Software // Information Management
01:34 PM
Connect Directly

Mobile phone giant vets products, sets standards for SOA and EII initiatives

Field Report: Motorola, Schaumburg, Illinois

Field Report: Motorola, Schaumburg, Illinois

Enterprise information integration (EII) technologies have to deliver on four counts, according to Toby Redshaw, chief technology officer at communications equipment manufacturer Motorola. "You have to have rapid, intelligent interrogation of databases, robust data normalization, a metadata modeler and an ability to express the results in a long list of ways-especially as Web services," says Redshaw.

Motorola is relying on EII and a services-oriented architecture (SOA) initiative to build a better supply chain and improve customer service. These technologies were chosen for their speed of deployment and ability to bridge gaps between disparate applications and platforms deployed departmentally or added through acquisitions.

"The issues are about access and processes," says Redshaw, describing a recent services and EII project aimed at gaining access to and normalizing customer data from all points along the supply chain. "There's no reason we should be coding the solution at each point along the way. We found middleware and tools that would help us solve repetitive problems."

Motorola takes a methodical approach to creating reusable integrations. "We do a prototype, we learn, we do analysis, we learn some more and then we roll out the next wave and the next wave [of prototypes] before we take it mainstream," says Redshaw.

Reusable integration services cut solution costs and deployment cycles. Redshaw says the supply chain project was completed in nine weeks, and he estimates it would have taken six to seven months through conventional, custom integration work.

Another project completed last fall was designed to pull financial and operational data from a series of databases to create a more coherent view of performance. That effort took about seven weeks, says Redshaw. Motorola standardized on AmberPoint SOA management software and MetaMatrix EII middleware for its SOA initiative after putting dozens of vendors "through a ringer" before the selections were made, examining everything from finances and management to architecture and ability to execute.

"We look for the best of value, not the best of breed," Redshaw says. "If I have two vendors that are neck and neck, I'm going to pick the one that's 30 percent cheaper. To me, it's the 80 percent of features and functions that are the whole ball game. The rest is just fluff."

Redshaw warns fellow CTOs to set architectural standards and design a master blueprint before beginning an SOA initiative, "or you're just going to end up creating metaspaghetti, and it will be hard to unravel. Many companies get into trouble because they build without blueprints."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll