IBM Invents SOP

IBM  is turning the notion of SOA  on its head.

The Armonk, NY-based software and services vendor is unveiling a new
approach to the services market today, inaugurating the Integrated Communications Services unit.

The unit will offer service-oriented products that are asset-based,
replicable and standardized.

The unit is offering a pair of network and
communication service products, network convergence services and IP

Network convergence services is intended to help customers analyze their
readiness for communication networks that support data, voice and video.

Big Blue would then help clients design, deploy and manage converged
networks that can take advantage of unified messaging, IP contact call
center technology, voice, video and Web conferencing and other aspects of
converged networks.

The other offering, IP telephony services, is intended to help customers
design, deploy and manage IP telephony infrastructure solutions that can
reduce the costs associated with managing and maintaining separate voice and
data equipment and networks.

These are just the first in a series of expected announcements for this

Marisa Viveros, worldwide director of converged communications at IBM,
explained that the new products are the first step in IBM’s strategy to
deliver traditional labor-based technology services in a manner more similar
to the delivery of technology products.

IBM believes that this will result in a more consistent experience for its
customers and more sales of its software products with less effort.

“It means economies of scale for us. We can also train and educate
practitioners in the field with a common set of methodologies,” Viveros told

“We’re taking our best innovations and packaging them in a very standardized
manner and making them available to our practitioners around the world,” she

The company is seeing that many of its customers have become global and now
require solutions that work in a consistent manner around the world.

“Clients are asking for a complete solution — they don’t want point
solutions, and they need to have a common infrastructure so the customer can
deploy their business applications throughout the world,” said Viveros.

Bob Djurdjevic, principal analyst with Annex Research, said the packaging of
these services as products benefits both IBM and its customers, because it
allows customers to implement the solutions more quickly and allows IBM to
generate huge economies of scale.

“This is about taking a set of services that had been done previously on a
custom basis and putting them together in a package that they can sell to a
lot of other customers,” he told

“This is a ground-shifting announcement that changes the rules in the IT
services market,” he said.

He added that IBM has a huge advantage because of the wealth of assets in
its software portfolio that it can transform into services.

The company can thus offer customers choices from an entire array of
products, allowing them to customize solutions to their own environments.

According to Djurdjevic, only HP  and Fujitsu are
likely to have the assets to match IBM head-to-head, leaving the smaller
players to try and compete in narrow niches.

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