Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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Silver Sponsor, Phurnace Software, Inc. talks about SOA, IMPACT and the Cloud Computing buzz. This will be Phurnace’s second year of participation at IMPACT demonstrating their WebSphere and WebSphere Portal application deployment tool.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Larry Warnock, CEO of Phurnace Software.
Sandy: Larry, to start off, please tell me how Phurnace applies to SmartSOA implementations?Larry: Sandy, thank you for spending time with me and I want to say that we are really looking forward to IMPACT 2009. To answer your question, Phurnace automates the deployment of applications into the WebSphere container or Portal environments automatically. As SOA becomes more of a reality in large IT organizations, it is often coupled with agile development practices -- which means frequent updates, releases and patches to mission-critical applications. This has put a stress on the configuration management of WebSphere and Portal instances. The Phurnace deployment tool makes it possible for applications to move into production much more quickly, therefore, realizing the promise of SOA. Sandy: Larry, that is interesting and makes a lot of sense, how do WebSphere and Portal customers handle those deployment issues today?Larry: Quite frankly, hand crafted…often thrown together…for sure always out of date, scripts. Customers turn to scripting for the last mile in deploying their applications and portlets. This often takes an army of highly skilled people, that in my opinion, should be working on more value-added projects. The days of scripting or “hobbled-together” script frameworks has past. I often say, why do you have your brightest java engineers building scaffolding vs. working on the building itself?
Sandy: We are hearing from IT Managers and Executives that rapid ROI is a must-have. What kind of ROI can customers expect from Phurnace?Larry: The new bar for investments appears to be less than 120 days meaning that IT must see a return on investment in 4 months to justify any purchase decision in this cost-constrained economy. Phurnace customers are seeing ROI often in half that time. That is possible because customers can immediately eliminate the costs associated with scripting and script maintenance. Believe it or not, we have found companies that actually spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on deployment scripts. The challenge is that the costs are usually hidden or unseen but once you shine a light on them, it is an ROI “no-brainer”. Sandy: The SMB (Small Medium Business) market seems to be quite interested in SOA and cloud computing, specifically, the recent announcement by Amazon (Amazon Web Services) and IBM around running images of WebSphere and Portal. It’s creating buzz….what are you hearing?Larry: The recent announcement by IBM and Amazon creates a viable cloud computing option for many businesses. However, the state of the “on-ramp tools” market to move applications and Portals into the cloud is still very young. While the set up of WebSphere and WebSphere Portal in Amazon Web Services is now quite easy, it is still very complex to actually deploy production-ready applications onto those images. So while the buzz is creating awareness, customers will still need deployment tools like Phurnace to actually use the cloud to run business applications. We hear from customers that there is a lot of development users and experimentation going on in the cloud, but not yet application deployments from the data center. I strongly believe that one day it will happen, especially for SMB, but the tools market to enable IT Operations still has some maturing to do.
Thank you for sharing your insights and I look forward to seeing you at IBM IMPACT 2009 in Vegas next month. For more information on Phurnace, please visit them at booth S2 at the IMPACT Solution Center or http://www.phurnace.com [Read More]
Hostbridge Technology focuses on the development and delivery of software products that integrate existing and emerging technologies within large organizations. I chatted with Russ Teubner, Hostbridge CEO about their CICS campaign and their presence at IBM IMPACT 2009.
Sandy: HostBridge regularly consults and collaborates with the CICS Group at IBM Hursley. Why is the recent preview announcement for CICS TS V4.1 exciting news for HostBridge and your customers?
Russ: The CICS TS v4.1 announcement is great news for everybody involved with CICS. CICS still runs tremendous volumes of business transactions for many large companies, and like everyone these days, they’re looking for ways to do more with their existing resources. CICS TS v4.1 and HostBridge v6, whose releases will coincide, will help them better manage operations, control costs, and compete in a tightening marketplace.
As we have since day one, HostBridge continues to support and exploit new CICS features. We’re particularly keen on Events Processing and Web 2.0 technologies since they align with the lightweight services approach so many of our customers are adopting. They can be coupled, for example, to enable businesses to respond fast to changing situations. Let’s say a stock price rises to some predetermined level – $85 a share. CICS can now capture this event and immediately publish a series of responses via HostBridge services, mashing up relevant data feeds to traders or end-customers or issuing specific sell orders.
