Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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DataDirect Technologies is an IBM partner and provides data connectivity and mainframe integration software for corporate enterprises and independent software vendors. DataDirect Shadow is mainframe middleware software that accelerates the participation of mainframe systems with Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), data access or business intelligence (BI) initiatives, and/or composite application development- all with unique capabilities to dramatically lower mainframe TCO through specialty engine exploitation.
I had a great discussion with Gregg Willhoitt, the Chief Software Architect at Data Direct about lowering mainframe TCO and their views on IBM IMPACT kicking of in Vegas next week.
Sandy DataDirect offers some excellent cost saving strategies. What are some of the messages you'll be sharing to help customers thrive in today's economy? (One of their Session Titles is 'From SQL to SOAP to Events - with zIIP: Cost Effective SOA Solutions for CICS TS V4.1) Gregg: I think it is very important that mainframe customers understand the tremendous opportunity that exist for lowering mainframe TCO while still growing their SOA initiatives. Sounds too good to be true, but this is what happens with innovation. The catalyst for this was the introduction of specialty engines for handling specialized workloads on the mainframe. This allowed processing that would normally be handled by the General Purpose Processor to be diverted to the specialty engine, where it could run without incurring a charge against contracted mainframe MIPS capacity. Initially the benefit was isolated to DB2, Java or Linux workloads – but not anymore. DataDirect has introduced patent-pending technology to more fully exploit specialty engines, expanding the range of environments that can use the zIIP engine to reduce mainframe TCO. With Shadow, DataDirect’s mainframe middleware, customers can offload up to 99% of their SOA-related integration processing to the zIIP specialty engine. For CICS customers, this means more control over costs and the ability to aggressively pursue their SOA initiatives. But the benefit doesn’t stop at CICS. We know the heterogeneous nature of most enterprises, so with Shadow you can leverage the zIIP specialty engine for Web services, SQL or Event processing across a wide range of environments, including Adabas, DB2, IMS, IDMS, VSAM, and Natural. The end result is extra mainframe capacity - a dividend if you will – to support the development of new business services, and in this economy, doing more with less is definitely a strategy for success. Sandy: How does the Impact 2009 SOA Conference help DataDirect, a provider of world class solutions in Data Connectivity and Mainframe Integration, reach new customers and maintain your expertise in today's marketplace? Gregg: To be honest, industry trade events have not fared very well in this down economy; however SOA Impact has been the rare exception. The event has grown to become an excellent forum for all things SOA, providing business and IT management, as well as application developers and systems programmers a great educational resource for examining the practical aspects of how to align SOA capabilities with business goals. Taking part in the technology exhibition is a great way to meet prospective customers, get a better understanding of their integration requirements and provide them with an up-close product test drive. This year, I am sure the focus will be on CICS TS v4.1 and how Shadow complements and extends the product with mainframe Web services, real-time event capture or SQL access. The education outreach this event provides is the perfect context for DataDirect to explain our product’s value proposition for accelerating mainframe SOA enablement. In addition, our technical staff always looks forward to this event for technical presentations and demonstration of the latest IBM SOA products. Sandy: DataDirect is an official sponsor of the Impact 2009 zZone which showcases SOA solutions for System z audience. In fact, this is the second year; you've been an Impact zZone sponsor. What's so special about the zZone? Gregg: The zZone makes all the sense in the world to us given as a product, DataDirect Shadow is singularly focused on the mainframe. Our goal for customers is to reduce the cost and complexity of integrating mainframe data and applications with Service Oriented Architectures, data-centric initiatives like Business Intelligence and Data warehousing, and new application development initiatives that rely on .NET or Java application frameworks. The zZone brings together an elite group of System z partners to complement the IBM System z experts and technology on-hand. It makes quite an impression to customers to see that big z10 mainframe sitting in amongst the exhibit booths. It is here, for example, where a customer can drill down into a technical discussion on zIIP offload or take a tour of our new mainframe TCO calculator for modeling MIPS savings, because it is the right context for that type of discourse. Also, the zZone is a destination for mainframe interests within a larger SOA context. Where else would you expect to find new strategies for redefining the economics of mainframe SOA? Last year, DataDirect was one of the founding members of the zZone at SOA Impact. It was then and still is an ideal setting for demonstrating how new technologies, like Shadow, can help accelerate the mainframe’s role within SOA. The new twist this year is how to make SOA cost-effective for the mainframe. In short, it is all about lowering mainframe TCO. Any mainframe customer looking for technologies to lower SOA-related integration costs will find it at the zZone at SOA Impact.
Great talking to you, Gregg! Don't forget to check out Data Direct at the Impact 2009 zZone.
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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]
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]
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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 email@example.com
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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]
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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]
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I love helping universities with their opportunities because I believe that education is so important. Education is important because it equips us with all that is needed to make our dreams come true and opens doors for all of us!!
Ball State University (BSU) is a multidisciplinary university located in Muncie, Indiana, with a current enrollment of more than 20,000 students.
Prior to adopting a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform, BSU had applications that were up to 30 years old. They worked extremely well, but difficulty in making changes was inhibiting the adoption of modern-day applications. A seemingly minor complaint from the parent of a student unleashed a storm of activity that has resulted in BSU’s implementing an SOA platform to pave the way to the future.
The first SOA project employed services to resolve name and address inconsistencies across multiple databases. The university has now leveraged its new SOA infrastructure to streamline and automate the entire online student enrollment process.
In addition to improving student satisfaction and reducing adminstrative costs, this project helped the University recapture lost revenues by increasing the number of successful enrollments.
Go Ball State!![Read More]
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Yes, I have now lived in NY for 4 years! Coming from Texas, I don't think I have ever thawed out! And definitely not this year with the temperatures falling daily!
My SOA reference today is the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), the world’s largest securities servicing provider. If you remember, back in 2007, it was formed through the merger between The Bank of New York Company, Inc. and Mellon Financial Corporation of Pittsburgh.
We saw something then, that we are seeing now which is the new entity, BNY Mellon, needed to integrate the operations of the two organizations—including their cultures, business processes and technology infrastructures. Equally important, the company needed an IT solution that would take into account the complex and rapidly changing nature of financial services and deliver the flexibility needed to support the bank’s business strategies as they evolved.
A driver of SOA value today is mergers. Merging two complex IT infrastructures in a dynamic business environment is an ideal setting for a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach .
The company started its SOA journey by employing shared, reusable IT services as a primary strategy for achieving its stated objectives. Through the use of shared services, the bank can integrate disparate systems, processes and data, and streamline the resulting operations for maximum efficiency.
By taking a services-based approach to its integration needs, the bank has been able to hone in on application details, which has allowed the elimination of extraneous or redundant components. Taking time at the outset to clearly define its principles and standards has helped the bank ensure that future development efforts will support the company’s present and future business strategies and objectives.