Wednesday, February 13, 2008

5 things SOA vendors are missing, and 5 things customers need

(prompted by 5 things SOA Vendors are missing)

This item is refreshing direct and points out that SOA is an architecture (a complex distributed architecture, leveraging many of the traditional EA concepts) and or a meta an architectural pattern. What is needed are products that are elements in an SOA, not products that in and of themselves aim "to be" the SOA. It says to Vendors:
1. Make sure your product works.
2. Make sure you know what SOA is - most who sell SOA technology don't understand the first thing about SOA and typically play "buzzword bingo" reciting terms e.g. agility, reuse
3. Get wise about the approach to SOA - how should each customer approach SOA.
4. Don't sell yourself as "one stop SOA shopping." - in reality, nobody is a one-stop SOA shop.
5. Consider the future - Architectures are journeys, not projects. You need to think long term when you work with a customer and a customer's architecture inserting yourself at key points in the process

What Customer need is people who:
1. Know how to make the product works. Or at least can confirm they don't work, or they are not working as they are meant to. This usually comes from someone who has worked with a number of products of each class.
2. Know what SOA is - often these will be people whose goal is not to sell a particular technology and rather focus on what the business aims to achieve.
3. Are wise about the approach to SOA - and know how to engage with customers at many different stages (before they need a product set, when they do need and are selecting a product set, when they have a product set).
4. Know "one stop SOA shopping." - doesn't make sense, and at it worst ends up in the customer being captured by the vendor (which is most vendors' goal)
5. Can consider the future - will be around for the journey, and are able to think long term when looking at a customer's and a customer's architecture.

It is staggering to think that Customer's would look to the major product vendors and outsourcers for independent advice in this area.

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