The modularization of business functions for greater flexibility and reusability. Instead of building monolithic applications for each department, a service-oriented architecture (SOA) organizes business software in a granular fashion so that common functions can be used interchangeably by different departments internally and by external business partners as well. The more granular the components (the more pieces), the more they can be reused.
A service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a way of thinking about IT assets as service components. When functions in a large application are made into stand-alone services that can be accessed separately, they are beneficial to several parties.
An SOA is implemented via a programming interface (API) that allows components to communicate with each other. The most popular interface is the use of XML over HTTP, known as "Web services." However, SOAs are also implemented via the .NET Framework and Java EE/RMI, as well as CORBA and DCOM, the latter two being the earliest SOA interfaces, then known as "distributed object systems." CICS, IBM's MQ series and other message passing protocols could also be considered SOA interfaces. See Web services.
According to the report by Jack Vaughn at SearchSOA, Yefim Natis asserted "SOA is integration" during last week's Gartner AADI Summit. In all fairness, Yefim did not mean to equate SOA to integration:
You can only do [SOA] in parts of a domain where you have control. Many companies are instituting SOAs, but they are doing so without a singular architectural blueprint for all IT. Some people are starting to try to federate their 'domain SOAs' based on agreed-to interoperability protocols and transports that span the full organization.
So, although using the world "integration", Yefim was effectively talking about "federated" SOA, where multiple SOA implementations can be started independently by different groups/divisions within a given company and later integrated/federated into a cohesive whole. Nevertheless, his comment immediately started discussion on Yahoo! SOA discussion list. The discussion was started by Michael Poulin who asked the question:
What can we do to slow down spreading such Integration SOA madness?
Steve Jones dismissed Michael’s question and asserted that the approach described by Natis is similar to a BSB (Business Service Bus)/DSB (Domain Service Bus):
- The BSB/DSB model I've talked about for yonks is exactly about the federated SOA model.
- It’s the MODELS that matter and the TECHNOLOGY that integrates.
Anne Thomas Manes’ response, on another hand, concentrated on the differences between SOA and integration:
Many organizations mistakenly perceive SOA as an integration strategy. But it is not. SOA is about architecture. To achieve SOA, you must rearchitect your systems. You must remove the deadwood. Every organization has too much stuff - too many redundant applications and data sources. SOA is about cleaning house. You will not simplify your environment, reduce costs, and gain agility until you reduce that redundancy... I think it's important to distinguish between integration and architectural activities. It's fine to use service oriented middleware to implement integration projects, but then you need to readjust your expectations... Service oriented architecture is hard work. It's disruptive. It's a political minefield. It involves going through the application portfolio and identifying redundant applications that can be decommissioned and replaced by a single service. But no one ever wants to open that can of worms. Many folks live by the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." There's way too much other stuff to do.
Rob Eamon joined the discussion with the observation that:
While I wouldn't say "SOA is integration" per se, I'd say that integration is one of the core values of the SO approach. Services have 1 or more interfaces. Interaction with services is via those (and only those) interfaces. Services (and other components such as service clients) exist in independent ownership domains. Those characteristics are the heart of integration. SO demands that one consider integration up front rather than as an afterthought.
Miko Matsumura shared his experience in Software AG by noting:
Working at Software AG/webMethods, who are in some ways culprits of the old integration world, we are seeing the demand for true federation, but it's not across the single dimension of interfaces. Moving from Integration to Federation to be sure, from interfacing systems to interfacing tribal organizations. Our strategic customers are looking for ways to manage cost, complexity, heterogeneity, siloism, tribalism, consultant-ism and vendor-ism. But they are doing so across business processes, schemas, interfaces, contracts, policies, profiles, assets, infrastructure, VMs, etc. It's the natural pattern of the regional power to rapidly create variation (in the name of agility) and it's the natural pattern of the central power to consolidate, normalize, govern and otherwise rein in the regional powers to the extent possible (and sometimes more).
Michael Poulin added the following to the discussion:
What is the difference between integration and interaction? Maybe this is the way to finally find if SOA is about integration or not. When we gather services into the orchestrated process, it this an integration or interaction? I would agree with "integration strategy is a side-effect of applying SO principles at the enterprise level" after we find the answer to my question above.
Anne Thomas Manes continued discussion by explaining the difference between integration and SOA:
Integration is driven by individual projects, i.e., taking lots of small steps, but not bothering with the "thinking big" aspect. If you combine SOI with strong application portfolio management effort, then I don't think the difference is anything to be concerned about. The execution of specific projects tends to be equivalent.
Rob Eamon’s comment reemphasized the importance of the enterprise approach to SOA:
I agree with point about focus. Focus on the right level for a given situation. Focus on the right services to be built/exposed, not about tying applications together. But I don't think that changes whether or not integration is a core part of SOA. SO principles are about defining services and their interfaces with the "outside" world. Again, I agree that integration isn't *the* thing to focus upon, but it is an SOA thing, IMO.
Steve Jones added one more dimension to the discussion by trying to separate architectural and implementation concerns of SOA:
... the argument appears to be more about what is integration, for instance whether process and choreography count as integration and whether more dynamic interaction models count as integration. I think that most people on this list agree that SOA is predominately a governance/organisational/business/thinking thing, but that there are SOA technologies which are related directly to implementation. One of the on going challenges in this group is the two different worlds of SOA.
Anne Thomas Manes continued discussion by explaining the difference between integration and SOA:
Integration is driven by individual projects, i.e., taking lots of small steps, but not bothering with the "thinking big" aspect. If you combine SOI with strong application portfolio management effort, then I don't think the difference is anything to be concerned about. The execution of specific projects tends to be equivalent.
Mike Nibeck quoted Zapthink to explain the differences between integration and SOA:
Zapthink has a very specific take on SOA and integration. They state the following:
Their primary point being that in a SO architecture, integration is simply one of the steps or parts of a composition, and it no longer gets seen as a distinct and separate set of processes or technologies. In most cases, integration efforts are designed to somehow "join" two or more disparate systems. If however the point of interaction is a higher level business service contract, the individual integration points become less relevant. You will always have the need to interact with remote systems, and the lower level details will still be very similar to traditional integration efforts, but these efforts will exist in a larger context, the service model that will hopefully not be directly impacted by the individual integration efforts.
- One goal of SOA - Integration as a byproduct of Service composition.
- One Goal of legacy integration: building Services to support this goal, NOT connecting systems to address a particular business need.
Loraine Lawson addressed the issue outside the Yahoo group discussion on her own blog:
If you haven’t been keeping tabs, this [relations between SOA and integration] is a hot-button issue for SOA. The argument is that SOA is an architecture and about so much more than tying things together... But the facts are these: Most companies aren’t getting into SOA for a complete rebuild. Most companies deploy SOA because it’s so darn helpful with simplifying integration... Although David Linthicum and others believe that agility is the ROI for SOA, many companies are realizing SOA ROI through integration... a lot of SOA people do themselves and SOA a disservice by disavowing integration as a real reason for SOA. Hey, SOA works for integration. Why not embrace that?... So, maybe instead of saying, "No, SOA is not integration," and then advocating a complete overhaul, maybe SOA experts could try this: "Sure, great! Deploy SOA for integration" then come back to me in six months so we can talk about what else you can accomplish using this approach.
So what really is the relationship between SOA and integration? From the architectural point of view, Enterprise application integration (EAI) is:
...the process of linking applications within a single organization together in order to simplify and automate business processes to the greatest extent possible, while at the same time avoiding having to make sweeping changes to the existing applications or data structures.
while SOA is:
... an architectural style promoting the concept of business-aligned enterprise service as the fundamental unit of designing, building, and composing enterprise business solutions.
There is nothing in SOA definition that states the requirement for an overhaul of the existing IT systems. On the contrary, the majority of the successful SOA implementations are based on the reuse of the existing applications (through integration) and introduction a fairly thin layer of (service) rationalization on top of them. The basic difference between integration and SOA:
Although the goal of both EAI and SOA is often similar - support of enterprise business processes with the existing application portfolio - they achieve it in radically different ways. EAI focuses on exposing the applications' functions through integration services, effectively exposing an existing application portfolio as an enterprise business model. In contrast, SOA focuses on hiding the existing applications and exposing a set of application-independent business services instead, projecting an enterprise business model on the existing applications portfolio.
From the implementation point of view, with the current advances of Web services as a technology for providing transport solutions, they are often viewed as standards-based integration solutions. This makes them an extremely attractive (and vendor-independent) alternative to EAI implementations. The introduction of Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) products make Web services-based, standards-based integration solutions, even more popular.
On May 23, Software AG acquired Terracotta for an undisclosed amount. Early in the day on May 23, Ari Zilka, CEO of Terracotta sent a note to all Terracotta community members outlining the future for users and Java in general. InfoQ had the privilege to speak to Ari Zilka in greater detail regarding these changes and what the developer community can expect in the near future.
InfoQ: Software AG is not the first acquirer that would come to mind when thinking about Terracotta, why this marriage in particular?
When Software AG and Terracotta first started talking, marriage was not the goal. Software AG was talking to us about a next-generation cache and clustering solution for WebMethods that they could use in other products as well. In talking to each other, it quickly became clear we are on the same mission: to deliver a next-generation elastic platform which becomes the de facto place for enterprise apps to run. We are not talking public or private cloud. We are not talking caching or message-oriented architecture. We are not talking service orientation or NoSQL. We are talking about it all; the whole ball of wax.
