Wednesday, March 1, 2017

iSOA Interconnect 2017 Hybrid Cloud Integration Session Recommendations

Follow us to IBM’s Interconnect

Interconnect Hybrid Cloud Integration Session Recommendations

Brian Silverman, iSOA Group Sales and Marketing Leader

As a continuation of our last post (link) that listed our recommendations on API Connect sessions to attend at Interconnect 2017, below we provide our suggestions on hybrid cloud integration and IBM’s integration solutions presentations that will be worth attending.
Monday, 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM | Breakers B | Session ID: 6880A
Speaker:  A. Beardsmore, IBM

Monday, 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM | Lagoon I | Session ID: 3826A
Speakers: Rob Nicholson, IBM and Tony Curcio, IBM

Monday, 3:15 PM - 4:00 PM | Lagoon I | Session ID: 3360A
Speakers: Rob Nicholson, IBM and K. Clark, IBM

Monday, 3:15 PM - 4:00 PM | Lagoon B | Session ID: 6882A
Speakers: Andrew Schofield, IBM and D. Ware, IBM

Monday, 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM | Breakers B | Session ID: 6878B
Speaker: Leif O. Davidsen, IBM
Tuesday, 3:45 PM - 4:30 PM | Breakers C | Session ID: 2416A
Speaker: Darryl Pecquet, IBM

Wednesday, 10:15 AM - 11:00 AM | Lagoon B | Session ID: 5341A
Speakers:  Anderson Almeida, Duratex and Marco Seraphim, Duratex

Of course, our CTO, Bryon Kataoka, and Kamal Syal of Quest, will describe how we implemented a DataPower framework.
Wednesday, 8:00 – 8:45 PM | Lagoon H | Session ID: HHA-2984

We look forward to seeing you all at Interconnect! Stop by our pedestal (227) in the Solution Concourse and our sessions to learn more about iSOA Group. Need more information in the meantime? Please contact me, Brian Silverman, at

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Follow iSOA to IBM's Interconnect: API Management Session Recommendations

Follow us to IBM’s Interconnect

Interconnect API Management Session Recommendations

Brian Silverman, iSOA Group Sales and Marketing Leader

Interconnect 2017 is just around the corner and with so many great session topics, it may be difficult to decide which to attend. With our recent focus on API management, we wanted to share a few API themed recommendations to include in your schedule.
Of course, our CTO, Bryon Kataoka, and Dmitry Dikavitski of CUNA, will conduct a presentation on the migration of DataPower to API Connect (don’t worry, DataPower is inside of the API Connect Enterprise).
Program : Hybrid
Topic : Hybrid Cloud Integration
Session Type : Breakout Session
Date/Time : Tue, 21-Mar, 04:45 PM-05:30 PM
Location : Mandalay Bay South, Level 2 - Lagoon B
Presenter(s) : Bryon Kataoka, iSOA Group; Dmitry Dikavitski, CUNA Mutual Group

In addition, we recommend the below sessions for more information on API management and IBM’s API Connect offering:

Monday, 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM | Lagoon H | Session ID: 1881A
Speakers: Randy Heffner, Forrester, and Alan Glickenhouse, IBM 

Monday, 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM | Lagoon B | Session ID: 1372A
Speakers: Ram Palkodaty, University of Michigan Health System and Renganathan Sundararaman, IBM

Tuesday, 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM | Reef A | Session ID: 3249A
Speakers: Kyle J. Charlet, IBM and Sajan Sankaran, IBM

Tuesday, 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM | Lagoon B | Session ID: 6248A
Speakers: Ozair Sheikh, IBM and Rob Thelen, IBM

Tuesday, 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM | Lagoon H | Session ID: 6625A
Speakers: Raghunath Raman, Kaiser Permanente and Meera Kumar, Kaiser Permanente

Tuesday, 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM | Breakers C | Session ID: 4951A
Speakers: Pramodh RAMESH, IBM and Chris Dudley, IBM UK

Tuesday, 3:45 PM - 4:30 PM | Lagoon H | Session ID: 6229A
Speakers: Pramodh RAMESH, IBM and Amit P. Acharya, IBM

Tuesday, 4:45 PM - 5:30 PM | Lagoon I | Session ID: 2092A
Speakers: Jeffrey leach, Aetna Inc. and James Bartucca, Aetna

Wednesday, 8:00 AM - 8:45 AM | Islander G | Session ID: 2957A
Speakers: James M. Snell, IBM and Michael Dawson, IBM

Wednesday, 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM | Breakers B | Session ID: 1107A
Speakers:  Dinesh Shetty, IBM  and   Shiu-Fun Poon, IBM

iSOA Group is not only attending Interconnect, but also sponsoring a pedestal in the Tech Center. Please feel free to stop by and meet our team including Natalia, our new sales director Greg, and myself, as we continue our focus on helping companies build the foundation for digital innovation.

