantic mediation increases the industry awareness and focus of SOA composite applications. Webify allows for the concept of business context to be dynamically applied to SOA services. This creates a new pattern of business-aware SOA services that focus on line of business execution, rather than technology limitations. This technology can allow development teams to more accurately and efficiently deliver SOA development in alignment with a line of business vision. The Webify runtime extends IBM’s middleware with semantic awareness and the dynamic binding of services, which can allow for a more efficient use of services and a reduction in the quantity of services required.
12. What are IBM’s plans for the products acquired with Webify? A. IBM plans to invest in, support, market and sell the Webify middleware portfolio under the WebSphere brand name. The Webify products continue to be sold as-is and without disruption today. In the coming weeks, IBM will announce the rebranded, renamed, and repackaged versions of the Webify products. IBM is also acquiring from Webify a set of SOA composite business services for specific business areas, such as Claims Lifecycle in the Insurance industry. These composite business services will be used by IBM Global Services to help speed the delivery of mission-critical industry applications to clients.
13. Does IBM intend to further develop the Webify products? What is the roadmap plan for these products? A. Yes. IBM recognizes that industry-focused applications are key to the future of SOA. IBM will further develop and integrate these products, based on the needs of the market.
14. How does IBM intend to price these products? A. Initial pricing will be based on the existing Webify pricing model. Further pricing decisions will be announced as the platform is rebranded. More information and announcements on the topic is expected to be available in late 2006 and 2007.
15. How will the Webify portfolio be branded? A. The Webify middleware will be branded as IBM WebSphere. IBM Global Business Services will use an additional set of assets, Webify’s SOA composite business services, as part of their engagements and the assets that they provide to their clients. Additional information will be made available in the coming weeks. IBM Global Technology Services will provide hosting and provisioning for Webify composite business services.
16. What challenges do you see in integrating Webify with IBM?A. We see no significant problems or challenges with this integration. Webify has been built on and optimized for IBM technology.
SOASOA 060000JRQN 476 Visits
Hey! I just arrived back from St Thomas and had a wonderful time! I took my daughter to Cokki Beach and Trunk Bay for some awesome snorkeling!!! It was her first time and the excitement in seeing those fish was amazing! She of course laughed and leaked in a lot of water. Too funny but the energy and amazement made me realize there is more to life than SOA!!
Thanks for the great response on the SOA for dummies book! Keep the emails and requests coming in!
More exciting news on SOA later this week!
Here's to vacations, sand, and turquoise waters!
Many thanks for the notes and pings on our SOA for Dummies -- the IBM edition! If you want a copy, please send me your address in a note to email@example.com!!
Thanks for the great response!!![Read More]
I love the "for dummies" series. You can learn about anything in a "for dummies" book! Since I travel around the world with the SOA Executive Summits, I still hear from many customers that they need a very simple way to explain SOA.
Because of these requests, when Carol Barodi (yes, the author of Internet for Dummies) approached us on sponsoring a book on SOA for dummies we jumped at it. She partnered with Judith Hurwitz, both well respected authors. and they have written “SOA for Dummies”, a special IBM Edition. SOA for Dummies IBM Edition covers what SOA is, why it matters, how it can impact businesses, how to get started with SOA, and what one IBM customer has done with SOA.
You can request a FREE copy of SOA for Dummies – IBM Edition by responding to my blog or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
You'll also want to check out the latest SOA enablement resources including a SOA Best Practices: Real World Lessons Learned webcast scheduled for August 10. You will hear European IT industry authorities Macehiter Ward-Dutton and Freeform Dynamics discuss in detail the findings from their collaborative SOA analysis: SOA—Lessons from the Front Line. Register today for this informative webcast on ibm.com/soa!!!
China is a fabulous place -- actually one of my favorite places to visit due to the energy and excitement in the Chinese people. I would recommend several very key spots like Xian where the terra cotta soldiers are -- check it out this one !!
Because of the explosive growth in China, we designed a contest for China university students. We asked them to build an SOA application using a virtual customer that is facing application integration problem with two legacy ERP and CRM systems, and want to improve the operation process and increasing business flexibility. 5 students can form a team, act as a SI and design a SOA solution for the customer. The whole contest is to simulate a full selling cycle of an IT project: the first stage is collecting proposal, the second is to have the top solutions (in this program, top 15 teams) to do presentation and bidding, and the top 5 solution will enter last phase -- system implementation.
