Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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I know you 'speak the language of SOA' very well .... and so I wanted to give you a sneak preview of my new book "The New Language of Business: SOA and Web 2.0" available this week. It was one of my top 100 things that I wanted to do in life...write a book!!! This one I think is cool as I actually got to profile successful SOA projects at more than 40 companies around the world... big companies like Sprint, Pep Boys, the U.S. Open, People’s Bank of China... and smaller ones that are really pushing the envelope with SOA.
Here's a digital sampler Chapter View for you to check out - let me know what you think![Read More]
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Groupe Mutuel, based in Martigny, Switzerland, provides a wide range of insurance services to more than one million customers representing 1.8 million insurance contracts. The company, made up of 14 loosely coupled business units, is the second largest health insurance provider in Switzerland.
Their goal? Much like all of us, it is becoming number one in the Swiss health insurance market! So what did Groupe Mutuel need to do? They had to become more flexible and cost efficient—but without changing the decentralized structure that is a pillar of its business model.
They mapped the key components of its business processes and built an ESB-based infrastructure that enables the reuse of services across all 14 of its business units. They reduced operational costs through the standardization of backend processes while reducing the time and cost of integrating new acquisitions via SOA-based integration that ultimately allows them to bring new insurance products to market faster.
The results impacted customer satisfaction and retention! For instance, the company's ability to provide an overall “portfolio” view of each customer’s coverage profile positions it to respond to the growing importance of consumer-oriented offerings.[Read More]
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This past week on Thursday and Friday you probably saw the press hit the stands!
Let me give you guys a little more information!
1) We announced the connection of a Globally Integrated Enterprise (GIE) with SOA! These common capabilities are what we observe as the 6 Essential Global Competencies, the first capability is to Manage Value Through a specialized ecosystem. What we mean by a specialized ecosystem is Continually assess where, when and by whom value is created across the extended enterprise – what’s core and strategic and what can be leveraged through a partner to drive down costs or achieve global distribution. The second is to Effectively manage Risk and Control by taking innovative approaches to risk management. Examining processes in how work is done and where it flows best, the third is to Enable Modular Business Processes by enabling modular business operations. The fourth is to Foster Global Collaboration by optimizing and harnessing ideas from within the enterprise and sourced from the extended enterprise. Employing both collaborative and traditional innovation approaches are a critical competency. The fifth area is to Leverage Global Assets by using global resources most economically and effectively and lastly, to Serve Distinct Markets by seeking new customers and potential partners.
IBM’s new GIE Assessment capabilities – a detailed assessment in becoming a GIE uses 5 levels of detailed assessment criteria across 24 dimensions for deep understanding of areas to focus on as you begin your Path along the Smart SOA continuum.
We announced: The GIE Assessment
What is it? The Globally Integrated Enterprise Assessments is an assessment to identify and benchmark business model capabilities against world-class standards. Learn more about it!
2) Globally Integrated Enterprises require agility - and that agility is the value proposition of SOA!
What is Agility? Agility is the ability to quickly and effectively respond to changes, opportunities and threats.
What did we announce? Well, we pioneered the Key Agility Indicators (KAIs)...KAIs are made available through a GBS engagement. This whole concept of key agility indicators is powerful! I'll do another blog just on those!
IBM Benchmark Wizard with KAI for supply chain tool. Download the Supply Chain Agility Benchmarks white paper from IBM.com/soa
3) IBM is helping GIEs to optimize and innovate their processes. This leads up to some exciting BPM announcements!!
What did we announce?a) Business Process Management (BPM) Methodology - enhanced with combined software capabilities and business expertise to accelerate process innovation and optimizationb) Tools to work the BPM methodology:Model: WebSphere Business Modeler with advanced usabilityDeploy: IBM WebSphere Business Services Fabric and its associated pre-built, customizable IBM Industry Content PacksAdditional business services New industry content packs in banking, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunicationsMeasure: WebSphere Business Monitor - IBM WebSphere Business Monitor for users to create new KPIs and manage alerts without involving IT.New dashboards including a Business of IT Dashboard to keep tabs on overall IT metrics at a glance.
This set of announcements looks at Power to the Business user!!!! to really exploit SOA!
Let me hear what you think about these announcements!
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OK...now I am in Monte Carlo at the IBM CIO event. There are about 100+ of the most influential CIOs around the world here. Why am I here? Of course, SOA. We have several discussion points around SOA that were quite interesting!
But back to the CIO event, Sam Palmisano kicked off the meeting around Innovation being the path to growth. It was very interesting as he outlined some of the changes needed in the market place thinking....business model innovation being a key differentiator over just new products, new services. For external innovation, collaboration is critical and most companies get their best ideas from employees and customers. He challenged the CIOs with 2 results from IBM 's CIO study .... #1 challenge is that CIO's role are misunderstood because the business acumen is not a strength, and #2 how should CIOs be measured -- not cost so should it be productivity ... or?
