Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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]
I had the great pleasure to attend BlogHer for the first time this year. How did I get to attend? A perfect storm really. 3 things happened that allowed me to attend: first, a customer had asked me to support them in their session and to talk about how my book on social media helped them with their strategy, second, I spoke with Charlene Li at the WITI conference and she knew the founders and secured me a ticket and then finally, I was asked to speak on how to leverage social media as the only real IBM presence at the conference.
So what is BlogHer? I pulled this from the BlogHer site. It was founded in February 2005 by Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone. BlogHer’s mission is to create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community and economic empowerment. BlogHer is the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online and creates opportunities for its members via a community hub (http://blogher.com), annual conferences and a publishing network of more than 2,500 qualified, contextually targeted blog affiliates. BlogHer provides the highest quality content on a range of topics, with all blogs continually edited to meet strict editorial standards, including content quality, category relevance and blog frequency
The Top 10 Ah Ha's 1. The Business BlogHer had a lot of great case studies. While not sold out on the business side, I found the case studies innovative and best practices. I have blogged on the specific case studies that I heard ... Allstate, Tropicana, Pepsi, Sprint, Coach and many others (THE Social Media Blog!.
2. Lots of Geek Labs - Hands on! I love the hands on labs. You could set up a new blog here with step by step instructions to learning HTML and PHP.
3. Networking The conference was setup to network. They did speeddating in a new and innovative way, and arranged the sessions and breaks to stimulate discussion.
4. Community keynote I attend a lot of corporate events and shows. Usually the keynoter is the CEO or GM in charge of the work. While powerful, I have not experienced a more moving and powerful keynote that BlogHer did on Friday night. It was a community keynote where bloggers were selected to read their blog entries. It was amazing. I am glad someone who had been here before told me to make sure I didn't miss it!
5. Swag. Again, going to CeBit or GiTex is an experience and everyone gives away their toys. But I have never seen the swag that was at BlogHer. From products, to free services on site, to designer scarfs, and vendors printers, servers, and phones. If you come, be prepared. This shows me that the vendors view this show as an important way to reach the tippers. One of our competitors was here for Small Business and I saw the bump in blogs on their products in the GB space go up 3x over the last 3 days.
6. Panels. Most of the sessions here were in a set of tracks on Geek Labs, Business, Leadership, Room of your own, Identity and Passions. But most of the sessions were panels. If you don't learn this way, it may not be the way for you!
7. Q&A's are LONG! Another culture here at BlogHer is to learn from a Q&A session. The sessions here are meant for learning not gaining exposure. I would say that in the sessions over 1/2 the time was spent answering questions from the audience.
8. Amazing Women in New Media. The BlogHer team brought out the stars. From Lisa Stone to GM of CBS, to Donna Bryne, etc. This is the place for the new adventurers in the social media world!
9. Purpose I was truly impressed by the purpose that I felt from all these women and men. These guys, while looking to monetize, are truly dedicated to their mission. I heard about blogs on the homeless, soberity, raising disabled kids, traveling, shyness, and the list goes on. Everyone I met loved what they blogged on. A great lesson in you do more of what you love -- for employers getting people into the right roles.
10. Fun I loved it. It was energeric, and fun. It energized me and showed me that one with a purpose can accomplish more than you can imagine! There were over 1999 parties. That's right.. suites to teach photography, small busines skills, word of mouth marketing, silk screening, etc.
Next Year: Next year the conference will be in NYC in August. Will I go? Absolutely.
The Future - Generation C This is the future. Everything is going online. 53% of women WW are online. Generation C -- which I have defined as the next generation who wants to co create, collaboration, and use their creavitiy. They are going to be around for a while. Join the exploration and see what works for you![Read More]
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We have just launched a promotion to help your Business Partners save money on their Technical Sales Mastery tests. All they need to do is go to an Authorized Prometric Center use the code 20free4me and they will save 20% on any Technical Sales Mastery test they take. This offers expires on September 30, so make sure they get started soon.
For more details, please checkout following website:
Check here for the details![Read More]
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It was a pleasure to meet Peter Segdwick at IMPACT from Primeur! Primeur is a Silver Sponsor at IMPACT 2009! I took a few minutes to chat about how Primeur tools compliment the WS software offerings.
Sandy: Do you offer tools for WMQ file transfer--that work with the new version of WebSphere MQ? Peter: Yes we do. We have had the ability, in our Spazio product, to transfer files over WMQ for a number of years. Now that IBM has introduced WMQ File Transfer Edition, we fully support WMQ FTE as the product of choice for file transfer for WMQ users. We are very excited by WMQ FTE as we see this as a tremendous opportunity for IBM customers to further improve their RoI in their ESB/SOA infrastructure by implementing File Transfer alongside their message based services and applications. Overall, WMQ v7 really has opened up new benefits with its extended Pub/Sub and Managed File Transfer.
Sandy: How are users responding to the offer of your Security toolkit download? In the current economy, do you find that security is still something people are investing in as a primary need for their business?Peter:We have been very encouraged by the increasing interest in Security, both for our toolkit download and for our full function offerings. For a long time, companies have considered that link level security (SSL) is adequate, particularly for internal networks. We are now beginning to see interest in securing data at rest for both messages and files as companies now realise the threat of highly confidential data being compromised even when stored temporarily in queues. Securing data at rest is just one of the functions of End-to-End solutions, along with authentication and digital signatures.
Sandy: Can you tell us a little about the File extensions you've developed for WebSphere? How do your utilities enhance the value of the IBM software?Peter:We at Primeur have developed three extensions for WMQ File Transfer Edition. Our Spazio File Services Governance (Spazio FSG) provides monitoring, audit and reporting not only for FTE but also for all the commonly found Internet (e.g. FTP) and proprietary (e.g. Connect:Direct) file transfer protocols. This means that users can get a single and complete view of all their file transfer flows regardless of the protocols they are using. In capturing the information needed to do this, Spazio FSG also enables users to make productivity improvements of at least 18::1 in converting and modernising from, say, Connect:Direct to FTE. Our Spazio File Services Security Suite provides end-to-end security for messages and files in a WMQ infrastructure, and Spazio MFTS can seamlessly interface an internal FTE network to the outside world using Internet or Proprietary protocols. We will be explaining and demonstrating all of the above at our stand, S1, and also in Session 2287A on Wednesday afternoon where we are jointly presenting with Ben Mann, IBM’s WMQ and WMQ FTE Product Manager.[Read More]
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I have now talked to about 130+ partners! (Thanks for your time and honesty!)
A big request was how partners participate in Smarter Planet references! So IBM has now announced The IBM Smarter Planet Midmarket Business Partner reference selling guide.
This interactive PDF is a great resource for Business Partner references by industry, delivering real-life examples to help you communicate value and accelerate sales. This new guide is easy to use and will be updated quarterly with the most recent Business Partner references to help you talk to your clients and share information about Smarter Planet successes. Here's the link ( You must have your PartnerWorld Id)[Read More]
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]
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]
While in Costa Rica, I had the pleasure of meeting with an innovative team for IT at Credomatic. Their leader & CTO, Alfonso Salvo, approaches the business with a focus on value.
Who is Credomatic? The company is a leader in Central America. Credomatic began its operations in Nicaragua in 1971. Subsequently, it expanded throughout Central America as the pioneer in the bankcard industry, forming Grupo Credomatic, a network of service providers of integrated credit card issuing and merchant acquiring services. The development of financial products and services combined with quality, state-of-the-art technology and experience has given Grupo Credomatic a leadership position in the Central American financial market. As one of the signature brands within the BAC Financial Network, Grupo Credomatic has been able to successfully adapt to changes in the competitive environment, thereby consolidating its leadership position in the payment systems industry in Central America. Grupo Credomatic has an extensive network of financial institutions across Central America, the Caribbean and Miami.
