Opening up Operational Systems

Michael Vizard

A lot of the most valuable information that any organization owns is locked up in closed-loop systems. Whether it's a transportation system such as a railroad or all the systems that make up an airplane, gaining access to that information is difficult because when those systems were first designed, there wasn't much thought given to the value of the data that might be flowing through them.

Flash forward a few decades, however, and it's more than apparent how potentially valuable the information really is. The challenge is getting that data out of those systems that operate in real time and into an analytic application in a way that preserves the context surrounding that data.

To tackle that specific issue, Real Time Innovations (RTI), a provider of communications software used in real-time environments, this week rolled out RTI Connext, a platform for integrating real-time operational systems with other applications using a services-oriented architecture (SOA).


According to Curt Schacker, executive vice president for sales and services and chief commercial officer for RTI, RTI Connext is really an implementation of an enterprise service bus that preserves the state of the data in a closed-loop system as it is transferred to another application. By preserving its state, that data can then be used by advanced analytics applications to gain additional insights into any number of business processes.

In many existing application scenarios, analytics has been an afterthought. What may seem like common sense today wasn't even dreamed of as a requirement when many closed-loop systems were first built. The cost of replacing those systems, however, is cost prohibitive, so another approach to making that data more accessible to analytics applications needed to be found, says Schacker.

What's most interesting about RTI Connext, however, is that as the information becomes more accessible, the ability to start optimizing any number of business processes starts to increase exponentially.

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