Reasons & Examples of Enterprise SOA Adoption
Recently I was with colleagues from an analyst firm. They elaborated the trends in SOA adoption across Europe and Americas. One of the key points was the industry wise adoption rate. Financial services especially Insurance & big banks is leading in adopting SOA followed by Manufacturing, transportation, retail and Hi-tech.
I thought it is worth considering some of the reasons or drivers behind the SOA adoption for some of these industries with real life examples
1. Integration with business partners
One of the key reasons for SOA/eSOA adoption is flexible integration with various stake holders such as customers, suppliers and other partners. Here is an example of an organization in travel & hospitality domain planning to go for an IT transformation with SAP solutions. This organization manages holiday properties and has web based customer booking in place. There are different bundled services along with the holiday property such as selling travel insurance, rental of camping gear and booking ferry. For these bundled offerings, this organization has interfaces with insurance companies, camp gear rental companies & ferry operators. There are more than 15 business partners in these categories. Point to point integration is complex & challenging. This organization has started to build SOA based integration with business partners for serving the customers better.
2. Integration of Legacy Applications
Another organization from engineering industry is undergoing an SAP ERP 6.0 based IT landscape harmonization. In one of the unit harmonization exercise was stalled due to differences over how to treat two key legacy applications. One was for scheduling which uses Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC) approach and another one for managing the product variants and configurations. Harmonization evangelists proposed to raze down both the applications, but business was hesitant as these two are serving the needs of the organization pretty well and the huge efforts required in change management. An SOA based solution was considered for resolving this. A composite process linking SAP ERP 6.0 and TOC based scheduling was modeled and implemented using SAP Composition tools. Another composite application was build for managing the product configuration variants with legacy application and SAP ERP (integrated to sales, engineering and manufacturing)
3. New Functionalities
A semi-conductor company wanted to improve its quote management process and zeroed down on SAP CRM. But another key requirement was an affordable price optimization solution. More over creation of quote needs to be extended to the mobiles/ PDAs for its sales executives. An affordable third party quote price optimization solution was identified. Integration seemed to become a key issue. A composite quote management process was created drawing services from SAP CRM (Custom developed Services) and the price optimization product. Work is still going on for extending the solutions to mobile.
All these scenarios sound as if they are from a marketing presentation. I used to skeptical about the tall claims, but now I started believing in what Enterprise SOA can bring in.
There may be many other reasons for companies to experiment with and in turn adopt Enterprise SOA, but it is sure that progresses are made in the right direction.
In the coming blogs, let’s examine the organizational readiness for Enterprise SOA