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entire organization. Maverick attempts will interfere with the process and may be incompatible. In any case, they would represent duplicated work that was a waste of overall resources.

The insurance company’s IT department decided to implement SOA governance in order to avoid costly replication of effort. It has created an ad hoc virtual team (they only meet in an on-line space), with members from every location. Most members are not expected to be active (unless they choose to be), but one from every region has been selected as the regional spokesperson.

  • They will all be informed of the plan for the project, including how they can input to requests for changes and additions, and how they can indicate their interest in being positioned on the implementation schedule.

  • Policies in the governance scheme will then determine who does what when.

  • Common processes will only be designed and implemented once and will be reused throughout the organization.

  • Services will be placed in a registry as they are released for use, so all of the locations can access them.

Over a period of one year, all of the 42 North American offices have now brought the new SOA- based customer application, quotation, and contract processing workflow on line. All of them do this under a common SOA Governance procedure, using common services.

With such an efficient use of resources, the insurance company has been able to start making necessary modifications to the processes for its European and Asian offices and to start these international implementations ahead of schedule. Improvements made by one office can be offered to all of the offices for use, should they support general requirements rather than local conditions. New SOA projects, focusing on other parts of the organization’s needs, are now under consideration.

Managing Consistent Processes with Dynamic Growth

A successful restaurant chain is expanding rapidly by both opening more of its existing branded restaurants in new locations and by acquiring additional brands to expand into new markets. This had led to dynamic, almost uncontrolled, growth. A particular concern is how to integrate all the different IT processes and systems as a result of the acquisitions (three to date, two more in progress).

Today, each restaurant manually takes its sales checks after each shift to confirm that they represent the total revenue for the restaurant, consistent with its cash and credit card receipts. At the bar and in the kitchen, a designated chef and bar manager check inventory and order additional supplies, based on what was used. Some things are automatically replaced at regular intervals (unless the local inventory manager notes that they do not need resupply); others need to be specifically ordered as replacements or for featured items in future menus.

Each restaurant has its own variation of the system – and the new acquisitions have their own distribution centers and automatic resupply arrangements. To allow things to continue as they are today would be inefficient, replicating work, ordering from multiple suppliers at lower volumes (and lesser discounts).

The chain had been considering moving to an SOA for its main business process. It would like to roll up its daily sales and use that as the basis for ordering additional inventory and directing it to regional distribution centers and individual restaurants. Because sales are stated as individual menu items, it would be easy to understand inventory replacement needs (as well as sales and

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October 18, 2006

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