To succeed in the 21st century global market place, one of the challenges in the Business Process Management BPM- of Information Technology IT- is to bring vendors, partners, and customers to the same page and quickly address market needs. Amazingly, in less than a decade, we saw tremendous progress in innovative technologies changing the landscape of communications that made the world much smaller. Thanks to Internet technologies and standards, we could enable unified collaboration platforms viable across the majority of business communities. Such platforms not only help BPM, but also optimize Business Process Operations BPO- by consolidating the solutions where several heterogeneous applications integrate and interoperate with service oriented architecture foundation. In this context, the underlying open infrastructure not only hosts the common services but also protects on-going investments that inherit extensibility, reliability, availability, scalability, and manageability. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect enough to support such automation without some glitches. As we open the infrastructure for flexible and ease-of-use services, there are challenges to address on-going threats. For example, we see hundreds of virus-infected documents, thousands of Denial of Service attacks, and billions of spam messages that result in depleting IT resources, increased down-time, and a decrease in productivity that ultimately impacts the operating costs and quality of services. Sometimes, poor technical design will make sensitive and confidential information visible everywhere and accessible easily. Employee privacy is at risk as unencrypted information flows within and outside the enterprise. We also see disturbing cases of corporate abuse that lead to Regulatory Compliance RC- measures that are now taking a toll in IT costs though RC has long term benefits-. To minimize or to eliminate such risks, each solution must embrace measures on security and regulatory compliance at the architecture design level. This brings greater discipline to prevent abuses of the openness of the infrastructure. Besides, enterprise solutions will not survive without a clear support and maintenance strategy. People, processes and products certainly are the ingredients to provide robust, reliable and resilient infrastructure. However, good service level agreements, better training to users and best practices keep the infrastructure healthier. In the full article is described a shared infrastructure model based on service-oriented-architecture SOA- that accommodates virtually any business solution. The framework can also be adapted for the upcoming Software-as-a-Service SaaS- model where the multi-tenancy is the main theme. A simple methodology is applied for the architecture design and delivery processes. At the end, as an example, the design of the infrastructure for Virtual Collaboration is discussed by selecting a vendor product. Source and full article: line56.coma>

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