Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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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I wanted to alert you to a full-day Virtual Tradeshow will take place July 25th on SOA and Composite Applications. This event offers particiates information on how to create more functional and flexible applications faster than ever before.
As we all know, more and more enterprise businesses are building applications based on SOA and Web services, exposing them to users through Web 2.0 interfaces, and orchestrating them with Business Process Management tools. At this live, interactive event, I will be delivering the Opening Keynote Address on the subject of "Composite Applications and SOA: Best Practices. This is a FREE virtual event. Register for this exciting virtual event toda
Visit Register [Read More]
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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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Well, I am so happy. I have a list of the top 100 things that I wanted to do in life...and one of those was to write a book. Of course, I really wanted it to be a murder mystery (maybe next time!) however, since I love SOA (as you all know!) I am thrilled.
The book just arrived .... and I wanted you guys to check it out and provide me your feedback.
Thank you so much for your notes and comments as we've gone as your comments have influenced my thoughts!
I will be doing my book signing at the IMPACT 2007 event-- A defining event for SOA ! Enroll me now
For more information ... go to ... Books by Sandy! [Read More]
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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]
I was recently hosting over 100 partners in Pinehurst. I have to sidenote here that I loved Pinehurst. Pinehurst was one of the best run facilities and a very relaxing setting. Going to course #2 was amazing and the spa was awesome. Just as a sidenote!
The conference in Pinehurst was to brief our partners on our new announcements coming from IBM on SOA. We had lots of excitement and energy and I am looking forward to having more and more of our Partner feedback.
You can hear all about the announcements if you are an IBM partner on Oct 4 by registering at REGISTER .[Read More]
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I just got back from filming a segment for IBM on my favorite innovation. I didn't think this would be a hard decision -- but it was. I thought about GPS and how much it helps me in this unfamiliar NY area....virtual communities like this blog that allow you to have a relationship without having ever met, or cell phones and blackberries that keep me connected no matter where I go. I love my digital camera....and the list goes on and on.
How do you pick your favorite innovation? What's yours?
Think about it. It is a hard choice!!
This is one of the reasons I am so jazzed about being able to focus on SOA for IBM . Why are the 2 (innovation and SOA linked)? To me innovation is all about being able to change, see change, be change. SOA allows that change to occur in the business. SOA is a key enabler of innovation!
Talk to you later![Read More]
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!
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I just got back from a multiple country visits and conferences!
SOA around the world is amazing!! I was just in front of audiences in Madrid, Paris, Athens, Venice, Mumbai, Beijing, Tokoyo and more.
I will try to summarize my insights from each!!!
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Today is a very exciting day as we announced our acquisition of Webify. To me, this announcement has a few key elements.
1) We acquired Webify for its market leading industry-focused SOA software, industry content, industry accelerators and services. 2) Webify products accelerate the delivery of SOA composite business applications based on pre-built, customizable SOA assets, semantic models and dynamic run-time. 3) We will use Webify products to enable customers to more quickly and flexibly create SOA applications that can be composed primarily from existing assets. 4) Webify complements and extends IBM’s SOA software portfolio, focusing on WebSphere Process Server, and WebSphere Service Registry and Repository.
The number of press stories is multiplying!!! Over 35 stories to date.
Early press has been very favorable. At this early hour, articles have been written in already in the Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, CNET news, varBusiness and many other publications around the world.
I'd love to know your thoughts on this acquisition.....here is where you can learn more! Click here to learn more!!! [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]
Yesterday I had a super experience being interviewed on the radio (yes, a live radio show!) on VoiceAmerica with Dave Sasson about SOA (what else!). Dave is not only a super cool radio personality but a CTO as well. He set up a "dialogue" with me on SOA....how to get started, lessons learned, case studies and much more. It was a fun experience and I've already gotten lots of good notes from listeners across the US!
The replay is available at: Listen now
Don't forget to sign up for IMPACT 2007! A defining event for SOA ! Enroll me now [Read More]
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  business_partners soa_business_value_assess... soa_business_catalog 1,358 Views
I just arrived in last night from Vegas where we had our major SOA announcements for Partners. While I used my scooter to voom around (remember I have a broken ankle!), we received very good response to the announcements -- over 42 press articles, some great analyst feedback and the best, is the partner community! Here are just a few of my favorites.
"No vendor is in a better position to make SOA a reality for customers than IBM. The breadth of their offering and depth of their SOA expertise are driving this market. The value they are providing to partners who are working with IBM to capture the opportunity that SOA represents makes the IBM partnership value proposition a no-brainer." -- Jason Bloomberg, Senior Analyst, ZapThink LLC
"IBM has made an extraordinary investment in the success of its advanced SOA partners." Judith Hurwitz, President, Hurwitz & Associates
"Business partners who add their experience and skills to IBM’s technical expertise and market power should find the SOA opportunity nearly unlimited. I’m particularly impressed that firms can have a substantial look with no commitment before choosing how much of their resources they’ll engage in return for IBM’s considerable offerings. " Amy Wohl, Wohl Associates
So what did we announce?
1) Early enablement for HOT SOA products like DB2 Viper and WebSphere Service Registry and Repository.
2) Tools to demonstrate real value .... SOA Busines Central Catalog and the SOA Business Value Assessment tool!This tool is super! Its outcomes are best practice models, a business case, and a propsed architecture based on SOA maturity level. The ROI is crucial -- IDC and others say that ROI is the cricial input into the customer process.
3) The new Zero Barrier to SOA.....without registration redbooks, development assistance, etc Just go here!
Also we added SOA sales connection to link partners into our Sales process!!
So much power for the partners who are critical for the success of Customers!
