Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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DataDirect Technologies is an IBM partner and provides data connectivity and mainframe integration software for corporate enterprises and independent software vendors. DataDirect Shadow is mainframe middleware software that accelerates the participation of mainframe systems with Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), data access or business intelligence (BI) initiatives, and/or composite application development- all with unique capabilities to dramatically lower mainframe TCO through specialty engine exploitation.
I had a great discussion with Gregg Willhoitt, the Chief Software Architect at Data Direct about lowering mainframe TCO and their views on IBM IMPACT kicking of in Vegas next week.
Sandy DataDirect offers some excellent cost saving strategies. What are some of the messages you'll be sharing to help customers thrive in today's economy? (One of their Session Titles is 'From SQL to SOAP to Events - with zIIP: Cost Effective SOA Solutions for CICS TS V4.1) Gregg: I think it is very important that mainframe customers understand the tremendous opportunity that exist for lowering mainframe TCO while still growing their SOA initiatives. Sounds too good to be true, but this is what happens with innovation. The catalyst for this was the introduction of specialty engines for handling specialized workloads on the mainframe. This allowed processing that would normally be handled by the General Purpose Processor to be diverted to the specialty engine, where it could run without incurring a charge against contracted mainframe MIPS capacity. Initially the benefit was isolated to DB2, Java or Linux workloads – but not anymore. DataDirect has introduced patent-pending technology to more fully exploit specialty engines, expanding the range of environments that can use the zIIP engine to reduce mainframe TCO. With Shadow, DataDirect’s mainframe middleware, customers can offload up to 99% of their SOA-related integration processing to the zIIP specialty engine. For CICS customers, this means more control over costs and the ability to aggressively pursue their SOA initiatives. But the benefit doesn’t stop at CICS. We know the heterogeneous nature of most enterprises, so with Shadow you can leverage the zIIP specialty engine for Web services, SQL or Event processing across a wide range of environments, including Adabas, DB2, IMS, IDMS, VSAM, and Natural. The end result is extra mainframe capacity - a dividend if you will – to support the development of new business services, and in this economy, doing more with less is definitely a strategy for success. Sandy: How does the Impact 2009 SOA Conference help DataDirect, a provider of world class solutions in Data Connectivity and Mainframe Integration, reach new customers and maintain your expertise in today's marketplace? Gregg: To be honest, industry trade events have not fared very well in this down economy; however SOA Impact has been the rare exception. The event has grown to become an excellent forum for all things SOA, providing business and IT management, as well as application developers and systems programmers a great educational resource for examining the practical aspects of how to align SOA capabilities with business goals. Taking part in the technology exhibition is a great way to meet prospective customers, get a better understanding of their integration requirements and provide them with an up-close product test drive. This year, I am sure the focus will be on CICS TS v4.1 and how Shadow complements and extends the product with mainframe Web services, real-time event capture or SQL access. The education outreach this event provides is the perfect context for DataDirect to explain our product’s value proposition for accelerating mainframe SOA enablement. In addition, our technical staff always looks forward to this event for technical presentations and demonstration of the latest IBM SOA products. Sandy: DataDirect is an official sponsor of the Impact 2009 zZone which showcases SOA solutions for System z audience. In fact, this is the second year; you've been an Impact zZone sponsor. What's so special about the zZone? Gregg: The zZone makes all the sense in the world to us given as a product, DataDirect Shadow is singularly focused on the mainframe. Our goal for customers is to reduce the cost and complexity of integrating mainframe data and applications with Service Oriented Architectures, data-centric initiatives like Business Intelligence and Data warehousing, and new application development initiatives that rely on .NET or Java application frameworks. The zZone brings together an elite group of System z partners to complement the IBM System z experts and technology on-hand. It makes quite an impression to customers to see that big z10 mainframe sitting in amongst the exhibit booths. It is here, for example, where a customer can drill down into a technical discussion on zIIP offload or take a tour of our new mainframe TCO calculator for modeling MIPS savings, because it is the right context for that type of discourse. Also, the zZone is a destination for mainframe interests within a larger SOA context. Where else would you expect to find new strategies for redefining the economics of mainframe SOA? Last year, DataDirect was one of the founding members of the zZone at SOA Impact. It was then and still is an ideal setting for demonstrating how new technologies, like Shadow, can help accelerate the mainframe’s role within SOA. The new twist this year is how to make SOA cost-effective for the mainframe. In short, it is all about lowering mainframe TCO. Any mainframe customer looking for technologies to lower SOA-related integration costs will find it at the zZone at SOA Impact.