Software AG saw in Terracotta huge potential to build a cloud-enabled platform. Software AG also saw the value of open source--a community of users greater in number and emotional commitment than most enterprise software companies enjoy. To have a conversation with this large an audience is invaluable in helping us get where we need to go as a joint team. We saw the unique opportunity to join forces with a company large enough to deliver the dream platform to market that simultaneously valued our role in that platform. It’s ideal for both companies’ customers and us.
InfoQ: What is your new role and set of responsibilities at Software AG?
I am now CTO, Terracotta at Software AG. My responsibilities are:
1. Continue building Terracotta’s existing line of business as well as invest more into open source Ehcache and Quartz
2. Support integration of Ehcache, Quartz, BigMemory and Terracotta Server Arrays into Software AG’s existing product line
3. Participate as a member of a larger group designing and implementing the next generation in cloud platform
InfoQ: One of the concerns on various blogs has been Software AG's engagement with the developer community. Can we expect changes?
Yes, you can expect changes—positive changes. You can expect more engagement than you have seen to date from Terracotta. While we pride ourselves on how seriously we take our commitment to open source and how much value we provide in the open source projects, I think we now have a larger charter. We need to spend more time with the community, talking about this new cloud platform and where to take Java through standards such as JSR107. Greg Luck has been very busy laying out a roadmap for data management in the Java platform alongside other vendors helping to drive a vendor-neutral agenda. I think you can think of us as doubling down on open source, no question about it.
Our goal is to deliver petabyte-scale solutions to our customers. And our goal is to shepherd the community through defining some new, more modern standards in data management.
InfoQ: Any thoughts to share around potential open PaaS offerings in the near future?
We are working on our integrated technology roadmap and will be sharing more information in a few weeks at ProcessWorld Orlando, June 27-29. Stay tuned!
InfoQ: What are potential integrations with the existing Webmethods BPMS and SOA stack in particular and other products such as ARIS, Natural and Adabas that the community can expect?
In the short-term, the idea is to integrate Terracotta as quickly as possible into Software AG’s existing platform.
We will be able to promise specifics very shortly. For now, I am very happy to see a huge amount of data kept in-memory in Software AG’s existing products. Software AG has been using Ehcache for years. We therefore see lots of promise for BigMemory and Terracotta Server Arrays to be snapped in to WebMethods Integration Server, to Centrasite, ARIS and more as soon as is feasible. These products, like any other product written in Java, will enjoy tuning-free deployment and the ability to cache entire databases in-memory at microsecond latency.
InfoQ: Over the last year SAP has been promoting their in-memory computing platform HANA and last week they announced the HANA AppCloud. Any comparisons that you want to make and share with the InfoQ readers?
The fact that SAP is also investing in the in-memory cloud space validates the huge potential and customer demand for this type of solution.
Whom Does Architecture Serve Today?
In 1969, ‘The Architects' Resistance’, a collective of students from Yale University, Columbia University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published a manifesto titled ‘Architecture: whom does it serve?’
With this manifesto, the group sought to place the practice of architecture in a broader economic, social and environmental context than the one taught in their university lecture rooms. In just two and a half pages, we find a powerful call to reclaim a more social and ecologically conscious architecture. It unambiguously denounces the role architecture played during those years as a practice in service to those in power while adding that “the architect's submission to the system begins with the belief that they possess special skills and knowledge that are inaccessible to the general public.”
In the text, The Architects' Resistance also explains that such a bombastic and superior stance was reinforced by the idea that there are “those 'special' things that only architects know,” which enable them to ignore the real value of the profession and hide behind this way of thinking. In consequence, architects avoid taking on the true role they should play within society, which is to be not saviors but allies of the people who inhabit their buildings and cities.
To put this into context, it should be remembered that the end of the 1970s was a time marked by civil movements, amongst which we can highlight: the Vietnam War protests; the movement led by the Black Panthers in the United States against the structural racism suffered by the country’s black population; and movements in a number of countries demanding greater awareness from their governments of the environmental disasters being caused by capitalism on a global scale.
On 23rd April 1970, just one year after the publication of ‘Architecture: whom does it serve?’, a demonstration took place that brought together more than 20 million people in the United States alone. With the slogan "Save Our Planet”, made a strong call to action to protect the planet, instigating the creation of what we now know as Earth Day. Despite 'The Architects' Resistance’ group’s denouncements, some in the profession still played a visible and important role in all these movements due to their involvement in the social, political, and economic spheres. For example, for the first “Save Our Planet" campaign, the architect Buckminster Fuller designed a set of postage stamps—with 175 million stamps printed—illustrating the problem of global environmental pollution. Together with Roy Lichtenstein, Georgia O'Keefe, Edward Steichen, Ernest Trova, and Alexander Calder, he also created a collection of posters around the theme of protecting the water, air, wildlife, people, and cities.
