IBM Kicks Off Service-Oriented Architecture Strategy

To support customers in developing and deploying SOAs, the company is introducing new services offerings as well as new products such as WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation, which enables customers to build and integrate applications in SOAs.

IBM Corp. is slated to announce its service-oriented architecture (SOA) strategy Wednesday, including new services offerings as well as new products to support customers in developing and deploying SOAs, the company said.

Scott Cosby, IBMs director of WebSphere Business Integration product management, said IBM has worked closely with its customers over the past six to eight months on solidifying the services and products that are part of the new SOA focus.

"This is the first [announcement] in a multimonth effort over the next two quarters or so" related to the companys SOA strategy, Cosby said.

IBM defines an SOA as a collection of business processes that rely on reusable standard interfaces to integrate applications within a company as well as externally with customers, partners and suppliers.

"You have to be able to break down business processes such that they are aligned with what the business wants to do," Cosby said. "SOAs allow you to build off of these business processes and allow you to do so more quickly and easily."

/zimages/3/28571.gifBEA Systems says it is the leader in the SOA space. Click here to read more.

The three major themes of IBMs SOA strategy are to drive down costs, find more opportunities for growth and help transform organizations into on-demand businesses, Cosby said.

Thus IBM, through its IBM Global Services arm, is delivering a set of services intended to empower customers. The first, called IBM Assessments for Service-Oriented Architectures, helps customers assess the functional and technical aspects of moving to an SOA, Cosby said. The next service, Strategy and Planning for Service-Oriented Architecture, begins by identifying the customers objectives and ends with a plan for transitioning to an SOA.

Another new service IBM will offer is Application Renovation and Integration for Service-Oriented Architecture, which is for customers who want to expand their legacy systems into SOA environments. And the fourth new service is Component Business Modeling, which enables customers to break down their business according to the processes involved in running it.

Cosby said the services offerings were "driven largely by customer engagements; were rolling these out as IBM services offerings."

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read an eWEEK interview with Bob Sutor, IBMs director of WebSphere infrastructure software, on why SOA is so important.

In addition, IBM is adding to its services capabilities by training more employees to be knowledgeable about SOAs and Web services.

"We have about 15,000 experts in Global Services who are well-skilled and knowledgeable about Web services," Cosby said. "And well be training another 35,000."

IBM also will hold an event next month in Toronto to teach its customers more about SOAs, Cosby said.

Next Page: A new product lets customers build and integrate applications in SOAs.