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Blogging Live from IMPACT – Opening Keynotes Part I


I am attending the IBM IMPACT show today and tomorrow and will try and blog live from the show. So far the wireless isn’t working in the keynote location (I am on my broadband wireless modem, thank you Verizon) and the room has no tables and no power for the HUGE number of laptop users in the audience. It’s actually in the MGM Grand’s Arena – no doubt a great location for a rock band, less so for a tech show keynote.

After a quick march by from the UNLV Band, the CIO of Harley Davison arrived (on his Harley, of course) and welcomed everyone before leaving the stage to a short IBM video. Following on was the show – a wonderful string quartet and Cirque de Solei followed by Drew Carey and some improv friends who were very funny.

Robert LeBlanc from IBM started the real information. In all IBM’s surveys, change is the theme with business model innovation, global integration, talent management and business transparency all showing up again and again. Innovation, he says, is key to growth companies (along with organic and acquisition). Agility and an ability to evolve is a characteristic of innovating companies. A Service-Oriented company knows their customers, continually evolve, continuously improve, drive loyalty and become indispensable. This lead to a discussion of Key Agility Indicators (about which I have blogged before).

SOA can be developed from a business architecture, business process or foundational perspective. All are valid, all are required. This means you must bring the IT and business folks together and do so intensely.

He gave some examples. bharti (Indian Telco) brings on 1.5M customers a month and they have used SOA to move their onboarding from 2 days to 2 hours. City of Stockholm developed a road charging scheme based on SOA. IBM itself was a third example using SOA to become a globally integrated enterprise. You need to enable more rapid and transformative change.

The emphasis on business/IT alignment, on agility and on the active use of information are all great reasons why Enterprise Decision Management, EDM, is a great complement to Smart SOA. Indeed, for most companies, one might argue that EDM is essential for Smart SOA.

Jim Haney, CIO of Harley Davidson, came next. Jim is a very good speaker and introduced two applications he wanted to talk about – one dealer focused, one consumer focused. With only 8 minutes, he said he could only talk about the consumer facing one. Service Orientation, he says, is not about technology but about setting yourself apart. The particular application is one for route planning – here it is, though it was VERY hard to find on the site (sorry Jim). They began by focusing on the process – what is a customer doing to plan their ride? They need things to do, places to stay, gas to buy. Focus on the end to end process for a customer, what is it they are trying to do? They showed the demo which was pretty cool, especially at the end where you can load the route into your GPS system.

Steve Mills of IBM came next however the power failed on my laptop (see earlier note on the lack of power at this show) so I will have to write up my notes for the rest of the keynote later.


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