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S90.02A SOA Technology Concepts outline |

S90.02A outline - SOA Technology Concepts Updated: 2024

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Exam Code: S90.02A SOA Technology Concepts outline January 2024 by team

S90.02A SOA Technology Concepts

Exam: S90.02A SOA Technology Concepts

Exam Details:
- Number of Questions: The exam consists of approximately 40 multiple-choice questions.
- Time: Candidates are given 60 minutes to complete the exam.

Course Outline:
The S90.02A SOA Technology Concepts exam focuses on assessing professionals' knowledge of the technical aspects and technologies related to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). The course covers the following topics:

1. Web Services Fundamentals
- XML and JSON basics
- SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
- WSDL (Web Services Description Language)
- REST (Representational State Transfer)

2. Service-Oriented Integration
- Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)
- Message-oriented middleware
- Service-oriented integration patterns
- Data transformation and mediation

3. Service Composition and Orchestration
- BPEL (Business Process Execution Language)
- WS-BPEL (Web Services Business Process Execution Language)
- Service choreography
- Orchestration engines and tools

4. Service Security and Transactions
- WS-Security (Web Services Security)
- WS-Trust and WS-Policy
- Identity and access management
- Transaction management in SOA

Exam Objectives:
The exam aims to assess candidates' understanding and proficiency in the following areas:

1. Web services fundamentals and protocols
2. Service-oriented integration technologies and patterns
3. Service composition and orchestration concepts
4. Service security and transaction management in SOA

Exam Syllabus:
The exam syllabus covers the following topics:

- Web Services Fundamentals
- XML and JSON basics
- SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
- WSDL (Web Services Description Language)
- REST (Representational State Transfer)

- Service-Oriented Integration
- Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)
- Message-oriented middleware
- Service-oriented integration patterns
- Data transformation and mediation

- Service Composition and Orchestration
- BPEL (Business Process Execution Language)
- WS-BPEL (Web Services Business Process Execution Language)
- Service choreography
- Orchestration engines and tools

- Service Security and Transactions
- WS-Security (Web Services Security)
- WS-Trust and WS-Policy
- Identity and access management
- Transaction management in SOA
SOA Technology Concepts
SOA Technology outline

Other SOA exams

S90.01A Fundamental SOA & Service-Oriented Computing
S90.02A SOA Technology Concepts
S90.03A SOA Design & Architecture
S90.04A SOA Project Delivery & Methodology
S90.05A SOA Technology Lab
S90.08A Advanced SOA Design & Architecture
S90.09A SOA Design & Architecture Lab
S90.18A Fundamental SOA Security
S90.19A Advanced SOA Security
S90.20A SOA Security Lab
C90-06A Cloud Architecture Lab

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SOA Technology Concepts
Question: 80
WS-BPEL is an XML-based language that can be used to define business process logic that
can be carried out via the composition of SOAP-based Web services. Select the correct answer.
A. True
B. False
Answer: A
Question: 81
Which of the following statements are false? SELECT ALL THAT APPLY
A. A service enters the service consumer role only when it initiates contact with other service
B. A service enters the service consumer role only when it accesses other services acting as
C. A service enters the service consumer role when it initiates contact with other services
acting as service providers, including those also acting as intermediaries.
D. A service cannot enter the service consumer role.
Answer: A, B, D
Question: 82
A common, but older alternative to the XML Schema Definition Language is: Select the
correct answer.
A. Hypertext Markup Language
B. Extensible Markup Language
C. Document Type Definitions
D. XML Data Model Definition Language
Answer: C
Question: 83
Which of the following technologies are fundamental to REST service design? SELECT ALL
Answer: A
Question: 84
Which of the following technologies can be used to establish a federated data architecture
capable of exposing standardized data models while abstracting disparate data sources? Select
the correct answer.
A. XML Schema
B. XQuery
D. WS-Federation
Answer: A
Question: 85
UDDI stands for: Select the correct answer.
A. Universal Definition, Direction, and Intelligence
B. Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration
C. United Discovery, Data, and Interoperability
D. United Document, Definition, and Interchange
Answer: B
Question: 86
XPath expressions are often used by: Select the correct answer.
A. XSLT and XQuery
C. XQuery and SOAP
D. XQuery only
Answer: A
Question: 87
Like components, SOAP-based Web services can be developed using vendor tools. Unlike
components, the communications framework established by SOAP-based Web services can be
based on industry standards thereby remaining vendor-neutral. Select the correct answer.
A. True
B. False
Answer: A
Question: 88
REST stands for: Select the correct answer.
A. Representational State Transfer
B. Relational State Transport
C. Repository Stack Target
D. Released Semantic Transport
Answer: A
Question: 89
The acronym SOAP was originally defined as: Select the correct answer.
A. Simple Object Access Protocol
B. Service-Oriented Access Protocol
C. Service Object Access Parameters
D. Simple Object Acknowledgment Protocol
Answer: A
Question: 90
Which of the following statements is true? Select the correct answer.
A. One way in which REST services are different from components is that components each
expose their own technical interface (or technical contract), whereas REST services share a
single uniform contract.
B. One way in which REST services are different from components is that components
typically exchange data using HTTP, whereas REST services typically exchange data using
binary protocols.
C. One way in which REST services are different from components is that components cannot
themselves become services. Instead, components are used by services, such as REST services.
D. One way in which REST services are different from components is that components cannot
exchange data remotely (across server boundaries), whereas REST services are designed to be
Answer: A
Question: 91
Each WSDL ______________ can define a set of ______________ and/or ____________
messages to express data exchange requirements. Select the correct answer.
A. operation, type, RPC
B. operation, input, output
C. function, type, RPC
D. function, operation, type
Answer: B
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SOA Technology outline - BingNews Search results SOA Technology outline - BingNews BEA To Donate SOA Technology To Open-Source Community

