An interesting bit of information came to light in a recent informal conversation with a vendor of process integration solutions -- notably, the quote-to-cash process. The company in question uses Web services and SOA to create its solutions, and its initial marketing efforts involved touting the SOA approach to IT organizations. The IT people were consistently wowed, but when it came time to sign a purchase order, they never came through.
When the company changed its tactics and started to pitch business benefits to CFOs, it became successful at closing sales. The wisdom of this approach is backed by two recent surveys, one by the Butler Group and one by ebizQ.
Vendors will probably do even better selling SOA to senior management if they narrow their focus. Instead of proclaiming the broad benefits -- reuse, flexibility, and the like -- it may be more persuasive to say, "Your orders will always match your quotes," or to make an analogous claim in some other area of business. Microsoft is taking this approach in its SOA push.