Our CTO, Bryon Kataoka, has shared his observations on Interconnect in his recent blog post View from 40,000 Feet: IBM's InterConnect 2017 Conference March 19th - March 23rd including an introduction to his speaking sessions this year.  This is Bryon’s 9th year in a row presenting at IBM’s Interconnect (previously Impact), and, as you will read, continues to be focused on API management.  He has led our team in recent client success with IBM’s API Connect, and assisted IBM in developing the certification test that will be available at Interconnect.

We look forward to seeing you all at Interconnect! Need more information in the meantime? Please contact me, Brian Silverman, at

Friday, February 24, 2017

View from 40,000 Feet: IBM's InterConnect 2017 Conference March 19th - March 23rd

Bryon Kataoka, iSOA Group, Inc. CTO and Thought Leader

IBM InterConnect 2017 | March 19-23 | MGM Grand & Mandalay Bay | Las Vegas, NV

How time flies!  Last year at InterConnect 2016, I hadn’t planned to speak but, at the last moment, I was added to the DataPower Customer Panel.  However, this is a new year and I’m presenting at two sessions:

The first session will be all about moving from a DataPower implementation to an API Connect implementation using Custom User Policies.  This was a fantastic project that will be of great service to other organizations wanting to do the same thing.  Our framework set us up to have a reusable template for developers to utilize.Because of our successful setup of this API Connect implementation, I anticipate similar projects in the future.

HHA-1572 : Move from IBM DataPower to IBM API Connect with Custom User Policies: Guidance from CUNA
Program : Hybrid
Topic : Hybrid Cloud Integration
Session Type : Breakout Session
Date/Time : Tue, 21-Mar, 04:45 PM-05:30 PM
Location : Mandalay Bay South, Level 2 - Lagoon B
Presenter(s) : Bryon Kataoka, iSOA Group; Dmitry Dikavitski, CUNA Mutual Group

My second presentation describes how we implemented a DataPower framework, which follows the same strategy that iSOA uses, for digital innovation.

HHA-2984 : Quest Diagnostics: From Strategy to Implementation with Our SOA Strategy
Program : Hybrid
Topic : Hybrid Cloud Integration
Session Type : Breakout Session
Date/Time : Wed, 22-Mar, 08:00 AM-08:45 AM
Location : Mandalay Bay South, Level 2 - Lagoon H
Presenter(s) : Bryon Kataoka, iSOA Group; Kamal Syal, Quest Diagnostics

Between speaking sessions, I plan to check out Watson and anything new about API Connect.  In addition, I also hope to meet up with the team I worked with that built the API Connect Certification Test.  That test should be available at InterConnect and I’m happy to say that I’m now certified in API Connect!

Hope to see you at InterConnect.  Stop by my sessions or at our pedestal in the Concourse  (Solution Center)

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Security of Digital Assistants: Who is Listening?

Brian Silverman
iSOA Sales and Marketing Leader

The Security of Digital Assistants: Who is Listening? 

With the recent advertisements depicting the everyday usefulness of the market’s current digital assistant products, such as Google Home, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa, one could begin to believe that they are now required to complete our daily tasks. Although instructing Google Home to turn on your lights prior to your return home may be convenient, consider the implications of these digital requests and how and where that data is being stored.

Simple voice instructions for common household tasks wouldn’t normally raise any concerns for the average consumer, but consider that law enforcement agencies are now requesting access to said stored data, as described in the linked article, below.

And, while there may be some concerns about retail companies using your request history to “suggest” and target ads to you by analyzing your spending habits, we now can see that this stored data could have a much different life outside the server and intended use. Once Alexa (and other digital assistants) are integrated into our cars and cell phones, the outside world will increasingly gain more information about private citizens. Big Brother is watching.

