Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
China is a fabulous place -- actually one of my favorite places to visit due to the energy and excitement in the Chinese people. I would recommend several very key spots like Xian where the terra cotta soldiers are -- check it out this one !!
Because of the explosive growth in China, we designed a contest for China university students. We asked them to build an SOA application using a virtual customer that is facing application integration problem with two legacy ERP and CRM systems, and want to improve the operation process and increasing business flexibility. 5 students can form a team, act as a SI and design a SOA solution for the customer. The whole contest is to simulate a full selling cycle of an IT project: the first stage is collecting proposal, the second is to have the top solutions (in this program, top 15 teams) to do presentation and bidding, and the top 5 solution will enter last phase -- system implementation.
We have already over 410 teams from 70 universities. Teams in the IBM China SOA Contest established over 350 blogs such Leading team . They're the #1 team in the first phase of the contest. The blog's in chinese, but here's a basic transation of the blog from Google: China Blog
What do you think? I am looking forward to announcing the winner in November while I am in China![Read More]
Gang, The PartnerWorld Smarter Planet home page now has been packed full of great deliverables for you on smarter planet! Smarter Planet for our Partners!
In particular an overview deck of the announcement for BPs plus a "why IBM?" brochure which highlights the role of business partners. There are also assets on Campaign Designer plus some of this content is available for content syndication.
Check it out and tell me what else you need!!![Read More]
Big news! First the backdrop, our IBM Payments Framework provides industry specifics with accelerators and best practices, for deploying payments solutions offered by IBM and our business partners.
A new redpaper is now available on ibm.com that describes a business pattern for deploying a Corporate Payments solution using the Payments framework. The paper focuses on corporate treasury operations and how organizations can use SOA to construct solutions for corporate customers. It discusses the issues from both the bank’s and corporate client’s point of view.
It is very good! Check it out!
The REDBOOK! Get it here![Read More]
Here is a whole set of things around Governments becoming more effective that I just learned and wanted to share!!!
IBM has helped the DVLA to become the largest provider of electronic services in the UK public sector and one of Britain's top 10 online retailers. More than 40% of UK motorists now buy their car tax discs online or over the telephone.
IBM leads the International Technology Alliance (ITA) a collaboration with the UK’s MoD and the US Department of Defense/US Army Research Laboratory that is tackling some of the most difficult fundamental science and technology challenges facing our armed forces. ITA in the UK is led by the IBM Emerging Technologies Laboratory in Hursley.
From the middle of 2009, the UK weather forecasts from the Met Office that you hear on the radio and see on your television will be brought to you from an IBM supercomputer. The supercomputer is supported by a new IBM data archive system which holds several petabytes of data and is one of the largest data repositories in the world - that's several million, million megabytes (or if you prefer several million, million, million bytes).
This is the first time in meteorological history that both of Europe's foremost weather forecasting centres - the Met Office and the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) - have selected the same supplier . Once operational, they will be the two most powerful systems in the UK and are expected to bring a socioeconomic benefit of hundreds of millions of pounds over the next few years from better forecasting and climate research.
Southwest One, the first shared services joint venture in the country that includes both Police and local authorities, is on target to save the tax payers of Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council, £200 million over 10 years and help the Avon and Somerset Police Authority protect and improve front-line policing.
At the UK Border Agency, IBM’s Semaphore system has tracked over 78 million passenger journeys through UK airports since 2005, and has issued over 33,500 alerts to the law enforcement authorities leading to more than 2,700 arrests.
IBM helps to keep the RAF fleet of over 500 aircraft in the air by tracking and controlling over 700,000 repairable assets and confirming that aircraft are serviceable for flight. Since 2004, IBM has helped the RAF protect UK Air Space through a real-time command and control system that at any moment in the day tracks the thousands of commercial and military aircraft in the skies above us, and enables the RAF to intercept any aircraft identified as potentially hostile or posing a terrorist threat.
Every month almost 100,000 MoD civil servants are paid through a system designed, built and supported by IBM. Every year, the Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre (ARCC) based at RAF Kinloss responds to more than 1,800 Search and Rescue incidents , saving lives through efficient co-ordination of information and assets through IBM Rescue Co-ordination System.
By the middle of 2009, four of the five worldwide top 100 supercomputers operating in the UK will be from IBM. They are at: the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), the Met Office, a public sector organisation and Bristol University . The only worldwide top 100 supercomputer in the UK not from IBM, and in third position, is at Edinburgh University.
