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New Zealand

Costs to tumble with 'SOI' approach to Web services

Fujitsu Australia Limited

Sydney, October 22, 2002

A leading international expert on Web services, Mark Unak from Fujitsu Consulting in the United States, today told a Sydney conference that organisations could expect to see enterprise integration costs fall by an order of magnitude with the widespread introduction of Web services.

The entry price to major integration projects could fall from around $1 million today to $100,000 through the introduction of Web services standards and the adoption of what Mr Unak refers to as a Services-Oriented Integration (SOI) approach. SOI brings together the use of standard Web services interfaces (SOAP) and higher-level disciplines for Web services workflows and XML management solutions for performance monitoring.

Presenting a keynote at the 'Towards Web services' event at the Sheraton on the Park hotel, Mr Unak said that SOI had the potential to replace today's separate disciplines of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), Business-to-Business Integration (B2Bi) and Data Integration (DI). Cost savings would be achieved through greater simplicity, increased competition and 'off-the-shelf' components made possible through standards.

The end result will be substantially lower total cost of ownership for corporate IT users, better connectivity between organisations, and improved understanding of customers and business operations. Under a SOI approach, it was also easier for applications and systems to evolve and to add value to existing applications. "Integration has been a headache and challenge for most organisations for decades. Traditional integration solutions have offered some relief, but at great expense, complexity and rigidity," Mr Unak told delegates. "Web services offer a better path for integration through service-oriented techniques that provide a standards-based, loosely-coupled, fine-grained approach to connecting systems."

Mark Unak is Chief Architect for the US division of Fujitsu Consulting and has been directly involved in more than 75 major integration projects over the past four years. This included the global, 400-site integration of the operations of BP and Amoco.

Showing that Web services is now a key IT issue for many organisations, the conference is also hearing from experts and users at the Australian Taxation Office, Basell Chemicals, Commonwealth Bank, Curtin University, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Queensland Rail, UBS PaineWebber (USA) and Visy Industries. Mr Unak added in his address that Web services and a services-oriented approach to their implementation would help overcome many of the problems associated with current EAI and B2Bi technologies. These included: a focus on data-level, as opposed to application or service level, integration; a lack of incentive for EAI vendors to make systems more efficient; and integration across firewalls.

There was also a requirement for organisations working with Web services and SOI to move beyond solving problems relating to API- and business process-level integration to information meaning and semantic level integration.

The end goal, and the one that offered the greatest return on investment, was to become an "agile enterprise" with a high level of connectivity to other organisations and flexible, streamlined IT operations.

"SOI solutions possess challenges of their own, including questions about their relative immaturity and incomplete standards. Although analysts believe many of these problems will be resolved by the end of 2003, in the meantime, hybrid integration with traditional EAI and Web services may be the prudent course for near-term initiatives," he said.

About Fujitsu Australia

Fujitsu is one of the world's leading e-services organisations. Fujitsu technology solutions, from servers to e-Business applications, are powering the new Internet economy. In Australia and New Zealand Fujitsu is helping corporate and government customers to design, build and operate solutions which offer competitive advantage in the Internet world, from state-of-the-art infrastructure through to complex e-Business solutions. Our portfolio of IT services includes consulting, systems integration, prime contracting and a full range of professional services. Fujitsu Australia Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited of Japan.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting technologies, high-reliability/performance computing and telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts make Fujitsu uniquely positioned to unleash the infinite possibilities of the broadband Internet to help its customers succeed. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 5 trillion yen (about US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.
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Gillian Lamrock

Phone: Phone: (02) 9776 4799
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Company:Fujitsu Australia Limited

Date: 22 October, 2002
City: Sydney
Company: Fujitsu Australia Limited