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SOA Framed for Key Verticals

BEA Systems is ramping up its approach to service-oriented architecture by helping customers plan distributed computing architectures in key vertical markets.

The new BEA Enterprise Solutions program includes software from the company's WebLogic Platform 8.1, sales and marketing and services to address financial services, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications, logistics and government markets.

Mark Atherton, vice president of the enterprise solutions group at BEA, said these are all key vertical markets BEA sees as positive growth areas for SOAs , distributed computing models that reuse software components.

The San Jose, Calif., software maker has composed five frameworks to deal with the vertical segments, using its WebLogic Platform software as the fulcrum to generate more sales.

The program addresses integration pain points by helping companies corral customer service processes across multiple channels and rendering them through one scope. For example, Atherton said the program offers a customized self-service portal where customers can manage service requests, check status and pay bills in real time.

With RFID skyrocketing to the top of many retailers' tech priority list, BEA has created a framework for automating business processes made possible by the nascent radio frequency technology.

Atherton said this package will use the real-time event integration and business process automation perks from WebLogic to help retailers increase revenue by improving public safety through product recalls, reducing out-of-stocks and improving margin through reduced product diversions.

In a logistics capacity, the employee service framework is designed to improve the productivity of workers; it includes benefits administration, performance review or employee status change, all enabled by WebLogic and software from partners such as Hyperion and Documentum.

For telecommunications, the service delivery schema aims to help companies quickly offer digital and data services that can be tied to operations support systems.

Financial firms may get a lift from the trade processing offering, which addresses securities firms requirements to integrate the trade process. For example, the package provides a model for institutional portals to facilitate input and monitoring of block trades, research portals for content-sensitive filtering and cross-product clearance and settlement services.

Though still in a very early stage, companies like IBM , BEA and a raft of smaller vendors such as Actional, Amberpoint and Digital Evolution claim they are seeing steady growth in the demand for new-wave distributed computing. IDC estimates the Web services software market, a subset of the broad service-driven market, will be worth $3.2 billion by 2008.



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