Since the 1980s, however, and the arrival of predatory neoliberalism, led mainly by Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, architecture has forgotten this activist facet. In fact, it participated fully in the uncontrolled race for economic growth, private profit, and individualism that characterized the economic policies of those years, pushing to one side the profession’s commitment to a wider social vision promoted in the previous decade. Examples of this social perspective are to be found not only in the United States, but also in Europe, for example through the participatory processes popularised by Giancarlo De Carlo in Italy, and in Latin America with projects such as mutual aid cooperatives built in Uruguay between 1968 and 1975.
It is important to remember that the global arrival of neoliberalism in the eighties changed not only architecture but also the role of universities, leading to the privatization of knowledge that Franco 'Bifo' Berardi describes in 'The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance' (2012) as "the submission of research to the narrow interest of profit and economic competition.” Since then, universities, including architecture schools, have been complicit in this privative system, which only rarely responds to the social complexity in which we live.
In this context, it is valid then to ask whether architecture serves society today. It is not an easy question - although it might seem so - and in order to answer it, we must first ask ourselves what we understand by ‘society’. Perhaps the best way to do this is to abandon any conventional lens and see it as if through a kaleidoscope, which shows us a perception of society that includes that diversity of species that together with us also inhabit, transform and affect our cities, our small world. I am talking about trees, the wind and the dry leaves that dance to its rhythm, the birds, the ants, and sometimes the wild boar [PDF]; but I am also talking about video surveillance cameras, electromagnetic waves, sounds—those we like, such as birdsong, and those we do not, such as the noise of the garbage truck. In 'Queering the City: una sonorientación', Katayoun Arian calls this a queer political ecology, a concept within which the word ‘queer’ must be understood in all its complexity, that is, an ecology that defies all possible categorization and that, therefore, includes all races, sexualities, genders, social classes, and languages; or as José María Torres Nadal describes it, "the city as a political space full of different bodies, different sexualities, new and mutating matter, living entities that sometimes argue and fight with each other and other times make love”.
Then I look around me and I feel optimistic: we are living a moment of change that invites dissent—as well as some necessary friction between human beings and all those non-human ‘others’ that accompany us on this journey—which also enables us to regain architecture’s sense of agency in the urban space that is our field of action. I recently remarked upon this optimism in my text for the ‘Twelve Cautionary Urban Tales’ exhibition catalog, in which, just a year and a half ago, I wrote:
In the last year alone, streets all over the world from Lebanon to Santiago de Chile have welcomed a multitude of protests. Over these past months, we have seen how numerous cities in the United States have exploded and hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to join the Black Lives Matter movement to protest against racial segregation and police abuses. In moments like this we realize that the city is also the air that we share, and that when that is denied to any one person, it is everyone's responsibility to reclaim it.
For all these reasons it seemed relevant to me to revisit the manifesto, ‘Architecture: whom does it serve?’ We find ourselves in a time of dissent in which the question "architecture, who does it serve?" could have an infinite number of answers, all right, all wrong, all contradicting and complementing each other at the same time. And within this seemingly chaotic diversity are common threads that can provide us clues not on how to organize chaos, but on how to understand and inhabit it and, therefore, to learn "to stay with it." In her book ‘Staying With The Trouble’, Donna Haraway encourages us “to make trouble, to stir up potent responses to devastating events, as well as to settle troubled waters and rebuild quiet places," while stressing the importance of being truly present in a society that has accustomed us to thinking always in relation to hypothetical futures. Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing also shows us that there are multiple ways of 'inhabiting the present' in her book ‘The Mushroom at the End of the World’, taking as an example the Matsutake mushroom and its ability to react and adapt to uncertainty, through a fascinating history of inter-species relationships and collaboration from which we have much to learn.
And then I stop for a bit and look around me again and find projects like #XFORMAS, which Nicolás Valencia describes as "a model to put together”—as Julio Cortázar's '62: a model kit’—and I think of the tremendous potential architecture has to make that necessary impact within the social sphere, to the extent that we accept that those of us who practice architecture are just one more piece of this model to put together, a model always under construction that at no time can we consider finished, because when we believe that it is finished, social, cultural, environmental and economic realities will have already changed and we will have to reread the instruction manual and try to put it together anew.
That is why having many different voices participate in the conversations that shape this project—architects who have different professional experiences and have worked in different geographical locations—enables us to approach architectural practice from many very different ways of doing things, responding to the complexity of the world we inhabit and the society of which we are part. From the different fields of curatorship, pedagogy, academic discussion, publishing, and the building process and its relationship with the market, #XFORMAS is a project that responds correctly to what Donna Haraway calls “rare kinships”, where she calls for a multi-voiced and multi-disciplinary approach, saying, “we require each other in unexpected collaborations and combinations. … We become-with each other or not at all.”