Talk to you soon! 8 days until cast comes off![Read More]
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I am here at the Gartner IT Expo which is always held in Orlando Florida. Yesterday we unveiled our newest SOA announcements for BPM. Jim Hanley, from Harley .
Jim Haney, their CIO and biggest buyer of Harley's clothesline, outlined his challenges as a fairly new executive at Harley! His challenges were around the business challenges...his business needed to steamline their key business processes, provide quicker access to information, and basically make it easy to do business with. This sounds very simliar to alot of customers that I talk with daily! And simliar to the CIO conference where the challenge to CIOs was to become more linked to the business and become Chief Innovation Officiers!
Using the SOA approach, Jim has seen some amazing results at Harley -- one of my favorite brands! He was able to present a “business process” lens to his users, provide more business flexibility through loosely coupled integration, and lowered his costs through faster delivery of capabilities through reuse and common process component.
His closing top 3 points were....Run the IT like a business, Protect the Brand and Instill trust………AND……Invest in your people....
This is similar to Gartner's keynote and focus on people. Interesting way to kick off the conference...Discussion occured around...Aging baby boomers that must nurture next generation.. VERSATILISTS.. multi talented professionals who will likely not be the same mix as the people around the table today. The impact of Geographic diversification (offshore outsourcing)...etc
The bottom line....Accept the VERSATILISTS .. change focus & culture of your IT organization… REPROGRAM THE IT CULTURE!
Identify what kills ideas stone dead… We tried that didn’t work Consultant speak I could have done that in cobol..
Well, that's enough for now!
I am sitting here at the US Open at what ESPN calls the best day of tennis at the US Open yet! We are hosting a set of customers here at the IBM suite (yes,this is the way to see tennis!) I got to see 2 unseeded men's double teams, Martina Navratilova with her double partner Petrova and tonight is Federer and Blake. It was a great day, great sun, and perfect games. Funny, I went shopping for my mother in law and saw Lauren and Lacoste and other name brands selling cool US Open logoed wear. Interesting how things have changed!
Now why I am here besides the tennis and weather? Well, of course, SOA is behind the US Open!! How?
Well, IBM has been the US Tennis Association’s official IT partner since 1990 because it can do things like support the 27 million visits that came from all around the world to the US Open’s web site for live scores in 2005.
Thumbnail sketch of how score updates happen: Umpires officiating each of the US Open matches hold a device in their hands that they use to keep score. All these devices feed into a database which holds all the scores from all the matches. From there, the constantly changing score information is fed to servers that can be accessed by people like you and me through the US Open web site.When score updates are sent to the Web servers, they begin their journey in a format that is incompatible for use by the Web servers. IBM uses WebSphere software to transform messages in-flight between one protocol and another so that when the message arrives, it’s usable.
All this takes place without ever altering or touching the source information. This WebSphere software has the ability to transform the messages into dozens of different formats simultaneously so that the same information can be used by many different kinds of consumers at the same time. Score information is less than 7 seconds old by the time it reaches computer screens and it reaches tens of thousands of users simultaneously.
US Open achieves outstanding flexibility by accomplishing the repeatable business tasks that make up its scoreboard processes with modular, interchangeable software services. This is a hallmark of SOA.When a match begins or ends, when a game is won, or when a point is scored, these are examples of “events”. SOA from IBM gives US Open the ability to sense and detect events such as these and trigger an appropriate reaction or response with is based on business rules.
Without the flexibility that comes from SOA, US Open would have had to custom-code the system and then suffer the cost, risk, and expense of re-coding it every time they wanted to make a change. The US Open Web site’s volume of traffic spikes to 50 times its annual average during the tournament and then falls back to a trickle during the off season. The infrastructure to support this massive jolt relies on a concept called “virtualization” which allows US Open to handle huge loads without having to over-invest in a bloated infrastructure that sits idle in the middle of winter.
Check it out!! US Open Site!!
This stuff is so very cool!!!!
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Green efforts can be helped by SOA? Yep. I had a customer really hammer this one home. This large retailer had previously optimized their processes for efficiency and effectiveness. Now they are looking at how they make their processes greener.... BPM enabled by SOA can help them optimize their processes for Green!
That is why we want to elevate the conversation on Green beyond the datacenter!
James Governor and Gerry Cuomo -- 2 of my favorite people -- will be there to host the event! Gerry will give the keynote address, and then James Governor will lead the sessions. James is co-founder and principal analyst of RedMonk and author of the Greenmonk.net blog, a community dedicated to the use of open source and social software to improve the environment and encourage good behaviors. Sample discussions at the previous Energy Camp included 'Best Practices For Equating "Green IT" to Cost Savings,' 'Are Companies Ready to Consider Some 'Crazy' Ideas to Improve Data Center Energy Efficiency?,' 'Best Practices for Recycling and Refurbing Electronics,' and more!
Please check it out here!
Ultramatics is the winner for our WebSphere SOA Beacon Award. The Beacon award is a huge honor for our partners!
First let me tell you a little bit about Ultramatics. They are headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Their mission is to deliver vertical domain solutions in the areas of Healthcare, Transportation, Banking, and Telecom. They focus on SOA deployments with a set of templates that are a best practice in the industry. They have many marquis accounts like The Home Depot, Starwood Hotels, Trustmark Bank, Colonial Bank, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. I have worked many times with their President and CEO, Saru Seshadri, who is a true visionary!
For the Beacon Award, they featured Crowley Maritime Corporation, a global provider of maritime services. Crowley needed to reposition its business operations to meet the challenges of its second century of operations -- including reducing operating costs; increasing profits and ROI of existing routes/platforms; and addressing legacy application modernization Integration of existing disparate systems from acquisitions creating multiple tracking, pricing and servicing process
The SOA solution implemented by Ultramatics included a lot of IBM's leading edge technology include WebSphere Process Server.