Risks to our privacy should always be on our minds; the introduction of digital assistants just adds one more avenue to exposure.   Innocent business travel requests, confirming a meeting, or something as seemingly innocuous as having your DA read you an email could expose not only your personal information, but your business information, as well. It is essential to question how our spoken requests are being stored and where and with what type of encryption is being used - your business can depend on its safety.

At iSOA Group, Inc. we think about these things…..

We believe it is essential to look at the gateway connections of our customers’ enterprise for a variety of services. One of the main concerns we see today is hybrid cloud integration - when companies transition their data, applications, and services to the cloud.  As more IOT (Internet of Things) devices and "digital assistants" arrive  in the marketplace, the need to look at the broader network and secured connections has to be a top priority.  To this end, we work with clients to apply best practices in the setup of their gateway hybrid cloud integration framework in order to protect their information security, introducing a trusted, flexible solution to move resources to the cloud, and enable them to drive true digital innovation.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey is real and his name is Watson!

HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey is real and his name is Watson!

IBM’s Watson is creating the cognitive enterprise

Matching the value of technology to bring real business value has always been a focus here at iSOA Group. And, what we learned at Worldof Watson Conference at the end October that we no longer have to use imagined images of movie-inspired AI to envision the new cognitive era – these new opportunities are already a reality!

This new era of technology, as discussed by Ginny Rometty, CEO of IBM, during her keynote address on Wednesday of the conference, is transforming industries and our present view of technology.

IBM's Watson has gone from a winning contestant on Jeopardy, to taking its "genius" on the road to learn about the world of service, and that can now:

1) Combine weather data and knowledge of the wear and tear on machinery (such as utility poles) to accurately recommend when to replace them before failure.
2) Read and understand 200 million pages of regulations in minutes to assess and assure your company’s compliance.
3) Help a musician understand a variety of musical genres according to listener preference in order to help guide him in writing a top 10 hit.
4) Continually observe and learn about our world without loss of memory, all the while becoming smarter and providing better guidance to humans.
5) Learn vs being programmed.
6) Help patients predict the occurrence of an asthma attack so that they can take preventative measures.

And it isn't just IBM; Cisco and IBM are teaming up to create smarter meetings. Think about it - Watson helps you schedule your next offer management meeting.  During scheduling, Watson observes you have included “Joe” as a required attendee, but Joe is a procrastinator and never responds to scheduling invitations until the last minute. Seeing this, Watson recommends making Joe optional and suggests the most convenient time.  Or, as the Cisco presenter suggested, what if Watson attends each meeting, listens, learns, and dare I say, remembers the discussion so that we’re assured progress and key milestones are achieved.

This “Augmented Intelligence” system is smart and getting smarter (hopefully not in the direction of  HAL) – but what are YOU doing to take advantage of it?  Are you looking at an API strategy that not only includes your services and external applications, but incorporates new capabilities from Watson and other services to assure your company is leading in innovation? 

Let's get smarter together!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What is next after Mobile? Smarter cars? Voice Assistants?

Brian Silverman
Senior Solution Consultant

As the USA Today article,   “Smartphones may loosen their grip over family life as voice devices rise” , highlights, there are new technologies that are hot on the heels of smart phones. 

It will be 9 years ago on June 29th that the first iPhone was released.  The smart phone, with its apps and ability to center itself in your hand provided useful information and interaction beyond the basics of phone calls and text messages, and thus changed the world.   Now, there is an app for everything.  An app for tracking your heartbeat, your lost pet, or predicting the weather down to the minute.  There are apps to find the closest restaurant or the nearest dog-friendly hotel. 

Just as the PDA’s (Personal digital assistants) were the invention of their time - remember Palm Pilots? – so have smart phones provided the connections that consumers swear by and are unable to live without. But, do we really have the crystal ball prediction ability to determine what will follow?  Will the next “interface” of choice be speaking to your car, Google Home, or Amazon’s Alexa?  Or will it be a completely new device? All require a well thought out approach to digital innovation in the future.

The good news is that it doesn’t take a psychic for IT professionals and companies to prepare for the next innovation. 

At iSOA Group, we know there are going to be some consistent requirements for the future devices and interfaces to work, including:

1) A consistent approach to communication and the ability to share key information. Whether this data populates to a web page, is a pop up on a smart phone, or is spoken to you through a speaker in your car, having a consistent interface for consumers to connect and communicate with their devices will be a necessity.