In order to “become-with each other” we must also think about ourselves from other narratives and reinvent ourselves as architects; we must reject and unlearn a system that has become obsolete and explore new possibilities for those worlds that can and should come into being. This attitude should include demands to act and imagine ways of doing that are outside the status quo, as well as compromises. By breaking the pre-established rules of what ‘architecture’ has for many years been understood to be - a profession linked to privilege and positions of power, essentially focused on competitiveness and individualism - we are creating new fields of action and with them, assuming our responsibility as part of this future that is a continuous present, our responsibility to be part of a profession that responds to the need to work to achieve more affective, inclusive, feminist and intersectional environments.
That's why, looking back and practicing manifestos like ‘Architecture: whom does it serve?’ and contextualizing them within the current moment through thinkers like Haraway and Tsing, I constantly ask myself: how can we find a balance between our global concerns and the care and affections that we need to share on a small scale in order to become-with each other? How do we find the balance between the different realities that coexist on our planet, in its infinite different contexts? The truth is, I don't have a very clear idea, but if I let my mind wander, I always come back to a word that I like a lot, both for its meaning and for its epistemology: ‘to conspire', a word that comes from the Latin conspirare, meaning ‘to breathe together’. In particular, since the beginning of the pandemic, which has even made us fear the breath of others, I wonder how to continue living, coexisting, sharing, and becoming ourselves. How to keep conspiring?
I suppose that some answers can be found if we learn to accept and face our vulnerability, accept the idea that we are navigating in uncertainty and therefore need more than ever to continue conspiring—breathing together, breathing with others—because in the end, all those 'others' are 'us'. And in this context, the visions and projects mentioned in the #XFORMAS conversations remind us that the present-future in which we are working is never written on a blank page. On the contrary, the blank page does not exist in architecture; critical thinking does not have an expiry date and therefore the role models, ways of doing and understanding architecture, the concerns of groups of students like those who signed ‘Architecture: whom does it serve?’ who rejected a dogmatic and closed discipline, are part of this ‘now’ into which our becoming-us as a profession fits. In their book ‘Now’, Comité Invisible clearly marks this difference by stating that “one can talk about life, and one can talk from the standpoint of life; one can talk about conflicts, and one can talk from the midst of conflict.” And this makes me think that in the past decades perhaps our mistake as a profession has been that we have got used to talking about architecture but not to talking from within architecture.
That is why I understand that the question 'Whom does architecture serve?’, posed over 50 years ago, still has no single answer. But perhaps a viable way to approach it is not, therefore, to talk about architecture, but to keep talking and above all, to keep questioning ourselves from the standpoint of architecture, from a fabric of intertwined ways of doing not only from design and construction but also from curatorship, sound, education, academic discussion, performance, publishing, and conversation. For me, this too is what it means to conspire.
Based out of Missouri, Redberri has designed highly intuitive business integration engine (BIE) solutions for standard integration middleware on web service protocols. The company’s products are built to connect disparate systems with each other. “Redberri touches everyone’s life every 23 seconds. Whether you are using an ATM, making travel reservations online, or conducting a business operation, we are at the heart of every transaction,” expresses Deepak Vyas, chairman of Redberri Corporation. The company currently excels at providing enterprise clients in the medical, finance, tourism, and agriculture industries with market-leading SOA products and disruptive technology development & implementation that consolidate, translate, and transmit corporate information into actionable data. Its comprehensive suite of Redberri solutions empowers businesses to manage their legacy applications more resourcefully via a highly stable platform that makes once incompatible applications work together seamlessly. In addition, the company’s solutions are easy to integrate as well as extremely affordable, allowing firms of all sizes to perform their best in any situation.
Redberri touches everyone’s life every 23 seconds. Whether you are using an ATM, making travel reservations online, or conducting a business operation, we are at the heart of several transactions
Aside from its extensive experience in BIE and SOA, Redberri has another particularly interesting characteristic that sets it apart in the market. The company’s mission revolves greatly around the philosophies of collective-good and corporate philanthropy. For instance, in the case of farmers, Deepak Vyas and his team have successfully assisted field workers in better fertilizing their farms and safeguarding the ecosystem around the land. Farmers were empowered with satellite mapping technologies that allow them to use the safest fertilizers in the right quantities, thereby increasing the quality of produce, all the while protecting the land around them. “We are proud that, by doing the right mapping, fertilizer consumption has reduced by 70 percent.
