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What industry vertical has seen the most SOA activity so far?

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Joe McKendrick: What industry vertical has seen the most SOA activity so far?  If so, why?

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  • SOA is seeing adoption in practically every industry. If I had to pick, the Telecom industry has been very aggressive in adopting SOA because it addresses fundamental business issues they face.

    For telecos, ability to compete is greatly impacted by ability to launch new products, pricing and packaging quickly. Ability to compete also depends on ability to provide customer service across product lines and via multiple channels. SOA offers significant business advantage to telcos by surfacing repeatable business capabilities from disparate systems. They can be combined and used in different contexts. So websites and other channels that offer promotions, bundles etc. can be changed faster. Orders and payments can accepted via multiple channels while providing a consistent customer experience. And since these capabilities can cut across system and org boundaries, it becomes easier to provide things like a single bill for cell, internet and cable.

  • In terms of the sheer volume of activity and size of IT spend devoted toward acquisitions and SOA-style integrations, undoubtedly Financial companies lead (especially if you include Insurance in that grouping).

    But for the past 4 years I nominate that the Federal/Defense sectors have really been "getting busiest" with SOA, as in a sense they are ideally configured to decide on a federated architectural model and design to that in very deliberate way.

  • I agree with Jingesh Shah that the Telco industry is the most active vertical. I am aware of successful SOA implementations in this vertical. The most impressive is British Telecom.
    Some important reasons for aggresive SOA adoption in the Telco are:
    1. The Business model of Traditional Telco services providers is changing due to: Voice over IP, new competitors (Cellular service providers ,Skype and other internet phone calls providers etc.), a need for Unified Communication including Voice, Video and text and more emphasis on Content services.
    In order to support frequent Software changes a Agile Service Orineted architecture is a must
    2. THe new Telco companies are relatively new companies, therefore they use more often modern Operating Systems (Linux, Windows) and modern Application Development Environmnets (e.g. JEE .Net, PHP) and Web based solution. Financial sector organizations and Tradiotional Telco companies systems are more frequently based on Mainframes and COBOL. Implementing SOA is easier for users of newer modern technologies based systems than for Legacy based older systems.

    As mentioned by John Michelsen, SOA adotion rate in the Financial sector is also high.
    The drivers for Insurance companies are the ability to Reuse Services in Multiple Business Lines and the ability to use effectively Rule Based Engines.
    SOA usage in Banking is accelerated by Multi-Channel usage ,Self-Service Channels usage in particular, of Mainframe Services as well as other platforms based Services. Reuse across Multiple Business Lines is another SOA Value Proposition in baking is service Reuse in Multiple Business Lines

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