Under Project Beehive, the San Jose, Calif.-based company is open-sourcing the application framework for its WebLogic Workshop tool, including the controls in Workshop, BEA CTO Scott Dietzen said at a press conference Wednesday. BEA plans to outline its broader SOA strategy, Project Sierra, next week at its annual eWorld show in San Francisco.

Workshop controls are pieces of code that allow application functionality to be exposed as services. Developers can use controls to piece together composite applications, a core technology that drives an SOA, from functionality of several different programs running in one IT system. SOAs allow applications and application components to run as services that can invoke other applications or components in a distributed system.

The first implementation of Beehive will be targeted at Tomcat, the Apache Software Foundation's open-source Java servlet container, Dietzen said. However, the framework is designed to be cross-platform and run on any J2EE-based application server.

BEA also hasn't yet decided which open-source community will oversee Project Beehive or which open-source license to use for distributing it, said Cornelius Willis, vice president of developer marketing at BEA. The vendor donated WebLogic Workshop's XMLBeans technology, which turns Java code into XML, to the Apache Software Foundation last December.

BEA aims to expand use of the J2EE platform through Beehive, as well as extend its own market reach by open-sourcing the technology, Dietzen said. The framework gives the Java market a unified programming model so developers don't have to learn multiple models from different vendors to build applications, he said.

That approach is similar to the way Microsoft's .Net platform works, in which the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant offers one programming model for .Net developers. Industry observers say that's a key reason for the success of Microsoft's tools in the developer community.

But Microsoft is loathe to embrace the open source model. "Every major vendor has an open-source strategy of some sort, using it to augment their products or strong suits--except Microsoft," said Yankee Group Analyst Dana Gardner. Microsoft has opened up some source code, but Gardner termed that "window dressing."

BEA's move shows that "even mighty Microsoft may not be able to compete against everyone else and the open source approach."

In January, BEA joined with a group of Java tools vendors, including Sun Microsystems and Oracle, to devise a common framework for Java tools to rival .Net. That group, the Java Tools Community (JTC), hasn't made an announcement since its formation, and on Wednesday BEA executives didn't say how Project Beehive fits into the JTC's work.

Eclipse, an open-source tools framework created by IBM and donated to the open-source community, also solves the problem of how multiple tools can work together by providing a common development environment on which disparate tools can run. Though Eclipse isn't exclusively earmarked for Java development, it is supported most major Java software and tools players.

BEA has extensive ISV support for Workshop controls through a program that allows ISVs to build custom controls that integrate their software with Workshop. BEA Chairman and CEO Alfred Chuang said last week that BEA plans to announce expansions to that program at eWorld.

ISV component and service providers "love this because these controls are all portable," BEA's Willis said of the Workshop controls program.

