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IBM Upgrades SOA, Mashes BPM with Google, Tries to Quantify Agility

IBM has launched several new SOA products, all aimed at the top of the stack. They include an upgrade to its BPM (business process management) suite that
incorporates mashups with Google maps; new dashboards intended to measure agility; and new industry-specific content packs containing prebuilt SOA apps aimed at banking, telecom, healthcare and insurance.

The most ambitious part of the announcement is the KAI (Key Agility
Index), which attempts to change agility from a buzzword to a
quantifiable metric. The plan is for different KAIs to measure agility
in different areas, with the first one focused on the supply chain. The
KAI is calculated using an IBM wizard, and graded on a curve relative to
IBM's experience with other customers in similar industries. Because of
IBM's large consulting base, this could be hard for competitors to emulate.

The industry-specific applications are an extension of industry-specific
roadmaps that IBM published earlier this year, aimed at showing
customers how SOA could benefit their particular businesses. It's hard
to fault IBM for focusing on those: That's where most of the current SOA
customer base is concentrated, so keeping them happy is important. And
because IBM and its partners have already developed the apps, reusing
them in multiple customers is a sensible strategy. But potential
customers in other industries may feel neglected, and see less incentive
to embrace IBM's vision of SOA.

The new BPM software includes Ajax dashboards and mashups that can
present geographical information with Google maps. These will clearly
help IBM customers bridge the gap between rich Internet applications and
SOA---different technologies that should be natural complements to
each other. They also fit in with IBM's strategy of targeting
nontechnical users.

bulletSoftware AG Launches New webMethods Suite for SOA, BPM
Announcements Further Cement BEA's SOA Position
At its customer conference, BEA Systems announces multiple new products and partnerships along with a long-term strategy to better integrate back-end SOA and front-end Web 2.0.