Webinar: Describe your Business Architecture Using The Open Group Framework (TOGAF) in Government Enterprise Architecture

Today Architecting the Enterprise notified TOGAF community that their Chief Architect, John Polgreen, Ph. D will present on a very interesting topic of TOGAF alignment to business architecture. The webinar is entitled, “Describe your Business Architecture Using The Open Group Framework (TOGAF) in Government Enterprise Architecture” and will be hosted on January 24, 2011 at 8:30 PST.

Webinar Abstract

Once government enterprise architects accurately describe the business architecture of their agency, they then proceed to describe the technical architecture: namely the sum of the applications, data and technology (infrastructure) architectures. US Federal enterprise architectural guidance, including that found in FEA and FSAM, offers high level advice on methodology for describing technical architectures. TOGAF 9 offers highly detailed process guidance which maps closely to FEA/FSAM. The webinar will describe this mapping and show examples of artifacts that can be created using FEA/FSAM in concert with TOGAF.

Panelists will present case studies.

Participants will learn:

  • How the technical architecture (applications, data and technology) depend on an understanding of the business architecture of an agency
  • How the detailed guidance of TOGAF 9 maps to FEA, FSAM and other US civilian enterprise architecture guidance for describing technical architectures
  • What TOGAF artifacts (catalogs, matrices and diagrams) can be useful in describing technical architectures

When: January 24, 2011
Time: 11:30 – 12:30 Eastern
Presenter: John Polgreen, Ph. D. (Chief Architect, Architecting the Enterprise)




Jeanne W. Ross on Enterprise Architecture Webcast

Mike Walker's Blog: Jeanne Ross on Enterprise Architecture WebcastJeanne Ross author of the very popular book among Enterprise Architects, Enterprise Architecture as Strategy  just released a webcast today that is interesting. If you have access to this resource it is worth a watch.




Best Practices in Enterprise and Applications Architecture

For those interested in a free webcast from Gartner on EA best practices here are the details:

Hosted by: Betsy Burton (VP Distinguished Analyst) and Daniel Sholler (Research VP)

Those who have cracked the code on enterprise and application architecture today have programs that are performing well and delivering recognized value to the business. Others are recovering from costly mistakes. This presentation describes best practices of the high-performing teams and lessons learned by others.

Please join VP and Distinguished Analyst Betsy Burton and Research VP Daniel Sholler as they discuss the best practices of enterprise and application architecture in today’s economy.


What You Will Learn

  • What are the best practices of enterprise and application architecture?
  • What benefits do organizations see when they consistently apply these best practices?
  • How can you avoid the pitfalls?

Direct Event Link



Free MOF 4.0 Foundation Course

If you use the Microsoft Operations Framework or plan to here is a great free resource to get you ramped up.

Mike Walker's Blog: Free MOF 4.0 Foundational Course

Download the MOF 4.0 Foundations Course.

Also currently available on Microsoft Connect: the final three releases in the management review series—Service  Alignment, Project Plan Approved, and Policy and Control—and the MOF Service Mapping guide.
·        Not a current MOF Beta participant? Join to download these beta materials.

·        Members, preview these beta materials on Microsoft Connect.


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Enterprise Social Player Emerge with Differentiators

Mike Walker's Blog: Enterprise Social Player Emerge with Differentiators

A colleague from my former days with the Microsoft Architecture Strategy Team, Simon Guest,  just joined a company called Neudesic. I just read an interesting article on his blog entitled “Feeling the Pulse at Neudesic!” which triggered a few thoughts on how social will transform cloud providers into the next stage of the web for enterprises.

We are already seeing this from vendors like Salesforce.com with Chatter, released June 22nd this year. They have pioneered this usage for enterprises. Salesforce has really shown thought leadership here in baking this into their core platform in a real way. Directionally they see Chatter as the center of the Salesforce world. Hoping to reduce the dependency on technologies such as email and IM in the form of “living” feeds that describe the activities of enterprise. Additionally, this can be viewed across the company so information has no boundaries. I really like this direction and I too see this as the future.

This brings us to the news of the Pulse solution. Neudesic’s Pulse started by partnering with  Microsoft  to integrate social features into Microsoft Dynamics CRM but now it extends both platform and functional support. Supporting not only Microsoft CRM but also SharePoint and Salesforce.com. Like Chatter, Pulse was inspired by popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, Pulse is an enterprise social networking product that creates an interconnected network of people and systems throughout the organization to help keep information fresh an relevant.

