Thursday, May 10, 2007
SOA & IMS: Same Fight?
Here is an excellent article about the difficulties for the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) to be adopted in the IT community: Finding the Real Barrier to SOA Adoption.
I defend the idea that SIP and IMS can integrate with and extend SOA by adding user orientation to an approach which is service centric. I already started to describe some architectural aspects of IMS, and the possibility to implement service logic as a distributed set of individual services reusable by others.
This is therefore not a surprise that I can identify within the telecom industry the same types of problem with regards to IMS and SIP, that the author of this article does with SOA and the IT industry.
He states that IT organizations are the first barrier to SOA adoption. I also think that existing telco organizations play such a role for IMS.
SOA permits to solve some complexity issues that IT organizations want to maintain, for the sake of keeping their job. I would liken this to the subdued but real ongoing fight between some of the telco vendors, who want to maintain complexity in the IMS, and IT suppliers, who can help make IMS much simpler for service developers.
SOA forces to think differently, in terms of reusability, architecture, and distribution. This is the same for IMS, which could support a new service architecture, much more distributed and powerful than the legacy ones.
The reference to silos is explicitly linking to the application silos we know in our networks, and that start to be implemented as well on IMS.
The fear of the unknown is also a very common problem in our industry, as people just want to work on topics they have already been addressing for years. Just look at how current SCIM/Service Broker standardization is just a way to keep on working on the old IN service interaction management problem and not to think of what could be beyond voice.
I would add an IMS-specific problem related to SOA: many people in the telecom industry that defend SOA concepts do not want to accept the idea that IMS is more than just another telco network, and that it supports SOA-related concepts as well.