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Posted by Charlie Dai on July 26, 2013
For the past ten years, the major IT initiative within Chinese organizations has been service oriented and/or process driven architecture. The pace of change has been slow for two reasons: 1) From an end user perspective, related business requirements are not clear or of high priority; 2) more importantly, solutions providers have not been ready to embrace technology innovation and meet emerging technology requirements through new business models.
Times are changing. IBM and other major ISV/SI in China (as well as end users) are driving momentum around emerging technology, such as cloud and enterprise mobility. I recently attended the IBM Technical Summit 2013 in Beijing from July 11 to 12. Here’s what I learned:
Now with support from IBM and other vendors, China Mobile has established Northwestern SME Cloud in 8 months and the provisioned services cover all major business applications, such as CRM, finance, etc. Attributed to the brand name of China Mobile as well as support and funding from government, within 2 months of going live, more than 100 companies have adopted the solution, and the number of named users on the platform has reached 3,000.
Kids Want achieved a highly engaging customer experience through pervasive customer care over mobile solutions supported by IBM. It also jointly developed an intelligent CRM system based on data mining and behavior prediction, as well as sales correlation model for continuous improvement on product portfolio and customer service customization. Next, their visionary CEO will work on location store surveillance, i.e. when the supervisor is walking around the store, related checklists and important messages will be pushed onto his mobile devices for his easy reference.
In my opinion, the challenges for vendors like IBM in Chinese market come from three major aspects: 1) the product itself. The integration among various products (BPM with MessageSight, BPM with Integration Bus, etc.) still needs to be further improved to make integrated solutions easier to adopt; 2) guidance on the use cases of these new products. Industrial reference architecture for solutions like PureData for Hadoop should be enriched to speed up adoption; 3) MNC competitors. Each vendor has their unique advantages against others, for instance SAP Sybase Unwired Platform and Netweaver has better integration with SAP Business Suite, while IBM Worklight could better work with its application servers. Providing business benefits to the customer effectively and economically is the key to success.
As enterprise architects or CIOs you should get ready for the transformation of your enterprise architecture. You should carefully revisit the business strategy and requirements against the opportunity and challenges brought by emerging technologies, proactively evaluate the offerings of products and services provided by MNC and local players in Chinese market, and start to set up a plan for your internal IT organizations to develop the skillsets needed. What’s your experience with global vendors like IBM? What initiatives are your top priorities? I would encourage you to check up Forrester Emerging Technology Playbook to help you better navigate through the technology disruption.
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