We think CICS TS v4.1 offers enterprises a tremendous opportunity to get more out of high-value resources.
Sandy: HostBridge is currently running a terrific “Do MORE with CICS” campaign. What are the key elements? What can we expect to see at Impact and throughout the year?
Russ: Our “Do More with CICS” theme is a direct outgrowth of conversations with customers, who feel tremendous pressure to do more with the resources they have. In the CICS world, that means finding new ways to use core data and achieve higher returns on mainframe investments. Services-based integration is a great way to do that – especially with lightweight/Web 2.0 approaches like RESTful services.
The face of the campaign is a series of ads in Mainframe Executive magazine and the CICS Spotlight e-newsletter.
We drill into the practical side of the theme in our series of joint webcasts with the CICS Group at IBM Hursley, which started in March and are planned to continue through the summer. We also continue to give talks and publish articles and white papers on the value of integrating CICS using lightweight services.
At Impact, I’ll be updating our “SOA... Give It a REST!” talk with the help of Jerry Hermes, CIO of Navy Federal Credit Union (Session 3197 for you attendees out there). The talk is designed to help IT people look at their integration needs and determine whether a formal SOAP/WSDL approach or an informal RESTful approach is right for their situation. Jerry will share how Navy Federal – the largest credit union in the world – uses lightweight services to web-enable CICS transactions for 3 million members and thousands of service employees.
Sandy: HostBridge is an active partner in IBM Destination z and an SOA Specialty partner as well. How do these associations help you establish your leadership in the marketplace and better serve your customers?
Russ: Our number one goal is to support our customers. Since they belong to the mainframe community, and Destination z is a trusted place to go for insight and information, the fit is perfect for us. Mainframe integration isn’t a cake-walk, and we stake our reputation on giving customers the straight story and doing the hard stuff. Destination z helps us do that.
That same sense of trust and confidence is what the SOA Specialty is all about. As long as businesses rely on System z and CICS, they’ll need integrate to extend the value of these core systems. HostBridge is an SOA Specialty Partner because services-based integration is one of the clearest paths to the future of enterprise computing, and CICS Web services is what we do.
Sandy: We're anticipating strong participation from the System z community at Impact 2009. As a zZone sponsor at this year's conference, what can conference attendees discover by visiting Hostbridge in the zZone?
Russ: HostBridge is sponsoring the zZone at Impact 2009 because we serve and support the System z community. Attendees visiting HostBridge will have an opportunity to learn about our very practical approach to services. One size definitely does not fit all. In complex environments or when industry requirements warrant a formal approach, we do SOAP/WSDL services. Where situations are less complex or for intra-enterprise integration, we champion informal RESTful services. In our experience in the trenches with real customers, the informal approach is often faster, easier, less costly, and just as effective.
Russ, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am looking forward to meeting you next month in Vegas at IBM IMPACT! http://www-01.ibm.com/software/websphere/events/impact2009/
Don't forget to stop by at the IMPACT Solution Center and talk to Hostbridge.[Read More]
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/
Mobitel chose IBM and BPM powered by SOA to better align business and IT. Meet this IBM IMPACT speaker in Vegas next month to learn more about their SOA and BPM journey!
I had the pleasure of talking to our customer, Boštjan Robežnik, Director of IT at Mobitel and gleaning some great insights on their BPM and SOA journey. Mobitel is a mid-sized company which develops its own innovative mobile solutions in accordance with the needs of the Slovenian market and users’ demands. http://www.mobitel.si/english.aspx
Sandy: Why did you choose IBM software? Boštjan Robežnik: I think IBM was actually a little bit different compared to other vendors. We did quite a deep analysis of the market at that time. So the conclusion was that IBM offers--could offer to us the solution which would really help us to achieve the goals, yeah? One of the big differentiator was Telco Industry Content Pack and WebSphere Business Service Fabric. This was really something not found by other vendors. One of the goals of SOA project was the fast rollout of the standardized--industry standard business processes and data objects, and this is something which is a part of the Telco Industry Content Pack. And this is also something which is not found by other vendors as such. And WebSphere Business Services Fabric gives us a possibility to dynamically select the service based on the policy. This is also a unique feature.
