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.

Impact 2013 Observations

The iSOA Group, Inc. team attended IBM's Annual SOA and WebSphere Conference, Impact 2013.  As usual, we showed up with our own flair including the re-launch of our solution focused web site, some fun Impact t-shirts, and hotel door hangers that highlight the iSOA magic.  The iSOA Group, Inc. Trusted Advisor team is here to summarize our key observations, and if you would like to discuss any of the particulars please contact us at

iSOA Group, Inc. Impact 2013 Observations
IBM reported there were over 8500 people in attendance and it certainly looked like a larger crowd than in years past.  As always, IBM and the WebSphere team roll out some major announcements and activities to highlight the value of the IBM portfolio going forward.  The iSOA Team focused on three key areas of interest:
API Management: Delivering value and security by exposing key API's that would be of value to partners and customers.
Mobile moving beyond apps: Mobile Moves Beyond Apps into the "Internet of Things" such as automobiles that are rolling data centers and connected
New and Updated IBM Software Offerings:  IBM Software solutions focus on the IBM Brand as they contain key software products from more of the IBM core software brands.  (e.g. WebSphere, DB2, Rational, Tivoli and Lotus)

The iSOA team was at Impact, our trusted advisors can help you as you approach your LifeCycle  technology choices.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact the iSOA Team at or you may contact Brian Silverman, at for more information or to share your own insight on the above topics or Impact 2013.

Written By: Brian Silverman iSOA Group, Inc. Senior Marketing and Sales Leader