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The enterprise SOA ‘PowerPoint’ continuum

Moving from an end user Organisation to working within the SAP Organisation has opened my eyes to many issues affecting end user and product developers alike  This is the first of three blogs focused on moving from a good idea presented in PowerPoint, to the reality of a running service that delivers value – but also creates costs in terms of design, testing, deployment and support.  This installment is focused on what will enable you, the Business Process Expert engage with your colleagues in the business and also in IT.  So: you think you have a cunning plan to alleviate a current hot-spot in your business?  How do you get this from the PowerPoint deck that you have invariably created into a deployed process based on real services available to call within your service infrastructure???  And yes, I am assuming several key factors: by virtue of the fact it is an unsolved problem,   1.the problem you have identified is a real problem: i.e.  – it is creating additional quantified costs,  – it can deliver quantified savings if it is ‘fixed’,  – you have no cost effective way to ‘fix’ the process problem from your existing approach to IT implementation  2. You have brought to bear your process expertise and identified key process owners & roles that interact with the process  – A start point that has proved successful for many companies is to carry out an ‘Enterprise SOA roadmap’ with SAP to create, amongst many other thngs, a map between your process and the candidate list of services.  image 3.You have considered and documented the system boundaries that are in place within your candidate process and its runtime  – e.g. an existing business units ERP instance  Now you can move into the realms of reality…  As the major output from this exercise you have identified some candidate services from the ES workplace that are available  the index of available Enterprise services can be found here:  You can then develop the mapping between the business strategy, the business process you are ‘fixing’, the technology components needed and the effort required to deliver the new process – ‘Effort’ ensures meaningful discussion with the ‘build’ and ‘run’ IT teams.  Now all it takes is to gain agreement that it is worth developing a solution that delivers benefit to the business process user community and not just adds to the mix of existing IT projects.when selling this, it is worth remembering the position of IT in an organisation.. image After reading this blog several questions may appear such as: – What can I do with my existing landscape? – How do we up-skill to use the tools to use these services? – Do I need to create a whole new set of development environments to get this up and running?  The answer to all of these will be in the next installment that will discuss the tools (Aris, Solution Manager, Discovery Server, Enterprise Service packages) which are currently available to create, call and interact with.  Next installment in three weeks..
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