IBM announced a broad-based assault on the service-oriented architecture market, introducing a wide variety of new and enhanced products and services aimed at helping IBM customers implement SOA and bolstering the companys position as a leader in the SOA space.
In a call with reporters and analysts, Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president and general manager of IBM Software Group, joined Mike Daniels, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services, and Robert LeBlanc, general manager of IBMs WebSphere business unit, to describe the new lineup of four new and 23 enhanced products and 11 new services based on the companys experience with nearly 3,000 SOA customer engagements and 2,500 business partners.
“IBM is making $1 billion in SOA investments this year,” Mills said.
Indeed, Mills said IBMs new SOA software and services focus on four key areas: the use of business process management (BPM, governance, preparing IT infrastructures for SOA; and creating SOA services).
Tracy LeGrand, chief architect and vice president of technology strategy and architecture at Ameriprise Financial, Minneapolis, an IBM SOA customer, said IBM and its products have “played an important role in our SOA journey. And IBM is now enhancing these products to cover spaces where we had to bring in other products” to fill out areas IBM previously did not cover.
Mills said IBM has 300 SOA patents. He added that according to a study by Wintergreen Research, Lexington, Mass., IBM has a 46 percent share of the SOA market.
“Were quite impressed with the completeness, depth and accuracy of IBMs SOA message,” said Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink, Waltham, Mass.
“The greatest challenge that all vendors in the SOA space are facing today is that you cant get SOA from products, since SOA consists of best practices.
“IBM fully understands this fact, and balances the best practices offerings within their consulting arm on the one hand with a comprehensive product strategy in support of their customers SOA initiatives on the other.”
On the BPM front, particularly for business modeling, the latest release of WebSphere Business Modeler features new business user tooling and visualization aids, IBM said.
In addition, IBM has introduced a new BPM Methodology and the BPM Competency Center, LeBlanc said.
Meanwhile, the new release of WebSphere Business Monitor supports BAM (Business Activity Monitoring), and the latest release of WebSphere Process Server enhances support for advanced human workflow capabilities, IBM officials said.
And the IBM Workplace Dashboard Framework provides customers with reusable service-oriented components, administration tools and the ability to create dashboards, LeBlanc said.
Also, the new IBM Workplace for Business Strategy Execution is a dashboard that can monitor business goals.
IBM also announced a new SOA governance methodology and a new WSRR (WebSphere Registry and Repository) to help users manage Web services.
Mills said WSRR builds on IBMs enhanced Rational BuildForge, Rational ClearQuest and Rational Software Architect offerings.
In addition, Daniels said IBM has new security services offerings to help ensure “scalable and sustainable security” beyond the user level as businesses expand the use of SOA across the organization.
The new services include an SOA Application Security Assessment, SOA Security Requirements, SOA Security Architecture and SOA Security Implementation.
Also, new and enhanced products for reinforcing service security include the two releases of Tivoli Federated Identity Manager and Tivoli Federated Identity Manager Business Gateway and the delivery of WebSphere DataPower XS40, an SOA appliance, the company said.
New management services include SOA Management Planning, Business of IT Dashboard and Testing Center of Excellence for SOA, as well as the CIO IT Dashboard.
And new IBM software products for service management include ITCAM (IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager) for SOA; the new IBM Change and Configuration Management Database, the Tivoli Federated Identity Manager Business Gateway, and the Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager, as well as the Lotus Expeditor to distribute and manage services across devices, IBM said.
Other new services offerings include Web Infrastructure Optimization and Virtualization Services, which focus around providing clients with design and implementation services for IBM WebSphere XD (Extended Deployment).
And IBM announced a new Tivoli Dynamic Workload Broker and IBM Enterprise Workload Manager.
Moreover, IBM announced a new WebSphere Business Services Fabric based on technology the company acquired in its acquisition of Webify, LeBlanc said.
This new technology platform is based on pre-built, customizable SOA assets, semantic models and policies to support various industry-specific standards, such as ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), HL7 (Health Level Seven) and others, he said.
“We anticipate an ecosystem of developers to build services around the fabric,” LeBlanc said.
Meanwhile, IBM also announced the results of a study by the Institute for Business Value titled “The Business Value of Service-Oriented Architecture,” where 92 percent of IBM SOA customers said they started with SOA to reduce costs and 51 percent said they experienced revenue growth because of SOA.
However, Ameriprises LeGrand said SOA is no small-scale effort if done correctly.
“For us, SOA is a journey,” he said. “Its a long-term strategy.”
LeGrand said it cost Ameriprise about $5 million to put in its “hub and spoke” infrastructure, otherwise known as an ESB (enterprise service bus).
Ameriprise also spent $25 million on the customer management services portion of its SOA project.
However, Ameriprise saved $2 million in avoided costs during the first year of its SOA implementation, LeGrand said.
Yet, ZapThinks Bloomberg says SOA is not only for enterprises with deep pockets.
“Because IBM focuses on the enterprise and upper levels of the mid-market, such project sizes are not surprising,” Bloomberg said.
“But we are seeing increasing SOA implementations in the mid-market as well. The key difference among these smaller firms is that their services are more likely to be B2B focused, since they are less likely to have internal integration problems than the big boys. Such initiatives do tend to cost less than the large enterprise initiatives—theyre just not IBMs sweet spot.”
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