BEA already has more than 50 companies in the Beehive ecosystem through ISVs that support the Workshop controls, Willis said. Beehive also is being supported by developer tools vendors Borland and Compuware, as well as Linux distributor Red Hat, which is considering how to distribute Beehive, he added.

Shawn Willett, a principal analyst at research firm Current Analysis, said BEA's move sidesteps the Java Community Process (JCP) and may not be well-received by some Java vendors, notably Sun. "BEA thinks [the JCP] moves too slowly and probably thinks Sun has too much influence," Willett said.

BARBARA DARROW contributed to this report.

This story was updated with analyst comment.

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 22:35:00 -0600 text/html
SOA: The Business Behind The Hype

Summit Business Associates

Three years ago, Summit took on a major project to streamline the profusion of heterogeneous systems that an electric cooperative was using to run its business. Using IBM middleware, Summit built an integration architecture that allowed the client to keep its legacy applications in place and Improve workflow and data exchange among them. Not long after that engagement, several of Summit's staffers attended an IBM meeting about SOA -- at the time, a nascent buzzword McCubbins hadn't previously encountered.

"One of my sales guys and I look at each other and go, 'This is what we did at the co-op!" recalled McCubbins, Summit's managing partner. "That became our message."

SOA has been a hot Topic for years, but it's also a maddeningly elusive one. Every major software vendor has adopted an SOA strategy, and most throw the buzzword around with abandon. For solution providers looking to build a practice in the field, separating hype from reality is part of the challenge.

"It means a lot of different things to people, and a lot of people use it to sell whatever their agenda might be," said Tim Marshall, vice president of technology at Irvine, Calif., services firm Neudesic. "It's almost a solution in search of a problem."

At its core, SOA is an architectural philosophy focused on flexibly linked, business process-oriented software components that leverage Web standards and services. It's the latest evolution in the ever-shifting IT landscape. Major software makers, including SAP and Oracle, have made SOA design the foundation of their latest application suites. But because SOA is such an all-encompassing idea, it's prone to a broad interpretation. A accurate Aberdeen Group survey found that 90 percent of respondents said they have or are adopting SOAs in their business.

Analyst Ron Schmelzer of ZapThink, a research firm that specializes in SOA topics, waves off such grandiose statistics. SOA momentum is gaining, but serious SOA projects are still at the early end of the adoption curve. Schmelzer estimated that perhaps 100 textbook SOA case-study projects were carried out last year.

"Anybody who is trying to do SOA is realizing that it's a lot more involved than they might have thought," Schmelzer said. "It's pretty easy to put a Web services interface on anything. But to actually change the way you build applications so the services can consume those applications, well, that involves changing the way people build applications."

One textbook case is the modernization project that Ultramatics, Oldsmar, Fla., took on three years ago for marine transportation services company Crowley Maritime. As it grew and made acquisitions, Crowley ended up with a hodgepodge of heavily customized, disparate systems that required resource-intensive, point-to-point adapters for integration.

Until Crowley engaged Ultramatics, it was bracing itself for a complete rip-and-replace job. Ultramatics suggested an SOA approach, using IBM WebSphere infrastructure like Message Broker and MQ to create an enterprise service bus (ESB) linking Crowley's systems. The SOA revamp, which took about a year from planning to the first deployment phases, slashed the time and cost of implementing changes and bringing new systems online.

"We helped educate them that SOA is a journey, as opposed to a product that you buy," said Saru Seshadri, Ultramatics' president and founder. "It's not a one-time deal."

The incremental approach of SOA design is an attractive selling point, solution providers say. Summit's McCubbins likes to start by zeroing in on one process. "It may not be the most critical, but it will be one where we can have a quick win," he said.

For one of its co-op clients, Summit began by modeling the workflow involved in creating an IT entry for a new customer's electrical meter. Establishing a new meter used to be a manual process that dragged on for weeks, but the system Summit designed enables it to happen almost instantaneously. That sold the customer on the benefits of investing in a broader SOA overhaul.

NEXT: What's driving SOA Systems integrators have long wrestled with the challenges of heterogeneous IT environments, and the core ideas driving SOA -- about the value of flexible, integrated systems -- aren't new. What's changed, according to solutions providers, is that software, standards and best-practices methodologies have come of age. Companies can now rely on the infrastructure of the Internet to physically link remote data systems, while standards like XML, SOAP and WSDL are ubiquitous.

