Thursday, September 19, 2013

Can I Have One Common Code Set that Runs Across Various Devices for My Mobile Apps?

Last week, Tim Cook unveiled the latest iPhones – the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C – to reporters at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California. While the iPhone 5C will be Apple's first plastic phone, making it more affordable for those who want an iPhone on a budget, the iPhone 5S will include fingerprint recognition software, a dual LED camera lens and a 64-bit A7 processor. This is a far cry from 2007 when Steve Jobs was explaining what the original iPhone was to reporters at MacWorld. In fact, Cook remarked that over 700 million iOS devices have been sold since 2006.

However, Apple is not the only name in town when it comes to mobile devices. In fact, it's not even the biggest name – that would belong to Google. There are many different types of devices that use the Android operating system and the total amount of those devices combined far surpasses iPhones, iPods and iPads. And let's not forget about Windows. Although much smaller than the other two, Windows has seen 133% yearly growth and has over 3% of the total market share. Because of the divided market and various devices out there, businesses have a dilemma on their hands when it comes to app development.

There's no question that a business can hire third party developers to create apps in a native environment for each type of device and operating system, but this would be very expensive and difficult to update and maintain. Rather, many businesses are looking for a way to have one common code set that can be across a wide variety of devices for smart app development and maintenance. They have found their solution through the IBM Worklight platform. Here are several ways customers can benefit from this mobile application platform.

  • Savings in Development: Worklight enables developers to use and reuse most of the coding for every platform. In addition, only one project is created rather than a single project for each specific platform.
  • Savings in Integration: Rather than hire a third party developer to develop and integrate software, must of the work is done internally when using Worklight. This creates savings now and in the future for the development and integration of apps down the line. As with development, integration can be done in a single project to simplify the process.
  • Savings in App Maintenance: Once you develop and implement a mobile app, you're not completely done with it. Correcting bugs, upgrading content and adding functions are just of the many things included in app maintenance. By using the IBM Worklight platform, you save greatly over having to perform these tasks for every single project in a native environment.
For more information on the IBM Worklight platform, contact an iSOA representative today. We specialize in systems integration consulting and can help you determine if the IBM Worklight is right for you.

Friday, September 13, 2013

How Can Businesses Stay One Step Ahead of Hackers?

For those out there who think that e-commerce is the future of retail, you’re slightly right, but many would argue that e-commerce is dominating the present as well. In 2012, shoppers in the US spent $226 billion on goods in online stores. That number was up $24 billion from the year before. By 2016, Forrester Research Inc., a global research advisory firm, estimates that online sales will go up to $327 billion. This number will account for nine percent of all sales. While this is great news for online retailers, it also creates some headaches for them in regard to data security.

Earlier this past summer, five men were charged with the largest cybercrime case of all time. It’s estimated that they were responsible for more than $300 billion lost for various companies and organizations, including J.C. Penny, Visa, JetBlue, Carrefour SA, and Nasdaq. According to the indictment, the five men would steal credit card numbers through hacking into the various networks and hide their actions through anonymous web sources. Although two of the five men are behind bars, there are a number of hackers behind them ready to jump in their place.

You’ll need an answer to withstand their efforts.  An IT consulting firm can help you find the best security solution for your particular business, but how do you choose?
You’ll need an IT consulting firm who has
  • A proven history of implementing integrated software solutions
  • Partnerships with IBM and other top technology providers
  • Certified professionals who are experienced in a wide variety of industries
We are iSOA Group, and we’re an IT consulting firm who can help secure and integrate your business environment for online sales.  We will help your business stay on top of security on your web and mobile services through IBM DataPower SOA Appliances. As an IBM Premier Partner, our certified professionals have complete knowledge of DataPower and can tailor a solution that is unique to your needs.

For more information on what we may be able to do for your e-commerce strategy, please be sure to check out this Case Study on our work securing online transactions for a large specialty store looking to expand their online revenue. With the right partner and solution, your business can fully benefit from the expanding e-commerce market without the security threats that can accompany it. Contact us today to get started.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Friends, Associatetes, and Customers: We want to hear from you!

Our valued customers and associates:

At iSOA Group we have recently undergone some solution focused changes to our website.  As we continue to roll out new content and display a growing array of solutions we would like to make it as easy as possible to hold dialog with our partners, clients, and associates.  

 We have increased our social media presence in an effort to bring as much useful and relevant information to you as possible. Whether it is helping customers to migrate off of an old version of software, working on a mobile strategy, or working through integration challenges, with these and other topics we are striving to bring you relevant information that concerns you today in the most efficient way possible.

So please, whichever is easiest for you, join and engage with iSOA Group, on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or Google+.  And of course, visit our website at: We promise we won’t overwhelm you with unnecessary and excessive posts; and you might even hear about a chance or two to win some unique prizes in our Giveaways.

The iSOA Group Team

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why Businesses Need to Embrace Mobile Technologies Now

Let me ask you a question? What are you reading this blog post on right now? If this were five years ago, you probably would have said your desktop computer or your laptop. Smartphones were just on the verge of making it mainstream, and tablets wouldn’t really make a dent in the marketplace until 2010. However, today, the times have truly changed, and most people use smartphones and tablets to browse the web, socialize with their friends and make purchases.

In a post written by Kristen Lauria, Vice President of Marketing for IBM Mobile Enterprise, the question of what businesses will need to do to adapt to this market change comes about, and she offers some interesting insight that any business that offers a service or product of any kind can come to appreciate. First and foremost, let’s take a look at the numbers.

  1. According to Forrester Research, mobile commerce should exceed $31 billion by 2016.
  2. In 2020, there will be more than ten billion smart devices in the world.
  3. IT leaders in mobile are twice as likely to experience a ten percent increase in revenue

Given, this information, it’s imperative that businesses consider this new mobile dynamic to leverage their marketing strategies and IT infrastructure around. Otherwise, they could be left in the dust by competitors who better understand the future business climate. How do you become a player in the mobile economy? Here are two key factors:

  • Make sure your IT infrastructure is up to the task: 86% of mobile leaders believe that enlisting the services of an external IT services provider is important to making sure employees have the tools necessary to create the perfect customer experience. That’s because an overextended IT staff won’t have the time nor anticipatory foresight to create apps and integration processes that meet demand before it becomes a necessity. By looking into IT consulting firms, you can find ways to facilitate the IT infrastructure necessary to meet upcoming demand.
  • Marketing Services that Coincide with Mobile Use: Those that are spurring this new growth in mobile use are from the Millenial generation. As they graduate from universities and entry level jobs, they will have deeper pockets, which mean greater revenue potential. Milennials are more social with their purchases and opinions as they are the social networking generation. If they like something, they pin it. If they have a problem with customer service, they tweet about it. Successful businesses will create the same brand experience throughout all mobile platforms and encourage active SM engagement to increase visitors and potential leads.
  • The Right Apps: With 90 percent of mobile users keeping their device within arm’s reach 100 percent of the time these days, your business needs assurance that mobile apps can be deployed instantly and across a range of mobile devices including iOS and Android phones and tablets. IBM can help you do that and was recently recognized by Gartner with a position in the Leaders quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms.   

The new Gartner report places IBM in the Leaders quadrant as measured by completeness of vision and execution ability of IBM Worklight, our mobile application development platform -- a key component of the IBM MobileFirst Platform. According to Gartner, Leaders must not only be good at cross-platform development and deployment, but also have a good vision of the multichannel enterprise, support for standards, a solid understanding of IT requirements, and scalable channels and partnerships to market. Leaders must provide platforms that are easy to purchase, program, deploy and upgrade.
iSOA Group, as a Premier IBM Business Partner is working with clients on their mobile strategies and can help them adapt to this emerging market.

Friday, July 26, 2013

DPAdmin Benefits

iSOA Group's DPADMIN© is a command line utility for DataPower which can not only be used for managing DataPower devices but also for Configuration ManagementScript based Automated Application Deployment and device run time operations.

Benefits of DPAdmin:

DPADMIN can have concurrent deployment and also manage many devices in a multi-threaded mode. These features can benefit companies in lot of different ways. Companies can:

  • Provide Repeatability, Accuracy and Reliability.
  • Provide High Speed Deployment using Parallel Mode.
  • Reduce the cost
  • Have complete control of the deployment from the command line
  • Have Total Platform Independence
  • Provide Reusable XML Scripts across various platforms
  • Provide XML based automation interface.
  • Maintain accounting for every command/script run using this tool.

