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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA on the Move

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Oracle's Dave Chappell has always done a great job of linking SOA efforts to measurable business results, and he recently posted an account of a busy online service that was able to integrate its widespread base of customer systems into a well-integrated service layer.

Move Inc., a growing online real estate provider, had what Oracle's Dave deemed a "tall order:" consolidating disparate applications across two business units into an enterprise CRM solution that could provide a single, accurate view of customer data to improve efficiencies and automate auditing, billing and fulfillment processes.

Move Inc. (formerly Homestore, Inc.) provides information on real estate property listings (homes and apartments), moving, home and garden and home finance through its network of online sites, which includes www.realtor.com, www.welcomewagon.com, and www.moving.com.

Tall order indeed. As Dave describes it, Move had systems and touchpoints all over the map. CRM applications were built on .NET, and there were numerous disparate systems and manual touchpoints built to support various business functions for CRM.

The company developed a SOA that focused on re-usability of services, with business processes were at least as efficient if not better than what the current systems offered. Using standard WSDL interfaces, Oracle BPEL PM and Oracle ESB were used to extend the reach and normalize the integration across Siebel CRM, PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management and other systems both internal and external

The consolidated customer database is intended to provide support for existing sales activities, order capture, integration with fulfillment systems, integration of customer usage from Web sites into Siebel, and integration to PeopleSoft Billing. The solution involves the use of BPEL, Web services, ESB Mediation, application adapters, and canonical data models.

The project took six months to implement and deploy, Dave reports -- actually, pretty good timing for such an effort. Move was able to achieve both quicker and real-time integration across these systems, and saw a reduction in cost of ownership on existing applications.

"It's always great to hear about successful adoption of SOA, and its particularly exciting when its being used for what you'd think," Dave remarked.

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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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