"What the Web services standards and the tools built around them have done for us is alleviate the technical roadblocks for integration, so you can spend more time on the business issues," said Paul Hernacki, CTO of Definition 6 in Atlanta.

Global solutions provider Keane now has 300 consultants trained for SOA projects, whereas four years ago it had 40. Financial services and pharmaceutical companies, which have complex businesses and strong financial incentives to optimize systems, have been among the most rapid adopters, said Alkesh Shah, Keane's director of system architecture.

Of course, a fledgling and rapidly evolving field has its share of speed bumps. Critical specifications like XML are entrenched, but vendors continue wrangling over others in jockeying for advantage. UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration), a much-hyped protocol for an online, programmatic registry of business services, essentially collapsed last year amid lackluster adoption and a decision by its backers to go in different directions with their implementations. In such a dynamic field, figuring out which horses to back is a delicate art.

Meanwhile, the market for SOA-enabling software is filled with pure-play vendors facing intense competition from giants like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, which are fleshing out their own SOA middleware. Even solution providers that sometimes recommend the independent vendors don't foresee them sticking around, since the expectation is that they will get bought or fade away. Keane's Shah remembers a client project in which he evaluated XML processing technology from IBM and DataPower, a smaller rival. Shah recommended DataPower, only to see the company swallowed up by IBM a year later.

"What would compel somebody to select one of [the pure-plays] when the big guys are adding features and acquiring companies constantly?" ZapThink's Schmelzer said. "Companies just don't like risk, so they're first and foremost going to their existing technology providers."

The SOA technology field is also strewn with open-source offerings. For example, in ESBs, companies can pick among Mule, ServiceMix, JBoss ESB and others. Open-source software can be useful for inexpensive proof-of-concepts, Shah said.

"If a client doesn't want to invest in any given way of implementing a stack, they go with open source, and it doesn't cost them a dime," he said. "Once they understand the value of that way of doing the SOA implementation, they may want to reduce risk and swap out the open-source for a more reliable vendor."

Years after the SOA buzz began, it's still building. But so are the benefits of broadening adoption.

"SOA is an architectural pattern that I think still has legs for the next five years," said Neudesic's Marshall. "Reality is setting in. SOA doesn't cure cancer; it's not going to solve world hunger. It's another tool in our toolbelt, and it's definitely one with momentum."

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 22:35:00 -0600 text/html
Chapter 11: Optical Amplifiers No result found, try new keyword!This chapter first looks at SOA technology since the same operational principles apply to all types of amplifiers. These discussions include external pumping principles, gain mechanisms, noise effects ... Sun, 18 Feb 2018 04:09:00 -0600 en-US text/html Experts Outline 14 Ways Humanity Could Drive Itself to Extinction No result found, try new keyword!New research led by a team from the University of Stockholm in Sweden outlines 14 different "evolutionary ... Another five are described as technology traps. They are infrastructure lock-in ... Sun, 19 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en-us text/html Researchers Outline How Our Bodies Break Down Plant Flavonoids

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In a world where plant-based lifestyles are on the rise, the power of foods such as broccoli, celery, and tofu, which are rich in flavonoids, is becoming clearer. Flavonoids are phenolic compounds produced by plants that are essential for plant development and defense and have long been said to have therapeutic and preventive effects against cancer and heart disease. However, the exact process of how our bodies metabolize flavonoids remains unclear.

An international team of researchers led by visiting researcher Tsutomu Shimada and Professor Shigeo Takenaka of the Graduate School of Human Life and Ecology at Osaka Metropolitan University, has shed light on the mechanism of three major flavonoids - naringenin, apigenin and genistein - and the processes by which the body metabolizes them. Molecular docking analyses revealed that human enzymes modify flavonoids in a similar way to how plants modify flavonoids.

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“The results of this research are fundamental in elucidating the correlation between the metabolism of flavonoids in the body and their potential health benefits,” explained Professor Takenaka.