To know more about this tool, please click here

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New website, new solutions, and free wine!

iSOA Group, Inc. is located in beautiful northern California wine county.  By partnering with a local winery, Adobe Road, we have the exclusive opportunity to give away some fantastic wine to those who participate.

In a continuing effort to constantly improve our website we want to know what you think about it.  Your opinion matters and we want to use it to improve our webpage. Does it read smoothly?  Did you notice any errors, spelling or grammatical?   Are the solutions we offer clear?  What do you think about the color scheme?  Let us know any thoughts that you might have and we have a special prize for you to win a weekly raffle. 

Step 1: Check out the updated website.

Step 2: Find something you like, any errors, or come up with a comment in general.

Step 3: Email us the feedback at along with your Name, Email, and Phone Number.

Step 4: Automatically be entered in a raffle to win a bottle of fine Sonoma County wine from Adobe Road Winery.

Thank you for your participation!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Changes at iSOA Group

On behalf of the iSOA Group, Inc.'s leadership team I would like to share with you, our customers, partners and consultants some changes at iSOA Group.

iSOA Group, Inc. and our trusted advisors will continue our focus and evolution to support customers in their deployment of secure integration solutions, mobile, and development of solutions that are focused on bringing real business value to technology. iSOA is razor focused on these efforts and slightly changing our business approach as well as some key staff changes. iSOA Group, Inc. is:

  1. Expanding around integration services that include Web APIs, DataPower, mobile development and industry solutions.
  2. Continuing to leverage our consultants across the USA to focus on the delivery of key services and solutions.
  3. Maintaining our IBM and other IBM Business Partner relationships, to help us deliver solutions for our customers.

In addition, efforts by Sandy Bickett in the Mid-Atlantic has helped us realize the need to have sales and support resources closer to the customer. Our goal is to have a sales presence in the East and West to help support our expansion into new opportunities.

In order to achieve that goal and increase our agility around sales, marketing and solution development, we have determined that the sales and marketing leader needs to be based in California. We hired Brian Silverman in 2011 to help us evaluate our strategy and create the reputation and infrastructure to support these changes. As many of you know, we had a very productive Impact2013, meeting with clients and establishing relationships. We launched a new version of web site, improved our social media presence, and the output from our blog are all resonating with current customers and prospect. As you also may know, Brian Silverman is based in Florida, and due to personal commitments cannot move west to be part of this agile focus on sales, marketing, and solution efforts in the West.

It is with heavy hearts that we announce, effective May 23rd, Brian is leaving iSOA Group to pursue other opportunities. He has committed to continue to be an advisor/counsel to us, as needed, and will assist in the transition. Brian also will be a guest writer on our isoablog as time permits.

We also would like to announce that Susan Rohlman, who resides in the Bay Area, has become part of the iSOA team and will be key in maintaining our client base in the Pacific North West and driving new opportunities. Join us in welcoming Susan.

As with all changes there will be some time for coordination but we will do our best to make these changes as seamless as possible, with little or no impact to our valued customers, partners and consultants. We wish Brian Silverman continued success in the future and a heartfelt "Thank you so very much". Please join me in wishing Brian farewell.

Cheryl Bertini

Friday, May 10, 2013

New and Updated IBM Software Offerings: The IBM Brand

More and more IBM software:

IBM announced a myriad of new and updated product offerings; including, new BPM releases and the new IBM Integration Bus, which is the next release of WebSphere Message Broker.  IBM is continuing a path to have the IBM Brand be their core software brand and the migration of key offerings from their heritage brand families, such as WebSphere, to focus on the IBM Brand.  This is necessary as it helps the world see the breadth of the IBM portfolio as there are many products and solution areas that span across the traditional IBM brands.  The perfect example is Mobile.  Mobile solution products would span WebSphere, Rational, and Tivoli for integration development and security.  Branding the IBM Mobile offerings IBM Mobile First not only makes sense but helps us all focus on the requirements of companies such as yours, and avoid worrying about sifting through a large variety of offerings.