Furthermore, Vyas showcases his conviction and adherence to his humanitarian beliefs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While many companies laid off their employees due to various reasons, Redberri did not. The company, in all respects, is one of the most forward-thinking and caring organizations in the market today, which is a sign to clients that their success is guaranteed. It understands the value of human capital and strives to build on it, consequently forming an extremely productive workforce that will invent solutions to solve the problems of tomorrow.
With such strong capabilities and corporate culture, Redberri is at the forefront of SOA innovation. The company is currently working on mega projects in the healthcare industry, creating one of the largest integrated medical portals today called MedicalCiti. With over 400,000 physicians already on board, the company expects to reach 700,000 by the fall of 2021. “It is a one-of-a-kind innovation with key components like dynamic geo-mapping that helps users find emergency medical services or any medical assistance through GPS tracking, no matter where they are,” explains Vyas. This is one venture among many that Redberri is a part of to make the world a better place. Growing strong with over 5000 employees, the company looks forward to helping as many organizations as possible in this hyperconnected, ever-evolving world.
BetaKit continues to see major demand for software developers, engineers, and IT-related roles in the Canadian job market. If you’re interested in finding a new role in the field, check out some of the best opportunities available right now on Jobs.BetaKit.
In the financial services industry, Valeyo is a leading solution provider. The company is looking for a seasoned Software Developer to work within its Lending and/or Insurance technologies building out features and helping guide their platform roadmaps.
The ideal candidate will have expert knowledge of agile software methodologies and solid experience designing and developing web-based applications using a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). Valeyo offers comprehensive benefits and perks including Group Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) with a company match for Deferred Profit Sharing Plan (DPSP) and a generous paid-time-off policy.
Visit Valeyo’s career page to see all available roles.
Toronto-based Manifest Climate, a cleantech software startup, aims to highlight climate-related risks and opportunities for businesses. Manifest Climate closed a $30 million Series A round in March 2022.
Manifest Climate is looking to hire an AWS DevOps Engineer to build robust monitoring solutions in AWS for application health, log storage, and security tracing. The ideal candidate will interact with the Development and Data Science teams to eliminate barriers and effectively return production and test environment feedback.
Certified as a Great Place to Work™ for purpose-driven work, Manifest Climate helps real-world decision-makers and influencers. Explore more opportunities and learn about the company here.
TalentMinded is Canada’s first recruitment-as-a-service (RaaS) firm. The firm feels that recruiting hasn’t kept up with the need for great people, which is why it created a monthly service to best meet customers’ hiring needs.
The firm assists customers in thinking more strategically about how to recruit the appropriate individuals to help them expand their businesses. TalentMinded’s client is looking for an IT Support Technician to ensure the client’s internal systems and network infrastructure is operating at an optimal level.
Visit TalentMinded’s careers page to see all available roles.
Feature image courtesy Unsplash.
Here’s the truth: new communication channels are born every day, but old channels never die. This is especially true in the financial services industry. As customer preferences have shifted towards digital banking, firms are challenged with figuring out how to create and deliver communications via email, SMS, in-app messaging, websites and chatbots, social media, branch advisors and contact center agents – all while still delivering via traditional postal mail for customers who want it, or as needed for regulatory compliance. It’s a lot to manage. Meanwhile customer expectations around personalization and on-demand service continue to increase.
Yet another more painful truth is that many banks and financial institutions (FIs) still rely on disconnected, outdated software systems for customer communications management (CCM), many built for batch print applications and not today’s digital-first customer needs. Meanwhile many organizations have then acquired disparate systems to support digital channels or different lines of business – or simply inherited them through acquisition.
This redundancy leads to higher IT support costs, as well as siloed data, which ultimately impacts customer experience and compliance risks. Furthermore, many of these legacy systems aren’t built to scale in the cloud. So enterprises spend more to manage on-premise legacy systems, requiring heavy IT involvement to update and maintain. What’s more, many legacy communications platforms might be good for batch, but aren’t designed to effectively support on-demand, interactive or collaborative communications.
That’s why we’re seeing so many banks and other financial institutions prioritize moving toward an enterprise approach, with the goal of consolidating various platforms that support customer conversations into a single solution, built to support today’s modern cloud architecture. Let’s take a closer look at these challenges facing the financial services industry and how to solve them.
Redundancy is Killing Efficiency and Collaboration Across Departments and Lines of Business
From the systems used across departments or lines of business, to the communication channels used to provide a great experience to customers and employees, it’s time to make some updates. As noted in a recent report by a leading research and advisory firm, Celent, “Financial institutions still have many overlapping customer engagement IT solutions that they need to pay for, integrate, and make interoperate. This is time consuming and expensive within and across lines of business and customer engagement processes.”
Celent concluded and recommended to enterprises, “With multiple communications so prevalent, FIs can Boost operating efficiency and realize cost savings by integrating and consolidating these communications.”
