John Crupi, CTO of the Enterprise Web Service Practice at Sun Microsystems, has hit the nail right on the head when looking ahead on how SOA will change we put together our businesses.
In a recent post, [link fixed] Crupi examines the rise of the "composite company," which essentially will be a collection of services drawn from other enterprises. Amazon is a prime example of how a composite company will deliver value tot he marketplace: "A few years ago I did a search for a product on Amazon.com and it showed me the same product from partners at a lower cost than Amazon.com was offering. I thought I found a bug and tried it again. Same thing happened. Amazon.com was revealing partner products at lower prices on the same page as their higher price. From the periphery, this made little business sense. But, thinking about it, it become genius."
In essence, Crupi observes, "Amazon.com had begun treating Amazon.com the Website and its partners as close equivalents." Even more significant was the fact that "Amazon.com's commerce engine was actually separated from Amazon.com the Website. Their business model changes from selling products on Amazon.com to generating revenue from their commerce engine."
This is the ultimate value of SOA, Crupi points out. "Imagine the opportunity when companies such as AOL, Google, eBay, etc all open up their services and have a uniform identity scheme. The types of Composite Companies who aggregate and provide a service on top of these rich services will provide services not available today. It's mind-boggling to think what will happen when businesses provide SOA services as their core competency and Composite Companies begin to arrive."
At an operational level, we will assemble and disassemble composite services as they are needed for changing business processes. At a higher level, we may be doing the same with organizations.