Reference: Nagayoshi H, Murayama N, Kim V, et al. Oxidation of naringenin, apigenin, and genistein by human family 1 cytochrome P450 enzymes and comparison of interaction of apigenin with human P450 1B1.1 and Scutellaria P450 82D.1. Chem Res Toxicol. 2023;36(11):1778-1788. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.3c00229

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Research Outline

The purposes of this research area to cultivate and establish "Molecular Technology" that freely controls the functions and behaviors of molecules, strongly promote further development and new expansion of studies and industrial capabilities of molecular materials in Japan, and contribute to the sustainable development of society in order to produce molecular-based new materials, new devices, and new processes. This research area targets innovative, challenging, and unique molecular technologies concerning technologies for designing, synthesizing, and altering molecular structures to produce functions of clearly defined molecular materials, technologies to create and control integrated or combined structures of molecules, technologies to develop molecular functions, and technologies to produce devices and processes. The field of study includes studies of fundamental technologies of molecular materials, such as studies founded on common bases, including challenging approaches that take into account the technical flow of design → conversion→ assembly and complexation → development of functions → production of materials → production of devices and processes, as well as research that integrates molecular designs and conversions.
Specifically, advanced, unique, and fundamental studies that contribute to the production of molecular technologies are targeted as important studies. Such studies include technologies to design, synthesize, and convert molecules with a clear goal of producing functions; technologies to construct orders of one-dimensional, two-dimensional, and three-dimensional molecular assemblies and complexes; technologies to build energy device materials that control behaviors of electrical charges and ions; studies based on comprehensive perspectives of the flow from fundamental studies for constructing environmental and medical materials that selectively transport molecules and ions using complex structures, such as artificial membranes and micelles to the process of turning them into materials; and studies on molecular measurement and analytical technologies.

Molecular materials are expected to be used for solving various problems in the world, such as the environment, resources, safety and security, and health and medical issues, as well as for the continuous advancement of mankind. This is because molecular materials are expected to be applied to the reduction of environmental burdens and the limited use of resources as well as to deliver great biological compatibility. Molecular technology that realizes these goals is the series of technologies that create molecular functions and utilize them based on scientific knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics for the purpose of using them to create new materials, new devices, new processes, and useful materials. The structure of this research area enables fundamental technologies hat establish innovative production of materials by designing and synthesizing molecules with clear objectives, freely controlling the molecule, precisely integrating and combining the molecules, and effectively using the molecular features. Meanwhile, there is a field of study called “ Molecular Science”. This research area aims to study structures and properties of molecules and molecular complexes at molecular levels and to clarify chemical reactions, mutual interactions of molecules, and their principles based on theories and experiments. “Molecular Technology” creates the desired functions of molecular materials based on the knowledge and understanding gaind in molecular science.

Japan is maintaining strong global competitiveness in academics and industries in the field of molecular-based functional materials. This research area will be further strengthened and expanded by building and establishing the concept of “ Molecular Technology”, making it one of the sources of national strength and contributing to the happiness of mankind. This research area deals with such molecular technologies and strengthens the academic structures that result in the production of new and innovative materials.

The establishment of “Molecular Technology” as an independent field of technology requires essential development of “technology for control of molecular electronic states”, “technology for control of molecular shapes and structures”, “technology for control of molecular assemblies and complexes”, and “technology for control of transportation of molecules and ions” based on “technology for molecular design and creation” and “technology for molecular conversion and processing”. It is necessary to deepen the fundamental understanding of the behaviors and characteristics of molecules and molecular complexes to construct innovative functional materials to freely achieve strategic goals aiming to create targeted functions. The behaviors of individual molecule and molecular complexes are closely related to the development of functions, but molecules are diverse and complicated. The mission of this research area is to understand their relationship and lead the understanding to the development of astounding functions. In order to complete this mission, a series of flow from designing molecules to controlling molecular assemblies and complexes is important rather than being limited to exploring one of the technologies mentioned above. Therefore, this research area welcomes proposals that also cover combinations and cooperation among different field.

Through this open recruitment, we are expecting to receive proposals for innovative, challenging, and unique molecular technologies concerning technologies to design, synthesize, and convert molecular structures for creating clearly defined functions of molecular materials; technologies to create and control assembled and combined molecular structure; technologies to develop molecular functions; and technologies to create devices and processes. We target advanced, fundamental, and cross-boundary research on technologies to design, synthesize, and convert molecular structures to develop functions of molecular materials; technologies to create and control molecular assembly and complex structures using processes that require low energy and low environmental loads, such as self-assembly; technologies to development molecular functions; and technologies to produce devices and processes. IN addition, the target also includes studies, such as ones founded on common bases, including challenging approaches that take into account the technical flow described above and studies that fuse mathematical approaches, such as theories and simulations with molecular designs and alterations.

