Big Blue looks to smooth SOA deployments

IBM is looking to secure the US$100-million service oriented architecture (SOA) market with a new consulting service, SOA Management Practice.

The SOA Management Practice addresses issues around security, administration, deployment and the running of applications on SOA deployments and should spur more companies to deploy on-demand services, according to analysts.

Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst with Waltham, Calif.-based ZapThink, said the service allows IBM to do the same thing for SOA as it once did for e-commerce. In the mid-90s, IBM offered itself to customers as a one-stop shop for e-commerce rollouts. IBM would do everything from installing the Web servers to designing, launching and maintaining the final Web site and back end commerce systems.

SOA will make businesses more agile by automating business processes and making it easier to move data between divisions and business management systems, such as between customer relationship and inventory databases. Right now, information that can generate increased sales or improve customer service is locked away in these systems. SOA is meant to get those systems talking amongst each other.

“There is this hangover from the nineties boom where there was a ton of investment in these monolithic (application) stacks,” said Michael Liebow, vice-president of web services for IBM Global Services in Sommers, N.Y.

“There is a lot of (business) value that is stuck between those silos and there is no easy way to harvest that value. These monolithic stacks were never meant to horizontally integrate.”

The SOA Management Practice is a comprehensive set of management, application and deployment services and support mechanism that will bring about this horizontal integration between these information and application stacks, and IBM will now be the single point of contact for all SOA projects and support.

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