We have just launched a promotion to help your Business Partners save money on their Technical Sales Mastery tests. All they need to do is go to an Authorized Prometric Center use the code 20free4me and they will save 20% on any Technical Sales Mastery test they take. This offers expires on September 30, so make sure they get started soon.
For more details, please checkout following website:
Check here for the details![Read More]
Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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I have now talked to about 130+ partners! (Thanks for your time and honesty!)
A big request was how partners participate in Smarter Planet references! So IBM has now announced The IBM Smarter Planet Midmarket Business Partner reference selling guide.
This interactive PDF is a great resource for Business Partner references by industry, delivering real-life examples to help you communicate value and accelerate sales. This new guide is easy to use and will be updated quarterly with the most recent Business Partner references to help you talk to your clients and share information about Smarter Planet successes. Here's the link ( You must have your PartnerWorld Id)[Read More]
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IBM, also known as Big Blue, is as big and distributed as any company in the IT industry. In fact, you could say IBM is the New York City of technology companies. Huge. Diverse. Proud to call itself No. 1, though not everyone may agree. And just as the Big Apple often sets trends for the rest of the country, Big Blue has a history of calling plays for the tech market. These days, IBM is heavily promoting its Smarter Planet initiative to add a layer of intelligence to the basic processes that run today’s world, including roads, water and power. It’s just the latest milestone for the 98-year-old company. Here is a list of things you just might not know about IBM.
A nice list of IBM's achievements: Check to read full article from eweek here![Read More]
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IBM's channel initiatives made CRN's top 10 stories of the year (so far). What's really impactful to me is that we are the only vendor who is called out as making strides in helping channel partners in tough economic times with new programs, education and training opportunities.
The full list can be viewed at Click Here![Read More]
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I am here in Costa Rica meeting with our Partner GBM and customers and had the honor of being able to meet the President of Costa Rica -- Oscar Arias Sanchez. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to end civil wars in Central American countries. He is an amazing man well versed in IT.
Along with Gabriela Llobet, they gave us an overview of IT in Costa Rica. There are over 700 software companies here with over 10.6% of the country's GDP coming from ICT. Given they do not fund an army they invest in training and technology. They are the #1 high technology exporter in Latin American and the 4th largest in the world. They receive about $1.9B foreign investment in IT -- more than China, Brazil or Mexico.
They are super creative and technology focused. I was very impressed with the customers and partner I met here. In addition, I sat with Dr Roberto Sasso. He has helped Costa Rica with a digital strategy.Check it out!http://www.clubdeinvestigacion.com/
And their Minister of Foreign Trade is on twitter! That's right! Social Media insight abounds! Follow Marco Vinicio Ruiz at twitter.com/maviru.
I will blog and post pictures for my next post on Costa Rica...not at midnight![Read More]
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Great news! The organization has received 5 Hermes Awards! This is me celebrating in our crazy hat day!
Platinum Awards:Impact 2008 (Event Marketing category)Smart SOA Widget (Electronic Media/Other category)IBM Smart SOA Newsletter (E-Newsletter category)
Gold Awards:Smart SOA World Tour (Integrated Marketing/Other)World Tour "Get Smart" Videos (Viral Marketing category)
Hermes Creative Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, media production, web and free-lance professionals. The Association oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and sets standards for excellence.
The home page for Hermes Creative Awards links to the winners' list. Awards are here![Read More]
IBM Receives the 2009 ACORD Innovation Implementation Award & ACORD Infrastructure Platform/Middleware Award
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YEA! IBM Receives the 2009 ACORD Innovation Implementation Award & ACORD Infrastructure Platform/Middleware Award
The yearly ACORD award recognizes organizations that are implementing XML standards in unique and exceptional ways and organizations that enhance the utilization of ACORD Standards. The IBM team continued the 2008 award winning tradition with a Proof of Technology and Redbook that demonstrate implementation best practices for Insurance companies. With these best practices, IBM customers can deploy end to end SOA Solutions based on Industry Standards in ACORD and the IBM Insurance Process Acceleration Framework.
Smart Work is about transforming companies to make informed decisions, build deeper relationships and work with more agile business processes. The Strategy & Technology team has established SOA as the state of the art for Smart Insurance at ACORD. With our customers, we continue to raise the bar on ACORD implementations and Smart Work.
What should you do?
First, Download this redbook !
Second, see the great Showcase!!!
Finally, I'd like to thank Donald Buddenbaum, Brian Bokor, Qiang Wang, Bruce Wallman Ph.D., Stephanie Fetzerand Rufus Credle who made this valueable work possible![Read More]
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It was a pleasure to meet Peter Segdwick at IMPACT from Primeur! Primeur is a Silver Sponsor at IMPACT 2009! I took a few minutes to chat about how Primeur tools compliment the WS software offerings.
