Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
Audi's success story is a highlight of our Day 2 keynote and Armin Buttner, CTO of Audi AG graciously agreed to be interviewed for this blog. I love their route 2015 strategy featured in the keynote and here Armin succinctly summarizes the highilights of their SOA journey and how Smart Soa helped Audi align business and IT
There is the new Audi Spyder next to the STAGE! WOW!
Sandy: How does SOA help differentiate you within your industry?Armin: SOA allows Audi to deliver solutions to our customers much quicker. We can do our IT projects quicker and with higher quality.
Sandy: What are the top things you are hoping to learn by attending Impact?Armin: I am looking forward to learning more information on the SOA roadmap and how it will influence our IT strategy and projects.
Sandy: What are the top 3 things about your SOA approach - lessons learned - that you would like to share?Armin: First, companies need to generate their SOA strategy across the company. The second is governance…it is not possible to do company-wide SOA without governance. The third lesson is that you need to build the skills internal to your organization. And I have an important fourth lessons learned – have a strong partner with experience to help you.
Sandy: How did you go about building SOA expertise/skills within your organization?Armin: Pilot projects are key to learning SOA and getting the experience and skills inside your organization.
Sandy: How did you sell your investment in your SOA journey to your CFO or CEO?Armin: SOA helps Audi get our products to market faster. I had to make sure that the CFO and CEO understood the business value. We have so many new products and our competitive advantage it so be faster to go to market. I needed to get early commitment from the CFO and CEO to make sure that our long term approach was successful.
Sandy: What is your favorite Audi car to drive? Armin: A5, however in the summertime it is a convertible TT
Armin, thank you so much for speaking at IMPACT and taking time to share these insights!!!
Folks, give it up for Audi at IBM IMPACT, a great customer with a fantastic story! Don't forget to follow us on @sandy_carter for live feed from Vegas![Read More]
Ascendant is a premier IBM business partner and an end to end solution provider and software reseller dedicated to our IBM technology specializing in web-based solutions.
I spoke to Jim Deters, Ascendant's President on our partnership and for a preview on the exciting announcements coming up at IBM Impact in Vegas next month.
Sandy: Ascendant has been a key provider of solutions based on IBM offerings for some time now, can you share with us why this partnership has worked? Jim: The partnership between Atech and IBM works because IBM is producing and delivering world-class and innovative technology that resonates in the marketplace. We in turn take this technology and create solutions and offerings for our customers that help them innovate and drive their business and, in turn, the planet forward. We often call ourselves IBM’s muse. Additionally, the partnership is successful because both Atech and IBM understand how to partner and share common values centered on the customer’s success. In many engagements, we have worked as an extension of one another’s teams, creating the optimal mix of talent and assets from our globally integrated organizations, to deliver for our collective customer.
Sandy: What types of solutions are your customers asking for in light of these challenging economic times? Jim: First, and the most obvious, solutions customers’ are requesting are those that reduce costs. Everyone has to do more with less and this is especially true when it comes to existing IT infrastructure investments – the applications and environments already running. Having deep experience in large, sophisticated WebSphere environments, we created an automation and configuration framework dubbed WICA. WICA is an acronym for WebSphere Installation and Configuration Automation. We were recognized with the SOA Innovation award at last year’s Impact for WICA. In short, it is a framework for reducing costs in SOA and WebSphere environments by automating the management and configuration of the WebSphere Infrastructure. IBM is now OEM’ing the asset and it will be launched as an IBM Rational product at this year’s event.
With WICA in place, we then focus on driving more throughput from the environment – further rationalization of the IT investment by consolidating or extending applications. We are working with many of our WebSphere Portal customers to do just that. We have used WICA to automate and manage the WebSphere Portal infrastructure and are now consolidating legacy and other customer applications onto WebSphere Portal.
After automation and software rationalization, our customers are selectively investing in new initiatives that are strategic to adapting their business to their industry’s changing landscape. We are working heavily in the health care space, both payors and providers. Additionally, we are currently engaged with several Blue Cross Blue Shields across the country to optimize their member portals and create more agile, online business processes. We have created and combined a unique set of capabilities for our customers. By combining user experience architecture, requirements engineering, and business value measurement with an SOA execution, we are helping health care payors align key business metrics to the user’s experience and then ensure end-to-end execution of the solution. The technical solution often encompasses many parts of the IBM platform, including WebSphere Portal, Process Server, Lotus Connection, DataPower, Rational Team Concert and Build Forge.
We are also helping customers across a variety of industries adopt and execute social computing strategies. We are currently working on many corporate communication and collaboration strategies and are creating “internal Facebook-like” solutions, extending online communities to partner communities. Working with a variety of large brands to improve their online shopping experience, we are stressing the importance of “social commerce” applications and strategies in the shopping experience. Commerce is everywhere and the impetus of the “shopping inspiration” usually doesn’t occur on the vendor’s e-commerce site. We are helping customers develop strategies to leverage Facebook, iGoogle widgets, ratings and reviews, and online communities within their WebSphere Commerce implementation.