Sandy: Why did you chose the Smart SOA path? Boštjan Robežnik: SOA is a clear must in the future. Also, based on the research--resources of Gartner, for example, this is something which is not hype anymore. This is something you have to adopt in order to have a clean IT. For me it means that I have a really good way how to orchestrate the whole IT landscape, all the application into the single business support system. It gives me a lot of flexibility. So I think that it is really a right decision for IBM. And for me, in the moment, IBM is really a top provider of SOA.
Sandy: How has BPM powered by Smart SOA helped you better align business and IT?
Boštjan Robežnik: Typically business and IT, of course, are quite two different worlds and SOA and Telco Industry Content Pack and WebSphere Business Service Fabric, it really gives a good bridge between those two different worlds. So business typically--of course, they know very well the business processes, they know how they would optimize them. IT, of course, they should have a capability to fulfill the needs of the business people and of the market as such. So by introducing WebSphere Business Modeler to the business people, we actually introduce a bridge between those two different worlds. So by using the Modeler, the business people have actually a communication way with IT how to communicate with IT varied ideas how the business processes should look like. So this is, for me, one of the really important tools. It is definitely a bridge between those two different worlds. On the other hand, we introduced with WebSphere Business Monitor to the business people a tool which could be used by them to improve agility of the company, because now they can measure our human tasks, they can measure our different KPIs. And, of course, this is then bidirectional communication between IT and business units, and it really gives us a better agility on the market.
Sandy: How does "the business" benefit from BPM powered by Smart SOA and the Telco Industry Content Pack? Boštjan Robežnik: Business organization sees different benefits. Of course, one of the major benefits is the possibility to monitor in the production environment the whole business process, to measure the KPIs, to have a chance to modify the business processes. And on the other hand, they see a better agility of the IT systems as such, because IT is responsible to deliver products, it's responsible to deliver new services. This architecture is cleaner, it's easier than to maintain, the governance was introduced, and everything together gives the benefits to business units, to company as such.
Sandy: What has been your experience working with IBM? Boštjan Robežnik: With IBM, since start of the project, we worked hand in hand and it was a kind of joint cooperation, and both parties--we had the full commitment to succeed with that project. Since the start of the project, IBM actually invested a lot into Mobitel with their valuable knowledge, with their experts which helped us onsite, and that was actually crucial for the success of the project, and also for the project completion.
Sandy: We are thrilled that you will be speaking next month at IMPACT 2009 in Vegas . Anything you would like to share? Boštjan Robežnik: I am really excited and looking forward to sharing our experience with you and other IT experts. For me, it will definitely be the most thrilling event ever.
Thank you for sharing your insights and I am looking forward to seeing you at IBM Impact 2009 in Vegas next month. For more information on Mobitel, please do visit http://www.mobitel.si/english.aspx[Read More]
Diamond Sponsor, Miracle Software talks about their decision to participate at IBM IMPACT and why SOA is more important to adapt to business change in today's economy.
Miracle is our Diamond Sponsor this year for IMPACT 2009! This will be their 3rd year of sponsorship! I had the pleasure of speaking with Johnny Chandra, VP at Miracle on his thoughts on the upcoming conference!----------------------------Sandy: What are you seeing in the marketplace around SOA and BPM?Johnny: Business change happens rapidly. The first to reach customers and clients with emerging technologies gain a competitive advantage. Integrating existing business assets with the intelligent and interconnected technologies can lead to efficiency, reusability and profitability for a smarter planet. Some clients are quiet mature in driving BPM while many are in an early adoption phase of SOA and deciding between a Message Vs. Process driven architecture. Miracle will be hosting Birds of a Feather Session #3221 at Impact addressing the same. The smarter SOA standards and patterns will ultimately enable SOA Driven BPM.
Sandy: Why did you decide to sponsor IMPACT again?Johnny: I believe that was a smart decision. Near term, the economy discouraged any action, but strategically we have been seeing the way IMPACT was morphing from a SOA to a SMART SOA and now to a SMARTER summit of choice for the smarter CIO & business leaders. This is an event where business & IT leaders are gathering in an impressive number in search of processes and technology for improving service delivery, while mitigating risk and a dramatic reduction in costs to meet the challenges of this New Economy. There could not have been a better platform in showcasing some of Miracle Software’s SMART SOA Accelerator Frameworks built on top of IBM’s dynamic infrastructure and middleware. In addition, this was an opportunity to hear what new challenges the industry leaders were facing and how some of them have succeeded in overcoming obstacles in their SOA enabled BPM.