A very cool panel followed led by one of my ex Harvard professors Linda Applegate! She led off challenging the audience on the new "inflexion" point. And that innovation is becoming more radical -- it is not what you do but how you do it! She asked how we viewed threats...and said that entrepreneurs viewed threats as opptys ... and innovation is the relentless pursuit of new opportunities regardless of the resources at your disposal. (very cool thought!)
The other folks on the panel were from ING and Astrazeneca. Some important points that came up were: How do we form a relationship between CIO and CFO? How do we manage Maintenance type activities and innovation -- same team, different teams, can they be done by the same person? Are you a risk taker or a risk manager?
It was interesting to see how much alignment there was around the concept of moving from processes that are sequence driven to processes that are now multi-layered and filled with various forms of collaboration! All the items that we have been discussing as part of SOA! Also the concept that innovation is really about a series of incremental steps!!
A thought to depart on for this very late night....are you a Business Outcome Manager? What outcomes are you managing and what are you really measured on!
Well, I'll be here for one more day ... then back to NY! I'll blog on new discussion points tomorrow!
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Our upcoming launch will really emphasize the value of metrics and knowing what information is really going to help you make better business decisions!
Thinking through this you can see that: -All decisions are not equal.. need to know which decisions you need to put most focus on accuracy.. -Identify the key information needed for decision making ... & where it resides in your organization -Make sure that information is accurate & up-to-date at the time at time of decision, and delivered to the decision maker in time & in context... -Make sure that all stake holders in the decision share a common vocabulary regarding the information inputs and decision parameters.. -Have the ability to measure the quality of their decision making over time, and their ability to evolve it .. and constantly work to continuously improve both measurements
This is all related to SOA as SOA gives you the agility and KPIs through BPM enabled by SOA to address some of these questions!
In a related topic, here's the beginning of metrics first of how to determine if SOA can be sold to your board.....ROI being the critical metric! How do you help them decide.....!Visit How to Measure the Value of SOA
More to come!!!
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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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China is one of my favorite places in the world. It has an energy and hope that you can feel the second you step off the plane!
I just received a report that Gartner did on Coscon, a shipping company in China, how they have deployed SOA and their learnings. Coscon undertook an SOA intitiatve to rationalize its core port operation systems and improve overall business agility and responsiveness.
They learnings they shared were:
* Linking IT and Business together. Early on!
* Ensure availability of technical staff and skill (in fact, skills are one of the most important areas for customers!)
* Include senior business analysts
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I am sitting here after IMPACT 2008 reading all the great comments from customers, partners, and others.
Yes, I am a little sad that it is over. And yes, I am planning IMPACT 2009 for May next year in May already!
A HUGE thank you to the 272 customers and partner speakers who have branded IMPACT as
THE customer event of the year. It is the power of your stories that is truly making a difference.
Feel the energy again if you dare...and yes that is Jim Haney
from Harley riding in on a Harley to open the entire show!
Sweet dreams for 2009!
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Gang... I wanted to make you aware of our SOA Newsletter for customers!! It has great customer stories that you may want to read through! Here are two links (reg and front page -- front page to refresh later today to current July issue):
It’s free – Register!
Check out a sample! July Sample
Have a great weekend!
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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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On the twelfth month of Chrismas, my true love gave to me.
Twelve months of great SOA marketshare! Wintergreen Report: Wintergreen shows IBM #1 marketshare leader in SOA in 2005!
Eleven chapters written I fulfilled one of my "Top 100 Things in Life" by completing my 1st book on what else? SOA! Check it out at
Ten SOA Summits Yep, 10 SOA Summits! (Dubai, Prague, Tokyo, London, Beijing, Frankfurt, Toronto, NY & Dallas (yes, Dallas is a country!) and Rome!
Nine screws in Sandy's Ankle (which was getting her to the SOA scene) Sandy broke her ankle in February and had 9 screws and a plate inserted to heal it.
Eight games a playin' We have a cool internal SOA Game and have you been to Second Life? We are launching an SOA Land in December!! Stay tuned!!!
Seven great SOA movie reviews!! And our own DVD coming out soon! Have you seen it?
Six Kicks for Orange Belt My daughter loves Tae Kwon Do and is due to get her orange belt in December. It is giving her strength, self confidence, and fun and of course, gives her energy to study her SOA!
Five SOA Entry Points People, Process, and Information. And Reuse and connectivity!!! Four thousand students in the SOA contest in China!! And bylines...check them out!
Three quartesr of great SOA growth! “We had a great quarter.”.. “Our advanced new technologies, such as SOA ... are resonating well with customers. These technologies form the underpinnings of more integrated solutions – incorporating IBM software, services and hardware. This quarter, our software results once again reflected strong demand for products deploying SOAs.” Mark Loughridge, IBM Senior VP and CFO "IBM Q3 2006 Earnings"
2 (Touchee) to our SOA China Contest Winners!! Congrats to Blackstone our SOA contest winner from a key China University!
And wonderful bloggers!! Thanks for reading my BLOG!!![Read More]