Friday, February 01, 2008

A new era? Or a new Chapter?

Superbowl, New England or Giants?

That's a pretty hard question to ask me because I like to watch for the sake of the game and I put aside favoritism for the win!

This is how I see work as well. I have spent the better part of the last eight years working on webMethods. I started with version 3.x and now work with version 7.x.

So, could the rhetorical question be: "Software AG/webMethods or TIBCO?"

As many of you know, I consider myself one of webMethods' biggest fans. I am extremely enthusiastic about the product and even more so now since their acquisition. webMethods certainly compliments the other product lines of Software AG. Within the last few weeks, I had an opportunity to sit down with Software AG's Global Director of Alliances and talk about the direction of webMethods and what it means to consultants.

Even though the last few blog entries have been about me getting back into the saddle, moving forward, I will move between issues relating to running the business, and technical/architectural entries.

So, this is my business plug.

Software AG is moving forward to solidify and unify the webMethods platform. Based on what I heard and some of what I have recently seen, I look forward to the next version of Fabric. I believe that they will indeed be a real player in the SOA market. In addition, I believe that there will be significant business opportunities for consultant firms to help deploy Fabric.

Software AG didn't tell me this directly. Part of my return to the workplace included calling a bunch of my old contacts. Unfortunately, many of them left as part of the acquisition, or they left shortly thereafter. However, some were still at webMethods/SAG and I met with a few of them and spoke to many of the others on the phone. The focus of the company will be more on the product development end and less on the implementation side. This will leave a huge gap for those who provide these services.

During my absence, the company restructured and redefined the career paths available. Now, there are three distinct tracks: 1) Business, 2) Management, 3) Technical. I currently am in the Management track with a focus on technical delivery. Under the new protocol, I will most likely fall under the Technical Track. My title will change from Manager to Technical Architect. This is ironic, since it is actually a demotion for me in title, however, read on.

In the beginning of this BLOG, I mentioned TIBCO. I have a greater appreciation for TIBCO since I have had an opportunity to examine the product. However, I am not totally sold on the idea of using TIBCO when I am firmly entrenched with webMethods solutions.

But, with everything else in life, you have to embrace change, or be left behind. Unlike Commercial Services where you can specialize, Public Services is structured a little differently. I am in the integration space, but it is sliced into two halves: java technology and microsoft technology. I sit squarely in the java technology space which encompasses all java solutions. Eventually, I will have the opportunity to examine the gambit of solutions.

In order for me to climb the ladder higher to become a "Sr Technical Architect", I have to become cross-trained and develop an expertise on several solution platforms. It seems like webMethods, TIBCO and java messaging will become my focus.


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