Sandy: What do you see as your top value to clients in this market? Johnny: The top value that we see for our clients “in this market” is protecting existing IT investments, reducing costs through reuse, accelerating time to market via rapid SOA deployment. In addition Miracle’s deep expertise and repeatable assets made available to clients, enable SOA accelerated BPM. The Reality Show Miracle is presenting as an Impact Breakout session #3234 showcases this capability utilizing IBM’s Websphere Process Server. Sandy: Anything else you'd like to add?Johnny: Yes. SOA has been lately extending via web 2.0 into the field of Social Computing often referred to as Social Networking. Clients would like to see how it fits into their environment and how they can leverage this technology within the Enterprise. Miracle is doing a Birds of a Feather Session #3222 where participants can learn from how “Thought Leaders” (built much like Facebook & LinkedIn, but geared towards the corporate enterprise) can leveraging the power of social Networks by providing Social software as a service which encompasses all the day to day activities like collaboration, work assignments, communication, group discussion to resolve issues, follow up on targets, monitor progress and many more...all achieved through one single secure environment. Last but not least, security of the SOA environment is a grave concern and Miracle is showcasing a case study “Secure Smart Grid using IBM’s DataPower SOA Appliance” in Impact Session #3235.
Thank you, Johnny and I am looking forward to seeing you at IBM Impact 2009 in Vegas next month. Do visit Miracle at www.miraclesoft.com or at the Impact Solution Center floor either at location or virtually at IBM’s Impact site http://www-01.ibm.com/software/websphere/events/impact2009/
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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]
Judith Hurwitz as my Guest for Q&A! SOA for Dummies Second Edition back by popular demand! Get the ebooks at IMPACT 2009
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I still remember when the first edition of SOA for Dummies came out two years ago! These books were snapped up and the feedback was tremendous. With cost optimization and business agility being more critical than ever to companies in these economic times, the timing for a second edition could not be better. So I interviewed Judith Hurwitz a leader in the industry!
Sandy Why do you think that SOA is hot today?Judith: SOA has moved from a technology initiative to a business initiative. Many companies are looking to SOA to codify their business practices in repeatable manner. Many of the CIOs we have been speaking to are looking at the advantage of being able to create reusable services that they can use to gain flexibility. Companies are also looking at SOA to replace some of the inflexible packaged applications that are costing companies too much money to maintain and change. SOA is proving to companies that it can also allow them to innovate in ways that have direct impact on the bottom line.
Sandy: What was your motivation to work on the second edition for SOA for Dummies?Judith: When we wrote the first edition of SOA for Dummies more than two years ago most companies were still in the pilot stage. Many executives we spoke with had a sense that this was something important but didn't really understand it. Things changed dramatically in the past two years and we really wanted to provide more insight not just into the technology but into the ways that real companies across a wide spectrum of markets were being successful with SOA. We were so pleased that 24 customers were willing to not only talk to us but be named in the book.
Sandy: I understand you have spoken to 24 companies across 9 different verticals. Can you give us a sneak peek to some of their experiences?
Judith Hurwitz: There are so many significant stories that the CIOs told us. What has stayed with me is that these companies were starting with business strategy rather than starting with writing code. These companies were setting up centers of excellence to help guide the progress towards SOA. They were also spending considerable time on the organizational issues and business process issues. Several of the CIOs we talked to were able to use SOA to positively change the relationship they had with customers.
Sandy: Judith, I do believe this is your third consecutive year at IMPACT! Anything you could share with the readers about your IMPACT experience?
JudithImpact is really a unique conference. At the first Impact we noticed that attendees were so pleased to find like minded people that were trying to achieve the same goals for their companies. Before that first Impact these executives didn't realize there was a real movement happening. The next year there was a clear change. Executives and mangers now had real experience under their belts and were eagerly sharing best practices with each other. I have found Impact to be a very customer centric event offering real value. I am also struck by the fact that Impact takes a holistic view of both software and business aspects of SOA.
Great insights, Judith. Thank you!
I know we will be giving away the mini book versions at IMPACT and you will be there in person. At IMPACT, we will give away a copy of a Mini Book of SOA For Dummees V2!
Looking forward to seeing you in Vegas next month.