We have already over 410 teams from 70 universities. Teams in the IBM China SOA Contest established over 350 blogs such Leading team . They're the #1 team in the first phase of the contest. The blog's in chinese, but here's a basic transation of the blog from Google: China Blog
What do you think? I am looking forward to announcing the winner in November while I am in China![Read More]
China is one of my favorite places in the world. It has an energy and hope that you can feel the second you step off the plane!
I just received a report that Gartner did on Coscon, a shipping company in China, how they have deployed SOA and their learnings. Coscon undertook an SOA intitiatve to rationalize its core port operation systems and improve overall business agility and responsiveness.
They learnings they shared were:
* Linking IT and Business together. Early on!
* Ensure availability of technical staff and skill (in fact, skills are one of the most important areas for customers!)
* Include senior business analysts
I just arrived home from SOA Summits in both Paris and Prague.
In Paris, with over 500 attendees, we were able to share real customer stories and deployments as well as new news like our own SOA Business Catalog..
You should really check this out as it allows you to really bring home the value of reuse and the industry or business push of SOA. I would be curious as to your best practices around the infusion of the business and IT.
In Prague, we had 90 very high level business leaders to hear about SOA. Very insightful crowd -- we hosted a dinner at St Agnes's Convent (Klášter sv. Anežky). It is a monastery built in the 1230s -- and since one of the main value propositions is reuse, a customer from an Oil Company in Russia said "I see the tie in to SOA of this dinner location. You have us in a monastery that today we are reusing as a restaurant!"
Today, St Agnes's is used by the National Gallery to display a collection of European medieval art. Check it out!
I will talk to you later!!!
I am here in a great hotel in London ...! Today we had the SOA Business Centric Summit in London at another cool place... with over 400 customers!
The SOA summit was a great way to hear from the London customers doing SOA, like City University, Standard Life (Ian writes that "Our measured re-use benefit now stands at 8.5 miillion sterling (16 million US) Feel free to quote us. Well over 100 applications from large to small deployed to our SOA now and many more planned", Norwich Union, and Travelex!
Check out John Patrick's Blog on the SOA AR day as well!
SOASOA 060000JRQN 507 Visits
So we had several votes for our painting for SOA ....... and the winner is....yes, I asked you guys to vote. This was my favorite entry!
"As much as I like Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, I hope those CIO's didn't pick it as Starry Night was painted in 1889 near the mental asylum of Saint-Remy, in, as it turns out, 13 months before his death....
SOA is on its way up and the limit doesn't seem to be in site... So that would make Piet Mondrain's "Broadway Boogie Woogie" (the yellow line one) the best choice. As Mondrain wanted the "...infinitely extendable, and the open-ended space..." that "...stretches far beyond its borders..." as told by David Sylvester about Piet Mondrain.
While (still) sitting here pondering life in the rain, I saw Elisabeth's blog! and the latest review of the InfoWorld SOA day! http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/archives/2006/05/ebizq_audio_pod.php
I head to London on Monday for the SOA Summit there. Will post in my best british accent!
SOASOA 060000JRQN 596 Visits
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  business_process_mgmt service_registry service_component_arch composite_apps 880 Visits
A lot of discussions have occured around semantics for SOA. Any thoughts on these definitions for SOA "terms"..
Service – a repeatable business task represented by a software module deployed on network accessible platforms provided by the service provider. Its interface is described by a service description. It exists to be invoked by or to interact with a service requestor. It may also function as a requestor.
Service Orientation – an approach to integrate business tasks as loosely coupled, linked services
Service Oriented Architecture –An architectural style of the structure of a software system in terms of its components and the services they provide, without regard for the underlying implementation of these components, services and connections between components
Composite application - a set of related & integrated services that support a business process built on an SOA
Components - Definition of a modular unit of functionality, accessed through one or more interfaces. A component may be composed of other components, but a component is not necessarily a service.
Service Component Architecture (SCA) - a set of specifications which describe a model for building applications and systems using a Service-Oriented Architecture. SCA extends and complements prior approaches to implementing services, and SCA builds on open standards such as Web services.
Business Process Management - Covers the full range of application-to-application, inter-application, workflow and person-to-person process management, including process design, automation, management, and continuous improvement.
