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Todd Duran

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J2EE Journal: Article

Making the Case for Application Service Modeling in SOA Environments

A Fortune 100 discovers visibility it didn't know was possible

For most companies, employing the latest technology is vital to staying competitive. For some companies in fact, service orientation is a key pillar of business success. As the chief architect of a Fortune 100 company, my SOA challenges aren't small.

A little more than a year into our SOA deployment project, we already have pure SOA applications running in our environment. As the world's largest technology distributor and a leading technology sales, marketing and logistics company, we rely on automation to power our international supply chain fulfillment site. Through it, we offer solutions and services to approximately 170,000 resellers in 150 countries by distributing and marketing hundreds of thousands of IT products worldwide from nearly 400 suppliers. Many small to medium-size businesses prefer to source technology products from resellers instead of direct from the manufacturer to realize more favorable licensing and support terms.

Our mission is to be a vital link in the technology value chain, creating sales and profitability opportunities for hardware and software vendors, technology solution providers, and resellers through unique marketing programs, outsourced logistics services, technical support, financial services, and product aggregation and distribution.

We have to be as smart about acquiring technology for our own use as we are sourcing it for our VAR and reseller customers. Any solution we deploy on our domestic and global commerce sites must not detract from our central purpose: to help our business partners grow their profit and expand their market reach. For example, an offering central to our business is producing branded catalogs of available technology products tailored for resellers - anywhere in the world. So our service-oriented applications are only becoming more and more sophisticated to meet these custom requirements. The complex chain of services provided already includes order management and fulfillment, contract manufacturing, contract warehousing, product procurement, product pack out and cartonization, reverse logistics, transportation management, customer care, credit and collection management services, among others.

The Challenge: Ensure the Delivery of Services Despite Application Volatility
As more and more IT departments deploy multi-tier middleware platforms and frameworks for the delivery of business-critical application services, they are expecting to garner the well-publicized benefits of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach: agility, flexibility, productivity, and extensibility. But going SOA demands special vigilance to avoid the pitfalls of Application Performance Management exposed by service orientation.

More Stories By Todd Duran

Todd Duran, director of enterprise architecture and chief architect at Ingram Micro Inc., is responsible for the company’s SOA-based architecture. He has been with Ingram Micro for nearly two years, and has over 20 years of experience in application and enterprise architecture. Prior to Ingram Micro, Duran founded the enterprise architecture and SOA disciplines at an international food service company. He was also director of systems management, data warehouse, and disaster recovery for a Fortune 40 retailer. He has managed technology teams in retail, manufacturing, distribution and financial organizations. Duran has a bachelor of arts in business management from Hope College in Holland, MI.

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