IBM Impact: What Cast Iron means to vendors

IBM Corp.’s annual Impact conference in Las Vegas this year drew about 6,000 attendees including companies who exhibited their wares on the show floor. Several of them spoke to ComputerWorld Canada about services-oriented architecture (SOA), business process management (BPM), and how the cloud plays into all this given IBM’s recent acquisition of cloud integration vendor Cast Iron Systems Inc.


One company, Branchburg, NJ.-based Princeton Blue Inc. is a process automation vendor. Managing director Pramod Sachdeva said he’s observing a general trend towards cloud deployment, be it fully or partially, and that IBM’s most recent acquisition reflects that move. “I think the acquisition of Cast Iron is another step in that direction,” said Sachdeva.


IBM already has BPM offerings BlueWorks and Blueprint that are cloud-based, but Sachdeva is interested in seeing how else IBM’s process development offerings will be delivered via the cloud in the future. 

Sachdeva said he agrees that SOA has a significant role in creating an agile enterprise, considering that the architecture allows for reuse of components both internal and external to the enterprise. “SOA creates a lot of reusability. It crIMPACT 2010: New IBM framework targets transportation sectoreates reusability across the enterprise which is quite different from how we looked at reusability in the past,” said Sachdeva.


Another company, Burlington, Mass.-based Nuance Communications Inc. is a speech and imaging technology vendor with an office in Mississauga, Ont. Senior product manager Abhijit Barde said the concept of service orientation and processes across a common platform does support the smart planet vision that IBM launched in 2008.


In light of this, said Barde, companies should not be developing applications in the segregated fashion they often do. “What ends up happening is this division creates silos of software and APIs that are clearly not transferrable across systems,” he said.


Nuance Communications’ customers consider cloud initiatives to be essential to the business in light of the economics and flexibility benefits, said Barde. This interest, he said, is reflected in IBM’s decision to buy a cloud integration vendor.Q&A: IBM’s Robert LeBlanc on SOA, BPM, smarter planet at IBM Impact 2010


Also on the show floor was Basking Ridge, N.J.-based telecommunications vendor Avaya Inc., which recently acquired Ottawa-based Nortel Networks Corp. John Gaffney, who heads the company’s government and education solutions group, said Avaya’s approach is to enhance a customer’s business processes through its communications infrastructure.


“The business can fundamentally reduce costs and eliminate latency in the business processes and drive efficiencies on the operations of the business as well,” said Gaffney. Avaya recently won IBM’s Smart SOA award for a leading SOA framework.


Gaffney said Avaya does not yet offer a hosted offering but the company is exploring that route. “We see the cloud being increasingly an important element of SOA-based offerings,” said Gaffney. Nine things seen and heard at IBM Impact 2010


IBM Impact 2010 continues through Friday of this week.


Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau 

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