Service Registry - a searchable registry of service descriptions where service providers may publish their service descriptions. Service requestors may find services and obtain binding information (in the service descriptions) for services during development for static binding or during execution for dynamic binding.[Read More]
As I was sitting in my doctor's office (yes! I got the cast off!), I was reading through some of our recent SOA implementations and noticed that as more and more companies are seeing the power of SOA to drive business results. One of their surprises is the value they are seeing in modeling -- it seems that modeling is becoming one of the most critical steps to SOA success.
Reading more deeply and talking to several customers while icing my ankle, it seems that most companies deliver modeling to help organizations fully visualize, comprehend, and document business processes in order to close the gap that exists between an organization’s lines of business and IT’s understanding of the business drivers. Given that a business process is a defined set of activities leading to specific results, modeling provides the added assurance that best practices are well documented and communicated throughout the organization before deployment.
For example, one large insurer is having their business analysts use modeling to define alternative scenarios, differing in resource allocation, branching assumptions at decision points in the flow, and other parameters, and see which alternative results in the lowest cost, fastest average cycle time, lowest percentage of service level agreements violations, or other optimum business measure. In addition, tbecause they leveraged simulation can help reveal bottlenecks in the process, allowing new alternative scenarios to be analyzed -- resulting in significant time and cost savings before they are implemented throughout the SOA.
I believe that BPM with SOA is the keys the kingdom and SOA will help facilitate the next phase of the business process evolution. The evolution is occurring now because of the heightened need for enterprises to compete more effectively by adapting to market changes faster, continuously improving efficiencies and streamlining collaboration across traditionally siloed departments.
Well, at least it may be the key that opens the door that allows you to explore all the benefits to SOA. What are your thoughts? By the way, I have now proceeded in my recovery and hope to be walking with my cane at the NYC SOA summit -- that is sold out!
If you are one of the lucky 400 that got a seat, I'll see you there!
Til then....back to icing the ankle!
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  info_as_a_svc soa_entry_points collaboration business_process_mgmt 1,293 Visits
Yesterday we announced a series of 5's for SOA.
5 SOA entry points based on a study of 500 customers from Mercer. The 5 are: People, Process, information, Reuse, and Connectivity!
We highlighted 5 Real customers using these SOA entry points for Value (Pep Boys, Harley Davidson, Delaware Electric, Magna Steyr, and Wuestenrot and Wuerttembergische AG (W and W AG).
On the business side, we have 3 entry points for customers looking to start their SOA journey! People centric collaboration, Business Process Management, Information as a service. Now we know that you could do BPM or Collaboration without SOA, but with SOA the value grows.
For instance around BPM, for many years companies have wanted the magic potion to fix, improve, modify process activity. But IT has been the biggest inhibitor. SOA changes the game in this space by allowing processes to be represented as services and components. As such, the service-based process now becomes re-usable, flexible, and can be modified and re-deployed more quickly. SOA turns processes into parts (called "services") so the specific part of the process can be improved, optimized, and then reassembled with other parts of the process.
Or for collaboration, SOA will enable this user experience and ensure consistent levels of service are met each step of the way. SOA allows customers to create, deploy, and update composite applications faster with SOA portlets. As application portlets are created or converted to "service-based" portlets, you can aggregate and integrate these portlets faster and more economically to get the collaborative user interface and view into your business that you need.
Or for Information, SOA drives further success Information delivered as a service provides extensive options to a company to allow for packaging, transformation, and distribution of the information to the right people at the right time. Information as a service, as a part of an SOA ensures consistency in sources and data rules, aligns information with business processes, provides business context to information, uncovers insightful relationships hidden within information, provides a basis for trust in information, and enables tighter control over information.
For the IT entry points, the 2 are Reuse, where a strong view of being able to reuse both IT assets and business logic. To build an SOA, you look at what you already have (people, applications, business processes, etc.), and use existing resources to streamline business processes, cut development time, ensure consistency through the organization, and save money. Based on open standards, IBM's offerings were created to allow a company to extend the value from their existing software by service-enabling it and then reuse the business value that comes from that service again and again. Firms can:
-Enhance flexibility by reduce duplication of function by creating services to be shared across the enterprise -Leverage proven core applications and function through services enablement, through wrappering or other methods
In fact, a study by Software Productivity Research found that it is five times less expensive to reuse existing services and applications than to re-write them.