Thinking across the enterprise is the key to offering a cohesive customer experience that builds loyalty and wallet share. For example, using data to build “next-best offers” into servicing correspondence or using regular customer communications, like statements, to include personalized marketing messages. Or, even using data to trigger offers sent based on a customer’s life stage or relevant changes in an account. FIs can think beyond just operational communications to work with the marketing team and continue delivering great experiences.
The way to go is to identify use cases for multiple lines of business that drive real value, particularly focusing on areas that require personalized, compliant communications, such as:
Managing customer communications in a holistic, integrated manner will help banks a customer experience that stands out across every channel, building brand loyalty and trust and encouraging people to open new lines of business with the firm.
Communication Channels: What’s Wrong and How to Fix It
It’s important to look at all your communications channels including print (which isn’t going away). If an email bounces, can you automatically channel-switch to send something via mail? Can a customer start and stop an interaction on mobile and desktop? Is content consistent across channels? Don’t forget to audit communications that happen in the branch or contact centers.
While some banks have different tools to support all these channels, the smarter approach is to do all of this from a single platform to facilitate omnichannel delivery, across brand and line of business. If your marketing team is siloed from onboarding or customer service, for example, that’s a missed opportunity to engage.
With an enterprise approach, financial institutions can deliver communications to any channel based on customers’ preference, at scale. This is especially important considering a benchmark study that found 61% of customers felt frustrated when receiving communications on the wrong channel.
You Can’t Take Legacy Content and Templates Into the Future
It’s also important to note that the right CCM solution can help enterprises avoid fines or fees due to regulatory issues. A damaged reputation can lead to retention issues and make it difficult to acquire new customers. With so many compliance risks related to legacy programs and technology, it’s imperative that financial institutions federate the creation and management of communications templates. “Write once and reuse everywhere” is a much better strategy for risk management than maintaining duplicate templates, and it dramatically improves operational efficiency.
Furthermore, cloud-based technology that integrates with other core systems will elicit big benefits, such as a cohesive, data-rich environment that financial services companies need. It also means quicker implementation of new products and a lower reliance on IT departments that may have other business initiatives to focus on. Instead of waiting for IT to update or fix legacy systems, daily users can make these quick updates and spend more time on customer service-oriented initiatives.
Whether hybrid or pure cloud, shifting to a modern CCM platform enables banks and financial institutions to connect more easily to core data and other systems in a way that elevates the possibility for personalization, a big benefit for customer experience.
Moving from Six to One: Australian Bank Simplifies Communications
One of the largest banks in Australia recently went through this process with a project focused on consolidating six different systems for CCM into one platform to be used across the enterprise. Key project drivers included the need to reduce operating costs, while making it easier and faster to respond to changes in the market. The bank opted to shift to a cloud-based platform to reduce costs and Boost business resiliency. Its new platform further shifts template maintenance to the business users, creating a self-service business model that reduces demand on IT resources.
Evolve the Process for Addressing Critical Technology Needs
It’s clear that customers today expect more than batch statements when it comes to bank communications. Ultimately, financial institutions will succeed when they have the right cloud-based technology partners that can help them evolve and scale to meet these ever-changing needs while leveraging core systems and data. This is pivotal as banks shift from sending just regulated communications on a scheduled cadence to frequent, ongoing, and increasingly interactive engagement across various touchpoints.
Taking an enterprise approach to customer conversations means taking a hard look at the current customer journey experience throughout each stage of the lifecycle and how to optimize touchpoints across each channel (print/digital) and each use case (batch/on-demand statements, etc.) Banks need to partner with vendors to address these needs and create a strategic technology ecosystem that allows for business flexibility and agility to respond to change – whatever the next channel or market opportunity may arise.
Since its inception over 50 years ago, the City and Regional Planning Program (CRP) has remained dedicated to an education that emphasizes participatory planning over top-down policy making, and advocacy over technocracy.
A. Students shall demonstrate both professional competency in the planning field and the ability to independently pursue original thinking and research.
B. Students shall demonstrate a foundational understanding of planning theory and values, especially participatory planning, urban conditions and trends, especially in the community planning context; equity and sustainability at multiple scales; and a balance of theory and practice, especially with regard to the use of ideas and information.
C. Students shall demonstrate technical proficiency consistent with the highest standards of the profession, including quantitative methods, qualitative methods, and written, oral and graphic communication skills.
D. Students shall demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in planning practice, potentially with a concentration in community development, physical planning, urban sustainability, and historic preservation.
E. Students shall demonstrate collaborative skills, critical thinking, and an ability to lead in an interdisciplinary environment enabled through service learning opportunities.
F. Students shall exit Pratt as engaged professionals on the path to participate meaningfully in the field; help preserve the environment for generations to come; and foster inclusive planning and just cities.