The Institute of Life Science (ILS) at Swansea University’s School of Medicine is using its IBM supercomputer, Blue C, to unlock unexpected insights from unstructured data - 20 new high quality research papers have been published in just over a year.
Cheshire County Council has achieved a 20% reduction in the time and cost required to perform in-home senior visits , and improved its ability to proactively manage the course of health and social care for senior citizens using a system designed and hosted by IBM.[Read More]
Hey Gang! We just pre-announced 2 major announcements before IMPACT -- both around SOA-enabled Clouds!
Our strategy is to enable organizations to create middleware and application clouds in the enterprise. Cloud services can be either private, on premises services or they can be public, externally hosted, such as Amazon’s EC2 cloud service. Using public clouds is a cost-effective way for companies to acquire temporary infrastructure to develop or test applications, while still running their mission-critical function in their private cloud.
So here are our SOA-enabled Cloud announcements!!
First, IBM WebSphere Cloudburst! It is new hardware appliance that provides access to software virtual images and patterns that can be used as-is or easily customized, and then securely deployed, managed and maintained in a private cloud. The initial release is targeted for private or on-premise cloud computing environments, as well as hosted public clouds and software-as-a-service environments, to simplify and standardize repeated deployments.
IBM WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition is a version of IBM WebSphere Application Server software optimized to run in a virtualized hardware server environment, such as VMware, and comes preloaded in WebSphere CloudBurst.
Based on initial IBM projections, this test cloud environment can save clients as much as 50 to 75 percent on capital and licensing expenses and as much as 30 to 50 percent on operating and labor costs through automated provisioning and configuration of virtualized test resources. Additionally, these services can improve quality by reducing defects from faulty configurations and poor modeling by as much as 15 to 30 percent.
2. Public Cloud: IBM BPM BlueWorks - Available at IMPACTIBM BPM BlueWorks is a key cloud-based tool to help businesses develop the smart skills to create and deploy dynamic processes. It is the world’s first business community that lets users model processes in the cloud and create business strategies. We are also making our software available in Amazon’s EC2.
BPM BlueWorks provides tailored content to increase understanding around how BPM can drive business improvement. Hosted business design tools allow businesses to explicitly map out goals, capabilities, tasks, and business measures to identify underlying processes and improvement opportunities. Businesses can speed the development of expertise through collaboration by leveraging insight from the community, and accessing shared process maps. Finally, BPM BlueWorks provides an easy on-ramp to BPM, allowing businesses to find, study, and extend process maps – and ultimately deploy them as working processes in their business.
If you are coming to IMPACT, you can see both of these great announcements[Read More]
ZSL is a sponsor at this year's IMPACT 2009! They are one of over 50 partners that clients can visit in our Solution Showcase of economic busters and agility enablers this year in Vegas.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Shiv Kumar, Executive Vice President, ZSL,Inc. There are some great insights and nuggets to take away from the below!
Sandy: First, Shiv, thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. First, tell me a little about ZSLs, people, process and product philosophy.Shiv: It’s my pleasure to talk to you Sandy. ZSL has a long legacy of bringing People, Process and Product together to meet and exceed our clients and partners expectations.We strongly believe that People make the process better. People and Process together can bring the value added Products and Services to delight our customers. Sandy: We do a lot with web 2.0 and SOA. And I hear you have something called ‘Eco-Friendly Computing with Websphere sMash. I am intrigued. Tell me more!Shiv: I am glad that you touched up on one of ZSL’s interesting initiatives as an ISV and Solution Provider, that is our GreenWare Computing. Our GreenWare Computing practice focuses in adopting green friendly software platforms such as Websphere sMash which utilizes the processing power at the optimistic level to deliver our Enterprise Web 2.0 and SOA based solutions. I strongly feel that ISVs can do more to show their social responsibility by building Green or Eco-Friendly software products and services. We are having two sessions dedicated on this topic at the Impact conference.
