Qualcomm Dials in SOAs

In addressing integration needs, company created foundation of a service-oriented architecture.

In many fast-growing companies, with multiple technology platforms and myriad workers and customers needing access to data and applications, IT problems can mount quickly. Solving them takes innovation, perseverance and a plan for the future. In a word—integration.

Thats what Steve Polaski, senior enterprise IT architect for Qualcomm Corp., faced three years ago when he started at the San Diego-based wireless communications company.

"It was a typical EAI [enterprise application integration] problem," said Polaski. "We had all different technologies, different business groups, units in Qualcomm, wanting to use different products to solve their particular problem."

Happily for Polaski and Qualcomm, the effort has paid dividends not only in terms of integration but also in creating the beginnings of an SOA (service-oriented architecture) framework.

"We got together a cross-functional organization team and made some decisions that we would use one technology that IT would support, one for messaging and integration ... in the long run keeping in mind this integration platform would allow us to create services to be consumed internally," Polaski said.

After looking at technology from IBM, BEA Systems Inc., SeeBeyond Technology Corp. and Sonic Software Corp., Qualcomm turned to TIBCO Software Inc.s BusinessWorks stack to solve the integration problem, he said.

More than finding just an integration solution, however, Polaski was able to leverage the TIBCO software to build reusable code modules—the beginnings of the SOA.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about an SOA partnership between Sun Microsystems and SeeBeyond Technology.

For example, Qualcomms mobile sales force downloads contact information from internal CRM (customer relationship management) systems. The problem is that different sales units have separate CRM systems, Polaski said. "Weve built a service to get contact info for salespeople. That generic service is smart enough to know what CRM system to pull the information from and reply back to the mobile devices," he said.

While Qualcomm hasnt begun to quantify a return on investment for the TIBCO integration solution, Polaski said the benefits have been immediately tangible, such as saving time with faster deployments and reuse of the interfaces and service components.

"We now have parts of our business that operate much faster," Polaski said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...