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We Are on the Cusp of Fundamental Change, with iPods and Web 2.0:Chuang

BEA World 2007 Half-Time Keynote Report

Bill Roth's Blog

Another BEA World is upon us, and this year things are a bit different. In addition to the usual developer content, the focus of this year's event is to focus on how real customers are using the technology.
 
Alfred Chuang
Alfred started out by talking about his core believe that we are on the cusp of fundamental change, with the advent of iPods, Web 2.0, and social networks. He started with a discussion of Mashups, and talked about how most of them are consumer facing. He then said "The era of innovation in packaged applications is over." He then called out the key needs he has seen recently from customers. This includes:
 
Businesses require greater agility
IT can't respond fast enough to satisfy the business.
What IT needs is an innovation layer of services from packaged and custom applications.
The need for a new market category was defined: Dynamic Business Applications, a term which Forrester defined. They key elements of Dynamic Business Applications(DBA) are:
Embody Business Process
Built to be Changed
Adaptable
Information Rich
Tailored for the individual
SOA was never meant to be the destination. The destination has always been about simplifying
 
We have developed a Dynamic Enterprise Application Infrastructure, we're calling Genesis. Its is a simplified platform that transforms software at the application layer. We see a future of user-focused situational applications, and it will have user-based.
 
Mike Stamback (BEA Demo God) came on stage to show a demo of the progress we've made with Workspace 360, some of which has already been released. More will be released toward the end of the year. He showed a business analyst portal, and then talked about how he could add a a sales commission application. He started with ALBPM to show the business process. From there, he transitioned, in the same tool, into an early version of our Service Assembly Modeler(SAM), which is our eclipse-based implementation of Service Component Architecture. He then showed how he could drill into the ALSB or WLI from the SAM model, and then showed how you could manipulate the ALSB(service bus)  proxy (service).
 
Alfred then mentioned that this was only the beginning, and that we'd have more to show in the future.
 
Andy Baer, Comcast
Comcast is a $30B consumer entertainment and communications company. He started by talking about Comcast's business, and his industry challenges. Baer then showed a video on the origins of Comcast and its business. It discussed their cable, Internet and voice products, and their lineage from 1960's Tupelo, Mississippi. He then showed one of their Slowsky ads, and some statistics:
 
26% of Homes Passed
55% of HSD growth from DSL switchers
7 out of 10 customers use Comcast.net
12M customers make the portal a Top 10 Site
They are the #1 of the residential Broadband provider
They will be the 4th largest residential phone company by year end.
He also pointed out that the generation entering college is the first generation that has not known life without the Internet. He then showed a "Broadband to Wideband" video. It contrasted the cable modems of of 1996 to now, hosted by Brian Roberts, their CEO. His question was: What will people do with this bandwidth? He didn't know, but he knew it would get used. Just as work expands to fill the allotted time, people's use will expand to fill the allotted bandwidth. He then discussed his business challenges.
 
All his products, and all the locations started individually. They are offering a converged product.
Rapid introduction to new products
Rapid growth of products
Extending existing  products
The changing definition of customer
He talked about rapid product delivery time, not in terms of months, he would like to be able to launch product from conception to production in 24 hours. He also talked about OCAP, Open Cable Application Platform which will allow 3rd party apps to be published to your set-top box. He then discussed the "reinvention of of the Back Office with SOA". He then mentioned that they were doing several things for this:
 
Offer a mediation layer to encapsulate legacy applications
Using Enterprise Service Bus provides application-agnostic infrastructure
Focusing on operational support, making the platform fault tolerant
Registry and Repository facilitate information sharing and reuse.
Comcast is betting their back-office business on BEA, and showed a slide as to where it was positioned. He then disagreed with Alfred, saying Enterprise Apps will not go away, but be wrappered to participate in the SOA. He also had additional projects that they as working on:
 
Improving Technician productivity
Improving Call center productivity
Video in demand platform
He then talked about some new language he's trying to spread, called Triple Slanguage, like:
 
Televisiphonernetting: simultaneously using the TV, phone, and Internet at the same time
Quizjacking: Using fast Internet to get the answers
Snurfing: Surfing where you are supposed to be on the phone. (something I have been accused of frequently)
 

More Stories By Bill Roth

Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.

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