Blogging live from IMPACT last week was an interesting experience. It felt like taking photos at a party. Instead of being part of the party and interacting with other people, I was stuck behind the computer screen trying to think, type, edit and format all at once. It did not allow time for analysis. I've decided interactive podcasts are the way to go, so I caught up with Beth Smith, VP WebSphere Solutions and Tooling at IBM Software on Thursday. Beth has a long list of BPM announcements. Check it out below.
Listening to all the announcements Beth shared, and listening to Steve Mills last week telling 4000 customers that SOA is the answer to their business requirements for better business agility, one thing came through loud and clear. IBM totally gets SOA, and they are investing heavily in making their customers successful with new tools and services. Contrast that to HPs announcement last week that SOA is now ready for prime time (one announcement vs. entire corporate strategy). While that's good news, it is hardly at the level of IBM telling all it's customers that SOA is the answer and the path to business transformation.
I also compared Mill's remarks with what Microsoft has told me over the past year. Last June, they started a briefing by asking me if I agree that SOA is another buzz word and we're just about past it so Microsoft can sit this one out. I think my jaw dropped when I heard that. In my view SOA has been a known best architecture practice for two decades and the wide support of standards have finally lowered the risk of adoption. In other words it's a must have. When I last caught up with Steve Sloan of Microsoft last December he told me that Microsoft has not talked much about SOA and is "still getting the organization to line up behind use of term."
The breadth and depth of the SOA vision that IBM demonstrated truly impressed me. And now that I'm no longer blogging live, I can better appreciate the impact of IMPACT. I think Steve Mills, who has built up the software division to 40% of IBM profits, is really a rock star. He has the vision right and IBM is making the commitment and investment to ensure that their customers can succeed with SOA - through tools, services and industry solutions. I think it's exciting times in the industry when we can talk about vision and commitment instead of product features.
Listen to or download the entire podcast with Beth Smith below: