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19 December 2007

It was about SOA all along! Chapter 4

[Continuation of my commented reading of Andy Mulholland’s book: “Mashup Corporations. The End of Business as Usual”].

Chapter 4 is about how SOA can transform the relationships with your suppliers. I will quote from the book how a Vorpal supplier defines these SOA-driven relationships it has built with it’s customers (p.57). He is responding to one of Vorpal’s manager who noted that the collaborative meeting they just had was unusual in style:

Yes, we’ve noticed [this change] as soon as we created our new services and started doing mass customization for our customers, the relationship changed pretty quickly from a Darwinian struggle to a win-win situation – from conflict to collaboration, if you will – because we’re both going to make a lot of money that way. I like to think of it as negotiation jujitsu – it’s now my job to use your strength to create new business for us instead of just holding the line on price while you pummel me.”

With an SOA, suppliers and customers work hand-in-hand to generate value. They help each other out. Another useful quote on the next page is:

“[…] don’t just define your suppliers as services – define your own operations as services to them”.

You could say that you are helping your suppliers to serve you better. It is then in fact suggested that we should think of our partners and suppliers as members of ‘our’ dynamic ecosystem, where each member contributes directly or indirectly to the growth of all the others. Another good concept given is to see your suppliers as a channel. Your supplier’s customers are potentially new customers for you.

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