Great talking to you, Gregg! Don't forget to check out Data Direct at the Impact 2009 zZone.
Our customers are really cool and I have had the privilege of working with them and learning from their success stories. Miami Dade County is a great example of working smarter with SOA.
Carmen Suarez, Acting Division Director for Enterprise Architecture Services joins me on the Day 3 keynote to discuss the Smarts of the Miami Dade Solution. Carmen is an amazing woman and I have met her several times now and never fail to be impressed by her talent!
I caught up with her at IMPACT for a quick view interview! Check it out!
Sandy: For the services your provide you county constituents, how do you see the roll of SOA and the emergence of Cloud computing working in concert to meet your business needs?Carmen: These days our “consumers” are constituents, businesses, other governments, travelers, investors. SOA, cloud computing and other enabling technology is just that, it enables us to bring service to the consumers faster and by reusing components via multiple channels like kiosks, pervasive devices, the Internet.
Sandy: What knowledge or experience is your #1 priority to take home from Impact 2009?Carmen: All the things that DataPower can do for me. Like AmberPoint's recently announced integration with WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliance since we have been AmberPoint users for a few years now. And we have integrated the AmberPoint toolset with the WAS UDDI. Next step is to include WSRR (WebSphere Registry & Repository).
Sandy: How has the agility afforded by SOA empowered your vision to change around what services and offerings you can create to empower the people you interact with to Work Smarter?Carmen: Our SOA vision and current roll out has breathed new life in to legacy applications by extending them to the Internet as self-service features. Additionally it has made our developers Countywide more efficient and given them whole new channels upon which they can deploy new functionality. Our eCommerce initiative alone has grown from $151 million in 2005 to over $468 million in 2008.,
Carmen, thank you for agreeing to do this interview! Great to hear from innovative customers like Miami Dade on how SOA done right = SOA Success.
Folks, if you are at IMPACT, don't miss the day 3 keynote coming up tomorrow[Read More]
Here is a whole set of things around Governments becoming more effective that I just learned and wanted to share!!!
IBM has helped the DVLA to become the largest provider of electronic services in the UK public sector and one of Britain's top 10 online retailers. More than 40% of UK motorists now buy their car tax discs online or over the telephone.
IBM leads the International Technology Alliance (ITA) a collaboration with the UK’s MoD and the US Department of Defense/US Army Research Laboratory that is tackling some of the most difficult fundamental science and technology challenges facing our armed forces. ITA in the UK is led by the IBM Emerging Technologies Laboratory in Hursley.
From the middle of 2009, the UK weather forecasts from the Met Office that you hear on the radio and see on your television will be brought to you from an IBM supercomputer. The supercomputer is supported by a new IBM data archive system which holds several petabytes of data and is one of the largest data repositories in the world - that's several million, million megabytes (or if you prefer several million, million, million bytes).
This is the first time in meteorological history that both of Europe's foremost weather forecasting centres - the Met Office and the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) - have selected the same supplier . Once operational, they will be the two most powerful systems in the UK and are expected to bring a socioeconomic benefit of hundreds of millions of pounds over the next few years from better forecasting and climate research.
Southwest One, the first shared services joint venture in the country that includes both Police and local authorities, is on target to save the tax payers of Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council, £200 million over 10 years and help the Avon and Somerset Police Authority protect and improve front-line policing.
At the UK Border Agency, IBM’s Semaphore system has tracked over 78 million passenger journeys through UK airports since 2005, and has issued over 33,500 alerts to the law enforcement authorities leading to more than 2,700 arrests.
IBM helps to keep the RAF fleet of over 500 aircraft in the air by tracking and controlling over 700,000 repairable assets and confirming that aircraft are serviceable for flight. Since 2004, IBM has helped the RAF protect UK Air Space through a real-time command and control system that at any moment in the day tracks the thousands of commercial and military aircraft in the skies above us, and enables the RAF to intercept any aircraft identified as potentially hostile or posing a terrorist threat.
Every month almost 100,000 MoD civil servants are paid through a system designed, built and supported by IBM. Every year, the Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre (ARCC) based at RAF Kinloss responds to more than 1,800 Search and Rescue incidents , saving lives through efficient co-ordination of information and assets through IBM Rescue Co-ordination System.
By the middle of 2009, four of the five worldwide top 100 supercomputers operating in the UK will be from IBM. They are at: the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), the Met Office, a public sector organisation and Bristol University . The only worldwide top 100 supercomputer in the UK not from IBM, and in third position, is at Edinburgh University.