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Zapthink has referenced a TechTarget survey completed in February by SearchSOA.com and TheServerSide.com. Topics are SOA, BPM, and Cloud. Respondents (376, total) comprised a mix of developers, architects, C-level execs, managers, consultants and others. Potentially useful statistics for use in spring plan / marketing plans. Text below.
* SOA is in fact motoring forward. Among the survey respondents, 49% said their organization has one or more SOA projects under way, and 60% characterize their current or future SOA projects as enterprise level as opposed to departmental/divisional level (21%), or single, isolated projects (19%).
* Interest and uptick in Business Process Management with 29.7% of respondents marking BPM as one of the critical areas for their organization's technology efforts. At the same time, 35.8% respondents counted Business Process Management software among the types of infrastructure software currently used, with 38% planning to use it in the future.
* Grid/cloud software is now used by 17% of respondents, with 38% planning to use grid/cloud in the future.
*Today's SOA projects are largely about integration. The top benefits organizations hope to achieve are improved data integration (32%), enable legacy application integration (32%) and integrated disparate department applications (23%), followed by cost cutting (21%). Staying competitive (8.4%) and driving innovation (8%) tracked low on the expected benefits list.
*Those not doing SOA said it was because of skills.
* Governance is becoming more and more popular as an issue.
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I am so excited! Coming to the East Coast — live — a Social Media Tweetup! We had one in the Valley — that was so energizing but being an East Coast girl, we must try one here!
Every day companies are devising innovative techniques to leverage Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Lotus Connections, WebSphere Commerce, iLog Visualization and other Social Media technologies to develop deeper customer connections. And I see that many many countries are getting more and more interested in Social Media — like India, Brazil, and others
Many of you, have stories about ways you have deployed Social Media tactics to successfully drive demand. And I want to hear about them! I love social media and if you share that passion and quest for Business Savy in measuring it for great business value.
f you do, please plan to share in a casual conversation, Social Media Tweetup, hosted by Sandy Carter, VP of Marketing for IBM’s SOA and Jeremiah Owyang, a Senior analyst for Forrester.
This event will be held in Mid Town Manhattan on Monday, March 23 from 6 - 8 PM. We are limited to 30 attendees so please RSVP quickly
To RSVP or to inquire for more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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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]
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I am just back from Dubai where I saw a lot of the marina area. (More on Dubai later!)
So I thought of Crowley Maritime for our SOA story time who operates globally in a variety of businesses with a mantra of “Small Company Mentality, Big Company Efficiency.” Founded in 1892, and family run ever since, Crowley Maritime began with a single 18 ft. rowboat servicing ships and sailors in San Francisco Bay.
Their primary logistics operations are based here in Florida. Over the following century, the Crowleys have grown and transformed the business into a major provider of maritime services ranging from tugs and barges to containerships, with operations from Central America and the Caribbean to Alaska’s North Slope.
Their CEO is not guiding a carefully paced streamlining and repositioning of the company to meet the new challenges of its second century of operations. As Crowley Maritime has grown, it has accumulated business lines and strategies that needed reexamining and improvement in light of changing market conditions that have made ‘return to core competencies’ the new reality for many industries. Crowley turned to SOA as the foundation for reshaping their business for the next century.
The started with IBM Advanced Enterprise Service Bus as the backbone for corporate integration to connect disparate application components without each application component having complete dependency on other application components by service enabling existing assets. One early benefit was a reduction — by at least half — of the usual time and costs incurred in tying new, third-party applications into the Crowley core infrastructure, which included a legacy mainframe-based customer-information system. With a 30-year-old system that was heavily customized, this was no small achievement. Under previous practices, integration projects typically ate up about 300 work hours of people in the Crowley information technology group. More important for Crowley Maritime were the strategic benefits, which are part of the ongoing savings and increased operational efficiencies. Early results were seen when a major business initiative at Crowley was launched.
This major initiative, implementation of a transportation management system for inter-modal transportation, was purchased and effectively “plugging into” the adapter framework and the ESB. This particular inter-modal transportation management system automates the routing of Crowley cargo containers — several hundred per day — to dozens of terminals across North America. The application manages and improves operational efficiency of the intermodal portion of Crowley Maritime’s ocean shipping business. As the first true test of the ability of the Crowley Service Oriented Architecture to easily integrate with a substantial package, the adapter framework and Enterprise Service Bus performed above expectations and with unprecedented flexibility. They began to see immediate operational efficiencies.
The routes chosen were, on average, better, cheaper and faster. They raised the quality of services and increased customer satisfaction. The ability to create services for legacy applications has subsequently added life to legacy applications that were not ready for replacement (due to years of heavy customization and unique abilities of that existing package).[Read More]
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I love shopping! I like the hunt for a bargain, the thrill of getting great quality and the fun of haning out with friends while we hunt!
Yansha is part of my fun of shopping in China! Yansha is one of China’s largest regional retailers. An upscale brand with revenues in the billions of Yuan each year they sell high-end, exclusive goods from brands such as Versace, Prada and Calvin Klein. In order to maintain its market leadership position, they needed to increase its competitiveness against both local retailers and new foreign competitors in an increasingly deregulated Chinese retail industry.
Yansha saw that the best way forward was to transform the way it does business with its supply chain partners through the adoption of new business processes, automation and business intelligence. Yansha deployed a first-of-its-kind supply chain management (SCM) platform that leverages SOA to integrate enterprise resource planning (ERP) and SCM applications. The platform enables Yansha and its suppliers to leverage new real-time performance information to provide transparency into supply chain business processes and generate actionable business intelligence, setting new standards of efficiency.
With the SOA solution, they have reduced order lead time from 2.5 days to 4.5 hours, improved order acknowledgement rate from 80 to 99 percent, and reduced order error rate from nine to one percent. All of this was done with a nine month ROI.
To read more, click here!
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OK. I admit it. I am hooked -- the Wii and even my daughter's DS! That's why I love this SOA reference!
Sega, as a computer game company has received worldwide praise. While focusing on their core content, Sega as a company has produced entertainment products and services one after another. In recent years it has released hit products creating a market for children’s computer entertainment, including “Mushi [Bug] King, The King of Beetles”.
The company aims at dynamically developing businesses with unique products that can create new game markets, like the first ever sensory video games, “Hang-on”, and “UFO Catcher” did in the past. New ideas and new ideas are the two most important requirements for succeeding in doing this, though of course since it is also necessary to smoothly hitch a timely ride on market trends, speed is essential for such development. This means that the information systems supporting such development, must also be very fast.
To meet this demanding business landscape, Sega had to rethink their IT systems to enable business. They decided that the solution was to build a human workflow system using Business Process Execution Language (hereinafter “BPEL”) with a Service Oriented Architecture. It could then define things like service orders and branches accessed during business processes.
For the execution environment for the BPEL human workflow system, they use IBM WebSphere Process Server IBM WebSphere Integration Developer for development. The basic principle was to start small, and initially it focused on building a new human workflow engine and a new payment slip workflow system which use BPEL for its basic functions.
After implementing this, the project grew to be company wide. Their business processes included circular memoranda of approval and 30 old workflow systems that would have been wasteful to just eliminate them, but remaking them would have been very costly. So they decided to take an SOA approach and to wrap as services the processes of the old workflow systems, allowing them to seamlessly connect with the new workflow system. What the users see is identical to what they saw before, and the application procedures are as simple to use as they were previously.
When it is demanded, each unit of existing assets is individually wrapped so through loose coupling the new system can access it as a service, thus making real the potential of SOA while designing a new process layer.The system is extremely agile and productive from the design and development stage through operational implementation.[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]
I am in Atlanta due to snow in NY!!! I love Atlanta -- sun, great people, and even Sweet Ice tea!!
So in honor of Atlanta, today I will highlight AFLAC! Quack Quack! A great company using a great Approach!
AFLAC is dedicated to delivering quality products and services at affordable prices and to utilizing new technology to better serve policyholders. Georgia-based AFLAC is people-focused, providing unmatched service to its employees, policyholders and associates. The company's business philosophy is stated simply by Daniel Amos, chairman and chief executive officer of AFLAC: "If our employees do it right, our business flourishes."
The Web has created new ways to connect home-office employees, sales associates and policyholders. AFLAC’s users are demanding easier access to services such as account access and online claims processing. Taking advantage of these recent trends could help optimize AFLAC’s overall business operations, cut long-term costs and keep customers satisfied - ultimately making the company more competitive. AFLAC’s IT infrastructure, however, was ill-equipped to accommodate the changes. They needed to establish a flexible infrastructure that would allow it to Web-enable existing systems cost-effectively and continue to adapt them according to changing business needs.