Benefits:• $15,000 saving per integration interface; anticipated $225,000 savings over previous practices • Application delivery time and costs were immediately cut in half • Enterprise specific standards and effective SOA governance led to significant operational efficiencies and productivity improvements • Errors and omissions reduced • Creation and exposure of services called for by applications within SOA leveraged for every new application rollout • Technology simplification, application modernization as a result of reusing legacy assets rather than replacement
Wow! What a great customer and partner reference!
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SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  business_process_mgmt service_registry service_component_arch composite_apps 1,209 Views
A lot of discussions have occured around semantics for SOA. Any thoughts on these definitions for SOA "terms"..
Service – a repeatable business task represented by a software module deployed on network accessible platforms provided by the service provider. Its interface is described by a service description. It exists to be invoked by or to interact with a service requestor. It may also function as a requestor.
Service Orientation – an approach to integrate business tasks as loosely coupled, linked services
Service Oriented Architecture –An architectural style of the structure of a software system in terms of its components and the services they provide, without regard for the underlying implementation of these components, services and connections between components
Composite application - a set of related & integrated services that support a business process built on an SOA
Components - Definition of a modular unit of functionality, accessed through one or more interfaces. A component may be composed of other components, but a component is not necessarily a service.
Service Component Architecture (SCA) - a set of specifications which describe a model for building applications and systems using a Service-Oriented Architecture. SCA extends and complements prior approaches to implementing services, and SCA builds on open standards such as Web services.
Business Process Management - Covers the full range of application-to-application, inter-application, workflow and person-to-person process management, including process design, automation, management, and continuous improvement.
Service Registry - a searchable registry of service descriptions where service providers may publish their service descriptions. Service requestors may find services and obtain binding information (in the service descriptions) for services during development for static binding or during execution for dynamic binding.[Read More]
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OK! So IBM made some major SOA announcements this week!
The first one is around the business value IBM's customers are seeing in the marketplace! Customers are looking to break out of verticalized pillars and drive innovation and flexibility into their businesses. The recent deep dive study by the Institute for Business Value confirms that customers are achieving hard, measurable value from their SOA projects. While 97% of surveyed customers justified undertaking their SOA projects based on cost reduction after they initiated their projects, 100% of them saw increases in flexibility and 51% saw measurable revenue increases attributable to the projects.
The second announcement is about how easy and perscriptive we are making it to "GET STARTED". The announcements today are about making it easier to achieve real business value with SOA. These announcements follow the earlier announcements we made in April of a set of SOA entry points to help businesses get started with SOA. Now, with the marketing moving past that early adoption stage, we have seen a focus on ensuring that customers can build upon the lessons they’ve learned for greater business value. This is a unified IBM is leading the way, teaming with virtually every part of the company to help customers achieve higher value SOA with initiatives such as Business Services and Business Process Management enabled by SOA. We combine all our strengths to help our customers support these projects through Infrastructure and Management for SOA and help ensure successful projects with proper SOA Governance.
And the third area is around the market momentum in this space we've seen! Wintergreen just last month an independent report from Wintergreen Research (“SOA Market Opportunity, Market Forecast and Market Strategies: 2006-2012”) and found that IBM is the overwhelming leader in SOA, with 46 percent market share (up 12% ), more than three times the market share of the next closest vendor.
As Dwight Davis, lead analyst for OvumSummit, wrote in another recent report, IBM is "currently setting a SOA bar that other vendors will struggle to clear."[Read More]
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I know you 'speak the language of SOA' very well .... and so I wanted to give you a sneak preview of my new book "The New Language of Business: SOA and Web 2.0" available this week. It was one of my top 100 things that I wanted to do in life...write a book!!! This one I think is cool as I actually got to profile successful SOA projects at more than 40 companies around the world... big companies like Sprint, Pep Boys, the U.S. Open, People’s Bank of China... and smaller ones that are really pushing the envelope with SOA.
Here's a digital sampler Chapter View for you to check out - let me know what you think![Read More]
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Well, I haven't communicated in a while....getting a rest over the holidays and then of course, being slammed upon my return with 2007 planning.
I wanted to catch up with a few blogs on some hot news.
To focus on SOA, yes SOA again!, we are having a powerful event called IBM Impact 2007 – May 20 – 25, Orlando. We expect to have over 4000 attendees....and will have about 100 customer speakers. If you'd like to be one, let me know!
We will have 3 tracks ... one for Technical, one for Business and one for CXOs that is sort of a combo view.
Mark Burnett, creator of "The Apprentice" and "Survivor”; Carol Baroudi, co-author of SOA for Dummies; Steve Mills, SVP of IBM Software Group, and the GM of WebSphere and many more innovators will be there speaking!
And don't forget the fun ... there will be lots of networking opportunities (maybe I can even meet some of you guys in person!!!)
Registration is now open!
Enroll me now [Read More]
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Check out this cool article written by my friend and colleague -- Michael Liebow!
In this article, Michael outlines how we at IBM have recently examined several leading-edge SOA projects covering 11 different industries that in one way or another exhibited the recognizable pattern of consequences and benefits that the most acute observers predicted for SOA. Michael stresses that any good business strategy involves flexibility, and since SOA liberates the full potential of IT by making it modular and more flexible, it is at the enabling core of that strategy. No matter the size of your customer’s business, if they aren’t thinking about how to do SOA today, their competition is - maybe not their largest competitor now, but their future industry leader. Read Michael’s full article in this issue of the SOA Newsletter, as well as several other recent articles on SOA.