The Institute of Life Science (ILS) at Swansea University’s School of Medicine is using its IBM supercomputer, Blue C, to unlock unexpected insights from unstructured data - 20 new high quality research papers have been published in just over a year.
Cheshire County Council has achieved a 20% reduction in the time and cost required to perform in-home senior visits , and improved its ability to proactively manage the course of health and social care for senior citizens using a system designed and hosted by IBM.[Read More]
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In the January 1, 2007 issue of CIO Magazine they did a piece on the State of the CIO.
SOA is Top of Mind There were some very interesting findings like: 1) Process Improvement replaced cost- cutting as a top mgmt priority 2) Top technology priorities is Integration/enhancing existing systems and processes 3) And a whole piece on "Why SOA is good for CIOs" - CIOs working with SOA make more money, get more budget and have more access to the executive committee's within their companies.
What do you guys think? Are you seeing the same?[Read More]
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OK Gang! One of our big announcements this 2H SOA Launch is Process Integrity. End to end process integration is required to hold your services, information and users together. This integration must be robust and scalable – otherwise it will restrict you from growing your SOA and building on your initial successes. As you move from basic to advanced SOA, you should be able to use the same products and architectures in an expanded and more advanced way.
So the architecture must start with the ability to provide Process Integrity, even if you don’t use all the capabilities in every project. Robust capabilities must be part of the middleware layer. For example, let’s look at the Enterprise Service Bus. There are several types of ESBs, depending on what they are being used for. An in fact, it’s very possible that you might have different ESBs running in different domains. But whatever ESBs you are running, they must be able to grow with you and provide scalable connectivity as your SOA becomes more advanced. This also means that you might federate multiple ESBs, so that various ESBs are integrated into a larger architecture.
Security and quality of service are key to a successful SOA environment. Even if you don’t need the full set of capabilities in your first couple of projects, you need to ensure that your SOA environment is capable of growing with you. As SOA matures, it will very likely be the basis of a large percentage of IT projects in the future. It’s hard to think of large IT projects that don’t focus on security, scalability, availability and performance. Don’t think of your initial project as something that will be thrown away in the future. Think of them as laying the groundwork for your long-term architecture.
Want to know more about this one?
Watch the process integrity video now.[Read More]
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My Virtual Model enables consumers to "try on" clothes online and this is a business model after my own heart! For companies, using My Virtual Model technology improves their bottom-line profitability by increasing revenues while cutting costs. As an IBM SOA business partner, MVM will be at IMPACT 2009.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Louise Guay, the MVM co-founder and wanted to share her insight!
Sandy: This year will be your first trip to IMPACT! What are you most looking forward to?Louise: I hope that I will have the chance to share our experience of social centrality and target advertising with the participants. The moneytisation of the social shopping and networking is “le sujet de l’heure” and we have an experience conducive to it! We can provide in the core of the shopping experience of merchants a usage of social media (Show me me how people like me wear this product!) and how the users can buy the entire look with a buy all button. Once the users register their profiles (their 3D models of themselves with a picture of their faces), ads can be targeted to them via banners or in emails or when they make their model appear on a product page. We have also an amazing network driving new clients to our merchant clients.
Sandy: I know that My Virtual Model has incorporated Social Media within the online shopping experience for Sears, Cosmopolitan and others. What is the reaction from customers and users?Louise: Merchants are anxious to make a sound usage of social media. From a merchant perspective these times command a strong metrics oriented results, we also know that users trust more and more their peers comments. Imagine if they can see their peers wearing what they like and would wear also. They can choose seeing it on similar peers body types or same ethnicity or any physical affinity they have with peers! It influences their purchases and drives strong recommendations. It is an effective outfitting approach. Publishers want to go from mass media to personalized media. My Virtual Model brings each and everyone of their readers to literally try on their fashion picks and hints and all the trends presented regularly in their magazines.Users are more and more visual and very involved in the process. They already rate products. If they can see the products on themselves and on others people similar to them it has a direct impact on their decision to purchase. It boosts their confidence in their styles, their looks and their tastes and preferences. Confirmed in their personalities they feel good to go and get what makes them look great. When we install our product on a publisher/media site like Cosmopolitan, users read fashion tips and trends and are always wandering what it will look like on them and where can they get it? These questions are answered by the virtual models of the users and the comments of other users on their models.