Sandy: To stay with the hot topics for our joint clients today, tell me about how ZSL is working with Cloud computing?Shiv: We are seeing Cloud computing as an extension to SaaS while some of the industry experts put Cloud Computing under the SaaS 2.0 label. I personally feel, Cloud computing adoption is one of major steps towards in implementing SOA with demonstrable cost benefits.SaaS and Cloud Computing make good sense and essential to consider in today's business landscape. Our Cloud Computing initiative is focused on offering our business solutions and services built around IBM Websphere and AWS. We feel proud about launching our first business solution called Enterprise 2.0 SocNet CiC(Collaboration in Cloud) built using Websphere sMash and Amazon EC2 at Impact 2009 conference.
Sandy: What do you see as your biggest piece of advice for clients in this economic time?Shiv: It’s time to invest in optimizing and modernizing your IT infrastructure. Based on our education and recommendations, the majority of global clients deciding to begin SOA initiatives are doing so in a down economy in order to come out ahead of the competition when the turnaround hits. So think about creating ‘ Responsive Enterprise’ with the right technology investment.
Sandy: Finally, why did you sponsor IMPACT? What do you see as the value?Shiv: As we strive to thrive in these challenging economic times, it’s important to invest our time and effort where the future lies. We strongly feel that our participation in Impact 2009 Smart SOA conference is a smart decision not only add value to our partnership with IBM but take lot value, best practices and industry knowledge from the conference to our clients on the emerging technologies such as Cloud, SOA, Web 2.0 and BPM. Awesome! Folks, be sure to check out ZSL at the Solution Center at IMPACT 2009.[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]
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]
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]
My top 5 highlights from IMPACT!!!
1) 104 customer speakers showcasing their SOA success was a highlight of the inaugural IBM SOA and WebSphere event which attracted 4.264 attendees. Having this many customers tell their Stories was amazing! It generated widespread interest and enthusiasm for SOA!
2) The client value of the New SOA announcements at IMPACT 2007! Dozens of new offerings were built upon the three major SOA launches executed over the past 18 months and centered on the Business, Technical and Personal Impact of SOA. Noteworthy new offerings include: Eight SOA Industry Roadmaps representing six industries (banking, healthcare, telecom, retail, insurance and industrial); six new integrated SOA professional services; BPM enabled by SOA; new support for System z and p; Innov8, a BPM Simulator; and expanded SOA education.
3) 250+ Press articles (35 business press), 100 postiive blog entries and 8 analyst reports showcase the energy momentum of the event and SOA announcements. We announced 4,500 IBM customers have used IBM SOA offerings. This amount of energy was amazing. My favorite quotes were:"SOA is the bridge between IT and business that IBM has been pioneering. And, as far as I can tell it must be hot, hot, hot! The event had the flavor of a kind of corporate Woodstock because…one got the feeling that something about this gathering was going to have a big effect on the wider culture."-- Crossing Digital Divides - Virtual Realities in World 2.
with TechTarget reporting, “SOA is now infused throughout IBM's software platform. Its WebSphere, Tivoli and Rational lines literally ooze SOA from every pore. Behind the software, IBM has an army of Global Services consultants.”
4) The interest in the Skills area. With 56% of companies seeing skills as a big inhibitor, it was incredible that over 500 clients took the SOA certification test and the interst in new forms of education like the Innov8 simulator for BPM!See the latest story on this one!!A screen shot of the game is posted on BusinessWeek's Technology section: BusinessWeek
5) Showcased the strength of the IBM SOA ecosystem. A total of 542 Business Partners attended IMPACT, including 250 attendees at Business Partner day.
This event demonstrated cross-IBM alignment and industry leadership for extreme Client Value! Business Leaders, IT Executive, Technical and Virtual IT-Business tracks highlighted the breadth of IBM offerings in SOA and WebSphere. The Business leader track included 300 business leader attendees, and there were 2100 attendees at 20 industry sessions.
Let me know how you found the conference!!
Ultramatics is the winner for our WebSphere SOA Beacon Award. The Beacon award is a huge honor for our partners!
First let me tell you a little bit about Ultramatics. They are headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Their mission is to deliver vertical domain solutions in the areas of Healthcare, Transportation, Banking, and Telecom. They focus on SOA deployments with a set of templates that are a best practice in the industry. They have many marquis accounts like The Home Depot, Starwood Hotels, Trustmark Bank, Colonial Bank, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. I have worked many times with their President and CEO, Saru Seshadri, who is a true visionary!
