Profit from I.T. is The Invisible Value of SOA


TORONTO, ON, Canada -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/25/2006 -- Advantage Global Communications today announced that Joanne Friedman, CEO of ConneKted Minds Inc. a leading technology strategy company, will chair its upcoming conference, “Profit from I.T.: The Invisible Value of Service Oriented Architecture.”

Speaking to a select group of business and technology leaders at the conference kickoff last week, Ms. Friedman (a former Meta Group VP) underscored the need for companies to incorporate SOA into strategic planning efforts. “SOA is not just another technology project,” said Friedman, “it’s a unified business-technology paradigm that is far more about creating a new kind of enterprise wide information architecture and operating style, than a collection of technology tools.”

Punctuating her keynote on the state of SOA with key findings from ConneKted Minds Q3’05 study, she told the audience of enterprise architects and technology marketers that more than 60% of the F1000 executives participating in the firm’s study still see SOA “as a technology solution in dire need of a business problem.”

While the comment spawned numerous questions from the live and on-line audience, Ms. Friedman said, “As a company we hear far more ‘how do we connect-the-dots’ questions from business leaders, than we do from I.T. organizations. I.T. works from a pre-existing condition—whether it’s business process integration or EAI, they know how to connect the data dots and compose a web service. Business, on the other hand needs a goal, an objective and a revenue target for SOA to have any value.”

Friedman concluded her comments by saying, “Our findings suggest there’s a real need for companies to clearly articulate the link between the technical elements of SOA, and using SOA to create differentiable value. That’s the root of the value gap, and we believe the cause of what is lower and slower than anticipated adoption.

The bottom line is that today, management’s focus on revenue, growth and improved corporate responsiveness and business and technology professionals must look at SOA through a far more strategic lens and not a rose colored one.”

“That’s exactly why this conference is needed,” said Greg Angelos, CEO of Advantage Global Communications, the conference producer. “There are tons of events that focus on SOA and web services technology, but very few, if any, that create the business context or help the enterprise learn how to optimize the value of the technology from a strategic business perspective.”

As Angelos and Friedman outlined the conference agenda, Angelos said, “A lot of our thinking came directly from our experience with enterprises who want a balanced view of SOA and a context based approach.” Angelos says AGC’s experience with SOA is somewhat reminiscent of the CPI and Continuous Value Improvement programs of the 90’s. “Today, our clients don’t want a topical conference that doesn’t include an SOA element-- most want an SOA executive workshop tailored around a specific business initiative,” said Angelos.

“The two-day event which begins May 31st 2006, in Chicago, is designed to mirror a company’s SOA decision process” said Angelos. “It starts with strategy and will end with my execution,” he quipped as he pointed at Ms Friedman.

Alluding to fact that thought leadership on technology and technology strategy for AGC’s “Profit from I.T.” conference series comes from ConneKted Minds, Ms. Friedman responded by signing “LOL” and reminded Angelos that the launch event was being simulcast. “They’re not only international, and light years ahead of their competition, they’re multi-lingual. Likely that’s why our customers demand we use them,” said Angelos who later admitted he doesn’t read sign language.”

Friedman said the conference tracks will enable attendees to follow the SOA adoption decision process that spans strategy, business-technology architecture, implementation road mapping and of course lessons learned on execution strategies. Our goal said Angelos is to ensure that sessions create a cohesive picture for business and technology professionals and emphasized that that issues such as multi-tier compliance and supply chain management are just a couple of the hot topics where there are bi-furcated challenges.

Offering a strong connection between SOA, business value and measurements the conference will enable users to leverage methods and metrics they learn after the fact. “It’s a unique opportunity for business and I.T. professionals to get information without getting it in a vacuum,” said Angelos.

“Business context, methods and measures are critical elements in the SOA discussion,” said Maurizio Fenn, CEO of CrossZ Solutions, makers of QueryObject.

Welcomed by Angelos as the first conference sponsor, the European provider of business intelligence tools said, “Our telecomm and retail customers like Telecom Italia and SMA see a tremendous decrease in time to value by looking past the stovepipes of data they are trying to analyze and focusing more on creating the composite information needed to drive order to cash cycles, inventory and cash flow.”

Fenn says he believes SOA can help companies cherry pick information and focus on those areas that will support a specific set of business goals. “This strategy to execution approach is something all technology providers can use to help our customers understand how SOA fits and how they can use our products more effectively. For CrossZ, SOA together with this kind of environment helps put BI into the hands of decision makers across the enterprise and fits very well with our Business Information Management approach.

In his conclusion, Angelos described the “Profit from I.T.” conference series as a continuum approach designed to help technology providers extend their reach beyond traditional marketing programs.

“With an unclear SOA definition, your messages are already diluted before they can really gain a foothold in the market,” said Angelos. “The Profit from I.T. series represents the holistic approach that the business of technology needs to help fit the marketing of SOA focused products into their corporate marketing programs more cohesively.”

“Look at the person seated next to you,” said Friedman, “he or she should may be a CIO, an enterprise architect, a business professional with a vested interest in SOA adoption. We started this meeting with strategy; we took you through the conference’s architecture and gave you a high level road map for implementing increased responsiveness and revenue. While nobody, was executed, we used the ‘Invisible Value of SOA’ launch to create the synergy for a converged business and technology ecosystem.”

For savvy companies “Profit from I.T.: The Invisible Value of SOA” conference is the opportunity to participate in a learning continuum. Validate your thinking about SOA with independent research, and pre-and post conference networking opportunities at