Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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!
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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]