Austin Energy had tried and failed to integrate their applications using SOA. For their second try, they successfully used Rational tools to develop the services and WebSphere middleware to run them; they also got IBM consulting help and deployed on IBM hardware (p570s). The resulting system, AECall, integrates the outage management system and call center application.
Only a day after being brought on-line, a storm knocked out service to 52,000 customers. The SOA system handled 20,000 calls a day for three days, whereas the old system would've only handled 4,000 calls per day.
They say an important reason for their success is that this effort is business-driven, whereas the first one was IT-driven. They also attribute their success to picking a relatively small effort which could quickly show value.
For more info:
- "Austin Energy Plugs in to IBM for Transformation Project" (IBM press release)
- "SOA App Quickly Boosts Storm Response: First app in Austin Energy SOA project processes 20,000 customer calls a day" (Computerworld)
- "Austin Energy Adopts SOA Strategy With IBM's Support: Company Aims to Create Self-Healing Enterprise" (Sys-Con)
- "SOA Project Gets Mother of All Tests" (TechTarget)
- "Power to the people, with SOA" (ZDNet blog)
Update: As James Governor commented, it's also worth noting another SOA success story at another electric utility, SOA Success at Delaware Electric.