A wow team! What impressed me most about the team is their focus on the business. Their projects include Business Process Management. And a new exploration of Social Media. Watch this company for some best practices and leading IT practices!
Meet the team! [Read More]
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IBM, also known as Big Blue, is as big and distributed as any company in the IT industry. In fact, you could say IBM is the New York City of technology companies. Huge. Diverse. Proud to call itself No. 1, though not everyone may agree. And just as the Big Apple often sets trends for the rest of the country, Big Blue has a history of calling plays for the tech market. These days, IBM is heavily promoting its Smarter Planet initiative to add a layer of intelligence to the basic processes that run today’s world, including roads, water and power. It’s just the latest milestone for the 98-year-old company. Here is a list of things you just might not know about IBM.
A nice list of IBM's achievements: Check to read full article from eweek here![Read More]
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I am here in Costa Rica meeting with our Partner GBM and customers and had the honor of being able to meet the President of Costa Rica -- Oscar Arias Sanchez. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to end civil wars in Central American countries. He is an amazing man well versed in IT.
Along with Gabriela Llobet, they gave us an overview of IT in Costa Rica. There are over 700 software companies here with over 10.6% of the country's GDP coming from ICT. Given they do not fund an army they invest in training and technology. They are the #1 high technology exporter in Latin American and the 4th largest in the world. They receive about $1.9B foreign investment in IT -- more than China, Brazil or Mexico.
They are super creative and technology focused. I was very impressed with the customers and partner I met here. In addition, I sat with Dr Roberto Sasso. He has helped Costa Rica with a digital strategy.Check it out!http://www.clubdeinvestigacion.com/
And their Minister of Foreign Trade is on twitter! That's right! Social Media insight abounds! Follow Marco Vinicio Ruiz at twitter.com/maviru.
I will blog and post pictures for my next post on Costa Rica...not at midnight![Read More]
IBM Receives the 2009 ACORD Innovation Implementation Award & ACORD Infrastructure Platform/Middleware Award
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YEA! IBM Receives the 2009 ACORD Innovation Implementation Award & ACORD Infrastructure Platform/Middleware Award
The yearly ACORD award recognizes organizations that are implementing XML standards in unique and exceptional ways and organizations that enhance the utilization of ACORD Standards. The IBM team continued the 2008 award winning tradition with a Proof of Technology and Redbook that demonstrate implementation best practices for Insurance companies. With these best practices, IBM customers can deploy end to end SOA Solutions based on Industry Standards in ACORD and the IBM Insurance Process Acceleration Framework.
Smart Work is about transforming companies to make informed decisions, build deeper relationships and work with more agile business processes. The Strategy & Technology team has established SOA as the state of the art for Smart Insurance at ACORD. With our customers, we continue to raise the bar on ACORD implementations and Smart Work.
What should you do?
First, Download this redbook !
Second, see the great Showcase!!!
Finally, I'd like to thank Donald Buddenbaum, Brian Bokor, Qiang Wang, Bruce Wallman Ph.D., Stephanie Fetzerand Rufus Credle who made this valueable work possible![Read More]
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Rocket Software is focused on developing and delivering software solutions to IBM mainframe customers deploying IBM DB2. In the first five years all of Rocket's products were rebranded and licensed to enterprises through IBM's worldwide sales channel. Rocket Software will be at IBM IMPACT 2009 and Sam Elias provides a preview about the benefits of SOA and IBM's Destination z community.
Sandy Carter: Seagull Software – now a Rocket Software brand – offers some exciting SOA solutions in the marketplace. Tell me how Rocket Software has helped customers realize the benefits of SOA to meet their needs to reuse and extend existing applications.Sam Elias:. SOA matches up with what our customers are looking for. We have a history of helping our customers at any point in their SOA adoption lifecycle. What’s attractive to our customers is that we allow their existing business applications to participate in whatever their SOA strategy is — in a non-invasive, cost-effective, and timely way. Our LegaSuite software [now a Rocket Software product] allows organizations to generate scalable solutions, such as new user interfaces and Web services, from their portfolio of existing business applications. This delivers many benefits to customers in all types of industries, from improving call center productivity to enabling customer self-service to integrating business applications both inside and outside the enterprise.
Sandy: As part of IBM's focus on Solutions for a Smart Planet, can you explain how Rocket’s LegaSuite software delivers smart solutions for customers requiring a dynamic infrastructure.
Sam:. Regardless of the size and breadth of the organization, integrating critical business infrastructure in a flexible, secure and seamless way is a challenge that all customers face. One example of this is in the financial sector with our banking customers. As banks are acquired and merged together, there are a common set of services that are used as part of the core application infrastructure. In conjunction with infrastructure platforms such as IBM WebSphere, Rocket’s LegaSuite software provides a cost-effective solution that allows customers to transition these changing (or dynamic) infrastructures seamlessly as application portfolio requirements change. We've used this SOA approach to help several banking customers avoid downtime as they transition to online banking services with limited to no disruption of service.
Sandy: Rocket Software is a longstanding member of IBM's Destination z community. Can you explain why this is important to Rocket?
Sam:. System z is key to many of Rocket's solutions, including LegaSuite. As a founding member of Destination z and a leading provider of System z solutions for the marketplace, it is imperative for us to play a leadership role in strengthening the market awareness of System z and the ecosystem of solutions available for this enterprise platform. Our customers benefit from the community and network of resources available through the Destination z programs, and the better we are connected through the IBM and partner channels the better we can serve and provide solutions for our customers' requirements.
Sandy: IBM recently made a preview announcement for CICS TS V4.1 and there will be further announcements at Impact. Why is this exciting news for Rocket and your customers?
Sam: We’re really excited about CICS 4.1, and it shows that IBM continues to "hit the mark" by being at the forefront of the latest technologies. CICS 4.1 is important for all of our enterprise customers because it continues to show that CICS is the state-of-the-art deployment platform for their mission critical applications. This is a constant challenge for the CICS architecture teams in many organizations as they continually compete with other platforms to remain strategic for the organization. From a solution perspective, Rocket Software has solutions in our portfolio that customers will be able to leverage from day one to take advantage of the new features of CICS 4.1. The new enhancements around Web 2.0 and event-driven architecture give customers greater flexibility and insight around their core business applications or ‘services’ that they rely on to run their business.
Great insights! Thank you, Sam. I am looking forward to meeting you at IBM Impact 2009 in Vegas next month.
Check out Rocket Software at the IMPACT Solution Center, E16 or virtually at IBM's IMPACT site http://www-01.ibm.com/software/websphere/events/impact2009/
Our customers are really cool and I have had the privilege of working with them and learning from their success stories. Miami Dade County is a great example of working smarter with SOA.
Carmen Suarez, Acting Division Director for Enterprise Architecture Services joins me on the Day 3 keynote to discuss the Smarts of the Miami Dade Solution. Carmen is an amazing woman and I have met her several times now and never fail to be impressed by her talent!
I caught up with her at IMPACT for a quick view interview! Check it out!
Sandy: For the services your provide you county constituents, how do you see the roll of SOA and the emergence of Cloud computing working in concert to meet your business needs?Carmen: These days our “consumers” are constituents, businesses, other governments, travelers, investors. SOA, cloud computing and other enabling technology is just that, it enables us to bring service to the consumers faster and by reusing components via multiple channels like kiosks, pervasive devices, the Internet.
Sandy: What knowledge or experience is your #1 priority to take home from Impact 2009?Carmen: All the things that DataPower can do for me. Like AmberPoint's recently announced integration with WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliance since we have been AmberPoint users for a few years now. And we have integrated the AmberPoint toolset with the WAS UDDI. Next step is to include WSRR (WebSphere Registry & Repository).