Don't forget to sign up for IMPACT 2007! A defining event for SOA ! Enroll me now [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]
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So let's start with the good! IBM has won the best company in VarBusiness's ARC awards for SOA! Read me!This is crucial because IBM needs partners to really demonstrate the value that SOA brings to the business. This SOA Business Outcome is a huge thought..we do SOA not because it is cool technology but because it is valuable to the business.
Now the bad......I traveled Yesterday. The airports are a zoo especially in NY...with lines and lines and lots of frustration. I not only waited 1.5 hours to get through security but then had a 6 hour delay. I am wondering about this impact on everyone. I was so thankful for my computer and blackberry and wondered how I could have survived it without these devices!
Has anyone else traveled lately? What are your thoughts on how we deal with making this both safe and efficient!
Blog with you later![Read More]
My top 5 highlights from IMPACT!!!
1) 104 customer speakers showcasing their SOA success was a highlight of the inaugural IBM SOA and WebSphere event which attracted 4.264 attendees. Having this many customers tell their Stories was amazing! It generated widespread interest and enthusiasm for SOA!
2) The client value of the New SOA announcements at IMPACT 2007! Dozens of new offerings were built upon the three major SOA launches executed over the past 18 months and centered on the Business, Technical and Personal Impact of SOA. Noteworthy new offerings include: Eight SOA Industry Roadmaps representing six industries (banking, healthcare, telecom, retail, insurance and industrial); six new integrated SOA professional services; BPM enabled by SOA; new support for System z and p; Innov8, a BPM Simulator; and expanded SOA education.
3) 250+ Press articles (35 business press), 100 postiive blog entries and 8 analyst reports showcase the energy momentum of the event and SOA announcements. We announced 4,500 IBM customers have used IBM SOA offerings. This amount of energy was amazing. My favorite quotes were:"SOA is the bridge between IT and business that IBM has been pioneering. And, as far as I can tell it must be hot, hot, hot! The event had the flavor of a kind of corporate Woodstock because…one got the feeling that something about this gathering was going to have a big effect on the wider culture."-- Crossing Digital Divides - Virtual Realities in World 2.
with TechTarget reporting, “SOA is now infused throughout IBM's software platform. Its WebSphere, Tivoli and Rational lines literally ooze SOA from every pore. Behind the software, IBM has an army of Global Services consultants.”
4) The interest in the Skills area. With 56% of companies seeing skills as a big inhibitor, it was incredible that over 500 clients took the SOA certification test and the interst in new forms of education like the Innov8 simulator for BPM!See the latest story on this one!!A screen shot of the game is posted on BusinessWeek's Technology section: BusinessWeek
5) Showcased the strength of the IBM SOA ecosystem. A total of 542 Business Partners attended IMPACT, including 250 attendees at Business Partner day.
This event demonstrated cross-IBM alignment and industry leadership for extreme Client Value! Business Leaders, IT Executive, Technical and Virtual IT-Business tracks highlighted the breadth of IBM offerings in SOA and WebSphere. The Business leader track included 300 business leader attendees, and there were 2100 attendees at 20 industry sessions.
Let me know how you found the conference!!
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This past week on Thursday and Friday you probably saw the press hit the stands!
Let me give you guys a little more information!
1) We announced the connection of a Globally Integrated Enterprise (GIE) with SOA! These common capabilities are what we observe as the 6 Essential Global Competencies, the first capability is to Manage Value Through a specialized ecosystem. What we mean by a specialized ecosystem is Continually assess where, when and by whom value is created across the extended enterprise – what’s core and strategic and what can be leveraged through a partner to drive down costs or achieve global distribution. The second is to Effectively manage Risk and Control by taking innovative approaches to risk management. Examining processes in how work is done and where it flows best, the third is to Enable Modular Business Processes by enabling modular business operations. The fourth is to Foster Global Collaboration by optimizing and harnessing ideas from within the enterprise and sourced from the extended enterprise. Employing both collaborative and traditional innovation approaches are a critical competency. The fifth area is to Leverage Global Assets by using global resources most economically and effectively and lastly, to Serve Distinct Markets by seeking new customers and potential partners.
IBM’s new GIE Assessment capabilities – a detailed assessment in becoming a GIE uses 5 levels of detailed assessment criteria across 24 dimensions for deep understanding of areas to focus on as you begin your Path along the Smart SOA continuum.
We announced: The GIE Assessment
What is it? The Globally Integrated Enterprise Assessments is an assessment to identify and benchmark business model capabilities against world-class standards. Learn more about it!
2) Globally Integrated Enterprises require agility - and that agility is the value proposition of SOA!
What is Agility? Agility is the ability to quickly and effectively respond to changes, opportunities and threats.
What did we announce? Well, we pioneered the Key Agility Indicators (KAIs)...KAIs are made available through a GBS engagement. This whole concept of key agility indicators is powerful! I'll do another blog just on those!
IBM Benchmark Wizard with KAI for supply chain tool. Download the Supply Chain Agility Benchmarks white paper from IBM.com/soa
3) IBM is helping GIEs to optimize and innovate their processes. This leads up to some exciting BPM announcements!!
What did we announce?a) Business Process Management (BPM) Methodology - enhanced with combined software capabilities and business expertise to accelerate process innovation and optimizationb) Tools to work the BPM methodology:Model: WebSphere Business Modeler with advanced usabilityDeploy: IBM WebSphere Business Services Fabric and its associated pre-built, customizable IBM Industry Content PacksAdditional business services New industry content packs in banking, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunicationsMeasure: WebSphere Business Monitor - IBM WebSphere Business Monitor for users to create new KPIs and manage alerts without involving IT.New dashboards including a Business of IT Dashboard to keep tabs on overall IT metrics at a glance.
