Meet Cheetah, Boston Dynamics' Terrifyingly Fast Running Robot ..
Meet Cheetah, Boston Dynamics' Terrifyingly Fast Running Robot(Published in Forbes)
Robotics has always fascinated many like me since its the best business technology innovative integrator.The earliest to understand these concepts were the Japanese who have defined so many modern management and time motion theories. I would keep a strong watch on these companies keeping in mind that 5 to 10 years down the line the world's aging population would rise tremendously and robotics would become a part of industries like pharmaceuticals, healthcare , infrastructure to name a few.
This article in Forbes is pure adrenalin rush. Watch the video.
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- My perspective
(by S. Mandgi)
Architecture (Latin architectura, from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων – arkhitekton, from ἀρχι- "chief" and τέκτων "builder, carpenter, mason") is both
the process and product of planning, designing and construction. (
Definition from wikipedia). This includes two important words, process and
product. Now what are these?
A process is made up a sequence or series
of interdependent events which consume data, resources or both as its inputs.
The end result of execution of the process results in outputs which could also
be an input to other events or processes. The execution of the process steps
could be sequential, parallel, network or a combination of the three.
A product is an intangible resource such
as a service or a tangible resource such as FMCG goods which meets the needs
and wants of a customer.
Considering the above, we can now
arrive at the definition of what is Service Oriented Architecture. An
architecture oriented towards services, or in other words the key to
construction of the architecture are a web of services. These services could be
independent or linked ( integrated or collaborated) with internal or external
data and or resources through various processes and or sub-processes.
I do not believe that we need to
restrict this definition to information technology but this could even extend
to any other industry where open architecture and standards could be followed
and i could consider using and replacing resources or services from multiple
vendors with existing resources or simply plugging in new resources which would
be easily accepted and provide a perfect fit in my system architecture. The
advantage for the vendors is the opportunity to build a range of services or
products to meet the customer needs and demands and the opportunity for the
customers to pick , choose and change without bearing high costs and consuming
large numbers of resources.
Coming back to Information
Technology and getting back to its history till date, we see that there are
many vendors manufacturing many computer and peripheral hardware and software
products and each having their own manufacturing and integration standards.
This was a big drawback for any customer buying these products because if the
customer wanted to add another product , he/she had to make sure that this new
product could integrate with the two and then again spend a huge pile of cash for hiring resources to buy or develop
hardware and software to integrate the three.
In the meanwhile , companies had
migrated to ERP systems and with the web technology development and the coming
of the internet era, companies found opportunities to show case their products
and services to the world through B2C and B2B . Banks used the internet for
internet banking and so on. But with all this development, the number of
customers of information technology increased ( using Murphy’s Law) and then globalization followed. All of this had the governments , different bodies
and user groups putting pressure of the manufacturers and vendors of
information technology to open up their construction , align to uniform
construction and also provide an open platform for constructing and the outcome
of these were open standards which led to Service Oriented Architecture(SOA).
The Service Oriented Architecture
is made up of a web of independent or linked services following open standards
of construction through an open platform on which these services communicate, operate
and connect to a plethora of hardware and software of various vendors. The best part of SOA is that you can
construct a completely new additional service or services over and above these
existing information and services using them as building blocks. You can
construct this service across different horizontals ( Finance, HR, Production
Planning etc) with seamless integration and you have some amazing BPM tools in
the market to help you business model and build these services. You do not have
to change your erp systems and spend time on writing custom code for any new
development or integration and even if you do the integration is not often
seamless. Collaborating to your customers and vendors is made simple and
writing new web application services (also called as x -applications) is simple
using BPM tools which generate most of the code for you. There is beautiful
communication open integration platform which permits customers and employees
to connect through mobile technology from multiple service providers and
vendors and be able to check stocks, their billing and invoice status, bill for
service hours etc.
Vendors find it easy to develop
new x -applications and companies with SOA would see a choice of x-applications
to meet their requirements, and if they do not see such an application, can
even build one in 30 to 50% of reduced effort and time.
However, what customers
implementing web services are concerned about are :-
1. Security issues?
2. Maintenance of these cross
platform cross application web services. Are these vendors who are providing SOA
platform and applications capable of providing easy to use and operate tools to
identify and plug these problems.?
3. Can you choose to pay only for
certain web services and not opt for all services, thereby permitting the
customer to take advantage of SOA and limit the IT costs only on need based
4. How does the cost of
implementing SOA compare v/s cloud
computing or any other such option?
5. Does implementing SOA improve
my production cycle and delivery time, customer and vendor satisfaction etc?
6. Does SOA through collaboration
provide vendor feedback for service or product analysis, innovation and
improvement in quality and improved ROI?
To sum it up vendors with SOA
need to provide turnkey solutions and not product or service solutions for more
customers to understand and use SOA.
ERP on the Cloud - A New Era of ERP systems
With those organizations implementing ERP wanting to reduce operating and maintenance costs, offload their scale able hardware and software requirements and risks to specialized third party vendors and also take full advantage of the internet services through the portals, there exists a new opportunity through cloud computing. There is no doubt that cloud computing is the technology in the near future and you see a lot of small and mid sized business have already moved towards cloud computing. There is a very nice article in ComputerWeekly.com, the link for which is provided below. Click on the link to read.