Sandy: Do you offer tools for WMQ file transfer--that work with the new version of WebSphere MQ? Peter: Yes we do. We have had the ability, in our Spazio product, to transfer files over WMQ for a number of years. Now that IBM has introduced WMQ File Transfer Edition, we fully support WMQ FTE as the product of choice for file transfer for WMQ users. We are very excited by WMQ FTE as we see this as a tremendous opportunity for IBM customers to further improve their RoI in their ESB/SOA infrastructure by implementing File Transfer alongside their message based services and applications. Overall, WMQ v7 really has opened up new benefits with its extended Pub/Sub and Managed File Transfer.
Sandy: How are users responding to the offer of your Security toolkit download? In the current economy, do you find that security is still something people are investing in as a primary need for their business?Peter:We have been very encouraged by the increasing interest in Security, both for our toolkit download and for our full function offerings. For a long time, companies have considered that link level security (SSL) is adequate, particularly for internal networks. We are now beginning to see interest in securing data at rest for both messages and files as companies now realise the threat of highly confidential data being compromised even when stored temporarily in queues. Securing data at rest is just one of the functions of End-to-End solutions, along with authentication and digital signatures.
Sandy: Can you tell us a little about the File extensions you've developed for WebSphere? How do your utilities enhance the value of the IBM software?Peter:We at Primeur have developed three extensions for WMQ File Transfer Edition. Our Spazio File Services Governance (Spazio FSG) provides monitoring, audit and reporting not only for FTE but also for all the commonly found Internet (e.g. FTP) and proprietary (e.g. Connect:Direct) file transfer protocols. This means that users can get a single and complete view of all their file transfer flows regardless of the protocols they are using. In capturing the information needed to do this, Spazio FSG also enables users to make productivity improvements of at least 18::1 in converting and modernising from, say, Connect:Direct to FTE. Our Spazio File Services Security Suite provides end-to-end security for messages and files in a WMQ infrastructure, and Spazio MFTS can seamlessly interface an internal FTE network to the outside world using Internet or Proprietary protocols. We will be explaining and demonstrating all of the above at our stand, S1, and also in Session 2287A on Wednesday afternoon where we are jointly presenting with Ben Mann, IBM’s WMQ and WMQ FTE Product Manager.[Read More]
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I had the pleasure of chatting with Audrey at IMPACT 2009! We discussed the benefits of using WebSphere instead of open source. Check out the work they have done!
Sandy:Tell me something about Summa and the solutions you have been involved in?Audrey:Summa has been an IBM Premier Business Partner since 2003 providing mission critical IT consulting and system integration services and solutions to clients in many industries, including financial services, manufacturing, and education. One of our key solution areas is around application modernization where we help clients develop and implement incremental solutions for modernizing their legacy applications, often incorporating modern SOA frameworks utilizing IBM technology to drive agility and incremental business value. In the current environment, many customers are seeking ways to reduce their IT costs, and another solution area that we’ve been working with them on is to conduct open source viability assessments – helping IT and business leaders to evaluate the real total cost of ownership and manageability of open source software.
Sandy: Can you tell us more about Summa’s perspective on TCO as it relates to open source software?Audrey - Summa, like IBM are proponents of OSS, and often recommend and implement open source components for our customers. As companies are increasingly considering open source software solutions, we advise them to consider architecture and TCO trade offs beyond the initial licensing terms which appear attractive on the surface. Some of these factors include their level of risk tolerance, operational ease of use and required hardware costs, the specific OSS vendors track record of delivering updates and defect fixes, etc..
Sandy: What is involved in a TCO assessment on open source viability? Audrey: We start by talking to customers about their environment, including number and types of servers, and number and size of applications. The deliverable for the assessment includes a customized report that incorporates financial modeling that can be used to help the customer make informed buying decisions. The results can be eye opening, providing a perspective on the “real” costs that are often overlooked by development teams. We are here discussing the TCO process this week at the Impact conference with IBM customers, and the level of interest in our assessment process and methodology has been very high.
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Quite excited today to be sharing my conversation with James Governor, a good friend and co founder of RedMonk, the first open source analysis firm. James is an opinion leader in the enterprise middleware space and green technology. His blog Monkchips !Click Here! was recently names one of the top three industry analyst blogs.
Be sure to check it out!
Sandy: James, this will be your third time at IMPACT, the largest SOA conference in the world. What are your favorite things about the conference?James: The people, the people, and uh, the people
Sandy: Why do you think SOA has been so successful in the marketplace today and give 1-2 examples of that success.James: SOA is a 25 year overnight success. The principles have been around a long time, and this time they have been implemented with enough standards to make the approach useful. The need for more integration flexibility never lessens. It is very hard to isolate example of SOA success now- the Fortune 500 are all using the approach. One of my favourite SOA examples right now is not a traditional high endian, WS-* SOA at all: Amee.cc is a web startup that provides back end carbon calculator services for B2B and web companies. Its simple but effective- a web service that can improve the world. It’s simple and effective. [disclosure: AMEE is a client]
Sandy: I know that you are leading a number of Green and Sustainability sessions. Can you overview your major take aways?James: Sustainability and SOA go hand in glove. The key to successful SOA is helping employees and other stakeholders understand opportunities and responsibilities.
Sandy: What is the connection you see between Green and SOA? James: That would be telling ;-) Suffice to say that Sustainability is the latest –ility to join reliability, scalability, availability and so on. Organisations increasingly need to be able to pivot around green issues for strategic planning. Rather than requiring an organisation to rewrite code every time circumstances or plans change, with SOA this can potentially be achieved via configuration.
Sandy: Do you think issues of Green & Sustainability will remain as hot as they were with the economic recession?James: Sure – sustainability now means something it didn’t before. The concept carries ideas of survivability to major shocks, economics or otherwise. Sustainability is CSR taken out of the PR department and made into a stragetic, truly board-level concern. Six months ago I was worried sustainability and greening would drop off of the agenda, but I am a lot more comfortable now that won’t happen. Look at IBM- its agenda at the moment with Smart Planet is all about sustainability- and unless I am very much mistaken IBM looks a lot like the best run company in America right now – so far it has avoided major revenue shortfalls in the recession.
Sandy: Anything that you want to add?James: I am excited about this being the first Impact under the IBM Smart Planet agenda, which is the most interesting umbrella strategy I have seen at IBM in the 14 years I have watched the firm. We all need to get smarter, better instrumented, make more effective use of data, whether at home or in business. An IBMer called Andy Piper describes it beautifully here: To bring this Q&A full circle, Andy is one of the guys IBM looking forward to hanging out with in Las Vegas at Impact. People, people, people.
Awesome, James, thank you for taking the time to chat!
Folks, come hear James Governor talk about going green, soa and sustainability on Wednesday, May 6th at IBM IMPACT 2009.
Follow him on Twitter @monkchips for his latest updates from IMPACT. Don't miss out[Read More]
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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.
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Social Media Guru at IMPACT 2009!
I got to know Jeremiah at a Social Media thought leadership event in the Valley. He is truly a leader and visionary in this space. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeremiah and wanted to share what he has planned for IMPACT 2009!
Sandy: How has the economic downturn changed the way people leverage social networkingJeremiah: Our Technographics Research shows an increase in adoption of social tools from 2007-2008, in fact some pretty large jumps in behaviors. Basic common sense and logic tells us that social media usage for consumers will go up during a recession. Why? People will want to connect with others during crises, build personal brands, learn new skills by reading blogs. Also those who are in between jobs will have more time and certainly need to connect with others to find new job opportunities. Furthermore, we’ve found that 53% of marketers have decided to increase their social media spend during a recession on social, however it’s important to note we’re not talking about sizable budget amounts, these are still small potato budgets –all things considered.
Sandy: Is social media superficial branding, or does it truly change the company?Jeremiah: Sadly, many companies are slapping social features on their corporate websites or launching blogs –yet they are not walking the talk. Many brands don’t truly live an open an transparent workstyle, and as a result, customers see right through it. This research is telling, corporate blogs aren't trusted by consumers.
Sandy: What is the biggest finding from the many interviews you’ve done with corporate social media teams, what’s the one trend you’re finding? Jeremiah: Many companies are starting to get organized and are appointing key roles, such as the social media strategist and a handful of community managers. These specific roles, while often perform other traditional marketing tasks, are key to delivering true social media programs to the market. Why? Like all business programs, internal champions are still needed for success –especially new mediums
Sandy: On a lighter note, what's your take on the Ashton Kutcher @aplusk and CNN @cnnbrk race to 1 million followers?Jeremiah: While silly and trivial, this is a true milestone that Twitter and other social tools are about to go mainstream with media coverage. This however, doesn’t suggest they are mainstream tools, as they don’t have mainstream adoption.
Sandy: How do you feel about celebrities using Twitter? Oprah has 92,000 followers before she ever posted 1 tweet, are celebrities changing the way Twitter is being used and any lessons to be learnt by companies?Jeremiah: Expect celebrities to monetize this microblogging tool far faster than Twitter themselves. They will extend this tool to help their sponsors reach new audiences, pimp their own shows and content, and use it to broadcast content. Most celebrities won’t understand the true dialog opportunities and will use it like their other tools –broadcast. As a result, early adopters of Twitter will move on, and create a new community that hasn’t become saturated.
Sandy: You will be at IBM IMPACT in Vegas next month talking about the importance of social networking for today's commerce opportunities. Would love to get a sneak preview on this session.Jeremiah: Social Network adoption is one of the highest participated social activities by consumers –as a result, brands want to be there. In my session we’ll talk about what works, and what doesn’t. I’ll have some practical examples and best practices, and will make it interactive. I hope folks show up, and Tweeting is certainly encouraged!
Gang, come and see us at IMPACT. We have some great social media adventures planned like blogger box seats, Paint your Facebook, and more! Sign Up Here!
P.S. As everyone knows, Jeremiah's puppy is famous and no blog would be complete without a picture![Read More]
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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]