For the Beacon Award, they featured Crowley Maritime Corporation, a global provider of maritime services. Crowley needed to reposition its business operations to meet the challenges of its second century of operations -- including reducing operating costs; increasing profits and ROI of existing routes/platforms; and addressing legacy application modernization Integration of existing disparate systems from acquisitions creating multiple tracking, pricing and servicing process
The SOA solution implemented by Ultramatics included a lot of IBM's leading edge technology include WebSphere Process Server.
Benefits:• $15,000 saving per integration interface; anticipated $225,000 savings over previous practices • Application delivery time and costs were immediately cut in half • Enterprise specific standards and effective SOA governance led to significant operational efficiencies and productivity improvements • Errors and omissions reduced • Creation and exposure of services called for by applications within SOA leveraged for every new application rollout • Technology simplification, application modernization as a result of reusing legacy assets rather than replacement
Wow! What a great customer and partner reference!
Yesterday I had a super experience being interviewed on the radio (yes, a live radio show!) on VoiceAmerica with Dave Sasson about SOA (what else!). Dave is not only a super cool radio personality but a CTO as well. He set up a "dialogue" with me on SOA....how to get started, lessons learned, case studies and much more. It was a fun experience and I've already gotten lots of good notes from listeners across the US!
The replay is available at: Listen now
Don't forget to sign up for IMPACT 2007! A defining event for SOA ! Enroll me now [Read More]
I just attended the Gartner BPM conference in San Diego. There were over 1000 attendees -- growing considerably from last year's conference. It was a very interesting conference -- starting with Simon Hayward's Keynote walking through critical success factors for BPM. This was the talk of town -- there was a lot of discussion on the keys to success for BPM enabled by SOA.
I had lots of discussion on "What BPM is?" -- a discipline that involves thoughtful focus on process -- selecting the right process to focus on, looking at the organization, the culture, and the way you manage process improvement and innovation. Also I had lots of great discussions on the required Software Capbilitty and the value of SOA (Which to me is when you see the real value of BPM -- with SOA flexibility !)
IBM is investing heavily in BPM, and have seen numerous clients from small to enterprise across every industry see its value in growing their competitive advantage. We introduced 5 starting points -- flexible starting points -- to assist customers to deploy BPM with SOA at the rate and pace they need for real business results. The 5 starting points are Modeling and Simulation, Monitoring, Rules and Frameworks, Content centric processing, and process choregraphy. We have also expanded our BPM with SOA capability and expertise showing off the WebSphere Business Services Fabric, the BPM methodology, the SOA business catalog, the Filenet BPM capabilities, and new process models based on opens standards like PCF.
I also saw some great customers talking about their lessons learned. Speaking with me on stage was ANZ -- Barry McGibb - and he did a great job outlining his vision and approach for BPM with SOA. Another favorite of mine was the customer speaker - Tom -- from Sloan!
The biggest debates that I heard at the conference were:1) How to align business and IT and get them as excited about BPM as IT is. In fact, about 40% of the attendees at this conference were from the business side.
2) The second was the relationship of BPM and SOA -- in fact Darryl Plummer did a great talk on how BPM and SOA are joined at the hip. Here are my thoughts on the subject that we recently had published!!
The role of Business Process Management in a Service Oriented Architecture StrategySandy Carter, Vice President, SOA and WebSphere Strategy, Channels and Marketing, IBM
In today's competitive environment where companies are merging, consolidating and striving to uncover new growth opportunities, savvy business leaders are recognizing the value that comes from working more closely with information technology (IT) professionals.
Driven in large part by the growing adoption rates of a service oriented architecture (SOA) strategy, more and more organizations are realizing that the alignment of IT and business delivers tangible results and significant returns in terms of productivity, competitive advantage and cost savings.
However, to seize these new opportunities and realize the benefits that can be derived from an SOA, companies need to streamline their business processes and eliminate the recreation of the wheel that too often happens when an organization and its technology resources are locked into silos.
For example, these business processes can include such functions as ordering supplies, reimbursing expenses or booking business travel. When each department or team within a larger organization has its own ‘system’ to handle these types of business processes, it may prove effective for a smaller subset of the company but is largely ineffective for the entire business. Consider the advantages that can be reaped in terms of productivity and cost savings when there is an agreed upon approach to filing an expense report or automating travel requests.
Addressing these issues and uncovering ways to automate and improve business processes without requiring additional resources is top of mind for today’s organizations as they aim to more effectively and efficiently compete in an ever changing marketplace. This growing need has led to the rise of the business process management (BPM) market.