Specifically, advanced, unique, and fundamental studies that contribute to the production of molecular technologies are targeted as important studies. Such studies include technologies to design, synthesize, and convert molecules with a clear goal of producing functions; technologies to construct orders of one-dimensional, two-dimensional, and three-dimensional molecular assemblies and complexes that cover from nano-level to micro and macro levels; technologies to build energy device materials that control behaviors of electrical charges and ins; studies based on comprehensive perspective of the flow from fundamental studies for constructing environmental and medical materials that selectively transport molecules and ions using complex structures, such as artificial membranes and micelles to the process of turning them into materials; and studies on molecular measurement and analytical technologies.

In terms of the research area, we are expecting applications from researchers in a wide range of fields, such as chemistry, material science, biology, engineering , electronics, systems science, physics, and mathematics. The important point is that proposals should be original, unique, and based on researchers’ own ideas. The basic concept is that researchers from different fields can get together at the common platform of this research field and produce new and fundamental academic developments and become leaders of this field. We are expecting flexible ideas. Proposed research projects should be based on the autonomous activities of applicants. Yet, PRESTO(Sakigake) research may be conducted through the close cooperation among different fields if joint research among applicants or integrated research from different field is needed for the purpose of implementing field-binding research. In such cases, please describe the autonomous aspects of the PRESTO(Sakigake) research (specialty and roles of an applicant) and types of cooperation with different field (specialty and roles of joint researchers). Joint researchers may belong to either public agencies or private companies.

We strongly encourage cooperative studies among researchers from different field by providing many opportunities for them to exchange information and engage in discussion so that they can share an awareness of merging different fields. In addition, joint study sessions and symposiums are provided to maintain close cooperation with relevant CREST researchers. The research area aims to build and establish molecular technology structures, thereby invigorating academic sectors and industries and contributing to building human societies that keep advancing.

Sun, 16 Aug 2020 19:34:00 -0500 en text/html
OpenAI outlines AI safety plan, allowing board to reverse decisions No result found, try new keyword!Microsoft(MSFT.O)-backed OpenAI will only deploy its latest technology if it is deemed safe in specific areas such as cybersecurity and nuclear threats. The company is also creating an advisory ... Mon, 18 Dec 2023 06:14:00 -0600 text/html Get updates and offers from MIT Technology Review

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Founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899, MIT Technology Review is a world-renowned, independent media company whose insight, analysis, reviews, interviews and live events explain the latest technologies and their commercial, social and political impact.

Tue, 14 Nov 2023 09:22:00 -0600 en text/html
Layoffs At Big Airlines Can Lead To Longer-Term Opportunities

No one likes layoffs. People losing their job due to something other than their own performance creates emotional and economic havoc at homes and in communities. Yet the current environment has plunged many businesses into this exact scenario, and so the pragmatic question is how to deal with this? For the largest U.S. airlines, this creates an opportunity to rethink their long-term business model as they watch the lower-cost carriers in the U.S. recover more quickly and adapt more readily. Here is a five point roadmap they should consider:

Go Back to a Zero-Based Budget

Budgets are necessary for any company though they are hardly the thing most employees enjoy. Most budget processes require departments to justify changes in spending from one year to the next, effectively sanctioning that their prior period spend was reasonable and provided a good return to the company. A zero-based budget requires departments to justify every dollar to be spent from dollar one. This makes no presumptions about what was spent the prior period. This process, which takes time, dedication, and grit, is considered financial proctology to many people but it reveals an amazing amount about how the company spends money. In almost every case, the process shows redundancies, spending on non essential items, paying for projects that most thought were sidelined, and more.

Letting people go hurts, and so companies owe it to those people and the ones remaining that the company is looking at how it spends all of its money and is not asking employees to subsidize waste in other areas. A zero-based budget process will help this and bring transparency and new efficiencies to airlines as they deal with many more months of uncertain revenue.

Re-think the Fleet

Structural changes in travel demand means that the often complicated and varied fleets of the largest airlines have a lot of room for change. We’ve already seen Delta Airlines DAL announce the retirement of their Boeing BA 777 and 717 fleets, but they probably aren't done yet. One of the big advantages lower cost airlines have is the simplicity of their fleets, which minimizes training, sparing, and long term maintenance costs. Larger airlines take a “we must serve all size markets” approach and this means they buy and maintain airplanes from quite small to very large, and often from multiple manufacturers. They may argue that by buying from both Airbus and Boeing, for example, they keep each company honest and get a better price. Yet lower-cost airlines don’t behave this way: Southwest is all Boeing, Spirit and JetBlue are all Airbus, RyanAir all Boeing, etc. Prior to the major consolidations in the 2008-2012 period, Continental Airlines had pioneered an exclusive deal with Boeing that they felt reached capital cost efficiency and operational simplicity.