Sandy: How has the agility afforded by SOA empowered your vision to change around what services and offerings you can create to empower the people you interact with to Work Smarter?Carmen: Our SOA vision and current roll out has breathed new life in to legacy applications by extending them to the Internet as self-service features. Additionally it has made our developers Countywide more efficient and given them whole new channels upon which they can deploy new functionality. Our eCommerce initiative alone has grown from $151 million in 2005 to over $468 million in 2008.,
Carmen, thank you for agreeing to do this interview! Great to hear from innovative customers like Miami Dade on how SOA done right = SOA Success.
Folks, if you are at IMPACT, don't miss the day 3 keynote coming up tomorrow[Read More]
Diamond Sponsor, Miracle Software talks about their decision to participate at IBM IMPACT and why SOA is more important to adapt to business change in today's economy.
Miracle is our Diamond Sponsor this year for IMPACT 2009! This will be their 3rd year of sponsorship! I had the pleasure of speaking with Johnny Chandra, VP at Miracle on his thoughts on the upcoming conference!----------------------------Sandy: What are you seeing in the marketplace around SOA and BPM?Johnny: Business change happens rapidly. The first to reach customers and clients with emerging technologies gain a competitive advantage. Integrating existing business assets with the intelligent and interconnected technologies can lead to efficiency, reusability and profitability for a smarter planet. Some clients are quiet mature in driving BPM while many are in an early adoption phase of SOA and deciding between a Message Vs. Process driven architecture. Miracle will be hosting Birds of a Feather Session #3221 at Impact addressing the same. The smarter SOA standards and patterns will ultimately enable SOA Driven BPM.
Sandy: Why did you decide to sponsor IMPACT again?Johnny: I believe that was a smart decision. Near term, the economy discouraged any action, but strategically we have been seeing the way IMPACT was morphing from a SOA to a SMART SOA and now to a SMARTER summit of choice for the smarter CIO & business leaders. This is an event where business & IT leaders are gathering in an impressive number in search of processes and technology for improving service delivery, while mitigating risk and a dramatic reduction in costs to meet the challenges of this New Economy. There could not have been a better platform in showcasing some of Miracle Software’s SMART SOA Accelerator Frameworks built on top of IBM’s dynamic infrastructure and middleware. In addition, this was an opportunity to hear what new challenges the industry leaders were facing and how some of them have succeeded in overcoming obstacles in their SOA enabled BPM.
Sandy: What do you see as your top value to clients in this market? Johnny: The top value that we see for our clients “in this market” is protecting existing IT investments, reducing costs through reuse, accelerating time to market via rapid SOA deployment. In addition Miracle’s deep expertise and repeatable assets made available to clients, enable SOA accelerated BPM. The Reality Show Miracle is presenting as an Impact Breakout session #3234 showcases this capability utilizing IBM’s Websphere Process Server. Sandy: Anything else you'd like to add?Johnny: Yes. SOA has been lately extending via web 2.0 into the field of Social Computing often referred to as Social Networking. Clients would like to see how it fits into their environment and how they can leverage this technology within the Enterprise. Miracle is doing a Birds of a Feather Session #3222 where participants can learn from how “Thought Leaders” (built much like Facebook & LinkedIn, but geared towards the corporate enterprise) can leveraging the power of social Networks by providing Social software as a service which encompasses all the day to day activities like collaboration, work assignments, communication, group discussion to resolve issues, follow up on targets, monitor progress and many more...all achieved through one single secure environment. Last but not least, security of the SOA environment is a grave concern and Miracle is showcasing a case study “Secure Smart Grid using IBM’s DataPower SOA Appliance” in Impact Session #3235.
Thank you, Johnny and I am looking forward to seeing you at IBM Impact 2009 in Vegas next month. Do visit Miracle at www.miraclesoft.com or at the Impact Solution Center floor either at location or virtually at IBM’s Impact site http://www-01.ibm.com/software/websphere/events/impact2009/
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Quite excited today to be sharing my conversation with James Governor, a good friend and co founder of RedMonk, the first open source analysis firm. James is an opinion leader in the enterprise middleware space and green technology. His blog Monkchips !Click Here! was recently names one of the top three industry analyst blogs.
Be sure to check it out!
Sandy: James, this will be your third time at IMPACT, the largest SOA conference in the world. What are your favorite things about the conference?James: The people, the people, and uh, the people
Sandy: Why do you think SOA has been so successful in the marketplace today and give 1-2 examples of that success.James: SOA is a 25 year overnight success. The principles have been around a long time, and this time they have been implemented with enough standards to make the approach useful. The need for more integration flexibility never lessens. It is very hard to isolate example of SOA success now- the Fortune 500 are all using the approach. One of my favourite SOA examples right now is not a traditional high endian, WS-* SOA at all: Amee.cc is a web startup that provides back end carbon calculator services for B2B and web companies. Its simple but effective- a web service that can improve the world. It’s simple and effective. [disclosure: AMEE is a client]
Sandy: I know that you are leading a number of Green and Sustainability sessions. Can you overview your major take aways?James: Sustainability and SOA go hand in glove. The key to successful SOA is helping employees and other stakeholders understand opportunities and responsibilities.
Sandy: What is the connection you see between Green and SOA? James: That would be telling ;-) Suffice to say that Sustainability is the latest –ility to join reliability, scalability, availability and so on. Organisations increasingly need to be able to pivot around green issues for strategic planning. Rather than requiring an organisation to rewrite code every time circumstances or plans change, with SOA this can potentially be achieved via configuration.
Sandy: Do you think issues of Green & Sustainability will remain as hot as they were with the economic recession?James: Sure – sustainability now means something it didn’t before. The concept carries ideas of survivability to major shocks, economics or otherwise. Sustainability is CSR taken out of the PR department and made into a stragetic, truly board-level concern. Six months ago I was worried sustainability and greening would drop off of the agenda, but I am a lot more comfortable now that won’t happen. Look at IBM- its agenda at the moment with Smart Planet is all about sustainability- and unless I am very much mistaken IBM looks a lot like the best run company in America right now – so far it has avoided major revenue shortfalls in the recession.
Sandy: Anything that you want to add?James: I am excited about this being the first Impact under the IBM Smart Planet agenda, which is the most interesting umbrella strategy I have seen at IBM in the 14 years I have watched the firm. We all need to get smarter, better instrumented, make more effective use of data, whether at home or in business. An IBMer called Andy Piper describes it beautifully here: To bring this Q&A full circle, Andy is one of the guys IBM looking forward to hanging out with in Las Vegas at Impact. People, people, people.
Awesome, James, thank you for taking the time to chat!
Folks, come hear James Governor talk about going green, soa and sustainability on Wednesday, May 6th at IBM IMPACT 2009.
Follow him on Twitter @monkchips for his latest updates from IMPACT. Don't miss out[Read More]
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DataDirect Technologies is an IBM partner and provides data connectivity and mainframe integration software for corporate enterprises and independent software vendors. DataDirect Shadow is mainframe middleware software that accelerates the participation of mainframe systems with Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), data access or business intelligence (BI) initiatives, and/or composite application development- all with unique capabilities to dramatically lower mainframe TCO through specialty engine exploitation.
I had a great discussion with Gregg Willhoitt, the Chief Software Architect at Data Direct about lowering mainframe TCO and their views on IBM IMPACT kicking of in Vegas next week.
Sandy DataDirect offers some excellent cost saving strategies. What are some of the messages you'll be sharing to help customers thrive in today's economy? (One of their Session Titles is 'From SQL to SOAP to Events - with zIIP: Cost Effective SOA Solutions for CICS TS V4.1) Gregg: I think it is very important that mainframe customers understand the tremendous opportunity that exist for lowering mainframe TCO while still growing their SOA initiatives. Sounds too good to be true, but this is what happens with innovation. The catalyst for this was the introduction of specialty engines for handling specialized workloads on the mainframe. This allowed processing that would normally be handled by the General Purpose Processor to be diverted to the specialty engine, where it could run without incurring a charge against contracted mainframe MIPS capacity. Initially the benefit was isolated to DB2, Java or Linux workloads – but not anymore. DataDirect has introduced patent-pending technology to more fully exploit specialty engines, expanding the range of environments that can use the zIIP engine to reduce mainframe TCO. With Shadow, DataDirect’s mainframe middleware, customers can offload up to 99% of their SOA-related integration processing to the zIIP specialty engine. For CICS customers, this means more control over costs and the ability to aggressively pursue their SOA initiatives. But the benefit doesn’t stop at CICS. We know the heterogeneous nature of most enterprises, so with Shadow you can leverage the zIIP specialty engine for Web services, SQL or Event processing across a wide range of environments, including Adabas, DB2, IMS, IDMS, VSAM, and Natural. The end result is extra mainframe capacity - a dividend if you will – to support the development of new business services, and in this economy, doing more with less is definitely a strategy for success. Sandy: How does the Impact 2009 SOA Conference help DataDirect, a provider of world class solutions in Data Connectivity and Mainframe Integration, reach new customers and maintain your expertise in today's marketplace? Gregg: To be honest, industry trade events have not fared very well in this down economy; however SOA Impact has been the rare exception. The event has grown to become an excellent forum for all things SOA, providing business and IT management, as well as application developers and systems programmers a great educational resource for examining the practical aspects of how to align SOA capabilities with business goals. Taking part in the technology exhibition is a great way to meet prospective customers, get a better understanding of their integration requirements and provide them with an up-close product test drive. This year, I am sure the focus will be on CICS TS v4.1 and how Shadow complements and extends the product with mainframe Web services, real-time event capture or SQL access. The education outreach this event provides is the perfect context for DataDirect to explain our product’s value proposition for accelerating mainframe SOA enablement. In addition, our technical staff always looks forward to this event for technical presentations and demonstration of the latest IBM SOA products. Sandy: DataDirect is an official sponsor of the Impact 2009 zZone which showcases SOA solutions for System z audience. In fact, this is the second year; you've been an Impact zZone sponsor. What's so special about the zZone? Gregg: The zZone makes all the sense in the world to us given as a product, DataDirect Shadow is singularly focused on the mainframe. Our goal for customers is to reduce the cost and complexity of integrating mainframe data and applications with Service Oriented Architectures, data-centric initiatives like Business Intelligence and Data warehousing, and new application development initiatives that rely on .NET or Java application frameworks. The zZone brings together an elite group of System z partners to complement the IBM System z experts and technology on-hand. It makes quite an impression to customers to see that big z10 mainframe sitting in amongst the exhibit booths. It is here, for example, where a customer can drill down into a technical discussion on zIIP offload or take a tour of our new mainframe TCO calculator for modeling MIPS savings, because it is the right context for that type of discourse. Also, the zZone is a destination for mainframe interests within a larger SOA context. Where else would you expect to find new strategies for redefining the economics of mainframe SOA? Last year, DataDirect was one of the founding members of the zZone at SOA Impact. It was then and still is an ideal setting for demonstrating how new technologies, like Shadow, can help accelerate the mainframe’s role within SOA. The new twist this year is how to make SOA cost-effective for the mainframe. In short, it is all about lowering mainframe TCO. Any mainframe customer looking for technologies to lower SOA-related integration costs will find it at the zZone at SOA Impact.
Great talking to you, Gregg! Don't forget to check out Data Direct at the Impact 2009 zZone.
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IBM's channel initiatives made CRN's top 10 stories of the year (so far). What's really impactful to me is that we are the only vendor who is called out as making strides in helping channel partners in tough economic times with new programs, education and training opportunities.
The full list can be viewed at Click Here![Read More]
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I had the pleasure of chatting with Audrey at IMPACT 2009! We discussed the benefits of using WebSphere instead of open source. Check out the work they have done!
Sandy:Tell me something about Summa and the solutions you have been involved in?Audrey:Summa has been an IBM Premier Business Partner since 2003 providing mission critical IT consulting and system integration services and solutions to clients in many industries, including financial services, manufacturing, and education. One of our key solution areas is around application modernization where we help clients develop and implement incremental solutions for modernizing their legacy applications, often incorporating modern SOA frameworks utilizing IBM technology to drive agility and incremental business value. In the current environment, many customers are seeking ways to reduce their IT costs, and another solution area that we’ve been working with them on is to conduct open source viability assessments – helping IT and business leaders to evaluate the real total cost of ownership and manageability of open source software.
Sandy: Can you tell us more about Summa’s perspective on TCO as it relates to open source software?Audrey - Summa, like IBM are proponents of OSS, and often recommend and implement open source components for our customers. As companies are increasingly considering open source software solutions, we advise them to consider architecture and TCO trade offs beyond the initial licensing terms which appear attractive on the surface. Some of these factors include their level of risk tolerance, operational ease of use and required hardware costs, the specific OSS vendors track record of delivering updates and defect fixes, etc..
Sandy: What is involved in a TCO assessment on open source viability? Audrey: We start by talking to customers about their environment, including number and types of servers, and number and size of applications. The deliverable for the assessment includes a customized report that incorporates financial modeling that can be used to help the customer make informed buying decisions. The results can be eye opening, providing a perspective on the “real” costs that are often overlooked by development teams. We are here discussing the TCO process this week at the Impact conference with IBM customers, and the level of interest in our assessment process and methodology has been very high.
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Great news! The organization has received 5 Hermes Awards! This is me celebrating in our crazy hat day!
Platinum Awards:Impact 2008 (Event Marketing category)Smart SOA Widget (Electronic Media/Other category)IBM Smart SOA Newsletter (E-Newsletter category)
Gold Awards:Smart SOA World Tour (Integrated Marketing/Other)World Tour "Get Smart" Videos (Viral Marketing category)
Hermes Creative Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, media production, web and free-lance professionals. The Association oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and sets standards for excellence.
The home page for Hermes Creative Awards links to the winners' list. Awards are here![Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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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]
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]
I just finished my final business trip of the year...with the SOA Consortium! The SOA Consortium has grown from 11 members to 81 members this year. Richard Soley, the Executive Director of the SOA Consortium, shared that the Consortium has the fastest first year growth on any user group he has been involved with in 18 years of user community experience!!! IBM was one of the founding sponsors of the SOA Consortium. As a vendor neutral organization, the Consortium is an SOA advocacy group comprised of end users, service providers, and technology vendors, committed to helping the Global 1000, major government agencies and mid-market businesses successfully adopt SOA by 2010. This is not about Standards. This is about the evangelism of SOA in the marketplace and ensuring that companies the right level of help to be successful. This year the SOA Consortium has achieved a number of successes: 1. Conducted CIO Executive Summits in New York, San Francisco, Brussels and Jacksonville, and produced a whitepaper and webcast with the findings from the New York and San Francisco Summits. 2. Collected and published a set of over 20 customer case studies submitted by members that have been widely circulated showing the business value of moving to SOA 3. Recruited client members from companies and the US Government, including Wells Fargo, Kohl's, Avis Budget and the US Army, in addition to having analyst members such as Hurwitz and Associates 4. Produced webcasts and podcasts on the topics of 'Executive Insights on SOA Adoption', 'SOA Governance', 'SOA/BPM Relationship', 'Enterprise Architecture of the Future', and 'CIO SOA Concerns' 5. SOA Consortium moderated and staffed 4 panels at key Gartner events as well as having booths in the Gartner showcase areas, and have been invited to even more Gartner events in 2008, due to 2007 success 6. SOA Consortium produced over 10 well received and often blogged deliverables and press releases, all of which list IBM as a founding sponsor IBM has had a significant influence on the organization as one of the four founding sponsors with actions such as co-leading and driving one of the three Consortium sub-groups (Executive Suite SOA), which produced the highly regarded and downloaded set of customer SOA case studies Here are the podcasts....! Take a listen! Live from the SOA Consortium - Sandy Carter of IBM Live from the SOA Consortium - CIO SOA Concerns [Read More]
Audi's success story is a highlight of our Day 2 keynote and Armin Buttner, CTO of Audi AG graciously agreed to be interviewed for this blog. I love their route 2015 strategy featured in the keynote and here Armin succinctly summarizes the highilights of their SOA journey and how Smart Soa helped Audi align business and IT
There is the new Audi Spyder next to the STAGE! WOW!
