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ARMONK, NY - 13 Sep 2005: IBM today announced new software, services and an expanded partner initiative to help clients manage business processes by deploying a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).
With business processes supported by an SOA foundation, a company can become an on demand business by making its previously siloed data and software applications better interoperate across business units, as well as with third parties. This approach leverages existing resources to help improve productivity, quickly react to changing market conditions and seize opportunities.
The new software and services build on IBM's existing SOA capabilities. Specifically, new and enhanced software from IBM's WebSphere portfolio is designed for business process management. In addition, IBM is announcing greater levels of integration between its WebSphere, Rational and Tivoli software. New services being announced provide ongoing support for SOA deployments. The partner initiative expands the vast SOA ecosystem supporting organizations of all sizes, at every stage of an SOA rollout.
"SOA implies much more than simple Web services connections or a yet-to-be delivered set of business components that might work together. It is about realizing the benefits of business process management today with existing application assets," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software Group. "The new software and services we are announcing today build on IBM's leadership -- we have the most comprehensive set of capabilities for business process management and integration in the marketplace today."
Growing Client Adoption of SOA
Staples, the world's largest office products company, embarked on its SOA initiative to effectively support its multi-channel retailing systems. With IBM products such as WebSphere Commerce, WebSphere MQ, WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Product Center and DB2 Universal Database, Staples is providing its customers a way to seamlessly purchase products through Staples.com, StaplesLink.com and at Staples' retail stores and receive consistent superior service and information through each channel. Concurrently, Staples' employees as well as Staples' customers have real-time access to accurate product information and inventory across different channels and touch points as well as a single view of order and shipment status.
"Through our SOA initiative, we have successfully developed a multi-channel retailing solution that gives our customers more options and flexibility and ultimately greater satisfaction," said Scott Floeck, Chief Information Officer, Staples Inc. "As important, we have a flexible system that scales with our business and is adaptable to market changes and customer requirements."
SOA Foundation Software to Model, Assemble, Deploy and Manage SOA
To model SOAs, IBM offers WebSphere Business Modeler, an easy to use tool that enables both business and IT to model and design the process flow before deployment, and complements SOA modeling capabilities of Rational Software Architect.
To assemble SOAs, IBM is announcing WebSphere Integration Developer, an Eclipse-based application development tool to build and deploy business processes based on SOA. WebSphere Integration Developer allows developers of composite applications to view existing IT as services that can be easily wired together to compose full business processes. To further help customers assemble SOAs, IBM has also released a new version of its Rational Application Developer product.
To help clients deploy SOAs, IBM is announcing WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). Further strengthening IBM's current ESB capabilities, WebSphere ESB provides connectivity and integration for Web services-focused applications and services. For advanced ESB functionality, IBM is delivering a new version of WebSphere Message Broker, which has been a leader in providing universal connectivity and data transformation for applications whether or not they comply with standards.
Also new today for SOA deployment is WebSphere Process Server, open-standards-based software powered by WebSphere ESB that helps simplify the integration of business processes that span people, systems, customers and business partners. WebSphere Process Server can help reduce the time, cost, and risk of integration projects, because it simplifies the movement of information between applications based on business rules.
Finally, to manage SOAs, IBM is announcing enhancements to WebSphere Business Monitor. The new software helps monitor business process performance and key performance indicators. Later this month, Tivoli will announce new management software for composite applications to help customers manage and ensure the performance and availability of their SOA-based solutions.
Services to Help Clients Get Started with SOA
IBM Global Services will support the new SOA Foundation with three new professional services capabilities. A new services capability related to SOA Governance will set a baseline for measuring improvements, tracking SOA projects, building a pool of skilled resources, and establishing the structure for making decisions about SOA initiatives. This offering will help companies keep all their SOA initiatives, architectures and investments aligned to their business goals.
Secondly, IBM will announce new SOA Industry Teams aligned to key vertical industries -- communications, distribution, financial services, industrial, public sector and small and medium business -- to further help customers ease deployment and generate business value faster from SOAs. These teams will harness the deep, industry leading expertise of IBM Business Consulting Services to help customers use IBM's WebSphere software as the foundation of an SOA.
Thirdly, IBM Global Services will use the SOA Foundation to deliver its upcoming Common Services Delivery Platform (CSDP), a repository of reusable assets -- based on IBM software and third-party applications -- that will execute specific business processes such as claims processing or inventory management. The CSDP will collect data from various sources in a customer's infrastructure, integrate it with software, best practices and intellectual property and use WebSphere software to deliver the completed business process.
Finally, software services include the IBM Client Architectural Readiness Evaluation that helps clients review business and IT initiatives and architecture alignment. This free IBM service will evaluate enterprise architectures SOA support readiness, and analyze governance maturity.
Growing Business Partner Community for SOA
IBM is announcing an expansion of its SOA Business Partner initiative, called the IBM SOA Business Partner Community. Delivered through IBM's PartnerWorld Industry Networks, it will leverage the enablement resources available via IBM's Virtual Innovation Centers. New benefits and resources for community participants include: access to the SOA Business Value Toolkit which identifies the business return of an SOA project based on industry models; personalized SOA enablement planning and technical support via IBM's knowledge and enablement portal, the Virtual Innovation Center; access to IBM SOA advertising templates, discounts and incentives; and ready-to-use programs that help business partners run their own SOA demand generation events. The number of Business Partners that are members of the IBM SOA community has more than doubled since June. With its new WebSphere software, IBM continues to support and enhance its network of 4,000 Business Partners with leading SOA products and intellectual assets to deliver SOA solutions.
Also supporting the overall SOA initiative, IBM is launching new developer resources on developerWorks to help drive skills and adoption of SOA. IBM will introduce a new Podcast series on developerWorks that will help to keep busy developers up-to-date on the latest trends in technology. For developers getting started on SOA, IBM is offering a series of educational materials such as tutorials, technical articles and whitepapers to accelerate skills building.
Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source