Accenture Commits $450 Million to SOA

By Mel Duvall  |  Posted 2006-07-19 Print this article Print

The consulting firm plans to spend millions on developing new capabilities in service-oriented architecture over the next three years—further proof of the technology's momentum in big business.

Technology consulting firm Accenture said on July 19 that it will invest $450 million over the next three years on developing new capabilities in service-oriented architecture (SOA)—further proof of the technology's momentum in big business.

As part of the investment, Accenture will create a new research lab, develop a blueprint for SOA implementation and expand SOA offerings aimed at specific industries.

SOA refers to a method where one application, typically Web-based, is able to enact or use functions contained in another application. Those applications may also be Web-based, or, as is the case with many banks and insurance companies, SOA may be utilized to access functions in legacy applications.

Accenture chief technology officer Don Rippert said in announcing the SOA initiative that one of the primary tasks of the new lab will be to build reusable modules to perform specific business tasks. Another goal is to identify potential SOA problems during development and address them before SOA offerings are commercialized.

Initially, the lab will focus on the health-care industry, with Accenture's "e-prescription" project aimed at integrating the various businesses and corresponding applications involved in filling a prescription. The goal, according to Rippert, is to prove the feasibility of using SOA software and tools available today to meet such challenging tasks as integrating applications between doctors' offices, health-care plans, pharmacies and government agencies.

"If this or similar projects aren't possible, we want our clients to know," Rippert says.

The second industry Accenture will target is financial services; the company says it has already been actively involved in implementing SOA with financial firms.

The SOA lab will be a virtual one and involve personnel at each of Accenture's four R&D facilities, which are in Chicago; Palo Alto, Calif.; Sophia Antipolis, France; and Bangalore, India.

Contributing Editor
Mel Duvall is a veteran business and technology journalist, having written for a variety of daily newspapers and magazines for 17 years. Most recently he was the Business Commerce Editor for Interactive Week, and previously served as a senior business writer for The Financial Post.


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