Sandy: How does SOA help differentiate you within your industry?Armin: SOA allows Audi to deliver solutions to our customers much quicker. We can do our IT projects quicker and with higher quality.
Sandy: What are the top things you are hoping to learn by attending Impact?Armin: I am looking forward to learning more information on the SOA roadmap and how it will influence our IT strategy and projects.
Sandy: What are the top 3 things about your SOA approach - lessons learned - that you would like to share?Armin: First, companies need to generate their SOA strategy across the company. The second is governance…it is not possible to do company-wide SOA without governance. The third lesson is that you need to build the skills internal to your organization. And I have an important fourth lessons learned – have a strong partner with experience to help you.
Sandy: How did you go about building SOA expertise/skills within your organization?Armin: Pilot projects are key to learning SOA and getting the experience and skills inside your organization.
Sandy: How did you sell your investment in your SOA journey to your CFO or CEO?Armin: SOA helps Audi get our products to market faster. I had to make sure that the CFO and CEO understood the business value. We have so many new products and our competitive advantage it so be faster to go to market. I needed to get early commitment from the CFO and CEO to make sure that our long term approach was successful.
Sandy: What is your favorite Audi car to drive? Armin: A5, however in the summertime it is a convertible TT
Armin, thank you so much for speaking at IMPACT and taking time to share these insights!!!
Folks, give it up for Audi at IBM IMPACT, a great customer with a fantastic story! Don't forget to follow us on @sandy_carter for live feed from Vegas![Read More]
At IMPACT 2009 on Day 1, it is all about our customers and their success stories. We just heard from our customer, Russell Irwin of Standard Life talk about his company's soa journey and I thought it would be great to get a follow up Q & A to glean more insights.
Sandy: You have a world-famous story on the value of reuse in an SOA environment. Can you start by giving us a few numbers?
Russell: To date our SOA has realised a value of £26M pounds, around $40M dollars. This is objective and conservative. It represents the value of our SOA approach over the cost of alternatives in development terms. We have not included the additional operational savings yet in our metrics. In Standard Life we sometimes debate the size of the saving, but not whether the saving is real. It is growing, the measures are all moving in the right direction. We log and measure through our software Framework and accompanying Infrastructure, so here come the numbers !
To date (August 2004 - March 2009) 227 service consuming apps in production
569 services in the catalog, where a service has to mean something to the business e.g. ‘Provide Customer Information’ is a valid service, while ‘Fetch Parm7 Yabba-Dabba Doo’ is not
Service re-use is consistently running at around 50%
~1.25 million service calls per day,
~ 300 SOA developers
1493 instances of reuse (where a service is used > once)
Multiplied by the cost of developing a typical bespoke service means £26 million sterling / nearly $40 million dollars
Or 2500 Honda Civics, or 200,000 fruit-based MP3 player-pods...
Sandy: Can you tell us how your SOA deployment has evolved over time?
Russell: We have been actively committed to SOA for 10 years. We started by getting the governance model, technology patterns, Software Framework, roles & responsibilities clear. We then began our work with some simple, but popular, services to illustrate the benefits of the approach and secure advocation and support from colleagues in Development and Business areas. The governance model has remained consistent throughout, so the costs to run our SOA remain fairly constant while the throughput and traffic has grown strongly. This offers exceptional efficiency gearing across our work. We now have an engaged community of some 300 developers who are very supportive of the overall governance and supporting patterns.
Sandy: What recommendations would you have to companies just starting their implementation of SOA?
Russell: In summary, smart SOA is working ! If you have already started your SOA journey, stick with it. If you have not started, start small with some services you know will get used, they don’t have to be the holy grail, think of the high volume traffic. Adopt a rigorous approach with strong SOA leadership and robust technology patterns. Measure as much as you can and report business value to your sponsor, not architectural purity. Report those measures in terms that your business will appreciate. Celebrate success ! Choose your technology partner carefully. And be clear on your governance model, roles and responsibilities throughout.
Sandy: What do you see in the future for Std. Life in terms of its involvement with SOA?
Russell: Smart SOA is working. We are committed to it. It has been a great success for us in the UK and we can now look to share the approach in our other markets.
Russell, what a great SOA success story and so happy to have you here at IMPACT! Thanks.[Read More]
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  education wtle websphere conference wikipedia t&m jimmywales impact soa 2,955 Views
IMPACT 2008: Get Ready!
Hey! I am just too excited about our latest news on Impact 2008. Guys, this is an event you won't want to miss.
We have added more of everything to make this the #1 SOA and WebSphere education event. More customer speakers (220 so far)! More technical certifications (29). More labs (31). More meet-the-experts sessions. More fun!
What's really unique about Impact is it delivers targeted education to ALL members of your team -- technical and business, developers and architects, staffers and execs. In fact, with the help of customers and Business Partners we're delivering more than 500 sessions across four role-based tracks: Technical, IT Executive, Business Executive, and Alignment of Business & IT. Plus, a fifth track just on SOA Customer Feedback.
We've really "upped the ante" on technical education this year. Technical attendees will be able to tap a powerful education network! More than 350 unique technical sessions, from novice to true black-belt -- real "double-black diamond" kind of stuff. 29 technical certifications. A cool no-charts-zone with meet-the-architects and open labs. And we are really emphasizing community networking with always-open Tech Zone lounges, special members-only Global WebSphere Community sessions, and lots more.
Dynamic Keynote Speakers
Our dynamic keynote speakers are going to get you focused on "innovation."
Plus you'll hear keynotes from IBM senior executives: Steve Mills ,Robert LeBlancTom Rosamilia, Al Zollar, Mike Rhodin, Steve Solazzzo, and others.
And we're just about sold out of sponsorships for the Solution Center which means you will have access to an awesome array of IBM and Business Partner SOA solutions. The team has put together great deals on Impact registration -- valuable education incentives, a team discount where you register 10 people from the same company and get the 11th free, and GWC members get a special conference rate.
We want you in Las Vegas for Impact 2008. Be sure to register today! Click here to register.
I look forward to seeing you at Impact 2008, April 6-11 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel![Read More]
I love the "for dummies" series. You can learn about anything in a "for dummies" book! Since I travel around the world with the SOA Executive Summits, I still hear from many customers that they need a very simple way to explain SOA.
Because of these requests, when Carol Barodi (yes, the author of Internet for Dummies) approached us on sponsoring a book on SOA for dummies we jumped at it. She partnered with Judith Hurwitz, both well respected authors. and they have written “SOA for Dummies”, a special IBM Edition. SOA for Dummies IBM Edition covers what SOA is, why it matters, how it can impact businesses, how to get started with SOA, and what one IBM customer has done with SOA.
You can request a FREE copy of SOA for Dummies – IBM Edition by responding to my blog or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
You'll also want to check out the latest SOA enablement resources including a SOA Best Practices: Real World Lessons Learned webcast scheduled for August 10. You will hear European IT industry authorities Macehiter Ward-Dutton and Freeform Dynamics discuss in detail the findings from their collaborative SOA analysis: SOA—Lessons from the Front Line. Register today for this informative webcast on ibm.com/soa!!!
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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]
I have been working non stop on IMPACT 2008! We are getting ready for 6,000 of you to come learn, network, and have some fun!
Why is it so cool? A must come event! Check this out!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txJz-gR-3go
First there are No Chart Zones, Stump the Architect, certifications, and more.