AFLAC implemented an open-standards-based, services-oriented architecture that enables it to bring services online faster - keeping employees, sales associates and customers connected and informed - with less extensive development efforts. The solution allows AFLAC to reengineer existing application functionality into modular, portable Web components that can be reused, thus simplifying the development and integration of new online services. With the strategic adoption of the flexible middleware platform, AFLAC is prepared to meet the demands of a customer base that increasingly uses the Internet to do business. New process efficiencies gained through cost-effective channels mean that AFLAC can handle a greater volume of business - more policies, more quickly. The AFLAC solution represents innovation through evolution rather than revolution.
Leveraging the best attributes of previous systems with the latest, open-standards-based technology, the new solution lowers both the cost and the risk of change. The new architecture also opens existing core business systems to emerging technologies like service-oriented architecture and business process management. By extending legacy data to the Web, AFLAC dramatically shortened the time it takes to issue new insurance policies. Instead of taking days to issue new policies, it takes just hours. As a result, the revenue flow from policy premiums begins much sooner, optimizing business returns.[Read More]
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Cape Horn is one of the most beautiful cities in the world! And they are also embracing SOA in their growth!
For instance, the Professional Provident Society (PPS) is a South African provider of insurance products to a highly-specialized market: graduate professionals such as doctors and lawyers. The company has been in existence since 1941 and is a leader in its niche. They wanted to improve their ability to bring new products to market in order to respond to changing customer demands and stiffening competition.
PPS replaced all of its legacy systems with a completely new, modular application infrastructure based on the principles of the IBM Insurance Application Architecture (IAA) which is based on SOA. The common IAA-based platform unified several previously disparate policy systems.
This solution has enabled PPS to bring nine new insurance products to market in less than one year, allowed rapid modification of new products in response to competitor actions, reduced application development costs by 50 percent, decreased audit findings by approximately 80 percent, eliminated more than 90 percent of system code, and significantly improved controls for collecting premiums.
Awesome results for South Afrcia!
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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]
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Over the last week, I have been asked a dozen times if an SOA approach requires that you start over. So today I thought I would show another example of reusing current applications and systems to achieve results toward the SOA approach.
Meyer Werft is a shipbuilder basd in Germany. Their IT infrastructure—based on siloed, heterogeneous systems that the company had inefficiently weaved together over time—no longer supported Meyer Werft’s need to run an adaptable, integrated business. To boost its competitive advantage, the shipbuilder needed to transform its IT infrastructure into a modern environment that would support the integration and automation of enterprisewide business processes as a set of linked services.
The service-oriented architecture (SOA) solution gives Meyer Werft an overall picture of the entire shipbuilding process and allows employees to quickly implement changes at every stage of the production process. Meyer Werft is now able to react quickly to customer needs, build its ships to even higher standards of quality and deeper levels of customization, and compete dynamically in the global marketplace. The company used IBM WebSphere Process Server and IBM WebSphere MQ to integrate with the company’s back-end Dassault Systèmes ENOVIA product lifecycle management (PLM) system.
Using Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) the new system provides an overall picture of the entire shipbuilding process. In addition to using the SOA approach to help it switch from a siloed IT infrastructure to an integrated IT environment, Meyer Werft is using the SOA approach to transform how various divisions conduct business.
Had the company not embraced the SOA solution, Meyer Werft estimates that it would have closed its doors within five years.
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We are running out natural resources. I am passionate about making sure that the planet is set for the next generation..my 2 precious girls!!!!
So today we are highlighting DTE Energy -- a 150-year-old company with $9B in revenues that manages $23B in assets.
DTE Energy operates non-regulated businesses in 38 states. With the utility business becoming more competitive by the day, Midwestern energy giant DTE Energy needed to position itself for the future. Disparate systems and process fragmentation across nearly 200 different business units prevented the company from realizing all of the underlying synergies from acquisitions. DTE Energy undertook a massive consolidation of its business systems, which made possible the complete redesign and standardization of its business processes across all business units. DTE Energy can now drive optimization efforts as an enterprise—not a collection of business units.
