SOA and Flexibility

A significant portion of organizations are considering SOA to help enable greater reuse from both new and existing assets. In many cases this takes the form of breaking down legacy applications into usable components for reuse across projects and teams. When designed correctly services can be used in new projects without customization.

A move to SOA can also help integrate IT assets, making it easier for IT organizations to react more quickly to business demands as business needs change, especially if applications are broken down into reusable components modeled along the lines of an organization’s business processes. By creating these types of “business services” organizations are creating assets that can be leveraged by the business. From the business case perspective, managers should focus on the hard benefits such as decreases in project time, reductions in time or risk, and increases in efficiency from using SOA interfaces and business services.


SOA and IT/Business Alignment

One potential benefit of creating an SOA solution can be a focus on greater governance and serve to facilitate a more effective bridge between business and IT. By combining SOA with BPM and business rules, an IT organization can create a solution that allows business analysts to use model processes and use business rules and policies to ensure that what IT delivers in line with the business strategy and that it meets that service level agreements required. Doing so probably requires more governance than traditional solutions, but the benefits can help create more efficient IT organization, a reduction of duplicate functionality in IT projects.


E2E Bridge and Enterprise Integration

E2E is bringing its solution, the E2E Bridge, to the global market. The E2E Bridge is a UML-based enterprise service bus (ESB) that provides code-free, model-driven integration with a company’s existing back-end systems. The E2E Bridge supports service-oriented architectures (SOA) and is fairly lightweight because of its UML virtual machine, which does not require a Java application server.

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E2E is adding new life to a saturated market – enterprise integration. The company has the background and credentials to stand up as an expert in the space, and Upside Research believes that the creative use of a UML virtual machine and XML-based technology for an enterprise service bus is unique and sets E2E apart from other solutions. The largest hurdle that the company faces from a technology perspective is convincing the existing integration teams, often full of expert developers, that it is possible to achieve enterprise integration without extensive coding, instead using a purely model-driven approach. If E2E can use its customer references to exhibit the success of this new approach to an ESB, then it stands to build its customer base.


The Business Impact of BPM with SOA: Building a Business Case for BPM with SOA ROI

At the heart of every business is a complicated web of processes that form the foundation for all operations. These business processes are the lifeblood of the organization and typically include all of the humans and systems that exist within the enterprise. Since they play such a central role, business processes must be as efficient as possible to make the business as effective as possible. As a result, finding ways to automate and improve business processes has become a major focus for today’s organizations as they struggle to find ways to become more agile and responsive to changing business climates.

In fact, an entire market—business process management—has grown out of the desire to improve existing business processes and build new processes and services that will differentiate a business from its competitors. Business process management (BPM) solutions aim to provide enterprises with a common platform that can tap into all resources, both human and system-based, to create, manage and optimize effective business processes that span the enterprise. BPM solutions can help organizations to maximize their existing technology and human infrastructure by linking existing systems and automating tasks that can free humans up to add value elsewhere within the enterprise.

Click here to download the complete Upside Research report on BPM ROI


State of the BPM Market

Over the past decade, BPM has evolved from a number of other technology pre-cursors, including workflow, integration and process automation. Through this evolution process, BPM has picked up a number of best practices that enable companies to use a “new” technology that has been road-tested in the past. As such, companies from all industries have started using BPM because, in short, it works. BPM can make a huge difference in how your company responds to market pressures and how it proactively tackles new business needs. Not only that, it changes the economics of managing the business through improved process performance.

To help organizations start their evaluation and understand the context for a BPM purchase, Upside Research has prepared this State of the BPM Market, as a starting point for future evaluation of this dynamic market. This report follows up on the trends and information discussed from Upside’s previous market evaluations published in June 2004 and October 2005, and provides a current snapshot of where the BPM market stands at the beginning of 2006.

By taking a look at a current snapshot of the BPM market, combined with a consideration of current hot spots, how related markets are growing, and finally what the next year holds for BPM, organizations can gain a more complete understanding of how BPM can positively impact their organization. For maximum benefit, Upside Research believes that most organizations should combine this context-setting information with an evaluation of BPM products from both a business and IT perspective to identify the most appropriate solution.

Click here to download the complete Upside Research report – State of BPM Market



Service-oriented architectures (SOAs) are nothing new. They’ve been around (in one guise or another) since at least the early 1990s. In fact, the latest development in service-oriented architectures-Web services-has now been around approximately four years. So, what’s the big deal about IBM’s SOA announcement on April 21st? Quite a bit, if you’re interested in business process management (BPM) and can wait until later this year for the rest of the story to play out.

In fact, what wasn’t in the announcement is probably more important that what was in it. IBM basically announced new software and services that enable customers to move toward a service-oriented architecture. Specifically, new versions of WebSphere Studio Application Developer Integration Edition (WS AD) and the newly renamed WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation (WS BISF) 5.1.
Both include new, BPM-oriented support. For example, WebSphere Studio Application Developer includes a visual process designer and debugger for creating BPEL4WS 1.1 process flows, while WebSphere Business Integration Server includes native deployment support for BPEL4WS processes. In addition, WebSphere Application Developer also includes automated migration of version 5.0 process flows into BPEL4WS flows. These are solid, BPM-oriented additions to the WebSphere product family.

What IBM didn’t announce is a variety of future product changes, expected later this year, that will further support SOA and BPM. For example, support for WebSphere Business Integration Modeler and Monitor is expected in the second half of the year, as well as a future announcement on their Common Event Infrastructure, a unified approach to managing events at both the system (a la Tivoli) and business levels (and a key ingredient of a good BPM platform).

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While service-oriented architecture is yet another buzzword that organizations have to digest, the process of turning business and IT functionality into discrete services that can be composed, combined, and dynamically managed is no doubt the fundamental direction that most organizations are (or will be) moving in over the next five years. This is particularly important for any organization interested in BPM because services-oriented architectures provide a dynamic foundation that makes true BPM not only easier, but more effective.

What’s important in this announcement is that fact that IBM’s latest WebShere releases (both the development tools and runtime environment) support BPEL and move BPM toward a core functionality expected in fundamental IT infrastructure components. IBM’s future announcements (and product directions) are also critical to the future of BPM and SOA. While IBM is a large company that may not always be the first to deploy new technologies (though they certainly adopted Linux moderately quickly), the fact that it is driving its customer base toward SOA and BPM standards and technologies is important because it furthers the acceptance of these technologies and reduces potential risk from their adoption. That’s why Upside Research believes that IBM’s SOA announcement is important to BPM vendors and any organization interested in building a more dynamic IT and business application architecture.