Posts Tagged ‘Smarter Planet’

Is marketing like maths?

October 1, 2009

I was just reading my colleague Ben Mann’s latest blog entry on the need to tinker with presentations etc. and I am very much the same. No document or presentation is ever done or finished. There is always some way to improve it, to make it sing, to have a clearer message. I have been feeling this more and more this summer as I have been building new presentations to align WebSphere Connectivity with Industry solutions – something IBM’s Smarter Planet approach has been doing for our complete set of offerings.

At times it has been tough going trying to tell the story, but then things drop into place. Sometimes it doesn’t require much change to make everything work. And mostly it seems to come down to one common answer. If you are telling the right message, the right story, it should be clear and simple. Telling it, building it, explaining it should all work. And trying to change it, improve it, should be difficult. Just as A-level Maths had you work out proofs for formula, and it would all work out neatly, or you knew you had done it wrong. If we can’t tell a compelling story in marketing, then we probably need to change our approach if not what we are trying to say. If marketing is done right, it should be obvious and we shouldn’t feel the need to change it.To some extent I think that is why SOA has been successful. SOA is actually a simple idea. People had already been doing it for years. Just formalizing it, and calling it SOA allowed everyone to agree, and now of course it is accepted, and has won the argument to all intents and purposes. Also it was probably the reason WebSphere MQ was successful. It was a simple idea, simply executed, allowing for a simple message…2+2=4 if you like.

So am I there yet with my latest marketing…not quite…but I think I have the basis for the proof, now I just need to follow it through, and show my working in my neatest handwriting. Fingers crossed for a good grade!


Tough Questions on ESBs from ESBCON8

August 27, 2009

So it has been a week since ESBCON8 went out. You can still register and listen to it here – I think you will find it worth the time. All three CTOs had a lot of interesting points to make – Although clearly the solo presentations are a core part of ESBCON, the section I enjoyed listening to the most is the “5 Tough Questions”. This head-to-head section covers a lot of different points and you get to hear a more impromptu set of answers. Lets review the first of the 5 Tough Questions from the event this time:

Question 1:Gartner recently released a study that says 70% of all enterprise SOA starts with ESBs. What do your customers find are the most popular reasons for using ESBs as a foundation technology?

Perhaps the most fundamental question for an audience interested in ESBs…The discussion today of SOA seems to be in a state of transition. Is SOA dead? Absolutely not. If anything the discussion has moved on from SOA, in the same way it moved on from the frenzy of discussion around ESBs in the last couple of years because there is no point to a discussion over whether SOA is useful or important. The answer is obvious and everywhere. SOA is now assumed – the question is what’s next?

IBM is already telling this story of what’s next – with Smarter Planet and Smart Work, all building on the solid foundation of robust reliable and agile business and IT alignment provided by SOA, with an ESB at the heart of the infrastructure. This is the reasons so many projects have an ESB as their starting point, is that an ESB is a fundamental, essential component for the infrastructure to whatever project you are looking to implement, so starting with this is a given, especially as so many parts of the business can make use of it, thus increasing time-to-value.

If projects don’t start with an ESB, they are likely to start with a Registry/Repository, trying to put SOA Governance in place before too many services escape into the wild. SOA does offer business the ability to see and respond better to events, but also provides the capability for just as much chaos as exists in architectures already.

So – SOA isn’t dead, and an ESB is fairly clearly an obvious place to start in enhancing your business infrastructure – putting in place the ability for you to Work Smart for a Smarter Planet.

I will take a look at the other Tough Questions shortly. And I am sure I will come back to Smarter Planet and Smart Work