The Growing Demand for BPMBPM is a discipline combining software capabilities and business expertise to accelerate process improvement and facilitate business innovation. One could argue that BPM is based on the principles of SOA with both aiming to empower the organization to more quickly respond to changing market conditions that result from planned events such as mergers and acquisitions or external influences such as competitor moves.
There are several factors driving the increased focus on BPM. These include the need to:
Ensure consistency throughout the company, especially with regard to compliance;Optimize processes for maximum efficiency;Automate manual processes to reduce time consuming administrative tasks;Integrate complex, redundant processes to avoid the constant recreation of the wheel;Mitigate risks through a single, unified view of the organization.
A successful BPM solution will take existing processes, streamline them to meet business goals and ultimately impact the bottom and top lines in a positive way. The value of BPM is further evidenced by the results that can be realized from business and IT working more closely together. One of the most significant benefits is the fact that BPM helps to put business process control in the hands of business managers. By providing decision makers with up-to-date business information, BPM allows them to make better decisions immediately without relying on IT support.
The Role of Business Process Management in an SOABPM is growing in popularity and is complementary to SOA due to its ability to help make business processes more efficient and effective while enabling an organization to more easily adapt to changing business requirements.
BPM based on SOA is technology’s response to the growing demand for a flexible business environment that is not hindered by application silos.
When business processes are automated and streamlined and supported by a strong SOA governance framework, BPM can deliver on its promise of transforming IT processes to dynamically adapt to business needs. For these reasons, BPM is being widely embraced. In fact, analysts at IDC state that the BPM tools market will reach $3 billion by 2009.
The powerful combination of BPM to streamline business processes within an SOA strategy will help position companies to become industry leaders while ensuring they are poised for continued success.
For this to happen, however, business processes must become independent of specific information resources and specific task automation applications. Specifically, the integration technology must loosely couple the applications and resources that make up the process, otherwise the logic of a process will get hard-coded into a particular technology platform, which may be expensive to change and therefore defeat the entire purpose of BPM.
Business Process Modeling: The ‘Other’ BPMThe need to model business processes before they are deployed in an SOA is becoming increasingly more important, especially as the demand for BPM continues to rise. First, however, let’s understand that BPM is both a management discipline and a technology platform and that modeling is a complementary and critical aspect within a larger BPM strategy.
As a management discipline, BPM replaces traditional views of business based on discrete functional organizations, systems, and metrics with those based on cross-functional core processes aligned with high-level business objectives. As a technology platform, BPM provides the set of software tools needed to optimize performance, make abstract performance goals concrete, connect them to process data, automate and monitor process activities, and provide a platform for agile performance improvement.
I was very excited to see IBM's 3Q earnings yesterday. Due to the great acceptance and use of our SOA offerings, the 3Q results were good. Here are some of the quotes I pulled from Mark Lockridge's discussion to the financial analysts! (Mark is IBM's CFO).
To all our IBM partners and customers -- Thank you for your trust and confidence in us and our portfolio!
Some highlights:"In 2006, WebSphere technology has accelerated the emergence and acceptance of Services Oriented Architecture, contributing to double-digit revenue growth in WebSphere each quarter. IBM’s lead in SOA is well recognized and we are continuing to invest to extend our leadership position."
The WebSphere family of software grew 30 percent, and 28 percent at constant currency.WebSphere provides the foundation for web-enabled applications and is a key product set in deploying a client’s Services Oriented Architecture.
In July, we introduced DB2 version 9, commonly referred to as Viper, with enhanced XML and data compression technologies. This new database is a key component of our SOA and Information on Demand strategies and has proven to be particularly effective in SAP installations.
We are continuing to invest in high value-add Business Solutions. For example, we are enhancing our Global Development Center capabilities in China and India to leverage our Webify acquisition, and to accelerate SOA within our Industry solutions.
Security, energy and cooling efficiency, virtualization, and SOA, together with improved economics, continue to play to the strength of System z. These features are attracting new mainframe customers to this platform. Let me give you a couple of examples:
The largest profit contributor was our Software business. This quarter, our software results once again reflected strong demand for products deploying Services Oriented Architectures and Information on Demand, as well as the value of our systems management, security, and storage offerings.[Read More]