2) Integration with your systems of record, , as IBM calls your “business systems”. Turn information into business with your customer.  These new devices and interfaces all need access to common consistent information and consistent methods of interface to execute a business transaction, such as a hotel reservation.

3) A single place for developers, inside and outside your company, to access application information. The how, what and where will need to be leveraged for application information and documentation in order for developers and providers of services to assure success and innovation.

Along with IBM, iSOA knows that API’s (Application Program Interfaces) and a strong consistent framework will support innovation,; to be prepared for any or all opportunities that will provide growth into these new digital opportunities.

Want to know more? The IBM Solution, and iSOA Group, Inc. are leading companies in development of API Frameworks and approaches for digital innovation.

Join me, Brian Silverman, iSOA Group, Inc. Senior Solution Consultant, along with Bill Barrus from IBM, for a webinar on June 16th at 11AM PDT / 2PM EDT.

“Digital Innovation with API’s and IBM’s API Connect” and see a demonstration of the IBM software.  

Friday, May 20, 2016

Stephen Mori  iSOA Security Adviser

Since this is my first post to the ISOA Group blog, a few words of introduction are in order.  First of all, thanks to Bryon and Cheryl for inviting me to join iSOA Group as their new Security Adviser; I will be helping to articulate the development of iSOA Group’s security practice. 

My brief and abbreviated history spans forty years in various technology roles:  systems analyst, coder/developer, software designer, consultant, systems architect and security engineering and management culminating in the role as Autodesk’s first CISO (retired 2012).  Since my retirement I have continued with a few judiciously selected consulting gigs.  Retirement hasn’t allowed me much time for gainful employment.

I look forward to being a regular contributor to this blog; exploring what are hopefully topical issues across security, privacy and trust.  A particular interest of mine is cyber-trust.  There I’ve used “cyber”, now I’ll actively seek to avoid over-using it since others are handling that.  No small part of that interest is how we, as security professionals, bring the same sort of innovation to defending our company and critical assets as the bad guys bring to uncovering new ways of threatening us and our vital information assets.

But, first a look back to set the stage for future entries.  It is 1970 and Willis Ware, early computer scientist and security pioneer, delivers a commissioned report to the Advanced Research Projects Agency - predecessor to DARPA.  Known as the “Ware Report”, officially titled “Security Controls for Computer Systems: Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Computer Security”, the report was only recently declassified by the DOD.  Why spend time looking at a 46 year old resource?  Simply because it remains a resource and it helps me make my point about the need for innovation, while respecting history.

The report charter was to deal with the risks associated with the rapid growth of “multi-access, resource sharing computer systems”.  Rapid being relative, the authors could not have envisioned today’s democratized Internet, hyper-connected world of social media, computers in the form of watches, tablets, smartphones, let alone IoT enabled appliances; and, of course, virtual servers, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, et al.  That charter remains valid in a world where factors are more connected - many factors faster than real-world 1970.

“Providing satisfactory security controls in a computer system is in itself a system design problem.”  Did Mr. Ware anticipate Agile development methodology, DevOps, and proliferating App Stores?

“A combination of hardware, software, communication, physical, personnel and administrative-procedural safeguards is required for comprehensive security.” Defense-in-Depth, anyone? Implied in the statement are IDS/IPS, Next Gen firewalls, vulnerability management software, SIEM, multi-factor authentication, security awareness, policy and technical controls.

What of Advanced Persistent Threats, intentional and accidental internal threat actors, and (Distributed) Denial of Services?  Systems ought to be “...acceptably resistant to external attack, accidental disclosures, internal subversion and denial of use to legitimate users.” Effectively, this covers anything connected to the Internet with open access to the Web, e-mail, text.

Finally, the report outlined what arguably remains the most common system vulnerabilities:  accidental destruction of data by a system failure, user or administrative error, active attacks that exploit weaknesses in user credentials, or deliberate or accidental flaws in software, “unauthorized entry points...created by a system programmer who wishes to provide a means for bypassing internal security controls...”.  All of which evoke directory attacks, credentials/identity theft, and back doors.

The “Ware Report” pretty much covers the CISO’s world.

So that is my bit of context setting.  Future entries will hearken back to these legacy security issues, but with an updated perspective and current terminology.  My first thought upon reading summaries of the “Ware Report” is the greatest progress we’ve made has been in creating new acronyms.  We need to endeavor to get just as good at developing innovative responses to these classic and evolving threats as we are at simplifying technical jargon.