Getting ready to The Internet of Things

“If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain”. Morpheus, The Matrix.

Internet of What

IoT-net

Nowadays hottest technology trends in IT and computing are big data, mobility, artificial intelligence, wearable computing, and apparently  Internet of Things. Those are buzzwords. What is IoT (Internet of Things) anyway? Is it about more devices with internet access? Smart networks? Smart homes? The Matrix?

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Enterprise IT Architecture: Goals, Trends and Perspectives

There was some period without posting, it  means that better materials was aggregated. Together with our CTO Serhiy Kharytonov, we composed article on EA trends and perspectives with relation with our current projects and industry insights and it was just published on sandhill.com.

An IT department manager’s primary responsibility is to satisfy and respond to the needs of the business. For many IT managers, responding to evolving needs is the challenging part, with 90 percent or more of their department’s time spent reacting to current situations and merely 10 percent of staff time allocated to innovative activities that may lead to new business opportunities. For example, interest and growth in the use of mobile devices and mobile application platforms allows greater flexibility in a workforce that may result in greater productivity and profitability, but developing such solutions takes considerable IT resources. Unfortunately, many managers can’t dedicate staff to investigate, design and implement new technologies and applications to support mobile workers.

Read the full article called Enterprise IT Architecture: Goals, Trends and Perspectives on sandhill.com.


IRMUK EA and BPM Conference Highlights (London 2012)

I’ve just returned from IRM UK Enterprise Architecture and Business Process Management conference in London. There are 3 full days loaded with insights, good practices, advises and collaboration. Some highlights I would like to share here. Read the rest of this entry »


Beyond Excel Era

Excel Era continues. For many organizations (or at least part of their processes) Excel Era will never end. Not because these organizations are ignoring  technological revolution but due to nature of processes. Excel is excellent tool for extremely flexible businesses functions. In finance, Excel will be often-used tool for long time. It is always faster to type dozen of formulas into Excel, then go through request-develop-build-test-deploy process. Automation is important and effective for processes which could be formalized, business rules management (BRM) is emerging to address agility in changes, but there always will be calculation documents somewhere. Read the rest of this entry »


BPEL will not survive, long live BPMN

Note: the article depicts my personal view on role of BPEL in evolution of SOA and BPM. 

BPEL is for Business Process Execution Language, one of approved OASIS standards almost 10 years ago. It was promising standard for executable business processes in process automation at that time. Now future of BPEL is under question.

BPEL is applicable for 2 areas: services composition (ESB) and process orchestration (BPM). For ESB, it is usualy easier to use either 3rd gen languages like Java or C#, or, use ESB capabilities which usually are not BPEL based. For instance, TIBCO ESB – BusinessWorks use proprietary modeling notation for ESB/SOA, and BPEL support is optional plugin. Oracle ESB supports BPEL, though it also may be implemented w/o BPEL. Read the rest of this entry »


IBM Impact 2012 – Final 2 days

This year I visit one of most promised enterprise IT conferences in Las Vegas – IBM Impact. There are my impressions and take-aways from world-wide IT industry hardware, software and IT consulting monster – IBM.

This is wrap up of final 2 days.

Business Process Optimization. Is always possible if you know your goals. The ways include task flow optimization (reduce round trips, cycles, collect more information from one task), task time optimization, end-to-end scenario optimization, optimization for throughput. The human services and automated services interfaces have huge difference and should be designed in different ways. For example, human service requires a lot of denormalized information to be passed, while automated activity need only valuable information for algorithm-based decisions. Big difference in error handling (for human service errors are passed to user, for automated should be handled via policy, with retries and recovering). Optimistic (human) vs. pessimistic locking (automated).  Response time – for human interfaces is critical for UX, for automated activities response may be longer, but throughput is more important.

Optimization could take place w/o automation, though automation enable new horizons such as better visibility onto task progress, no chance for task to be lost, process intelligence and activity monitoring. Without optimization measurement are very difficult if not impossible. Finally, 20% of optimization should be applied in green-field (before-production) and 80% using production process analytics (“brown field” optimization).

ECM and BPM integration. So far it works one-way: BPM interfaces may display list of documents or document internals as well as manipulate those documents via automated activities. Great news that common interfaces to ECM are standardized via CMIS standard, approved at May 2011 and currently supported by major vendors (Microsoft, Alfresco, IBM, Oracle). No process triggering from ECM (though it’s possible via just web service call).

BPM in Healthcare. Sample case study from Ottawa Hospital proved that healthcare processes could be dramatically optimized with  use of BPM and mobile iPad interfaces. But this require not just one project, but several-years mobility strategy. iPad is now one of the way to better engage doctor and patient via sharing info on the screen, but initially it got a lot of resistance from doctors who did not want to carry such bulk devices in their pockets (now pockets are bigger).

Oracle vs IBM – series of talks, on how IBM outperforms Oracle dramatically (Oracle claims same but vice versa). I personally believe that WLS vs. WAS is question of company expertise in any of these and available other products from one of companies. Regarding Exalogic and PureSystem – IBM PureSystem is just released, and Oracle will add same features soon, I believe. For BPM portfolio IBM outperforms Oracle, especially with new IBPM 8.5. But in DB space Oracle definitely rocks over DB2.