Sandy: In spite of these challenges, I know that it is a very exciting time right now with the Impact 2009 show almost upon us, Without giving away any big surprises, can you share with us some of the excitement that Ascendant is preparing for the event?
Special note - check out Jim's Video!
Jim: We have a ton in store for Impact that align to the comments above and we are happy to have you get the word out!
First, on the social commerce track, we are doing making several exciting announcements. We will be running a VIP suite (check www.atech.com/IMPACT in coming weeks for the official schedule) to provide an intimate setting to meet and ask a variety of industry, Atech and IBM experts questions. Topics will include.
We have created a strategic partnership with Pluck, a valued IBM partner, and we will be showcasing WebSphere commerce integration through iRise simulations. iRise and Atech are strategically taking to market and entire suite of simulations for IBM software customers. At Lotusphere 2009, we launched a simulation starter for Lotus Connections. At Impact, we are focused on WebSphere Commerce, and specifically WCS and Pluck and a killer “social commerce start store.” Be sure to check out our South Park parody, to be released April 20th! It will be posted to www.atech.com/IMPACT
Industry aligned session for Health Care Payors. We are going to be highlighting our end-to-end capabilities through the eyes of a health care payor. The presentation will start from the very beginning of strategy definition & value measurement, user experience, requirements and process engineering through the technical solution architecture.
The launch of a new asset – the DataPower Automation Framework. Following the patterns of WICA, we have automated Data Power for the management across proxies and as part of an SOA strategy by streamlining the management of a Datapower infrastructure.
Lastly, we will be launching Enterprise Blue ™. Enterprise Blue is our suite of fully-managed, cloud based solutions. Atech and IBM are working closely with Amazon Web Services to help customers get the best of both worlds – all the power of IBM’s enterprise software with the flexibility and low-cost of leveraging Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
Jim, thanks for visiting with me on my blog and I can't wait to hear more about Ascendant at IMPACT.
IMPACT is less than two weeks away. Don't miss it.
Sign up here![Read More]
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In Dubai, in Poland or at the Global Virtual Forum “Work Smarter, Take Out Costs In a Tough Economy last week, there was a common thread emerging from conversations with customers. How do we work smarter in today’s economy to survive and thrive without going extinct? IBM’s vision for a Smarter Planet is based on how much smarter the world has become with all the technology that exists today. We are more interconnected, instrumented and intelligent. This smart is embedded and applies to people, to industries, to companies and countries.
You may have heard my analogy of the cheetah and chipmunk (entire transcripthere thanks to @joemckendrick). The fastest animal is in danger of going extinct despite its speed but the cartoonish chipmunk has adapted to its environment due to its agility and ability to adapt to a changing environment.
Joe’s excellent post onTime to get bullish on SOA, IT and the economy drives the point home where he states “Times of turmoil always equate to times of new opportunity. As I’ve said before time and again, the current rough-and-tumble economy is really a time for SOA — and information technology in general — to shine, to prove their mettle.” @monkchips also expands the viewpoint stating that “soa isn’t about cost cutting, it is a growth engine”
I want to elaborate further on why we believe that service orientation really is the key to agility and cost optimization. By extracting services from your applications, putting those business services in a reusable format, it allows you to quickly change, based on what's happening in the environment, or to invoke change yourself on the industry. It allows you to flexibly connect information, because you isolate the business logic from the underpinning IT and you can reuse.. not just the IT assets, but the business assets as well.
As @dortchonit nicely sums it up, “Yeah, it's hard work. But if you want to run a truly agile, intelligent, and successful business, it's work worth doing. And the alternatives are harder, I promise." More coverage on Michael’s blogThe Big Mash Up
Meanwhile, if you missed the Global Virtual Forum, you can get to the replay athttp://tinyurl.com/bv3489 and we will continue these conversations on working smarter, taking down costs and why it is important in today’s economic climate at IBM IMPACT 2009
Here's to chipmunks![Read More]
It was great to see so many of you at last week's IMPACT conference. I really enjoyed the chance to meet with you and get your feedback.
We want to continue the dialogue we started with you at IMPACT throughout 2008 via virtual events & the SOA Social Network.
Our next virtual event is our April 30th webcast, IBM's Smart SOA™ Approach: Aligning Business & IT for Maximum Impact
This is a a great follow-on to IMPACT. The webcast gives you the opportunity to hear IBM Executives
explain new IBM SOA Announcements. We'll also offer a LIVE Q & A session as part of the program.