Sandy: What are some of the more popular elements of social media that users have really loved within the new My Virtual Model experience?Louise: Users enjoy discovering their personal styles. They also develop friendships, affinities of interests and support the efforts of others. Many great talents appear and are encouraged by the Community. Users love to create looks, publish them on their public page and get rated by other users. They also appear in the most recent and popular looks of the Community and rate other users looks. They love to click the “Try On Outfit” button and wear on their model an outfit created by another user. It is a great way to shop and buy outfits. It is quick and highly efficient. They love to describe their looks and tell a story about their looks. They also love to see how each item of their looks is worn by other users utilizing the feature “More looks featuring this item “
Sandy: Why did you choose to base this on WebSphere Commerce?Louise: WebSphere is well know for it’s foundational excellence and architecture of openness to integrate 3rd party applications that are user centric. By choosing WebSphere we were able to concentrate on what we do best, and leverage a powerful and robust ecommerce platform to create an innovative and solid shopping experience.This is exciting and thank you for stopping by and sharing your insights! I am looking forward to seeing you in Vegas next month @IBM IMPACT 2009[Read More]
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On our Board of Advisors is an organization for the Finnish Defense Forces. They are a strong supporter and user of the SOA approach.
The 17,000 employees of the Finnish Defense Forces (FDF) are responsible for territorial surveillance, safeguarding territorial integrity and defending national sovereignty in all situations. Comprised of the Finnish Army, Navy and Air Force, the FDF faces the challenge of managing and adapting to increasingly dynamic and complex situations with limited resources.
The FDF realized that closer coordination between its own service branches and with those of other nations was essential, but deeply entrenched silos in its command, control, communications and computing systems presented a major barrier. FDF created an SOA-based service hub that enables all branches to share common applications and—by enabling the dynamic reuse of services—allows the FDF to get new applications out to he field in a fraction of the time.
FDF is projecting 80 percent reduction in time required to develop new systems via SOA service reuse and projected 75 percent reduction in required infrastructure through consolidation and virtualization while providing tighter coordination and information sharing between FDF service branches. The solution includes WebSphere Portal with portlets enabled as services that utilize WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus as an ESB along with Tivoli software for monitoring.Read More]
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I love flowers! I love Valentine's day partially due to the flowers I receive!
My colleague Georgina Castanon has taken some amazing pictures of flowers! Check them out!
So of course, one of my favorite references, is 1-800-Flowers.com. To realize its vision of synergy among its 14 brands and meet ambitious growth goals, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, INC.—the world’s largest florist and gift shop—is deploying a new e-commerce solution. Running on System p servers, WebSphere Commerce (built on SOA) is the singular front end for all the eCommerce sites and WebSphere MQ and WebSphere Message Broker comprise an enterprise service bus that through service orientation, coordinates messaging and integration between WebSphere Commerce and the company’s disparate back-end systems.
The solution makes it easy to launch (and less expensive to maintain) new eCommerce sites, in weeks rather than months – or even years. The solution enables more rapid creation and deployment of retail Web sites, allowing 1-800-FLOWERS.COM to try out new offerings with very little investment and risk.
It also facilitates cross-selling between brands by unifying the underlying technology. The solution provides the potential for information sharing across business units, opening up the possibility for more effective marketing to customers.
It also provides a rich, differentiated customer experience with reduced maintenance and development costs.
I hope my hubbie tries it out again!!![Read More]
I just attended the Gartner BPM conference in San Diego. There were over 1000 attendees -- growing considerably from last year's conference. It was a very interesting conference -- starting with Simon Hayward's Keynote walking through critical success factors for BPM. This was the talk of town -- there was a lot of discussion on the keys to success for BPM enabled by SOA.
I had lots of discussion on "What BPM is?" -- a discipline that involves thoughtful focus on process -- selecting the right process to focus on, looking at the organization, the culture, and the way you manage process improvement and innovation. Also I had lots of great discussions on the required Software Capbilitty and the value of SOA (Which to me is when you see the real value of BPM -- with SOA flexibility !)
IBM is investing heavily in BPM, and have seen numerous clients from small to enterprise across every industry see its value in growing their competitive advantage. We introduced 5 starting points -- flexible starting points -- to assist customers to deploy BPM with SOA at the rate and pace they need for real business results. The 5 starting points are Modeling and Simulation, Monitoring, Rules and Frameworks, Content centric processing, and process choregraphy. We have also expanded our BPM with SOA capability and expertise showing off the WebSphere Business Services Fabric, the BPM methodology, the SOA business catalog, the Filenet BPM capabilities, and new process models based on opens standards like PCF.
