Service oriented infrastructure

Service oriented infrastructure (Part 2)


I am delighted to introduce this edition of the BT Technology Journal, the second of two editions devoted to the subject of the Service Oriented Infrastructure (SOI).

Part 1 explained the concepts of SOI and how they underlie the transformation in BT and the wider ICT industry. The reader will have been left in no doubt as to the importance of SOI and its role in the transformation BT is undergoing. The papers in this edition continue the story, by explaining in more detail how we are using SOI to satisfy real customer needs.

So what are those customer needs?
First, our customers want to be free to concentrate on their core business. That means they will increasingly be looking for ICT capabilities to be delivered as a service, either by their internal IT organisation or by an external provider. The services must support their business critical applications and processes, so service delivery must be integrated end-to-end regardless of where the services are delivered from or which individual network components or servers are involved in their delivery. Organisations want to know that their business applications will be assured, and expect to frame end-to-end to SLAs using the same language they use to set their business objectives. They expect to be billed based on how well these business-level SLAs are met.

Second, customers want to be assured that the applications they use are secure, even where, as a result of virtualisation, network and computer resources are shared arbitrarily between different customers. They themselves may want to share resources, with companies who may be collaborators in one context and fierce competitors in another. Great flexibility in security implementation is essential.

Above all, customers want a rich choice of services. No one service provider can alone create that richness. That is why BT is opening up its underlying capabilities, allowing third-party service providers to create their own services on our platforms. In this way, BT is positioning itself at the centre of an ecosystem in which innovation flourishes collaboratively.

Within that ecosystem, tools and techniques for rapidly assembling services and for managing the service lifecycle are essential. Here the flexibility of the service-oriented philosophy comes into its own.

While part 1 focussed largely on the underlying IT and network infrastructure, the papers in this edition of the Journal describe how our engineers and their collaborators are responding to these customer needs, creating this service-oriented ecosystem and developing tools and techniques that will allow it to be populated rapidly with exciting new services.

This is a fascinating story. I know you will enjoy reading it.

Stefan van Overtveldt

Stefan van OvertveldtStefan van Overtveldt is vice-president, emerging technology and innovation at BT Global Services. He manages the organisation's investments in new technology areas including software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-aservice and cloud services. As part of his role, he also leads a number of internal IT projects in these areas.

Before taking on this current role, Stefan managed BT Global Services' IT transformation practice, heading a worldwide team of consultants and solution architects focused on server and infrastructure consolidation, communication and collaboration, application integration and service-oriented architectures. He also managed the investments made in BT's products and services in these areas.

Stefan's 20 years in the IT industry have included periods in development, technology strategy, consulting and marketing. Immediately before joining BT in 2004, he was the worldwide product executive in charge of IBM's WebSphere technology, based at the company's offices in Somers, New York. In this role, he also started IBM's SOA consulting practice.

Stefan has a background as an IT architect with specialisation in application integration and financial services. He gained his MBA from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.