Steven A. Mills, Senior Vice President & Group Executive, IBM Software Group
All registrants who attend this live Web Seminar will receive complimentary access to the "IBM SOA Case Studies e-Book".
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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]
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Hello All !!!
I am getting a lot of emails to summarize the announcements that we made at IMPACT 2008! So what I decided to do after a great dinner last night with our IBM friends in the North End of Boston, was to do a blog for each of our six announcements!
The first one I would like to highlight is the announement on our IBM BPM Suite with events capability.
Just a few facts before we get into the announcement. Fact: The BPM Market is predicted to grow over 35% CAGR to $6B by 2011 (Forrester Research)Fact: IBM is the Marketshare leader in BPMS (Gartner Dataquest)Fact: IBM is rated a leader in more Magic Quadrants and Waves than any other vendor (six), including: BPMS (Gartner), Business Process Analysis (Gartner), Integration-Centric BPMS (Forrester), Document-Centric BPMS (Forrester), Human-Centric BPMS for Banking/Financial Markets (Forrester); and Human-Centric BPMS for Insurance (Forrester).
In fact, IBM was first to market with an integrated BPM/SOA offering (Bruce Silver Associates/Bloor Research)Fact: IBM is the recognized "clear" leader in Content-Centric BPMS (Forrester)
These announcements at IMPACT took a another step ahead for our client's value -- around our announcement of the BPM Suite. Accordining to Wikipedia, a suite is "a collection of computer programs, usually application software and programming software of related functionality, often sharing a more-or-less common user interface and some ability to smoothly exchange data with each other." -Wikipedia
(By the way did you guys see Jimmy Wales speak at IMPACT? He was amazing!) IBM's BPM Suite is a comprehensive set of role-based, SOA-enabled product capabilities that provide customers with the ability to continuously optimize processes, and adapt processes rapidly to changing needs.
The suite contains key functionality from across IBM to control and manage business processes across their lifecycle, with an emphasis on business user empowerment and greater collaboration across multiple roles within a client's organization
IBM’s BPM Suite combines product capabilities from across IBM Software Group that match the way customers purchase, implement, and upgrade BPM software while protecting and reusing their existing IT investments.
To make it easier for customers to get started with BPM, we’ve created Starter Sets for the IBM BPM Suite. The IBM BPM Suite includes a choice of two starter sets – Dynamic Business Processes Set and Content-Aware Processes Set. Starter sets are packaged offerings and are designed to address key customer scenarios.
Each starter set contains tools to model, deploy and monitor core business processes. The suite also offers a number of optional extended-value offerings to enhance and advance overall capabilities.
The starter set for Dynamic Business Processes supports process optimization across heterogeneous, dynamic, transaction-rich environments, requiring enterprise-wide integration capabilities and SOA. This starter set is best for processes that require choreography across multiple divisions, departments or applications and which may involve higher frequencies of change. Products include WebSphere Business Modeler, WebSphere Business Services Fabric and WebSphere Business Monitor.
The starter set for Content-Aware Processes supports process optimization where content is core to your processes or integrated compliance requirements exist. This starter set is best for processes that require the content object to be managed as the item of work utilizing content repository services (document management, versioning, imaging, etc) that you expect in a world class enterprise content management system. Products for this starter set include FileNet Business Process Manager, FileNet Business Activity Monitor, FileNet P8 eForms, and FileNet Business Process Framework.Extended value offerings are capabilities that augment the foundational starter sets and regardless of which starter set you choose, you can leverage additional capabilities in areas such as events, rules, and analytics. Specifically, the extended value offerings include: Business event processing (through WebSphere Business Events), Asset repositories for BPM (with Rational Asset Manager and WebSphere Service Registry and Repository), Collaboration (with WebSphere Business Modeler Publishing Edition, Lotus Connections, Lotus Quickr, and plug-ins for Sametime), and Advanced analytics (with Cognos).
In addition, pre-built industry-specific solution accelerators and assets based on industry best practices are available (these include the Process Automation Accelerator for Portal, and the Dashboard Accelerator for Portal, along with Industry Content Packs and Industry Models).
Details on Suite and Starter Set packaging, pricing and support available in Q2 2008
I hope that helps! Let me know ok!!! Announcement #2 details will be coming tomorrow!!
Rocket Software is focused on developing and delivering software solutions to IBM mainframe customers deploying IBM DB2. In the first five years all of Rocket's products were rebranded and licensed to enterprises through IBM's worldwide sales channel. Rocket Software will be at IBM IMPACT 2009 and Sam Elias provides a preview about the benefits of SOA and IBM's Destination z community.
Sandy Carter: Seagull Software – now a Rocket Software brand – offers some exciting SOA solutions in the marketplace. Tell me how Rocket Software has helped customers realize the benefits of SOA to meet their needs to reuse and extend existing applications.Sam Elias:. SOA matches up with what our customers are looking for. We have a history of helping our customers at any point in their SOA adoption lifecycle. What’s attractive to our customers is that we allow their existing business applications to participate in whatever their SOA strategy is — in a non-invasive, cost-effective, and timely way. Our LegaSuite software [now a Rocket Software product] allows organizations to generate scalable solutions, such as new user interfaces and Web services, from their portfolio of existing business applications. This delivers many benefits to customers in all types of industries, from improving call center productivity to enabling customer self-service to integrating business applications both inside and outside the enterprise.
Sandy: As part of IBM's focus on Solutions for a Smart Planet, can you explain how Rocket’s LegaSuite software delivers smart solutions for customers requiring a dynamic infrastructure.
Sam:. Regardless of the size and breadth of the organization, integrating critical business infrastructure in a flexible, secure and seamless way is a challenge that all customers face. One example of this is in the financial sector with our banking customers. As banks are acquired and merged together, there are a common set of services that are used as part of the core application infrastructure. In conjunction with infrastructure platforms such as IBM WebSphere, Rocket’s LegaSuite software provides a cost-effective solution that allows customers to transition these changing (or dynamic) infrastructures seamlessly as application portfolio requirements change. We've used this SOA approach to help several banking customers avoid downtime as they transition to online banking services with limited to no disruption of service.
Sandy: Rocket Software is a longstanding member of IBM's Destination z community. Can you explain why this is important to Rocket?
Sam:. System z is key to many of Rocket's solutions, including LegaSuite. As a founding member of Destination z and a leading provider of System z solutions for the marketplace, it is imperative for us to play a leadership role in strengthening the market awareness of System z and the ecosystem of solutions available for this enterprise platform. Our customers benefit from the community and network of resources available through the Destination z programs, and the better we are connected through the IBM and partner channels the better we can serve and provide solutions for our customers' requirements.
Sandy: IBM recently made a preview announcement for CICS TS V4.1 and there will be further announcements at Impact. Why is this exciting news for Rocket and your customers?
Sam: We’re really excited about CICS 4.1, and it shows that IBM continues to "hit the mark" by being at the forefront of the latest technologies. CICS 4.1 is important for all of our enterprise customers because it continues to show that CICS is the state-of-the-art deployment platform for their mission critical applications. This is a constant challenge for the CICS architecture teams in many organizations as they continually compete with other platforms to remain strategic for the organization. From a solution perspective, Rocket Software has solutions in our portfolio that customers will be able to leverage from day one to take advantage of the new features of CICS 4.1. The new enhancements around Web 2.0 and event-driven architecture give customers greater flexibility and insight around their core business applications or ‘services’ that they rely on to run their business.
Great insights! Thank you, Sam. I am looking forward to meeting you at IBM Impact 2009 in Vegas next month.
Check out Rocket Software at the IMPACT Solution Center, E16 or virtually at IBM's IMPACT site http://www-01.ibm.com/software/websphere/events/impact2009/
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
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On the twelfth month of Chrismas, my true love gave to me.
Twelve months of great SOA marketshare! Wintergreen Report: Wintergreen shows IBM #1 marketshare leader in SOA in 2005!
Eleven chapters written I fulfilled one of my "Top 100 Things in Life" by completing my 1st book on what else? SOA! Check it out at
Ten SOA Summits Yep, 10 SOA Summits! (Dubai, Prague, Tokyo, London, Beijing, Frankfurt, Toronto, NY & Dallas (yes, Dallas is a country!) and Rome!
Nine screws in Sandy's Ankle (which was getting her to the SOA scene) Sandy broke her ankle in February and had 9 screws and a plate inserted to heal it.
Eight games a playin' We have a cool internal SOA Game and have you been to Second Life? We are launching an SOA Land in December!! Stay tuned!!!
Seven great SOA movie reviews!! And our own DVD coming out soon! Have you seen it?
Six Kicks for Orange Belt My daughter loves Tae Kwon Do and is due to get her orange belt in December. It is giving her strength, self confidence, and fun and of course, gives her energy to study her SOA!
Five SOA Entry Points People, Process, and Information. And Reuse and connectivity!!! Four thousand students in the SOA contest in China!! And bylines...check them out!
Three quartesr of great SOA growth! “We had a great quarter.”.. “Our advanced new technologies, such as SOA ... are resonating well with customers. These technologies form the underpinnings of more integrated solutions – incorporating IBM software, services and hardware. This quarter, our software results once again reflected strong demand for products deploying SOAs.” Mark Loughridge, IBM Senior VP and CFO "IBM Q3 2006 Earnings"
2 (Touchee) to our SOA China Contest Winners!! Congrats to Blackstone our SOA contest winner from a key China University!
And wonderful bloggers!! Thanks for reading my BLOG!!![Read More]