This set of announcements looks at Power to the Business user!!!! to really exploit SOA!
Let me hear what you think about these announcements!
I was very excited to see IBM's 3Q earnings yesterday. Due to the great acceptance and use of our SOA offerings, the 3Q results were good. Here are some of the quotes I pulled from Mark Lockridge's discussion to the financial analysts! (Mark is IBM's CFO).
To all our IBM partners and customers -- Thank you for your trust and confidence in us and our portfolio!
Some highlights:"In 2006, WebSphere technology has accelerated the emergence and acceptance of Services Oriented Architecture, contributing to double-digit revenue growth in WebSphere each quarter. IBM’s lead in SOA is well recognized and we are continuing to invest to extend our leadership position."
The WebSphere family of software grew 30 percent, and 28 percent at constant currency.WebSphere provides the foundation for web-enabled applications and is a key product set in deploying a client’s Services Oriented Architecture.
In July, we introduced DB2 version 9, commonly referred to as Viper, with enhanced XML and data compression technologies. This new database is a key component of our SOA and Information on Demand strategies and has proven to be particularly effective in SAP installations.
We are continuing to invest in high value-add Business Solutions. For example, we are enhancing our Global Development Center capabilities in China and India to leverage our Webify acquisition, and to accelerate SOA within our Industry solutions.
Security, energy and cooling efficiency, virtualization, and SOA, together with improved economics, continue to play to the strength of System z. These features are attracting new mainframe customers to this platform. Let me give you a couple of examples:
The largest profit contributor was our Software business. This quarter, our software results once again reflected strong demand for products deploying Services Oriented Architectures and Information on Demand, as well as the value of our systems management, security, and storage offerings.[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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So we had several votes for our painting for SOA ....... and the winner is....yes, I asked you guys to vote. This was my favorite entry!
"As much as I like Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, I hope those CIO's didn't pick it as Starry Night was painted in 1889 near the mental asylum of Saint-Remy, in, as it turns out, 13 months before his death....
SOA is on its way up and the limit doesn't seem to be in site... So that would make Piet Mondrain's "Broadway Boogie Woogie" (the yellow line one) the best choice. As Mondrain wanted the "...infinitely extendable, and the open-ended space..." that "...stretches far beyond its borders..." as told by David Sylvester about Piet Mondrain.
While (still) sitting here pondering life in the rain, I saw Elisabeth's blog! and the latest review of the InfoWorld SOA day! http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/archives/2006/05/ebizq_audio_pod.php
I head to London on Monday for the SOA Summit there. Will post in my best british accent!
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We are running out natural resources. I am passionate about making sure that the planet is set for the next generation..my 2 precious girls!!!!
So today we are highlighting DTE Energy -- a 150-year-old company with $9B in revenues that manages $23B in assets.
DTE Energy operates non-regulated businesses in 38 states. With the utility business becoming more competitive by the day, Midwestern energy giant DTE Energy needed to position itself for the future. Disparate systems and process fragmentation across nearly 200 different business units prevented the company from realizing all of the underlying synergies from acquisitions. DTE Energy undertook a massive consolidation of its business systems, which made possible the complete redesign and standardization of its business processes across all business units. DTE Energy can now drive optimization efforts as an enterprise—not a collection of business units.
Unlocking the potential efficiencies embedded in utility business models requires a level of operational orchestration across the entire business, whether it’s common processes, common resources or supply-chain integration. In the wake of industry consolidation, many utilities have assembled a business portfolio that looks synergistic on paper, but still faces tremendous challenges in aligning with their acquired or merged businesses. Like most utilities that have grown through acquisition, DTE Energy’s efforts to consolidate the business were constrained by a proliferation of IT systems, which—by keeping information confined to pockets within business units—made it difficult to gain insight required to make critical business decisions. Disparate systems across the organization provided difficulties with a number of activities, from financial reporting to spare parts inventories.
DTE Energy used SOA to improve the management of all business units and functions, link them together and make them best-in-class. The project eliminated more than 400 legacy systems and interfaces. The broad theme of the DTE Energy story is how flexibility and integration enable even the most complex companies to think, act and optimize as a single company. It’s seen in the way process standardization and flexible, SOA-based integration enables DTE Energy’s business units to share and adopt best practices for the benefit of all, and how these same attributes enable DTE Energy to rapidly and fully integrate future acquisitions
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Cape Horn is one of the most beautiful cities in the world! And they are also embracing SOA in their growth!
For instance, the Professional Provident Society (PPS) is a South African provider of insurance products to a highly-specialized market: graduate professionals such as doctors and lawyers. The company has been in existence since 1941 and is a leader in its niche. They wanted to improve their ability to bring new products to market in order to respond to changing customer demands and stiffening competition.
PPS replaced all of its legacy systems with a completely new, modular application infrastructure based on the principles of the IBM Insurance Application Architecture (IAA) which is based on SOA. The common IAA-based platform unified several previously disparate policy systems.
This solution has enabled PPS to bring nine new insurance products to market in less than one year, allowed rapid modification of new products in response to competitor actions, reduced application development costs by 50 percent, decreased audit findings by approximately 80 percent, eliminated more than 90 percent of system code, and significantly improved controls for collecting premiums.
Awesome results for South Afrcia!
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I am so excited! Coming to the East Coast — live — a Social Media Tweetup! We had one in the Valley — that was so energizing but being an East Coast girl, we must try one here!