Maximizing Value with the Internet of Things

Mobile Moving Beyond Just Apps and the "Internet of Things"

The iSOA Group team has been delivering the message since last year, with our Accelerated Mobile LifeCycle Offering, that mobile is more than just delivering killer apps or providing email access to your employees.  Mobile is about delivering not just apps but the right integrated infrastructure to assure your company gains the most from your mobile strategy.

IBM supports that same message through their Mobile Foundation offering, as well as their Mobile First Solutions.   Delivering the right infrastructure for mobile environment is important. Whether you are leveraging Worklight for development, End Point manager for managing your own BYOD deployment, or Cast Iron Solutions for integration; IBM, along with the iSOA Group team, can help you develop the overall best strategy for success with mobile.  With new standards coming out all the time, including HTML5 and others, having a flexible and open mobile strategy will allow your company to be agile as the market evolves.

IBM also kept mentioning the "Internet of Things" as being all the devices that are connected in the marketplace beyond just mobile phones.  We are talking smart meters, medical monitoring devices, sensors in pipelines and much more.  To highlight this subject, Impact kicked off with Robert LeBlanc (GM of IBM Middleware) rising up on stage with one of the IT Directors from Ford in a new Ford Fusion.  They mentioned the car is more like a computer on wheels with more than 16 million lines of code, connectivity through mobile, and a multitude of sensors to assure safety as well as driver comfort.  The car and your phone can now be one integrated system that shares information and create value for both products.  This is another example of the path of mobile and the need for agility as more devices come online including refrigerators, washers, security systems, and many other devices.  

We see mobile as an extension of your infrastructure and it needs to be a core part of your ongoing SOA and delivery strategy. 

IBM announced the MessageSight appliance which is focused on connecting the "Internet of things" leveraging MQ and MQ TT (telemetry) protocols to rapidly connect and process millions of messages from all over.  This allows the right messages to come in, be processed, and routed back to your secured environment and ESB. In turn, your team and software will gain real insight and be able to respond to market and customer demands rapidly.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A look at API Management

How to create value through API Management
API Management:  

In 2012, IBM announced an API Management solution with Cast Iron in their cloud offerings package.  This solution helps companies leverage the value of their applications and even monetize their value through exposing and marketing API's.  Making available information and application assets to customers and partners’ enables both parties to leverage it to their fullest potential.  Doing so requires not just the correct technology but the right approach to manage their deployment, access, and security.

An example, shared at Impact, is the United States Postal Service making their address validation application available as an API and a fee based service to companies. When your customer inputs an address for shipping or billing, your own commerce or order entry application can call the USPS API and they will send back a valid address or validate the one entered.  Knowing that your customer’s mailing information is validated and accurate can add value to the information and increase company efficiency.   With all the challenges the postal service faces they are beginning to leverage their applications and information as assets in order to monetize them. The USPS information on addresses should be second to none in this country so it is a very good place to start to create value though API management.

Start by asking the right questions and discover if there is real value to be found in the delivery or consumption of API's for your company:  Do you have the right applications, web services, and other assets that would be valuable to your customers and or partners?  Value can be found in many places, knowing where to look is the first part.   Shipping calculations, sales tax calculations, and credit validation can all now be considered part of your business applications when accessed through an API service provider; allowing your company to focus on your core competencies and applications.  Imagine, you want a 20% uplift for packing and handling and with a call to your contracted shipper you can send the right information, receive a quote, and rapidly provide the right shipping price to your customer.  This brings value to your business and will increase overall operational efficiency.

The question is, how can your company embrace this API trend and possibly deliver API's to the market place?  iSOA Group, trusted advisors see this as an extension of your SOA Strategy and web services.  We at iSOA Group, Inc. see that this has the potential to be a great opportunity for advancement, while reminding our clients to proceed with caution.  API Management requires quality documentation of the API's.  Having the right controls in place for security, authorized use, and a clear understanding of the value and how to monetize these API's is necessary.  In addition, companies need to realize that success breeds potential issues around the performance and scalability of their applications that are being exposed with the API's.

IBM announced at Impact a robust extension of their API Management capabilities beyond the SAAS offering from their Cast Iron team.  Extensions including new capabilities for Cast Iron on premise solutions and DataPower to assure the right performance and security as companies look to deliver their own API's to the market place.