Web services provide enterprises with a double-edged sword. Early-adopter
All Professional Services Organizations (PSOs)—whether they be dedicated management/IT consultancies, law firms, internal IT departments, architectural/engineering firms, media publishing, research and development, or government organizations—base their businesses on providing/selling professional expertise and "billable time" worked on projects. Profit is derived by subtracting the cost of doing business (salary, travel and expense, sales/general/administrative support, benefits,…) from the amount of billable time accrued on strategic or tactical consulting/development projects.
Any activity that reduces nonbillable time or that
This is where
Professional Services Automation
comes in. PSA software automates
The bottom line : by automating manual and cumbersome processes that burn valuable professional time, PSOs can deliver more billable services to their clients and thus increase overall profitability. PSA software helps reduce sales, general, and administrative costs—enabling organizations to use professionals more efficiently and profitably.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how the PSA marketplace works, let's take a look at how two
It is very important for business executives to understand the model illustrated in Figure 5-4. Let us look at what is actually happening:
The third-party services are application "objects" that can be wedded to, and extend the functionality of, the ISV's core products. These modules can be fluid in nature (they can come and go as intermittent services) or they can be hard-wired to the
The requester application and the service application negotiate the kind of service desired, the price, and other terms and conditions—while the customer sees nothing other than a new service being provided. This negotiation implies that the ISV and the third party either reach an agreement in person on how compensation will take place for the service or put instructions for that negotiation in the WSDL code used by each software package, and the two software products negotiate the terms and conditions for service provisioning.
By using this Web services model, ISVs (or end-
The argument that Web services can help an organization create or overcome competitive pressure rests on the fact that Web services enable competitors to "assemble" applications in new and different ways. This assemblage model enables them to quickly and flexibly create new
Like previous examples, this ISV example relies on the availability of a UDDI directory to find Web services. And it relies on a
The above scenario could work if the Web services described were structured so that they didn't make strict use of the official Web services protocols or
If the ISV and the third-party Web service solutions provider were to hard-code their application locations (then they could work around having to use UDDI).
If people were to actually get involved in structuring the business arrangements, rather than relying on WSDL to do so (Programs could be written to track the use of the service as well as to bill the requester accordingly).
If security were augmented by a "plug-in" security package, such as
If a reliable network and system infrastructure could be
As you can see from this example, Web services hold great potential to automate program-to-program communications, but several shortcomings must be overcome. Note that for every shortcoming there is a potential