SOURCE: Insurance Networking News

January 28, 2008 11:48 ET

The Insurance Networking News' Web Services & SOA Summit Hosts ZapThink's Founder, Industry Experts

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 28, 2008) - Ron Schmelzer, author and founding partner of ZapThink, a Baltimore SOA research and advisory firm, gave attendees at the Insurance Networking News' first annual Web Services and SOA Summit: A Reality Check, some learned advice on how best to proceed with their service oriented architecture strategies.

"There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace about what SOA is and what it can do," Schmelzer told attendees. "What you should be talking about is an architecture that is oriented toward a service. Then ask: what do we want the service to do?"

Schmelzer, who addressed C-level executives from small, medium and large size insurance companies at the event, held January 23, 2008 in New York, cited culture as one of the primary obstacles to successful SOA implementation.

"Right now, IT is an artisan craft," Schmelzer said. "You need to get the business to think about IT differently. We want to turn away from the artisan craft reference and to an engineering discipline."

Schmelzer was one of several leading experts who addressed attendees at the Insurance Networking News-sponsored event. Matt Josefowicz, who most recently served as insurance practice lead at Celent LLC, New York, and is now heading up the insurance practice at a new consultancy, Novarica, was flanked by Piyush Singh, senior vice president and CIO of Great American Insurance Group, Gary Plotkin, vice president and CIO of The Hartford's P&C companies, and John Palmer, senior application development specialist at Penn National Insurance.

David Bickle, solutions architect with Layer 7 Technologies and Bob Steinke, vice president for product development, customer communications management products, for Skywire Software (which this week earned IBM SOA Certification status), shared their insights on the ingredients necessary for a long-lasting, successful partnership with customers implementing SOA strategies.

Attendees also participated in a round-table series that focused on topics such as how to be a successful SOA early adopter, using SOA to drive business intelligence and how business process management can be applied to leverage SOA initiative success.

"Our attendees spoke of many useful 'take-aways' from this first annual day-long event, which tells us that as content drivers, we are living our mission, which is to connect the insurance business and technology communities, by meeting the needs of individuals from both our reader and vendor communities," said Pat Speer, Editor in Chief of Insurance Networking News.

"I would like to thank our sponsors Skywire Software, Layer 7 Technologies and Pitney Bowes MapInfo for their support of the event," added Holli Gronset, Associate Publisher of Insurance Networking News.

About Insurance Networking News and SourceMedia, Inc.

Insurance Networking News is a trusted source for information on how technology is being implemented to support insurers' strategic business objectives, providing insightful analysis of -- and case studies on -- how technology is being innovatively utilized to automate critical processes. Every issue of Insurance Networking News is written to help senior insurance executives bypass the hype and get to the heart of resolving industry challenges. Readers rely on carefully researched content that is both engaging and analytical.

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