Second, there are over 500 classes available for you to deepen your technical skill. Just for SOA enabled by Web 2.0, here is what we have in place! The Web 2.0 roadmap highlights how IBM products and open source initiatives can enable Web 2.0 innovations in the enterprise. The Web 2.0 curriculum at IMPACT 2008 has sessions designed to help architects identify how the cultural and technical components of Web 2.0 are likely to affect their organizations, as well as how to use existing and new technologies to support them. In addition, application developers can select from a number of sessions, from entry level through advanced, on ways to weave Web 2.0 technologies like REST, AJAX, Feeds, Assembly, JSON/XML and other technologies into your software applications. Learn how to build and deploy applications on the Web quickly by participating in our hands-on labs using IBM tools. Take the opportunity to see how rapid development and service reuse can help your enterprise stay one step ahead in a rapidly changing global marketplace. Please join IBM Distinguished Engineers Marc-Thomas Schmidt, Jerry Cuomo, Kyle Brown, Jason McGee, and Rob Will and a host of leaders from across the IBM labs to learn about our Web 2.0 strategy.
Web 2.0 Roadmap
And Finally, we have great IBMers for you to meet and greet like Rob High, Jerry Cuomo, Craig Hayman!!!!
I hope to see you there!
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  businesseventprocessing soa virtualization websphere bpm runtime 2,692 Views
We've just completed some preview videos of IMPACT speaking sessions that I wanted to share!
The videos really give you a flavor of the event. We have three outstanding IBM technical experts talking about their upcoming sessions at IBM's IMPACT 2008 :
You can view all the IMPACT videos on YouTube IMPACT TV.
To learn more about IMPACT sessions, click here.
Hey Gang! I am here in Asia Pacific. I have been to Japan, Korea and am now in China. I love Asia -- the people, the food, the culture! One thing that I learned in Asia many moons ago, was the game. Gaming is very big here. It is the way people play, relax and learn. To that end, we announced here in Asia the introduction of learning SOA and BPM through serious gaming. 12 Universities here are accepting the challenge of being bold enough to test this out! The universities are: Beijing Institute of Technology (China) BUAA (China) Chuo University (Japan) Harbin Institute of Technology (China) Keio University (Japan) Peking Unversity (China) Singapore Management University (Singapore) Sun Yat-sen University (China) Tongji University (China) Tsukuba University (Japan) Waseda University (Japan) Wuhan Unversity (China) Why Serious Gaming? Well now is the generation of Xbox. Who is Generation X-box? (or Digital Natives if you dont want to use Xbox). According to the Entertainment Software Association, in 2007 the average game player is 33 years old. 47% of all gamers fall in the 18-49 age range. 24% are over 50. The average age of MBA students varies by school, but generally late 20's for full time program, late 30's for exec. mba here are already more Gen X & Gen Ys, the "digitial natives" than there are baby boomers! We at IBM are trying to use games with a curriculum to help students learn and have fun! Our mandate -- have fun and • aggressively ignore any hint of formal instruction • lean heavily on trial-and-error (afer all, failure is nearly free, you just push “play again”) • includeslots of learning from peers but virtually none from authority figures • is consumed in very small bits, exactly when the learner wants, which is usually just before the skill is needed • allow for people to take risks in a safe environment • allow for players to achieve a skill or talent which is not only meaningful but perceived as having value So we announced Innov8 at IMPACT 2007 and then GA ed it to universities in November. With INN0V8, we started with the objective of providing an immersive experience that simulates real life, with key 'teaching moments'. It is fundamentally different from traditional e-learning. For me, learning occurs through dialog with other characters - in primarily peer roles, and self-discovery, via trial-and-error, in the mini games contained in the game. Each mini-game is preceded by a tutorial that explains how the game works... just in time!! The experience is risk free.. you can drive the fictional company into the ground without major penalty and so our goal is that we teache real world skills that our customers have told us they value... and are in short demand.. Why don't you try this out and see what you think! Click here to play the INNOV8 preview video.[Read More]
I am pleased to inform you that IBM and ILOG have just announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding for IBM to acquire ILOG through a cash public tender offer. ILOG is a leading provider of software designed to help companies make better, faster business decisions.
Once the transaction closes, ILOG will supplement our Business Process Management (BPM) Enabled by SOA initiative through its software, 3,000-plus customers in 30 countries, more than 500 partners, and strong marketing expertise. ILOG’s products include the market’s leading Business Rules Management System, as well as innovative optimization and visualization tools, and supply chain application assets and middleware.
ILOG's leading-edge technologies strengthen our own solutions in several key areas:
Business Rules. Business rules describe the operations, definitions and constraints that companies use to achieve their goals. IBM currently delivers rules capabilities through the IBM BPM Suite
Optimization. Optimization software uses mathematical algorithms to identify the best use of resources to achieve business goals. Optimization, for example, can help power companies better manage power supplies, saving money and reducing carbon emissions. Supply chain management extensions leverage ILOG’s technologies to improve supply chain efficiency and business performance.
Visualization. Visualization software enables building interactive user interfaces for displaying large volumes of data in a manageable form to speed effective decision-making. One Spanish telecommunications group, for example, uses visualization software as part of an early warning system aimed at monitoring illegal activities. An IBM partner since 1996, ILOG already benefits IBM through its compatibility with software like WebSphere Business Events.
We anticipate that we can use ILOG's technology to add significant capability across our entire software platform. This includes improved rules and business optimization capabilities for Information Management offerings, better visualization for Lotus and Rational products, and enhanced optimization within Tivoli solutions. ILOG's optimization products, along with their supply chain management extensions, will also support key practices in Global Business Services, such as the Center for Business Optimization.
When completed, this acquisition will strengthen IBM’s business process management, service oriented architecture (SOA) and overall software leadership. ILOG plus IBM will provide customers with unbeatable combined value through a more complete and integrated set of offerings.
Read more about this here.[Read More]
Happy SOA New Year!!! Another fun SOA case study ! What is SOA? The most common analogy used to describe SOA is that of building blocks. Imagine standing side-by-side a toy car, and one built using Lego® blocks. The toy car represents a traditional IT application, and the one built of blocks represents an assembled application using SOA services. Both have the same basic function, but the car built of blocks can be easily modified – or even re-assembled into something completely different such as a toy airplane. An SOA Example: HousingMaps.com A good example of a composite SOA-driven application is HousingMaps.com. This consumer facing web application takes information from Craigslist about houses for rent or for sale and merges it with location data from Google Maps. The result for users is a location-based view of all the properties for rent or sale within a specific geography. Users can click on any spot in the map to see the detailed property listing from Craigslist. The application works because both Craigslist and Google chose to expose portions of their applications as services using standard protocols. If their respective applications were completely self-contained in the model of traditional IT applications, then the only way to achieve HousingMaps functionality would be to write an entirely new application from scratch![Read More]
Today was truly an incredible day at IMPACT! I arrived this morning at the MGM Boxing Arena to learn that we had 6,000 people in attendance at the conference. This morning's session was a chance for us to connect with our customers, partners, analysts and press. It's hard to believe that this is only the second annual IMPACT conference. The sheer volume of customers has grown by nearly 50 percent in the past year. Indeed, interest in SOA among companies of all sizes in all industries continues to rise at an increasingly rapid pace.
I want to share with all of you, some of the exciting news we talked about today.
Here's a quick summary with links to more information:
Please join us on the Network and share you thoughts & experiences.
And don't forget to join this week's SOA JAM. We want to hear from you!
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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]
Recently, Forrester Research published a telling report on SOA Adoption. According to Forrester's latest survey data, "the IT industry is continuing its strong adoption of service-oriented architecture (SOA)." And satisfaction with SOA implementations continues to run high. Why? Because SOA continues to help businesses solve real business problems.
IBM's IMPACT conference offers the proof of the Forrester data. Check out the number of customer speakers that will be there to talk about their SOA implementations. This is one of the conference highlights that is truly superior.
The list of companies is right out of the Fortune 500: Aetna, AllState, Bank of America, Countrywide, Harley Davidson and more. Its a rare opportunity to hear actual customer case studies and SOA best practices.
And there's more...
And just for fun...
Well I do use a perfume.....KAI ! I love it ... but that's not what I am talking about here. Here I am talking about our pioneering Key Agility Indictors! How did this come about?
Well, I was touring Europe on our SOA Executive Summit tour and I had multiple customers come to me asking me about how to measure the agility of SOA. So we started thinking about it and talking to industry leaders and decided to really look at how to measure this concept. Since the concept of KAIs was born. But don't toss out those KPIs...(key performance indicators) because I believe that a great business uses both KPIs and KAIs. It the combo that is the killer combo! Bola on my team has been working on a great team to focus here.....
So I know you guys are looking for the newness here. What is "new" is that we have assimilated/selected a combination of open standard metrics and business drivers which I believe that together provide mechanism for evaluating agility. In addition, we have identified leading practices associated with those KAIs and incorporated them into process flows which allow us to quickly work with our clients in achieving their strategic objectives. What is also "new" is that we have collected this KAI data from thousands of organizations globally and provided them to our practitioners in a single view where they can create their own industry peer group comparisons. This view is available through an internal tool called the IBM Benchmark Wizard. Using the IBM Benchmark Wizard, practitioners have real time access to over 1,200 cross industry performance metrics; 1,100 qualitative business drivers; 700 leading practices statements, 1,600 case studies and data from over 16,000 companies from over 70 countries!! So now we can work with customers to benchmark their agility!
It is not our intent to create new proprietary metrics to measure agility. To do so would be a departure from our commitment to open standards for performance measurement. We are committed to open standards in benchmarking. Our open standards approach drives data quality by ensuring that all organizations measuring performance are doing so using one common set of process and activity definitions. We invest in the Open Standards Benchmarking CollaborativeSM and the supporting Process Classificaiton Framework facilitied by APQC, a not for profit research organization and an IBM partner for benchmarking. The open standard approach and framework for measuring performance provides objectivity, comparability and quality data by which organizations can compare.
Please read this first white paper on the Business Metrics of KPIs and KAIs...and tell me what you think!
Visit Supply Chain Agility Paper
I really want to hear from you!
Thu, Dec 13, 2007
Is Santa the Original SOA Architect?
Posted by: Sandy Carter IBM in Soapbox
It’s the most wonderful yet hectic time of the year as consumers vie for mall parking spaces and also spend their precious lunch hours shopping online. Meanwhile, vendors are busy carefully managing and monitoring inventory and their supplier relationships to ensure their goods are delivered to stores and homes on time. Of course, an SOA could help these vendors streamline, integrate and manage their various CRM, ERP and SCM applications. Ideally, this integration through the SOA would help ensure that customers are satisfied and retailers have a successful holiday season. For many retailers, however, it’s not an easy task to oversee the manufacturing and timely delivery of goods in a highly competitive, global marketplace – all during a finite period of time. With this in mind, perhaps we could all learn some important lessons about building a service oriented architecture by taking a closer look at one of the first and most successful SOA projects. This project is representative of a Smart SOA strategy, is based in the North Pole and was initiated by Santa Claus to better manage his workshop. Here are 10 reasons why Santa's SOA is exemplary:
1. Global: the infrastructure follows the sun in order to deliver goods to its client base in a timely manner.
2. Cross-company effort: the SOA bridges the gap between the executive office (Santa) and staff (elves) to execute on common goals.
3. BPM support: has built in business process management (BPM) capabilities to streamline and ensure consistency of toy manufacturing and distribution.
4. Flexibility: enables The Workshop to easily anticipate and respond to sudden spikes in end-of-year activity without resulting in any hiccups in workflow.
5. Reusability: the SOA takes advantage of reusable services so that employees can accommodate consistent customer requests (dolls, teddy bears) as well as easily manage and integrate new requests (Wii, DVD player) using the same, proven best practices.
6. Standards-based: enables Santa to protect existing investments such as the home-grown shipping and distribution application while allowing the infrastructure to integrate the latest CRM tools to manage a client base that completely turns over every few years.
7. Unified communications: supports UC by integrating and identifying the individual letters delivered via various communications methods such as email, traditional postal carriers, in person requests delivered to Santa’s helpers in the mall, and inquiries sent via Santa’s website. Additionally, the SOA infrastructure will be able to support future demands for text, instant messaging, and click-to-call capabilities.
8. Security: ensures the protection and sharing of confidential information including the list of who's naughty and who's nice.
9. Competitive advantage: consistent and timely delivery of requested toys has resulted in a satisfied customer base and a dominant market position.
10. Everybody knows that SANTA is an acronym for the North Pole's SOA approach: Strategic Architecture, Not Tactical Achievements. Not only has Santa mastered the creation of a successful SOA, he’s also the ideal employee because he gets the job done, is a well respected leader with longevity and experience, and is satisfied with a cookies and milk end-of-year bonus.[Read More]
Great news--- I found a way I can connect with all of you in the virtual world via the web! Get ready for the upcoming SOA Virtual Jam.
Join us online for IBM's upcoming SOA Community exchange. Now you can join the SOA Jam at IMPACT and let us know your thoughts on best practices as well as your questions & concerns.
During next week's Impact conference, you can join the 72-hour SOA Jam, hosted on IBM ThinkPlace technology, and participate in a global and local discussion about all things SOA. We'll have PC's available at the conference so you can log-on and network, or you can log on from the convenience of your laptop.
Simply register at: http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/SOAJAM
I look forward to participating in the discussions with all of you!
Learn more about the SOA Jam on the IMPACT website. Click here!
The jam is open to everyone: customers, IBM Business Partners, University professors and students, analysts, the press, industry + IBM experts. Through the Jam's different discussion forums, you'll have to opportunity to interact with expert moderators as well as thousands of people around the world who are interested in accelerating the conversation around SOA.[Read More]
Hey! I am sure you guys read about my world tour of Asia! The most asked question was "Is there a Tutorial available on Smart SOA?". And the answer is of course yes! I'd love for you guys to go through this one and tell me your thoughts. In addition to this tutorial, there is a white paper, and coming "pink papers" that will be arriving as well! Here you go! Have fun! Click here to learn more about SMART SOA.[Read More]
Who is a basketball fan? I am a huge Duke fan and anxiously await every March for the basketball season!Usually I get to go to some round 1 or 2 games but this year will have to be satisfied with the TV!
March Madness reminds me of SOA in the real world. March madness is all about people, information and process -- just like SOA! The people the fans are critical to the game. They sometimes mean the difference between success and failure! In SOA, the people and human workflows are critical to the success of an implementation. Building composite applications and being able to easily leverage standard and reusable business services and present them to the right users at the right time! How value to your business!
For Information, in basketball understanding and knowing the stats and the strengths and weaknesses of your oponent is crucial to success. Just like in SOA. Having the right quality of information about your customers, or your products gives you a competitive leg up and SOA can help you separate information from implementation for reuse across the enterprise, centralize maintenance and control to improve data quality, and Provide processes with consistent information, in real-time, regardless of location.
And finally Processes -- the rules of the game! You must follow the process in order to win! You need to be flexible in your game to stay within the bonds. Just as our customer survey shows, Process , or BPM is crucial to success in SOA. It aligns the business and IT together and drives toward a common end goal!
What are your thoughts? Who is watching March Madness? Who is doing SOA?[Read More]
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]
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  smartcar ibm_impact soa t&m_conference websphere_education wtle 1,951 Views
The Smart SOA(TM) approach is our theme for IMPACT 2008!!