Every day companies are devising innovative techniques to leverage Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Lotus Connections, WebSphere Commerce, iLog Visualization and other Social Media technologies to develop deeper customer connections. And I see that many many countries are getting more and more interested in Social Media — like India, Brazil, and others
Many of you, have stories about ways you have deployed Social Media tactics to successfully drive demand. And I want to hear about them! I love social media and if you share that passion and quest for Business Savy in measuring it for great business value.
f you do, please plan to share in a casual conversation, Social Media Tweetup, hosted by Sandy Carter, VP of Marketing for IBM’s SOA and Jeremiah Owyang, a Senior analyst for Forrester.
This event will be held in Mid Town Manhattan on Monday, March 23 from 6 - 8 PM. We are limited to 30 attendees so please RSVP quickly
To RSVP or to inquire for more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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As you may know from my books and blogs, I love web sites that encourage two-way conversations and collaboration.
SOASocial is a new site that not only aggregates SOA news, blog postings and other activities, but also is a dynamic place for the SOA community to collectively contribute and comment on the thoughts of others.
From the academic community to architects to business analysts, there is something for everyone. You can also to keep up with SOAsocial is by following the site at Twitter.
SOAsocial is hosted by InfoQ and exclusively sponsored by IBM. If you have not already, please visit SOAsocial today and jump into the dialog! I'd be interested to hear what you think.[Read More]
As I was sitting in my doctor's office (yes! I got the cast off!), I was reading through some of our recent SOA implementations and noticed that as more and more companies are seeing the power of SOA to drive business results. One of their surprises is the value they are seeing in modeling -- it seems that modeling is becoming one of the most critical steps to SOA success.
Reading more deeply and talking to several customers while icing my ankle, it seems that most companies deliver modeling to help organizations fully visualize, comprehend, and document business processes in order to close the gap that exists between an organization’s lines of business and IT’s understanding of the business drivers. Given that a business process is a defined set of activities leading to specific results, modeling provides the added assurance that best practices are well documented and communicated throughout the organization before deployment.
For example, one large insurer is having their business analysts use modeling to define alternative scenarios, differing in resource allocation, branching assumptions at decision points in the flow, and other parameters, and see which alternative results in the lowest cost, fastest average cycle time, lowest percentage of service level agreements violations, or other optimum business measure. In addition, tbecause they leveraged simulation can help reveal bottlenecks in the process, allowing new alternative scenarios to be analyzed -- resulting in significant time and cost savings before they are implemented throughout the SOA.
I believe that BPM with SOA is the keys the kingdom and SOA will help facilitate the next phase of the business process evolution. The evolution is occurring now because of the heightened need for enterprises to compete more effectively by adapting to market changes faster, continuously improving efficiencies and streamlining collaboration across traditionally siloed departments.
Well, at least it may be the key that opens the door that allows you to explore all the benefits to SOA. What are your thoughts? By the way, I have now proceeded in my recovery and hope to be walking with my cane at the NYC SOA summit -- that is sold out!
If you are one of the lucky 400 that got a seat, I'll see you there!
Til then....back to icing the ankle!
Good day to all! Well, this southern girl broke her ankle about 2 weeks ago! Since there can be no "weight bearing on that leg now" for a while, I started thinking about where we put our weight in our first SOA implementations! From our recent survey, most companies are viewing BPM capablilities are the highest rating SOA capability. BPM being Business Process management. BPM is how you design, automate, and manage operational business processes at the pace required by changing market conditions and business priorities, aligned with strategic and operational goals. The value comes in around your ability to adapt quickly and cost effectively. By deploying the right BPM tooling, infrastructure, and methods, you will be able to respond at the speed of business while maintaining business controls and, where necessary, regulatory compliance. BPM improves your bottom line and enables innovation, helping you to compete effectively and win. Gartner recently gave a Market Opportunity number of $806M in 2006. Business Process Management Suites will be the Next Big Thing, February 2005, Jim Sinur
I am curious how many of our SOA folks are leveraging this capability of BPM and what processes are top of your list?
Til next time!
I am here in a great hotel in London ...! Today we had the SOA Business Centric Summit in London at another cool place... with over 400 customers!
The SOA summit was a great way to hear from the London customers doing SOA, like City University, Standard Life (Ian writes that "Our measured re-use benefit now stands at 8.5 miillion sterling (16 million US) Feel free to quote us. Well over 100 applications from large to small deployed to our SOA now and many more planned", Norwich Union, and Travelex!
Check out John Patrick's Blog on the SOA AR day as well!
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This is a great article that I just got published in WebSphere Magazine. I think this Tailored approach -- for your company and your industry -- is the way to explore SOA!
What are your Thoughts?