I also saw some great customers talking about their lessons learned. Speaking with me on stage was ANZ -- Barry McGibb - and he did a great job outlining his vision and approach for BPM with SOA. Another favorite of mine was the customer speaker - Tom -- from Sloan!
The biggest debates that I heard at the conference were:1) How to align business and IT and get them as excited about BPM as IT is. In fact, about 40% of the attendees at this conference were from the business side.
2) The second was the relationship of BPM and SOA -- in fact Darryl Plummer did a great talk on how BPM and SOA are joined at the hip. Here are my thoughts on the subject that we recently had published!!
The role of Business Process Management in a Service Oriented Architecture StrategySandy Carter, Vice President, SOA and WebSphere Strategy, Channels and Marketing, IBM
In today's competitive environment where companies are merging, consolidating and striving to uncover new growth opportunities, savvy business leaders are recognizing the value that comes from working more closely with information technology (IT) professionals.
Driven in large part by the growing adoption rates of a service oriented architecture (SOA) strategy, more and more organizations are realizing that the alignment of IT and business delivers tangible results and significant returns in terms of productivity, competitive advantage and cost savings.
However, to seize these new opportunities and realize the benefits that can be derived from an SOA, companies need to streamline their business processes and eliminate the recreation of the wheel that too often happens when an organization and its technology resources are locked into silos.
For example, these business processes can include such functions as ordering supplies, reimbursing expenses or booking business travel. When each department or team within a larger organization has its own ‘system’ to handle these types of business processes, it may prove effective for a smaller subset of the company but is largely ineffective for the entire business. Consider the advantages that can be reaped in terms of productivity and cost savings when there is an agreed upon approach to filing an expense report or automating travel requests.
Addressing these issues and uncovering ways to automate and improve business processes without requiring additional resources is top of mind for today’s organizations as they aim to more effectively and efficiently compete in an ever changing marketplace. This growing need has led to the rise of the business process management (BPM) market.
The Growing Demand for BPMBPM is a discipline combining software capabilities and business expertise to accelerate process improvement and facilitate business innovation. One could argue that BPM is based on the principles of SOA with both aiming to empower the organization to more quickly respond to changing market conditions that result from planned events such as mergers and acquisitions or external influences such as competitor moves.
There are several factors driving the increased focus on BPM. These include the need to:
Ensure consistency throughout the company, especially with regard to compliance;Optimize processes for maximum efficiency;Automate manual processes to reduce time consuming administrative tasks;Integrate complex, redundant processes to avoid the constant recreation of the wheel;Mitigate risks through a single, unified view of the organization.
A successful BPM solution will take existing processes, streamline them to meet business goals and ultimately impact the bottom and top lines in a positive way. The value of BPM is further evidenced by the results that can be realized from business and IT working more closely together. One of the most significant benefits is the fact that BPM helps to put business process control in the hands of business managers. By providing decision makers with up-to-date business information, BPM allows them to make better decisions immediately without relying on IT support.
The Role of Business Process Management in an SOABPM is growing in popularity and is complementary to SOA due to its ability to help make business processes more efficient and effective while enabling an organization to more easily adapt to changing business requirements.
BPM based on SOA is technology’s response to the growing demand for a flexible business environment that is not hindered by application silos.
When business processes are automated and streamlined and supported by a strong SOA governance framework, BPM can deliver on its promise of transforming IT processes to dynamically adapt to business needs. For these reasons, BPM is being widely embraced. In fact, analysts at IDC state that the BPM tools market will reach $3 billion by 2009.
The powerful combination of BPM to streamline business processes within an SOA strategy will help position companies to become industry leaders while ensuring they are poised for continued success.
For this to happen, however, business processes must become independent of specific information resources and specific task automation applications. Specifically, the integration technology must loosely couple the applications and resources that make up the process, otherwise the logic of a process will get hard-coded into a particular technology platform, which may be expensive to change and therefore defeat the entire purpose of BPM.
Business Process Modeling: The ‘Other’ BPMThe need to model business processes before they are deployed in an SOA is becoming increasingly more important, especially as the demand for BPM continues to rise. First, however, let’s understand that BPM is both a management discipline and a technology platform and that modeling is a complementary and critical aspect within a larger BPM strategy.
As a management discipline, BPM replaces traditional views of business based on discrete functional organizations, systems, and metrics with those based on cross-functional core processes aligned with high-level business objectives. As a technology platform, BPM provides the set of software tools needed to optimize performance, make abstract performance goals concrete, connect them to process data, automate and monitor process activities, and provide a platform for agile performance improvement.