Mobile security – again confirmed that this is strong trend, much stronger than development of mobile apps (which is comodized already).

And generally, the event was great chance to network with tons of experts and IBM customers.


IBM Impact 2012 – Day 3

This year I visit one of most promised enterprise IT conferences in Las Vegas – IBM Impact. There are my impressions and take-aways from world-wide IT industry hardware, software and IT consulting monster – IBM.

Day 3 is more impacting then previous.

Keynote – social, extended enterprise, gamefication. From keynote interesting talks about bigsheets application, analysis of 900,000 tweets by student in 1 night, and awesome talk by Jane McGonigal about Gamefication – one of emerging trends of this century. 1.3 billion players of angry birds – what if this power could do something more than just kicking birds? Gaming produce positive emotions. Kids that play video games are 40% smarter (but are there side effects?). Mass thumb wrestling proves the point about positive emotions.

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IBM Impact 2012 – Day 2

This year I visit one of most promised enterprise IT conferences in Las Vegas – IBM Impact. There are my impressions and take-aways from world-wide IT industry hardware, software and IT consulting monster – IBM.

Day 2 impressed by MasterCard keynote, 130 msec average transaction time and other big numbers. Also cool video from MC about future of retail payments. Healthcare moving to mobility, as we all already know. Again, for BPM, Phil Gilbert performed excellent demo of new IBPM v8, and mentioned 700 people in R&D for IBPM and BPM as future for next 30-40 years (I guess, 20, then something new). What is good – that IBM takes care about UX and new UI looks much better. No long trees – instead stream, timeline and search. No awkward tables – instead lists and inline completion. Mobile App for generic purpose BPM and REST API for the rest (when you need custom UI and mobile features).

I took hands-on lab session for BPM and was surprised – it seem to be well designed. Simulation and debugging capabilities – what I miss a lot with Oracle.

Discovered that a lot of stuff is already published in redbook From Project to Program with IBM Business Process Manager. And a lot of presenters even used images from the book as slides. There is also 4-hours trial sandbox access for exercising.

Human interface development in IBPM reminded me lectures about ASP.NET, MVC and other stuff… Data objects, data binding, events, methods, variables – everything this remains, but with process orientation and enterprise scale. Good abstraction and multiple views to same model could really allow IT and business communicate via BPMN models.

BPM dream team – BPM Solution Architect, BA and developers (plus part-time PM and admin). Analytic role is lowered, and  good BPM software is produced in pairs of BA+DEV, facilitated by Solution Architect. Regarding if same people who do traditional software could do BPM project – they need to be business focused. Techie (deep technology geek), loner (works alone) or “yes man” are bad candidates for dream team (though could do further routine work).

There are 2.5 more days. Stay tuned.


IBM Impact 2012 – Day 1

This year I visit one of most promised enterprise IT conferences in Las Vegas – IBM Impact. There are my impressions and take-aways from world-wide IT industry hardware, software and IT consulting monster – IBM.

The Awesomes. 8,500 people around, one of most fabulous places in the world – The Venetian hotel & casino, and what is most important – majority (85%) of sessions are held by IBM customers – in form of case studies and best practices. Not many companies can do such format. Also good news are that there are no surprises – my experience with current IT trends and technologies was just confirmed and deeped.

The so-so good. Logistics could be better – for first time visitors simple hotel name is not enough. It took me almost 30 minutes to find conference registration in such a huge area. Second thing – visualization of presentation materials could be better – slides with tons of text remind me famous “death by powerpoint”.

Highlights and Take-aways. 

The major tagline that I like is “IT used to support business, now IT drives the business”. The keynote start by Walter Isaacson was impressive. Steve’s message “don’t be afraid, you can do it”. Einstein curiosity to compass and magnetic fields. Franklin and his passion in investigating Golfstream.

Next series of “case studies” was a little too-marketing. Whirlpool, Ireland Marine, Huntington National Bank, all speakers presented good stuff, but nothing to remember in particular. I respect 100-years old company Whirlpool and use their devices at home, but “made in US for americans” seem to be just to bring more customers. Interesting story from Bank about moving from Oracle WebLogic to IBM WebSphere on zLinux as 70% faster and more reliable. And new WebSphere uptime in 5 seconds and 50 mbytes footprint sounds awesome.

Then hardware 0- IBM PureSystem – reminds me of mainframe and “small people and big computer” times. The competitive solution to Oracle Exalogic and similar. Have SDK to develop “pure apps” and is more PaaS than pure IaaS. 4 hours to set up and run sounds great, but what is the chance that pre-configured apps fit enterprise needs? Read the rest of this entry »


Task flows in Intalio

In one of previous posts I depicted the main features of process-driven-task-based systems. I would like to back up thoughts by modern BPMS systems and discuss how do they support common sense.

Intalio is considered the best (or one of the best) open source BPMS. For instance, this comparison highlights slight outperforming of Intalio over jBPM. Intalio offers free version, which can be considered by small organizations or as an evaluation (due to restrictions of enterprise features like security, RDBMS support, scalability most organization will still need paid version of Intalio which starts from 9,500 USD/EUR). It may be not fair to compare Intalio to Oracle BPMS or IBM’s IBPM, which cost much more. Read the rest of this entry »