Microsoft Highlights “Real-World” Approach to SOA at SOA & Business Process Conference

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 4, 2006 — At the Microsoft SOA & Business Process Conference, Microsoft Corp. today highlighted customers that have successfully deployed service-oriented architecture (SOA) solutions by taking a “real-world” approach, and announced updated guidance and upcoming advances in its interoperability and technology road map to extend its commitment to “real-world” SOA solutions.

Today’s conference highlights some of the world’s largest and most successful SOA deployments, including those at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Dell Inc., CitiGroup and Sandvik. In addition, customers such as Clear Channel Communications Inc., HP and Jet Blue Airways joined more than 700 participating customers and industry partners to share best practices on achieving success with SOA by adopting an approach that focuses on the business problem at hand and strong architecture at the solution level. This “real-world” approach departs from the industry norm of applying a high-risk, heavy, “top-down” strategy to SOA implementations that starts with major enterprisewide infrastructure investments that often fail to show results in a relevant timeframe or offer a compelling return on investment. Instead, the “real-world” approach to SOA advocated by Microsoft and practiced in successful customer SOA deployments relies on achieving rapid success around a focused business problem, which can result in broader SOA implementations.

Recent independent surveys of CIOs from Goldman Sachs & Co.* and Merrill Lynch & Co.** show Microsoft leading in mindshare and customer preference with its approach to SOA. Goldman Sach’s IT spending survey placed Microsoft in a clear leadership position as the vendor of choice in assisting the “move to SOA/Web services.” Separately, Merrill Lynch’s recent survey of CIOs ranked Microsoft the “most important provider of Web services/SOA software (applications and infrastructure).”

“Real-World” SOA

Microsoft’s “real-world” approach to SOA was initiated more than seven years ago with the introduction of the .NET platform that continues to set the industry bar as the first native Web services-based platform built from the ground up. Further, the platform goes beyond service orientation to address capabilities such as federated data, identity and access, and integrated user experience across diverse applications, with guidance available on the MSDN® Architecture Center ( Coupled with a strong focus on interoperability through work with partners and standards bodies (such as the Web Services Interoperability Organization), Microsoft has additionally worked hard to support service-oriented approaches in heterogeneous environments.

“Microsoft understands that building enterprise architectures for technology’s sake doesn’t benefit customers with a need to solve business challenges with technology,” said Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink LLC. “SOA isn’t about finding a single infrastructure product that addresses all of your technology challenges, but instead about using architectural guidelines and practices to enable the creation and ongoing management of a new breed of agile applications. Microsoft and its customers are demonstrating great progress in this area and sharing their learnings at this week’s SOA & Business Process conference.”

Siemens AG is one example of a customer that has realized significant results from this approach to SOA implementation. During the past two years, the company has implemented a mission-critical infrastructure for SOA and business process management that enables its IT operational processes to support 400,000 employees worldwide. This has increased Siemens’ business productivity and reduced its deployment time of new processes by 83 percent.

“Contrary to industry hype around the need for large-scale architectures, Siemens AG is finding extreme value in a more incremental approach to SOA as advocated by Microsoft,” said Thomas Buse, section manager in Siemens ITO, Concepts and Processes at Siemens AG. “Through our Microsoft SOA implementation, we will implement over 400 new business processes with a frequency of four to eight new processes every six to 12 weeks, which allows us the agility to solve business problems and seize opportunities as we identify them.”

Upcoming Advancements

Microsoft today highlighted a road map of current and ongoing investments. This included new guidance on how to deliver Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) functionality to simplify and accelerate the development of service-oriented architectures. In addition, customers will be able to take advantage of IBM midrange and mainframe integration solutions via BizTalk Adapter for Host Systems, which will be shipped this calendar year in BizTalk® Server Enterprise and Standard editions, designed to help customers connect applications, data sources, messaging and security systems between IBM mainframe and mid-range systems and Microsoft® Windows® environments.

Microsoft also underscored upcoming advancements with Microsoft’s Office Business Application strategy, made possible by new platform capabilities in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. This further enables customers to realize the “real-world” value from their SOA implementations by enabling information workers to use the familiar Microsoft Office and SharePoint® Server environments for accessing services and interacting with business applications.

“Unlike enterprise infrastructure-centric approaches, Microsoft’s core technologies for ‘real-world’ SOA, including the .NET Framework 3.0, 2007 Microsoft Office System and BizTalk Server 2006, are poised to unlock ‘real-world’ value from existing assets in the enterprise, by bridging the world of structured and unstructured process,” said John deVadoss, director of Architecture Strategy at Microsoft. “Over the past half a decade we’ve seen that the biggest and most successful SOA deployments are by customers that have started small and have iteratively built broader success. Given the industry dialogue around large-scale SOA implementations not delivering the promised return, the goal of today’s conference is to share real-world customer references and the lessons learned with this approach to rapid time-to-value.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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