G. Students, full-time and part-time faculty are connected, enriched, and advanced in their professions through formal collaboration on service-oriented projects, research and publication.
Read more information about our application requirements.
Google Cloud Architect
This is you
You are proactive, entrepreneurial, and service-oriented.
You are a motivated and driven person.
You have an insatiable curiosity for new tech inventions.
Cutting-edge is your comfort zone.
As part of our Cloud service line, you will lead IT innovation for our clients through robust delivery of world-class solutions. There will never be a typical day and you will continuously experience and learn. The opportunities to make a difference within exciting client initiatives are unlimited in the ever-changing technology landscape. You will be part of a growing network of technology experts who are highly collaborative taking on today's biggest, most complex business challenges.
The Cloud Practice includes our deepest Google Cloud experts and supports Accenture's more than 1,000+ practitioners skilled in Google Cloud technologies across the company. Join our team and be among Accenture's most talented Cloud practitioners. The group is responsible for Accenture's most complex Cloud projects and provides our delivery capability for the Accenture Google Cloud Business Group (AGBG). Choosing Accenture and the Cloud Practice will take your Google Cloud experience and skills to the next level and allow you to work in an innovative and collaborative environment. At Accenture, you can lead the world's largest enterprises on the path to native cloud transformation and serverless, on the leading edge of cloud.
Interact with management levels at a client and/or within Accenture
Helping Clients to turn their strategy into reality for the next generation of cloud-based applications running on Google Cloud, enabling the transition from traditional platforms to Liquid cloud architectures;
Integrate a common strategy for cloud, security and DevOps;
Creating business cases for technology and organizational transformation to enable migration to or utilization of Google Cloud and hybrid cloud;
Developing solution architecture, implementation plans and estimates;
Designing, assessing, prototyping, recommending and delivering enterprise-wide dynamically scalable, highly available, fault tolerant, secure and reliable applications and solutions on full-stack Google Cloud technologies, leveraging its rich native services offering, to respond to clients' needs for cost-efficiency, increased competition, and agility to respond to new business opportunities;
Serving as Google Cloud evangelist, educating customers and our own organization of all sizes on the value proposition of Google Cloud.
This role is part of our Accenture CloudFirst practice. We know cloud technology is the first stop on the digital transformation highway. And we know that a digitally transformed business is a business that achieves greater value, and can scale, operate at speed, outmaneuver competition and external threats, and succeed. We are putting everything into cloud: our deep expertise, massive cloud resources, 70,000 cloud professionals and a $3 billion investment over three years to help our clients reimagine every aspect of their business-industry, function, data, culture, talent, applications, infrastructure and edge-to become "cloud first" now.Your team
Accenture Technology leverages design thinking, industry insights and the latest digital methodologies to help clients innovate, grow and Boost their businesses. Our expertise, capabilities and experience mean that our clients (including some of the biggest brands in the world) trust us to find the right solutions for their needs.
Together with our talented international colleagues, we focus on connecting the needs of businesses with the new possibilities that come with technological progress. Because that's where the real challenges are: inventing and testing things that have never been tried before, getting new applications ready for roll-out, and ultimately guiding clients to select and implement the right technologies to transform their businesses.
Experience with Cloud vendors such as Google, AWS or Azure. ..
Hands-on Cloud (e.g. Google Cloud or comparable Cloud vendor) experience
Experience with at least Linux and scripted languages.
Experience with core Google Cloud architecture, including areas such as:
Organizations, Identity & Account Management (IAM), VPC,
Resilient and scalable architectures and solutions
Knowledge of DevOps technologies around Continuous Integration & Delivery
Cloud Deployment Manager and third-party automation approach/strategy
Network connectivity, Load Balancing, Cloud Interconnect and VPN
Professional Skill Requirements:
Proven ability to build, manage and foster a team-oriented environment
Proven ability to work creatively and analytically in a problem-solving environment
Desire to work in an information systems environment
Excellent communication (written and oral) and interpersonal skills
Excellent leadership and management skills
Accenture is an incredible place to work - and keep learning. By joining us, you'll become part of a global company with a world-class brand and reputation. Besides the work we do for our clients, we're really proud of our vibrant, diverse workplace culture: we believe in openness and honesty, fairness and equality, common sense and realism. We want to get to know the real you and help you explore and grow - whatever it is you're great at. So you will always have lots of learning opportunities (formal and informal) to Boost your role-specific skills and expertise.
Besides our high-profile, challenging projects and our nurturing work environment, we offer excellent employee benefits, including:
A flexible transport arrangement that suits your personal situation (electric car or bicycle, flexible budget including NS business card)
An expense allowance
Discount on Accenture shares
The possibility to work 4 x 9 hours a week
Are you ready to join Accenture for a career where you can be yourself and do what you love?
Questions? Connect with Dorine Hogendorp at