It’s not only simplicity in manufacture, but sizing also. Wide-body, long-haul airplanes have always had a higher risk profile versus smaller narrow-body airplanes due to higher costs to acquire and operate. Now, the future of long-haul travel for business is highly certain, even if most believe that leisure travel will come back sooner and stronger. Passengers in the front cabins of these big airplanes pay far more than their real estate share to cover the costs of these planes, and with that traffic uncertain it makes the wide-body risk that much greater.

Aircraft lessors are realizing the change in value for their fleets, and manufacturers are revising production and thinking about their pricing longer term. Big airlines have a unique, out of court opportunity to fix the inefficiencies in their fleet plans and work out new or revised deals that better match the likelihood for demand over the coming years.

Re-imagine the Customer Experience

The large, higher-cost U.S. airlines fight for the travel paid for by businesses and try to attract these customers with a combination of schedule convenience (a Southwest speciality domestically) and higher-touch, more personalized airport and onboard experiences (Delta, American, United). Schedule will continue to be a winner for whatever business travel recovers but the rest of the experience — in the airports and onboard — should be reconsidered in light of what will likely be an ongoing sensitivity to close spaces. Onboard, this could mean a permanent change in meal services, to reduce the flight attendant and customer contacts. It could mean more privacy in business and first class cabins to attract those who want true separation even onboard the aircraft. It could mean changes in the boarding process to mimic what is happening now on an ongoing basis.

In the airport, it could mean changes to check-in and lounge access for those who depended on that service. There may be other things to change as well, and the point is that this terrible demand environment gives airlines the ability but also requires them to re-think every aspect of the customer touch points to see how these can be made safer and more attractive to the business traveler. Attracting business travelers will remain important, and becomes even more important if there is less total business to go around.

Supercharge Self-Serve Technology

One big way to lower expenses, Improve the customer experience, and be safer is to use technology to allow more self service. Checking in without ticket counters, tagging bags without people, maybe eventually even boarding based only on technology is possible. Reducing call center needs for rebooking and other issues, already largely automated, can be made even easier and for more customers. Isn’t it great to rent a car online, walk right to the car without stopping at a counter, and then drive out with Clear (or similar) to make the whole experience self service? Airlines likely won’t be able to adopt this model completely but can use this downtime to re-think what can be done at check-in, the gates, and more with better technology. If a lot of people must be let go now because of low demand, the ideal would be to bring back some, but not all, over time.

Sharpen the Reason for Being in Business

This is potentially the toughest thing for the big airlines to consider but one that could mean the most in terms of redefining their business for the future. Think of what the big airlines do: they have complicated fleets and inefficient operations so that they can serve tiny cities, medium sized cities, and large cities. They offer cheap basic economy fares to compete with low cost carriers and three digit fares to those who can make their company pay for that. They are trying to be everything to everyone, and in what other industry does this strategy work? Morton’s doesn’t try to be McDonald’s and vice versa. Car companies don’t also manufacture trains and planes. Target isn’t Nordstrom’s nor is Nordstrom’s Target.

By starting first with who is the customer they can best serve to be profitable, they would make different decisions about hubs, fleets, network, product, and distribution. This is what the low cost carriers do so well and it seems that the big guys miss this — the low cost carriers know their customer and don’t worry about not being best for others. They worry about being best for whom they specifically target, and targeting every traveler is targeting no one.

This is not an easy time for U.S. airlines, and it is harder for the four largest than for the others because of their complications and somewhat lack of focus. Southwest is closer to this than American, Delta, or United, but they have become too dependent on business travelers as their cost advantage to the big three has shrunk considerably. By following these five ideas after the layoffs or the voluntary cutbacks, the airlines can refocus and redefine their business models in important ways to make themselves more resilient, more profitable, and provide better service to the customers they choose to target.

Sun, 04 Oct 2020 23:47:00 -0500 Ben Baldanza en text/html

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