Unlocking the potential efficiencies embedded in utility business models requires a level of operational orchestration across the entire business, whether it’s common processes, common resources or supply-chain integration. In the wake of industry consolidation, many utilities have assembled a business portfolio that looks synergistic on paper, but still faces tremendous challenges in aligning with their acquired or merged businesses. Like most utilities that have grown through acquisition, DTE Energy’s efforts to consolidate the business were constrained by a proliferation of IT systems, which—by keeping information confined to pockets within business units—made it difficult to gain insight required to make critical business decisions. Disparate systems across the organization provided difficulties with a number of activities, from financial reporting to spare parts inventories.
DTE Energy used SOA to improve the management of all business units and functions, link them together and make them best-in-class. The project eliminated more than 400 legacy systems and interfaces. The broad theme of the DTE Energy story is how flexibility and integration enable even the most complex companies to think, act and optimize as a single company. It’s seen in the way process standardization and flexible, SOA-based integration enables DTE Energy’s business units to share and adopt best practices for the benefit of all, and how these same attributes enable DTE Energy to rapidly and fully integrate future acquisitions
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As you may know from my books and blogs, I love web sites that encourage two-way conversations and collaboration.
SOASocial is a new site that not only aggregates SOA news, blog postings and other activities, but also is a dynamic place for the SOA community to collectively contribute and comment on the thoughts of others.
From the academic community to architects to business analysts, there is something for everyone. You can also to keep up with SOAsocial is by following the site at Twitter.
SOAsocial is hosted by InfoQ and exclusively sponsored by IBM. If you have not already, please visit SOAsocial today and jump into the dialog! I'd be interested to hear what you think.[Read More]
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In the same way that SOA is a business approach and not a product, when you deploy an ESB, you are deploying an abstraction layer which provides connectivity and integration across your infrastructure. This addresses a very real business need to simplify the interaction between both existing applications and any new services and this applies to any business approach – SOA or not.
We find that Businesses often first deploy an ESB to address a specific need to connect and mediate between assets in one part of the business. Once an ESB is in place it enables other parts of the business to use or reuse the assets connected to the ESB. An ESB can be deployed purely for connectivity benefits but it often is also a logical step in a move to a comprehensive SOA initiative.
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I love my iPhone. My husband would say it is my best friend! I use the iPhone apps from it to see the movie times, the weather (yes all that snow up here in the NE!), and even work!! (If you know of great iPhone apps please let me know!!) So it is exciting to see mobile providers using SOA to even provide more capabilities!
mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, enables businesses to deliver mobile services and content around the world. Specializing in global operator connectivity and mobile billing, mBlox maintains connections to more than 500 mobile operators in over 180 countries through its carrier-grade network. With the increasing maturity and standardisation of the mobile messaging market, mBlox wanted to simplify its IT platform to deliver greater efficiencies, accelerate speed-to-market, and reduce the costs of change.
Replacing its custom-developed billing system with an off-the-shelf solution and integrating it across the enterprise was a first priority. mBlox built a service-oriented architecture around 3rd party billing and accounting software.
The services are orchestrated by IBM WebSphere Process Server and surfaced through an IBM WebSphere Portal server front-end. The solution was created using a suite of IBM Rational requirements management and software development tools. Billing runs that used to take up to 10 days can now be completed within just 36 hours. Process-driven service-oriented architecture enables rapid development of new applications by reusing and orchestrating existing components, allowing mBlox to set up services for new mobile carriers within half a day.
Check out more details at http://w3-01.ibm.com/sales/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=RF&subtype=CS&htmlfid=STRD-7MDMUK&appname=crmd[Read More]
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This is in honor of the great job done by the US Air pilot and crew and to the Ferry and rescuers. As a frequent flier, I was very thankful for their courage and safety awareness. Thank you!!!
For our SOA reference today, we will focus on Atlas Air, who is the world’s largest cargo airline and the world’s largest fleet operator of Boeing 747s.
Over the past several years, Atlas Air’s operations had become increasingly complex and process-intensive. Its infrastructure was also complicated, comprising a variety of “homegrown” messaging applications that did not integrate well with its back-end systems.
Atlas Air needed to simplify this infrastructure and coordinate the various moving parts, and it decided to do so by implementing a middleware solution that was based on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). They replaced their existing messaging system with a true enterprise service bus (ESB) through which all messages flow.
They now have the ability to integrate real-time information with process workflows, improving efficiency, reducing costs and enhancing their ability to respond rapidly to customer needs.
As many of you know, AirBus is also a big SOA client reference![Read More]