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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Acquisition Doubles Company's Size; SOA Smooths Transition

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There's been quite a bit of debate in the industry about whether SOA can deliver reasonable ROI within a reasonable timeframe. The consensus has been that it's going to take time, even years, for the benefits of SOA to take effect.

However, there are exceptions to every piece of accepted conventional wisdom. In the case of mergers and acquisitions, the payback from service-oriented architecture sometimes can be seen in a matter of months.

Tony Baer, who also an ebizQ contributor, has just posted this account at Manufacturing Business Technology, describing how a recent acquisition doubled Mohawk Fine Papers' manufacturing network doubled to six sites, and distribution network quadrupled to four warehouses.

From past experience, Mohawk's IT team knew how painful custom development and integration could be. As Paul Stamas, Mohawk's VP of IT, told Tony: "The biggest problem was managing all the interfaces. The failures in the previous integration were point-to-point connections that nobody owned." So Mohawk took a new tact -- SOA.

The company integrated its existing BPCS enterprise system with the Infor ShipLogix transportation management solution deployed recently to replace an older Logility application. And with a much larger production network, Mohawk also sought to tie BPCS into its Infor Datastream enterprise asset management system. (Note: BPCS was created and marketed by SSA Global, which was purchased by Infor in 2006. But just because a vendor is acquired doesn't make it any easier for a company to integrate the separate products.)

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In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more

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