A Smart SOA(TM) approach is leveraging our over 5700 customers' experiences. Smart SOA allows customers to meet the requirements of tomorrow’s advanced deployments without un-doing their current projects. Smart SOA demands that we apply the principles of simplicity and robustness at every stage of sophistication. Through the flexibility that optimizing their service oriented architecture (SOA) can deliver— a smart approach to SOA—companies are changing their businesses and seizing new opportunities for growth.Read More]
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  info_as_a_svc collaboration soa_entry_points business_process_mgmt 1,852 Views
Yesterday we announced a series of 5's for SOA.
5 SOA entry points based on a study of 500 customers from Mercer. The 5 are: People, Process, information, Reuse, and Connectivity!
We highlighted 5 Real customers using these SOA entry points for Value (Pep Boys, Harley Davidson, Delaware Electric, Magna Steyr, and Wuestenrot and Wuerttembergische AG (W and W AG).
On the business side, we have 3 entry points for customers looking to start their SOA journey! People centric collaboration, Business Process Management, Information as a service. Now we know that you could do BPM or Collaboration without SOA, but with SOA the value grows.
For instance around BPM, for many years companies have wanted the magic potion to fix, improve, modify process activity. But IT has been the biggest inhibitor. SOA changes the game in this space by allowing processes to be represented as services and components. As such, the service-based process now becomes re-usable, flexible, and can be modified and re-deployed more quickly. SOA turns processes into parts (called "services") so the specific part of the process can be improved, optimized, and then reassembled with other parts of the process.
Or for collaboration, SOA will enable this user experience and ensure consistent levels of service are met each step of the way. SOA allows customers to create, deploy, and update composite applications faster with SOA portlets. As application portlets are created or converted to "service-based" portlets, you can aggregate and integrate these portlets faster and more economically to get the collaborative user interface and view into your business that you need.
Or for Information, SOA drives further success Information delivered as a service provides extensive options to a company to allow for packaging, transformation, and distribution of the information to the right people at the right time. Information as a service, as a part of an SOA ensures consistency in sources and data rules, aligns information with business processes, provides business context to information, uncovers insightful relationships hidden within information, provides a basis for trust in information, and enables tighter control over information.
For the IT entry points, the 2 are Reuse, where a strong view of being able to reuse both IT assets and business logic. To build an SOA, you look at what you already have (people, applications, business processes, etc.), and use existing resources to streamline business processes, cut development time, ensure consistency through the organization, and save money. Based on open standards, IBM's offerings were created to allow a company to extend the value from their existing software by service-enabling it and then reuse the business value that comes from that service again and again. Firms can:
-Enhance flexibility by reduce duplication of function by creating services to be shared across the enterprise -Leverage proven core applications and function through services enablement, through wrappering or other methods
In fact, a study by Software Productivity Research found that it is five times less expensive to reuse existing services and applications than to re-write them.
And finally Connectivity. SOA connectivity allows users to take an existing business process and deliver it through a different business channel with minimal rework. So for example, if you have a business process like opening a new account that you deliver through a call center, you can deliver the same process through a web site or a kiosk by leveraging this kind of connectivity. Doing so will ensure a secure, consistent user experience and save a great deal of cost. By the same token, SOA Connectivity lets you reach out to your trading partners with secure, services-based connectivity beyond your firewall. The Enterprise Integration Challenge report from Software Strategies found that use of an Enterprise Service Buses was two to four times less expensive than custom-built integration or FTP.
So tell me what you think? Do these entry points seem like ones you could use?
We have an SOA business value tool that will allow you to sit down and determine your ROI from these Entry points as well. Let me hear from you![Read More]
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As I travel the world talking to our thousands of customers about how Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) can help bring them new levels of agility to face today’s unprecedented rate of change, one of the top questions I’m asked is what is IBM doing with SOA within its own business. Even right now as I am in Lisbon Portugal (a BEAUTIFUL country -- pictures coming!!!!) ....this is the top question I am getting!!!
It’s a little bit like looking under the hood of your auto mechanic’s car or into the portfolio of your financial advisor. I’m proud to say that IBM does indeed have heavy involvement in SOA and that we use these deployments to help make it easier for our customers to take advantage of the many benefits of SOA.
The backgroundLike lots of other companies that have been around for as long as IBM and have grown through globalization and acquisition, IBM’s IT systems were complex, monolithic, and silo-based. IBM had 128 CIO’s, both geography and business unit based, 155 different data centers and over 80 hosting centers that managed over 16,000 applications. Business processes were not clearly defined and were redundant across different business units. This arrangement was costly, prone to error and was a serious drag to success. Something needed to change.
Early stepsIBM really began the SOA journey in 2002 when we initially viewed SOA primarily as a way to cut costs. With all the redundancy and overlap in IBM’s environment at the time, taking this approach proved to be fertile ground for gaining experience with SOA and proving some of its merits internally.
The first project that IBM chose was to focus on a 25 year old legacy system called COATS which stands for Customer Order Analysis and Tracking System. It accepts hardware orders from business partners, customers and sales people and it routes those orders to over 20 different manufacturing plants. The system worked very well but to meet inevitable changes in the way IBM did business, COATS needed frequent updates. As Howie Miller, CIO for IBM explained, “Each new release took about six-months and more that 8,000 development hours to prepare. So, when IBM went looking for a good place to test the promise of SOA, COATS rose to the top of the list.
Through service-enablement of much of COATS’ functionality, IBM was able to treat the system as a set of services that flowed together as directed by business rules. We were able to do so without rewriting or altering the stable, trusted legacy system itself. As a result of this project, IBM now saves 25% in development costs whenever changes are required of the system and COATS transactions have dropped from 10 minutes to four seconds.
Building on successesEarly wins like this motivated IBM to consider SOA more strategically and to look beyond cost cutting and more toward the agility that SOA brings to the company. Let’s look again at IBM’s manufacturing business for an example. IBM focuses on its core strength in many areas and partners with other industry leaders to bring valuable products and services to market. As part of this strategy, IBM is continuously on-boarding and off-boarding manufacturing partners as our needs shift. As a result, all kinds of back-end systems needed to be integrated with IBM’s supply chain. Unfortunately this usually took three weeks. In addition to the time, factory on-boarding typically took systems down and the plant would suffer from outages.
To make these changes in a more agile manner, IBM used the principles of SOA to create a set of services called “Factory In A Box” that allow for an open interface into the back end systems and streamline bringing new factories on line and severing the relationship if the need arises. As a result, this previously three week process now takes only two hours.
While IBM’s line of business owners yawned at SOA’s technical benefits like greater programmer productivity, projects like this that deliver the ability to run the business in a more agile way really got noticed.
Governance structure and cultural changeAs we recommend to our customers, IBM has not pursued SOA in a “big bang” fashion but instead has laid out a roadmap of initiatives for itself and implemented it in steps and phases. IBM demands that each project show value on its own merits but also that it contribute to the overall strategic objectives. Over the years, IBM has undertaken at least 15 separate SOA initiatives each of which encompass multiple individual projects. Along the way, we have established a governance structure to provide oversight and control of these initiatives as well as facilitate the cultural change elements that come with philosophical shifts like this.
IBM recognized that a tremendous benefit of SOA is the continuous alignment of IT efforts to business requirements. To ensure this, IBM created a governance body that brought IT leaders together with business leaders who owned end-to-end business processes. The group guides such areas as ensuring that decisions are made for the broader good of the organization, making architectural, investment, and cost-sharing decisions, and working through cross-functional issues.
This governance body has also worked to update IBM’s culture to fully realize SOA’s potential. With more patents than any other company, IBM has a longstanding heritage of invention. Developers are rewarded for patents. But to foster greater reuse, they are now also rewarded on the basis of how often their creations are reused by others. It is shifts in mindsets like this that really accelerate SOA’s value.
IBM’s involvement with SOA has been a great showcase for us. We intend to continue further investment throughout the company to make ourselves even more agile in the years to come.[Read More]