SOA Insights analysts delve into SOA Consortium's advocacy objectives with OMG CEO Richard Soley

OMG began the consortium with bevy of heavy-hitting companies -- Avis, Bank of America, CellExchange, WebEx, BEA, Cisco, IBM, SAP, HP and Wells Fargo -- and has grown already. The consortium, separate from OMG, is tasked with creating a community around SOA, and is not a standards group. "We strongly believe that SOA isn’t a technology at all, but rather an approach to achieve business agility. It’s not a technology, but rather a business strategy, says Soley.

Read a full transcript of the discussion.

When the hype curve descends, advocacy takes over. And so it is with the SOA Consortium, formed earlier this year to establish SOA as a business productivity benefit and to glean proven adoption paths and proof-points from primarily end-users and enterprises. The advocacy group's approach combines input from enterprises and vendors to promote the business strategy value for services oriented architecture (SOA).

Join noted IT analysts Joe McKendrick, Tony Baer, and Jim Kobielus for our podcast discussion on the goals and opportunities for the SOA Consortium with Dr. Richard Soley, the chairman and CEO of the Object Management Group (OMG) and also executive director of the consortium. I'll be your host.

In June, SOA Consortium will begin holding quarterly CIO Summits with a small number of CIOs and CTOs from government agencies, large corporations, as well as non-governmental organizations.

OMG began the consortium with bevy of heavy-hitting companies -- Avis, Bank of America, CellExchange, WebEx, BEA, Cisco, IBM, SAP, HP and Wells Fargo -- and has grown already. The consortium, separate from OMG, is tasked with creating a community around SOA, and is not a standards group. "We strongly believe that SOA isn’t a technology at all, but rather an approach to achieve business agility. It’s not a technology, but rather a business strategy, says Soley.

Here are some additional excerpts:

Our SOA group at OMG has been focused on modeling SOA, modeling for software assurance, and modeling for software producibility, and so forth. At the other end of the spectrum, you have organizations like W3C and OASIS that are doing a great job designing the protocols and languages at the pipe level -- how do we connect the systems together?

That hasn’t been our primary focus in over a decade. So we are not in that space. The advocacy group is exactly that -- it’s an advocacy group. How do we help the CIO? And, we call this "Corner Office SOA." How do we help the CIO get the news across to the rest of the C-suite that this is not a technology but a business strategy, and a business strategy that can deliver agility and a better bottom line?

[Also] ... How do we help the enterprise architect, the domain architect, the data architect get the word across to his alter ego in the line of business that this is a business strategy and not a technology and it’s something he needs to pay attention to?

We are currently running 3-to-1 end-users to vendors, and that’s because the focus is on this advocacy activity. It’s not on whose SOA infrastructure we should buy and "Our Web service is cool," or any of those questions. I am guessing that we are actually going to be more like 5-to-1 or 10-to-1 end-users to vendors eventually.

IT has traditionally focused in most organizations on what are the right tools to achieve what lines of business are telling us we need to achieve. Sure, there are going to be tools and there are going to be technologies and there are going to be frameworks to help you implement the SOA strategy, but it’s the other way around. It’s "What is it we need to achieve?" And, what we need to achieve is fairly easy to explain, right? What we need to achieve is capturing business processes, so that we can find them, so that we can make them more efficient, and so that we can reuse them -- and this is nothing new.

What’s new here is the message that we are not just talking about workflow. We are not just talking about processes that can be automated. We are talking about any of the processes, especially customer-facing, but any value-chain processes within the organization that we might want to reuse.

Listen to the entire podcast, or read the full transcript for more IT analysis and SOA insights. Produced as a courtesy of Interarbor Solutions: analysis, consulting and rich new-media content production.