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IBM to Help Customers Focus on Growth Through Business Transformation

New Service Provides Systematic Approach to Link Business Goals to Technology Resources

ARMONK, NY - 26 Jan 2005: IBM today announced a new service to help companies build capabilities that support business goals, while freeing up currently overstretched IT budgets to focus on growth opportunities. The new Service Oriented Modeling and Architecture (SOMA) is an innovative approach to solving a significant problem, a consistent way for businesses to develop flexible technology that will provide the maximum return back to the business. It helps companies implement a service-oriented architecture (SOA), a standards-based framework that enables enterprises to evolve to on demand businesses that integrate data and applications with customers, partners and suppliers.

To make improvements and grow, businesses need better visibility into their business processes. Breaking the business down into a component view -- from a discrete process or the business processes supporting the entire enterprise -- is critical to achieving business improvement and growth. Business process modeling will map out a company's business processes and help determine which business processes provide strategic differentiation over competitors, what processes are core and what business processes may not be considered strategic. However, once this is done, companies often lack a flexible IT infrastructure to support change that creates growth.

To address this, companies are starting to adopt Service Oriented Architectures to build a flexible standards-based infrastructure and support a rapidly changing business environment. With an SOA, business processes that aren't considered core or strategic can be improved and executed at a lower cost, thereby freeing up initial IT resources to focus on growth areas. An example may be payroll processing or other functions that are common to all companies in a given industry, such as check imaging in financial services.

Many companies have already started to experience initial benefits of an SOA, but lack a plan to implement the technology in a systematic way across the enterprise, which underutilizes technology investments and lowers potential benefits. SOMA provides an approach to building an SOA that aligns to the business goals and directly ties the business processes to underlying applications through services, which will help the business realize benefits more rapidly. This is done through detailed identification and prioritization of services that a business needs to develop or expose to support improved business processes. A company no longer needs to guess at what services will add the greatest value -- SOMA provides a systematic approach to building the an optimized roadmap to implementing a service-oriented architecture -- leading to faster realization of business value -- the leading requirement for IT investments today.

"Business leaders not aware of how an SOA can grow their business and become flexible are probably already losing ground to competitors," said Michael Liebow, vice president, Web services, IBM Global Services. "SOMA is based on the more than three years of hands-on experience IBM has acquired in working with early adopters of this technology using it to grow their businesses."

The approach created by SOMA helps to ensure that goals set by business process modeling can actually be implemented to generate the greatest result in an efficient manner. Evolving an SOA across the enterprise frees up IT resources and helps to ensure that investments in technology are focused on core capabilities aimed at growing the business.

IBM Global Services
IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services and consulting provider. Some 180,000 professionals in more than 160 countries help clients integrate information technology with business value -- from the business transformation and industry expertise of IBM Business Consulting Services to hosting, infrastructure, technology design and training services. Leveraging IBM's unequalled scope and scale, IBM Global Services delivers integrated, flexible and resilient processes -- across companies and through business partners -- that enable clients to save money and transform their businesses to be more competitive. For more information, visit www.ibm.com/services.

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Contact(s) information

Ron Favali
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-1362
Favali@us.ibm.com

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