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Duke Wins 'SOA Case Study Competition'


IBM announced that Duke University is the winner of the company’s third annual "SOA Case Study Competition." The 24-hour competition challenged MBA students from Duke University Fuqua School of Business and the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School to develop a unique business and marketing strategy that is based on a case study. First, second and third place winners of the competition receive an honorarium and first place winners have the opportunity to interview for positions at IBM.

ebizQ received the following:

This year’s competition presented 60 MBA students – divided into 15 teams of four – with the challenge of creating a strategy and marketing plan that would articulate the business value of service oriented architecture (SOA) to executives and line of business managers.

While many of today’s information technology (IT) professionals are entrenched in various stages of an SOA, business leaders are not often fully versed in the underpinnings of an SOA. However, every department leader and executive in the organization can relate to the business benefits that an SOA can deliver such as cost savings, competitive advantage and higher productivity. These three key themes were weaved throughout the student presentations.

“We created this year’s challenge in response to the growing demand for SOA and the need to prepare the next generation of leaders for the inevitable business conversations they will have around SOA,” said Sandy Carter, vice president of SOA and WebSphere strategy, channels and marketing, IBM. “We were very impressed with all of the presentations and are excited by the opportunity to create career paths and foster relationships with graduates of the nation’s leading business schools.”

The competition was held on January 19-20 at Duke University and the panel of judges consisted of business school professors and IBM leaders. The teams worked tirelessly on their proposals invoking creativity that used elements such as a Rubik’s Cube as well as the basis for a new executive video game to illustrate the business benefits of SOA.

The winning team from Duke University was chosen for its combination of in-depth market analysis, creativity, and the thoroughness of its proposal. The team used an emotional appeal for business executives with a theme that SOA helps you with ‘the problems you don’t even know you have.’ IBM expects to extend offers to students by mid February.

The annual SOA Case Study Competition is part of IBM's Academic Initiative. The IBM Academic Initiative includes a network of 1,900 universities worldwide. Today, nearly 400 Business Integration courses, which leverage fundamental SOA techniques, are being taught worldwide at 145 different institutions.

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