Magazine article CRM Magazine

Making SOA Pay Right Away: These Five Projects Can Deliver ROI within Six Months

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Making SOA Pay Right Away: These Five Projects Can Deliver ROI within Six Months

Article excerpt

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is the next big thing in enterprise software, but sometimes--especially with infrastructure--bigger isn't better, and it's hard to know where to start. IBM knows where.

An SOA development leader (courtesy of its WebSphere platform), IBM has been implementing SOA for customers one step at a time. Sandy Carter, vice president for SOA and WebSphere strategy and marketing, says, "We did some data mining among our 1,800 users and discovered that most--and the most successful--were doing smaller projects to help them get started." Which projects are the ones that show the fastest payoff? There are five, as revealed in the IBM white paper "Five SOA Projects That Can Pay for Themselves in Six Months."

* Building a single source of information. Having a 360-degree view of customers is a CRM staple. IBM implemented a delivery notification service for a retailer, occupying four developers for four months. By linking the systems in its fulfillment chain so that they communicate continuously and reliably, automatically informing customers of status changes, the retailer achieved positive revenue impact of $20 million per year at a cost of just a fraction of that.

* Automating processes across multiple users and companies. Exceptions and errors in business require costly, time-consuming intervention. A self-regulating dispute-resolution system improves customer satisfaction and frees up labor. A financial services organization replaced its manual dispute resolution with a centralized system. Customers now log onto a Web site and identify specific transactions to challenge. The organization's cost per transaction was reduced by 90 percent, and resolution periods fell from 20 days to three hours. Total savings are an estimated $200 million per year.

* Delivering cost savings through service reuse. Another linchpin of SOA: The source of a service doesn't matter, only its usefulness. …

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