Sum of the Parts: Combining SOA and BPM

Motorola is another enterprise anticipating this SOA-BPM convergence. “We’ve tied our BPM tool to our system family architecture, which defines the blueprint for our company,” said Charles Soto, senior director for enterprise platforms at Motorola. “After all, they’re extensions of the same concept: business modularity.”

As Synovus, The Hartford, and Motorola have all found, the key is to ensure that the enterprise architecture addresses both business processes and software services, rather than focus on one or the other separately. That broad view is especially needed at enterprises experienced with enterprise application integration (EAI) approaches, which focus exclusively on the interactions of software irrespective of the business processes they serve.

As an architecture approach that centers around the delivery of processes across disparate technical systems, SOA naturally aligns to the IT-integration approach and, if narrowly conceived, will stay in that realm. But the broad SOA approach also naturally aligns to business process coordination, bridging this gap.

“With true SOA, you don’t have the BPM/EAI dichotomy any more,” said Ron Schmelzer, a senior analyst at the ZapThink consultancy.