Infoworld has a post on the "approach" that some large SIs are taking relative to web services. Thanks to Collaxa blog for the link. Some of my favorite quotes are:
Large SIs (systems integrators), including Accenture, IBM Consulting, EDS, and Dimension Data are forging industry-specific business processes and frameworks for Web services environments. Based on existing Web services toolkits and standards, the frameworks aim to solve specific vertical industry business problems and address BPM (business process management) concerns.
So customers should trust the SIs to define open business processes for companies and industries? Who ya gonna trust with the future of your business, your staff or the SIs staff (and your competitors)? Doesn't anyone find it a bit odd that they want you to outsource your business process management? Where is the competitive advantage in that approach? Wasn't all this web services stuff supposed to make life easier for IT?
"[Customers] expect that IT is managed like the business is managed," said John K. Kaltenmark, a partner at Accenture in Chicago.
So a customer should outsource their senior management functions to an SI? Is there some plug-and-play architecture in place to allow CEO/CIO/CTO functions to be delivered as "web services"?
"We are not necessarily looking to this as a way to generate revenues, but more as a prerequisite to maintaining leadership in our markets," Accenture's Hall said.
So we must assume that they are doing this for ... wha???
"You are not done when you make your apps talk SOAP," said Ross Altman, principal consultant at Plano, Texas-based EDS Solutions Consulting. "You still need to bridge the gap between data formats and semantics to provide a common and consistent business-oriented representation of an organization."
So guess what, the dirty little secret is that business process management is still about "semantics". And there is nothing in all the syntactic standards in the world, no tons of WSDL, UDDI, or SOAP that can address "semantics". Don't be deceived into believing that syntactic and protocol integrators or tool vendors are going to address your business needs better than you can. Remember, they have short term revenue targets as well:).
The real motive is dumbing down your enterprise to their off-the-shelf vision while charging you a fair price for the lobotomy:).
Savvy SIs can cash in on the complex integration tasks left unfinished by Web services standards, such as SOAP, WSDL, and XML, including data transformation and synchronization across systems, according to observers.
Ah, so there might be a bit-o-money to be made after all:)