Also P.S. Enroll me now
Read it here too
SOA Manufactures Success for the Supply Chain
There's no question that Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) will continue to lead the IT and business agenda. After all, an SOA offers a flexible, extensible, and composable approach to reusing and extending existing applications and services, as well as constructing new ones.To encourage business growth while still keeping costs in check, many organizations in all industries are relying on an SOA as a way to increase the flexibility and reuse of their exiting IT assets.Of course, with any new technology, there tends to be a lot of buzz - some factual, some not so well founded - surrounding the opportunities presented by an SOA. Analysts have predicted, pundits have professed, professors have lectured, and companies have scurried to sell what they had as SOA products - often missing the point that SOA isn't a product. It's about bridging the gap between business and IT through a set of business-aligned IT services using a set of design principles, patterns, and techniques.When you view your SOA as a strategic architecture, one that will enable you to align your technology more closely with the needs of the business, you'll gain greater business flexibility and cost savings. In fact, a recent study by Aberdeen found that the world's largest companies might save up to $53 billion in information technology spending over the next five years by implementing an SOA.While many may equate SOA deployments with the traditional early adopter markets such as financial services and insurance, there's a strong movement among manufacturers to tap into the power of Service Oriented Architectures.In fact, 21% of manufacturing companies have already begun to deploy or develop SOA software while another 46% said they plan to implement or evaluate SOA software over the next 24 months, according to a recent AMR Research survey.For those manufacturers evaluating, mapping, or implementing an SOA, it's important to be aware that the architectural style defining an SOA is that it describes a set of patterns and guidelines for creating loosely coupled, business aligned services that provide unprecedented flexibility in responsiveness to new business threats and opportunities. Coming to Terms with What Exactly an SOA IsAs you know, an SOA is an enterprise-scale IT architecture for linking resources on-demand. In an SOA, resources are made available to participants in a value net, enterprise, or line-of-business (typically spanning multiple applications in an enterprise or across multiple enterprises). While SOA discussions abound in every organization at nearly every level, the conversations usually center on the following questions, "How much?", "How long will it take?", "When can I start to see the results?", and most importantly, "Do I really need an SOA?"These are all valid questions. Remember, though, that the decision to implement an SOA shouldn't be taken lightly. It's similar to committing to a lifestyle change because the IT governance to which your development and operational teams adhere to will be quite different.Still, an SOA can prove to be the most effective way to align IT more closely with the needs of your business.And though the intricacies of each SOA deployment will be unique to each organization, there's a proven path to success that relies on four fundamental aspects: model, assemble, deploy, and manage. When manufacturers follow this path, their end results have proven to be far greater than if they hadn't leveraged the methodology. Top 10 Benefits of an SOA for a ManufacturerWhile SOA continues to dominate the spotlight of most organizations, it's important to note that of any industry, manufacturing is one of the ripest for SOA adoption and acceleration based on the following 10 factors. 1. Leverages existing investments in ERP 2. Streamlines the supply chain 3. Improves customer service 4. Aligns IT with your business goals 5. Offers greater visibility into products 6. Consolidated and consistent views of information through one consolidated view; manufacturers, partners, and customers alike can better manage inventory costs, reduce duplicate orders, and curb shipment delays. 7. Maximizes inventory 8. Eliminates additional IT work 9. Helps adhere to regulatory compliance 10. Cost savings Business has gotten increasingly complex over the last couple of decades. Factors such as mergers, regulations, global competition, outsourcing, and partnering have shifted the way that business is conducted. Yet companies can be hampered in their ability to keep pace due to outdated IT systems that don't maximize their investments, align with their business goals, or extend and build their community of business partners and customers. This is where an SOA can prove most valuable. SOAs can solve immediate business problems while simultaneously laying the groundwork for flexible IT that's capable of adapting quickly to changing business conditions. Backed by robust standards, technologies and best practices, SOA will let manufacturers reap tremendous results with a tangible ROI on their IT investments allowing them to leverage their existing IT assets, dramatically improve business process productivity and ROI, and rapidly create competitive advantage by making their business processes work harder for their company.[Read More]
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I love helping universities with their opportunities because I believe that education is so important. Education is important because it equips us with all that is needed to make our dreams come true and opens doors for all of us!!
Ball State University (BSU) is a multidisciplinary university located in Muncie, Indiana, with a current enrollment of more than 20,000 students.
Prior to adopting a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform, BSU had applications that were up to 30 years old. They worked extremely well, but difficulty in making changes was inhibiting the adoption of modern-day applications. A seemingly minor complaint from the parent of a student unleashed a storm of activity that has resulted in BSU’s implementing an SOA platform to pave the way to the future.
The first SOA project employed services to resolve name and address inconsistencies across multiple databases. The university has now leveraged its new SOA infrastructure to streamline and automate the entire online student enrollment process.
In addition to improving student satisfaction and reducing adminstrative costs, this project helped the University recapture lost revenues by increasing the number of successful enrollments.
Go Ball State!![Read More]
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Just a few of the press articles hitting the wire!
InfoWorld - IBM addressing beginner, advanced SOA needs InfoWorld
Internet News: IBM Says No to 'Monolithic, Unchangeable Environments' Internet News
CNET - IBM tailors SOA lineup for specific industries CNET
Just a few to date!!!! Happy Launch Reading!
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Atlas Air is the world’s largest cargo airline and the world’s largest fleet operator of Boeing 747s. Over the past several years, Atlas Air’s operations had become increasingly complex and process-intensive. Its infrastructure was also complicated, comprising a variety of “homegrown” messaging applications that did not integrate well with its back-end systems. Atlas Air needed to simplify this infrastructure and coordinate the various moving parts, and it decided to do so by implementing a middleware solution that was based on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). They replaced their existing messaging system with a true enterprise service bus (ESB) through which all messages flow. They now have the ability to integrate real-time information with process workflows, improving efficiency, reducing costs and enhancing their ability to respond rapidly to customer needs.
Tell me your SOA Story!!!
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We have talked about SOA and the value of the SOA entry point of information. This week we went public with more focus on customers seeing value from Information as Service. In addition, to people and process, Information seems to be a big focal for many customers!
To here about this and more ... come to IMPACT 2007 -- A defining event for SOA ! Enroll me now
SOA is a diamond store's best friend By Rich Seeley, News Writer28 Feb 2007 | SearchWebServices.com
Diamonds and SOA
Customers who spend thousands of dollars for a pair of diamond earrings probably would like the jewelry store staff to remember them the next time they visit. They probably don't want to have to tell a sales associate the entire history of what they bought in the past and explain personal tastes and prices ranges.