And finally Connectivity. SOA connectivity allows users to take an existing business process and deliver it through a different business channel with minimal rework. So for example, if you have a business process like opening a new account that you deliver through a call center, you can deliver the same process through a web site or a kiosk by leveraging this kind of connectivity. Doing so will ensure a secure, consistent user experience and save a great deal of cost. By the same token, SOA Connectivity lets you reach out to your trading partners with secure, services-based connectivity beyond your firewall. The Enterprise Integration Challenge report from Software Strategies found that use of an Enterprise Service Buses was two to four times less expensive than custom-built integration or FTP.
So tell me what you think? Do these entry points seem like ones you could use?
We have an SOA business value tool that will allow you to sit down and determine your ROI from these Entry points as well. Let me hear from you![Read More]
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  business_partners soa_business_catalog soa_business_value_assess... 814 Visits
I just arrived in last night from Vegas where we had our major SOA announcements for Partners. While I used my scooter to voom around (remember I have a broken ankle!), we received very good response to the announcements -- over 42 press articles, some great analyst feedback and the best, is the partner community! Here are just a few of my favorites.
"No vendor is in a better position to make SOA a reality for customers than IBM. The breadth of their offering and depth of their SOA expertise are driving this market. The value they are providing to partners who are working with IBM to capture the opportunity that SOA represents makes the IBM partnership value proposition a no-brainer." -- Jason Bloomberg, Senior Analyst, ZapThink LLC
"IBM has made an extraordinary investment in the success of its advanced SOA partners." Judith Hurwitz, President, Hurwitz & Associates
"Business partners who add their experience and skills to IBM’s technical expertise and market power should find the SOA opportunity nearly unlimited. I’m particularly impressed that firms can have a substantial look with no commitment before choosing how much of their resources they’ll engage in return for IBM’s considerable offerings. " Amy Wohl, Wohl Associates
So what did we announce?
1) Early enablement for HOT SOA products like DB2 Viper and WebSphere Service Registry and Repository.
2) Tools to demonstrate real value .... SOA Busines Central Catalog and the SOA Business Value Assessment tool!This tool is super! Its outcomes are best practice models, a business case, and a propsed architecture based on SOA maturity level. The ROI is crucial -- IDC and others say that ROI is the cricial input into the customer process.
3) The new Zero Barrier to SOA.....without registration redbooks, development assistance, etc Just go here!
Also we added SOA sales connection to link partners into our Sales process!!
So much power for the partners who are critical for the success of Customers!
Talk to you soon! 8 days until cast comes off![Read More]
Who is a basketball fan? I am a huge Duke fan and anxiously await every March for the basketball season!Usually I get to go to some round 1 or 2 games but this year will have to be satisfied with the TV!
March Madness reminds me of SOA in the real world. March madness is all about people, information and process -- just like SOA! The people the fans are critical to the game. They sometimes mean the difference between success and failure! In SOA, the people and human workflows are critical to the success of an implementation. Building composite applications and being able to easily leverage standard and reusable business services and present them to the right users at the right time! How value to your business!
For Information, in basketball understanding and knowing the stats and the strengths and weaknesses of your oponent is crucial to success. Just like in SOA. Having the right quality of information about your customers, or your products gives you a competitive leg up and SOA can help you separate information from implementation for reuse across the enterprise, centralize maintenance and control to improve data quality, and Provide processes with consistent information, in real-time, regardless of location.
And finally Processes -- the rules of the game! You must follow the process in order to win! You need to be flexible in your game to stay within the bonds. Just as our customer survey shows, Process , or BPM is crucial to success in SOA. It aligns the business and IT together and drives toward a common end goal!
What are your thoughts? Who is watching March Madness? Who is doing SOA?[Read More]
Good day to all! Well, this southern girl broke her ankle about 2 weeks ago! Since there can be no "weight bearing on that leg now" for a while, I started thinking about where we put our weight in our first SOA implementations! From our recent survey, most companies are viewing BPM capablilities are the highest rating SOA capability. BPM being Business Process management. BPM is how you design, automate, and manage operational business processes at the pace required by changing market conditions and business priorities, aligned with strategic and operational goals. The value comes in around your ability to adapt quickly and cost effectively. By deploying the right BPM tooling, infrastructure, and methods, you will be able to respond at the speed of business while maintaining business controls and, where necessary, regulatory compliance. BPM improves your bottom line and enables innovation, helping you to compete effectively and win. Gartner recently gave a Market Opportunity number of $806M in 2006. Business Process Management Suites will be the Next Big Thing, February 2005, Jim Sinur
I am curious how many of our SOA folks are leveraging this capability of BPM and what processes are top of your list?
Til next time!