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Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

Announcing the SOA Consortium | CIO magazine Case Study Contest Winners

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[update on September 18, 2009 for my disclosures]

This morning, at the inaugural SOA | BPM Symposium in San Antonio Texas, we (the SOA Consortium) announced the winners of the 2009 SOA Consortium | CIO magazine case study contest.  As we've shared previously, the purpose of the contest was to highlight business success stories and lessons learned to provide proof points and insights for other organizations considering or pursuing SOA adoption.

To qualify, organizations must have solutions in production based on a SOA approach, which have demonstrated business results. We judged the submissions on business problem solved, value achieved, business and IT collaboration, usage of SOA technology and lessons learned.

And now, the winners...

We are pleased to announce that Cisco Systems' IT Organization is the overall winner of the 2009 contest.  Cisco successfully applied a SOA approach to their Commerce Transformation Initiative:

Cisco Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures and sells hardware, software and services to create Internet and networked based solutions. Cisco wanted to create a consistent, unified ordering experience for users of its online commerce applications. The "Commerce Transformation" initiative is based on SOA principles that have allowed Cisco IT to create a solid architectural and technology foundation for both existing and future application development. One of the first projects developed within the Commerce Transformation initiative was the Partner Deal Registration (PDR) application, since most of Cisco's revenues come through partner channels. Among the many benefits of this application, deal cycle time has been reduced by 50 percent. The Commerce Transformation initiative is already delivering scalable solutions, enhancing customers' experiences, and providing the partner ecosystem with secure access to business services like pricing, promotions and configuration tools. It also allows Cisco to more easily and cost-effectively support new business models and enter new markets.

In addition to the overall winner, we have three special recognition winners representing Energy/Utility, Regulatory, and Government sectors.

Special Recognition in Energy Utility: BlueStar Energy

BlueStar Energy is an independent retail electric supplier, certified to sell electricity in Illinois, Maryland and the District of Columbia. In addition, BlueStar provides green power and energy efficiency solutions to home and business customers. BlueStar sponsored an enterprise-wide SOA initiative to unite business and technology. BlueStar adopted a mature enterprise architecture (EA) called NextStar™ with the goal of streamlining and automating core business processes. The NexStar project has helped BlueStar grow 12,197% over five years and has contributed to $24 million in estimated savings over five years.

Special Recognition in Regulatory: Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA)

FINRA is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA's SOA project consolidated the New York Stock Exchange Member Regulation systems with the NASD Member Regulation systems. The size and complexity of the project, which involved combining large application portfolios and legacy business processes, required multiple teams in different locations working effectively in parallel to meet the aggressive schedule. Using an SOA approach enabled FINRA to deliver the project faster and reduced the risks inherent to large development teams. The business-centric service design and modularity of the SOA approach provides flexible deployment to support current business processes and to rapidly adapt to support future business process.

Special Recognition in Government: New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is responsible for the administration of the state's tax laws, including the administration of related local taxes, and the management of the State Treasury. The goal of the e-MPIRE project was to establish a 21st century government system and toolset. The planned business value of e-MPIRE was to eliminate the risks of having the core departmental systems on unsupported platforms, give the user a single interface into all systems and build agility to adapt to changing legislative and business requirements. The e-MPIRE project gave the department the ability to process high volumes of income tax returns and deliver refunds to taxpayers at a dramatically improved rate, with a near real time evaluation for fraud, up from 24 hours with the old system.

To learn more about the contest winners, please visit the contest center on the SOA Consortium website.  As well, keep an eye here for deeper excerpts and opportunities to meet the winners.


[Disclosures: The SOA Consortium is a client of my firm, Elemental Links. I was a contest judge.]

Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.

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