Today's announcement was a high-level description of how the company is repackaging and integrating its own products, and those of its recent acquisitions. It was also meant to demonstrate that both IBM's software products groups and its Global Services division are pulling in the same direction.
The 27 new or enhanced products, and 11 new services offerings are designed to present a unified picture of IBM and its SOA capabilities, according to Steve Mills, senior vice president of the IBM Software Group and Mike Daniels, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services, who led the announcement.
The aggressive presence of IBM Global Services (IGS) within the SOA effort might cause some disquiet within the channel; but resellers familiar with IBM's plans say IGS' role will be collaborative with channel companies, not competitive.
IBM has been working up to this repositioning for more than 18 months, according to analysts and resellers briefed on the announcements.
"Their initial launch was to talk about how IBM defines SOA and the five specific entry points it saw," said one source within the channel. "It was a pragmatic approach. The second was announcing their SOA reference architecture. This particular piece is to show that SOA is real, it's commercial, not just
IBM's current breakdown of the SOA process – at each step of which the channel will be invited to participate -- include:
The announcements are expected to run through Oct. 9 and to include the presentation of several major customer wins as well as to highlight the role of the channel in SOA implementations.
Among the specific announcements will bethe introduction of a new SOA certification program designed to endorse channel companies that have demonstrated commitment and expertise to IBM's SOA approach. The central product to the plan is the WebSphere Registry and Repository, a federated registry that provides a central control point for services running in multiple operating systems as well as the ability to track them through their development and reuse.
A new release of the WebSphere Business Modeler is also included, with new tooling designed to help customers analyze and model processes more effectively to make them more efficient.
Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) software is designed to make the process of managing a process more effective by giving customers better control of specific parts of both automated and manual processes. A new version of WebSphere Process server adds more workflow capabilities to help track human tasks more effectively as well.
IBM is also providing the Workplace Dashboard Framework, a series of reusable components designed to present process indicators in a way that will let business executives track the progress of the business and how close it is to meeting its goal.
It also added a host of software-management products that will ship as part of the Tivoli Monitoring Family; they include a database that monitors changes in identity or process files, a gateway to connect identity managers on different platforms, and the Tivoli Usage and Accounting manager to put time and cost numbers on processes, and Lotus Expeditor to link managed-services software traffic to mobile devices.