It's basically very easy for us with any application within the enterprise to access information not only in the data warehouse, but any database within our internal network. Greg Backhus, Director of Data Warehousing, Helzberg Diamonds That is the customer service challenge faced by Helzberg Diamonds, which has been in the jewelry game since 1915. Back then, of course, store managers kept customer histories in their heads or in one of those state of the art ledger books where they could scribble information with a fountain pen. Today, Helzberg relies on SOA and Web services to put a customer's history immediately into the hands of a sales associate at any of its 270 jewelry stores nationwide. The system is so effective that Helzberg is something of a poster child for IBM's Information on Demand initiative combining SOA and data integration technology.
Using point-of-sale lookup applications built with the SOA components of WebSphere, sales representative have real-time access to customer information stored in a data warehouse at Helzberg's corporate headquarters in Kansas City, MO, explains Greg Backhus, director data warehousing for the company. Even if a customer from Kansas City visits a store in St. Louis, all his history and account information will be there so the sales associate can provide the same level of customer service as the store back home.
However, up until the implementation of the SOA lookup application using Web services to connect point-of-sale terminals to the data warehouse, that was not the case. As any database administrator knows, filling a database with information is one thing, getting specific data back out in real time right when you need it and where you need it can be a challenge.
"We have a fairly mature data warehousing environment," Backhus said. "It's enterprise-wide and hits every subject area within the organization, but we have had challenges with all the different parts of the organization accessing that information."
Prior to the SOA implementation, sales associates only had access to customer information from local stores in their city or region, he explained. So in the case of a patron from St. Louis who moves to Kansas City, the local store could not easily get the customer's previous history with Helzberg. Getting the information would have required sending a request to the data warehouse administrators at the home office and then waiting to get the data back in a spreadsheet. Not exactly real-time.
"That probably wasn't happening a lot," Backhus concedes of the old query system. Since the store in his new hometown didn't have his records, the customer might find a new favorite jewelry store, which is the last result that Helzberg Diamonds would want. So the use of the SOA lookup application has been crucial to what Backhus says is the intangible of customer retention.
"Now, by using the central lookups, it goes back to a central database where all the customer information is kept across all the markets," he explained. "So there is a 360-degree view of the relationship of that customer to the company."
While he did not have ROI dollar figures for the SOA lookup application, he said it is achieving the intangible goal of enhancing customer satisfaction.
Besides the lookup applications, Helzberg has developed an SOA customer relationship management (CRM) application, which based on customer history in the central data warehouse, pings sales associates in local stores reminding them to send thank you notes to customers or reminders of servicing appointments.
"Now we use Web services to access backend data," Backhus explained. "It's basically very easy for us with any application within the enterprise to access information not only in the data warehouse, but any database within our internal network."
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In the same way that SOA is a business approach and not a product, when you deploy an ESB, you are deploying an abstraction layer which provides connectivity and integration across your infrastructure. This addresses a very real business need to simplify the interaction between both existing applications and any new services and this applies to any business approach – SOA or not.
We find that Businesses often first deploy an ESB to address a specific need to connect and mediate between assets in one part of the business. Once an ESB is in place it enables other parts of the business to use or reuse the assets connected to the ESB. An ESB can be deployed purely for connectivity benefits but it often is also a logical step in a move to a comprehensive SOA initiative.
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Zapthink has referenced a TechTarget survey completed in February by SearchSOA.com and TheServerSide.com. Topics are SOA, BPM, and Cloud. Respondents (376, total) comprised a mix of developers, architects, C-level execs, managers, consultants and others. Potentially useful statistics for use in spring plan / marketing plans. Text below.
* SOA is in fact motoring forward. Among the survey respondents, 49% said their organization has one or more SOA projects under way, and 60% characterize their current or future SOA projects as enterprise level as opposed to departmental/divisional level (21%), or single, isolated projects (19%).
* Interest and uptick in Business Process Management with 29.7% of respondents marking BPM as one of the critical areas for their organization's technology efforts. At the same time, 35.8% respondents counted Business Process Management software among the types of infrastructure software currently used, with 38% planning to use it in the future.
* Grid/cloud software is now used by 17% of respondents, with 38% planning to use grid/cloud in the future.
*Today's SOA projects are largely about integration. The top benefits organizations hope to achieve are improved data integration (32%), enable legacy application integration (32%) and integrated disparate department applications (23%), followed by cost cutting (21%). Staying competitive (8.4%) and driving innovation (8%) tracked low on the expected benefits list.
*Those not doing SOA said it was because of skills.
* Governance is becoming more and more popular as an issue.
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 email@example.com!
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!!!
Many thanks for the notes and pings on our SOA for Dummies -- the IBM edition! If you want a copy, please send me your address in a note to firstname.lastname@example.org!!
Thanks for the great response!!![Read More]
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Just last week, we announced the results of a survey of clients that concludes the strategic decisions to adopt a SOA are shifting away from the realm of IT staffers to business executives. The survey was conducted by the Link Group and consisted of a sampling of clients at our IBM IMPACT event held in Orlando.
The survey validates a fundamental commitment to SOA as the future of process and application design - with both significant increases in budgets and the number of SOA projects aimed at new business challenges.
The survey also found that there is an increasing need for training staff so they possess the unique combination of both business and IT skills required for a business to realize the potential of SOA.
The survey also revealed that 67% of the respondents said the key decision makers responsible for moving to an SOA strategy are business leaders including C-level executives and business managers. And 65% of clients said that business leaders are also primarily responsible for selecting an IT partner to help achieve business goals in an SOA.
I am seeing this around the world -- not quite in 90 days -- but seeing this in spades in multiple countries!
I just arrived home from Beijing China. For IMPACT 2007 in China, we had 1340 attendees! I'll share more on all the events around the world!
But in the meantime, what do you think about these survey results? Do you see this happening in your company?[Read More]