SOA for Multi-Channel Business


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Multi-channel is a trigger for getting smarter about service-oriented architecture. Presentation from November 2008.

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  • the term "multi-channel" is used in different ways - sometimes referring to multiple business channels (e.g. partners versus direct sales) and sometimes to multiple communications channels (e.g. phone versus internet)
  • As an organization extends into more ambitious multi-channel arrangements, the potential value it can get from SOA (and from more mature SOA) is increased. Think Dell, moving from multi-channel communications into multi-channel business partners
  • Our framework also includes merger and acquisition, which is just another special case of multi-channel. (Think RBS, running the two retail banking brands RBS and NatWest as two "channels" with consolidated support systems.)
  • Multi-channel is often viewed as mostly a technology issue where gradual and unplanned introduction of new customer facing technologies has led to disparate solutions, business processes and supporting information data. The separate development of call center and eCommerce channels everywhere is a good example. We can see widespread evidence of the results from personal experience with different information and prices between one company’s call center and eCommerce site. Or manifestly different processes and charges between branch, ATM, and kiosk systems.
    But it can be helpful to scope multi-channel more broadly than purely technology channels because the same issues can occur in many different contexts. On this slide we suggest a number of channel types that all follow the same pattern of channel specific behaviors combined with common behaviors that cross channel and in many cases opportunities to enhance business models with cross channel coordination or switching. Developing a clear understanding of these for a specific enterprise of ecosystem is a prerequisite for effective architecture.
    The Delivery or Interface is always going to be the most obvious driver, usually driven by technology. However channel is also likely to be characterized by class of consumer or product class such as enterprise, SME, retail consumer etc. But channel thinking shouldn’t be restricted to enterprise systems, it’s also useful in government where citizen or intra government processes will exhibit all the same issues and opportunities.
    Business channel is obvious. In the Dell based case study this is clearly a major consideration, and Dell reported the business value of a specialized third party partner channel that achieved considerable pull through business by facilitating real time integration with partner bid and deal processes.
    Type of pricing mechanism is clearly another major source of complexity. Pricing is not usually regarded as a kind of “channel”, but it has a lot of the same structural characteristics. Consider how much consideration is given when designing the support for the eCommerce channel to creating integration with other pricing mechanisms.
    Product delivery technology also has a big impact on channels. The current uptake of SaaS and On Demand services will inevitably be creating new demand for channel support systems. And of course the answer is that in the initial stages new management systems are developed for the new delivery systems, and only after the fact is consideration given to integration. This is particularly true of SaaS, and we can expect that enterprise uptake of SaaS will be cautious and slow until the SaaS delivery channel is properly integrated with service management, help desk and support and security systems.
  • SOA for Multi-Channel Business

    1. 1. Independent Guidance for Service Architecture and Engineering SOA for MultiChannel Business Richard Veryard
    2. 2. © 2008 Everware-CBDI IncNovember 20082 The term "multi-channel" is used in different ways. But it always implies some kind of complexity. TIBCO IONA BEA/Oracle technologicaltechnological commercialcommercial organizationalorganizational
    3. 3. © 2008 Everware-CBDI IncNovember 20083 Dell has evolved from multi-channel communications to multi-channel commercial relationships Multi-Channel Communications Telephone Internet Retail Kiosk Multi-Channel Business Phone Internet Kiosk ?? DELL Global Partners
    4. 4. © 2008 Everware-CBDI IncNovember 20084 DIFFERENTIATE STANDARDIZE INNOVATE ECOSYSTEM High Value High Risk Low Value Low Risk Typical Multi-Channel Scenario 1 Original Channel (bricks and mortar) 2a Experimental Channel (e.g. Internet Banking) – initially low-volume, low risk 2b Second Channel becomes mainstream 3 Use SOA to put both channels onto a single platform of shared services.  consistency, efficiency,  compatibility & seamlessness of cross-channel activity 4 Finally, the platform can be opened up to third party collaboration (e.g. Mashups) 1 2a 2b 3 3.1 3.2 Specialized Generic 4c4b4a
    5. 5. © 2008 Everware-CBDI IncNovember 20085 Multi-channel pattern: Merger & acquisition Two Separate Companies One Company, Two Brands A B A B
    6. 6. © 2008 Everware-CBDI IncNovember 20086 Multi-channel pattern: Two-Sided Markets One-Sided Market Two-Sided Market A B Simple value proposition Complex value proposition
    7. 7. © 2008 Everware-CBDI IncNovember 20087 SOA as an architecture for managing complexity Dimensions of Business Complexity Delivery / Interface  eCommerce, Web, Call Center, Kiosk, SMS, Product Class/Consumer  Enterprise, SME, Retail Consumer, Citizen, Intra-government  2-sided markets Commercial Channel  Wholesale, Retail, Corporate, Partner, Direct  Brand integration, mergers & acquisition Pricing Type  Credit, eCommerce, Cash, Direct Debit  Subscription, Fixed-Price, Pay-as-you-Go, Product Delivery Technology  Managed Service, DVD, SaaS  CD, DVD, Video on Demand  How can we avoid a combinatorial explosion of complexity in IT systems?  By establishing a well-architected service- oriented architecture (SOA) with decoupling between the layers. Business Complexity System Complexity
    8. 8. © 2008 Everware-CBDI IncNovember 20088 Strategic Channel Roadmap DIFFERENTIATED INNOVATE Single Channel Recent History New Channel DUPLICATE Short-Term Plan Longer-Term Plan New Channels ECOSYSTEM STANDARDIZE INNOVATE INNOVATE INNOVATE COLLABORATE COLLABORATE COLLABORATE time 1. A business innovation leads to system duplication. 2. SOA allows business innovation to proceed without adding to technical debt … 3. … and provides a platform for further business innovation. Multi-Channel
    9. 9. © 2008 Everware-CBDI IncNovember 20089 Multi-channel is a trigger for getting smarter about SOA Situation complexity multiple business channels multiple pricing models multiple technology channels multiple product technologies Problem inefficient inconsistent disconnected Implications innovation (time to market) customer satisfaction profitability duplicated Challenges multiple systems multiple partners Reference Architecture  Separate homogeneous layers from heterogeneous layers Interoperability  Canonical semantic model  Robust infrastructure  Standards & protocols  Business Analysis & Design  Analyse dimensions of complexity  Design platform business Governance  Coordinate between homogeneous and heterogeneous  Coordinate between multiple heterogeneous  Coordinate change
    10. 10. © 2008 Everware-CBDI IncNovember 200810 If you were intrigued by this presentation … For more of my stuff … … read my blog  … follow me on Twitter  For more on SOA … … read the SOA Process blog  … and join the CBDI Forum  Bronze membership is free  Gold membership provides access to all articles  Platinum membership provides full access to knowledgebase