Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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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customers handle those deployment issues today?Larry: Quite frankly, hand crafted…often thrown together…for sure always out of date, scripts.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]
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  education websphere wtle t&m wikipedia conference jimmywales soa impact 3,005 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]
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]
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 2,745 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]
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]
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]
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 t&m_conference soa websphere_education wtle 2,005 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 soa_entry_points collaboration business_process_mgmt 1,889 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]
SOASOA 060000JRQN 1,861 Views
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]