Mike Walker's Blog: Pulse UI

Simon describes Pulse as:

In essence, Pulse is Facebook for the enterprise. If you’ve ever used Facebook or another social networking site, the feeds, profiles, walls, likes, follows, etc. will all feel very similar.

One of the main differences however is that because the social network is inside the walls of an enterprise, the possibilities for extending become so much more interesting. Not only can you “friend” other colleagues, but you can also “friend” systems. Like to know when business is won or lost? “Friend” the CRM system, and if someone updates an opportunity, you get a pulse notification. Similarly, if someone joins or leaves the company, the HR system “pulses” about the change. Are the IT Systems going down for routine maintenance? You’ve guessed it… another pulse! I’m sure there are many additional directions that this could be taken – just think of the countless internal systems that we habitually visit every day. What if each of them could send push notifications into a central social network?

While the above statements provide the “cool factor” to this technology I think there is more to the story here to highlight. What is really great about this technology over SalesForce.com’s offering are these core differentiators:

  • Potential – This is by far the most important aspect here. The potential of integrating a range of solutions rather than just one primarily is a huge differentiator. The information is king, not the enabling technologies. So if there are cloud platforms that lock you into just there information sets and not others it demishes the potential greatly. So solutions that embrace multiple information sets by other vendors like Microsoft will prevail.
  • Platform Independence – I have the freedom to choose which platform I want to make social. Combination of vendors, platforms and repositories on premise or cloud based can be chosen. Just like with development technologies, we live in a hybrid world of a variety of different solution enabled technologies. While companies could make big bets on CRM solutions in the cloud we have to ask ourselves if we are going to put all of our socially aware capable solutions there? If not (and I believe this is the case), then we should chose solutions like Pulse that deliver that platform independence. 
  • Avoidance of Vendor & Platform Lock-In – With technologies like Chatter, you are locked-in to the Force.com platform. While you can integrate to it there is a great deal of flexibility that is lost. Additionally, if one day your organization chooses to move on to the next big technology solution that replaces this capability your feeds, functionality and data are locked in Chatter. Salesforce does have API’s to retrieve the raw data but context and all the application logic you have built will be lost. 
  • Total Cost of Ownership – Investment for a solution like Pulse is significantly lower if enabled across the enterprise and solutions. I don’t have to make a enterprise license agreement with one vendor to see the benefits of making my enterprise socially aware. This can be a multimillion dollar investment for an organization and is a tough sell for social capabilities, especially if it is the first foray into social.
  • Salesforce Inclusive Partnerships – Salesforce just doesn’t have much love for Microsoft or any other vendor not part of the Salesforce buddy system. While this isn’t  a reason not to choose a vendor it should be a strong warning sign. Like it or not Microsoft owns the enterprise productivity desktop market today. I can’t count how many business folks I talk to that live by Excel, Word and PowerPoint.  As a vendor with such large potential impact on companies it is their ethical responsibility to be aware of this and to reduce the  loss of productivity by acknowledging solutions in the MSFT productivity stake and not working against it.

In my mind those are the primary differentiators that really make this solution exciting. This post isn’t to do a formal comparison or to disprove the merits of the Chatter solution but rather highlight new solutions and their unique value proposition in making solutions socially aware.

Further Reading


Six Ways to Refuel Your Energy Every Day


This is kinda an off topic post but it was a really interesting read and wanted to share. If you are like most architects out there, you are running at Mach 5 from meeting to meeting bringing the organization together. This article, “Six Ways to Refuel Your Energy Every Day” posted on the Harvard Business Review Blog by Tony Schwartz discussed how to re-energize yourself in a fast paced work environment.

Another great read is a book called Brain Rules 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School  by John Medina. It’s an easy read and it has many of the same concepts in this article.

I have to admit, I don’t do any of the recommendations below but will certainly try them out.

Article below:

Are you working longer hours, attending more meetings, taking shorter vacations, answering more emails and eating lunch at your desk, if you eat lunch at all?

Does demand in your life just keep getting higher, so you’re struggling more and more just to keep up? Are you utterly sick of hearing the phrase "do more with less?" Does the word "unsustainable" sound about right?

Human beings aren’t meant to operate like computers — at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time. We’re designed to be rhythmic, and to intermittently renew. Here are the six strategies we’ve found work best:

1. Make sufficient sleep your highest priority.

Far too many of us buy into the myth that one hour less of sleep allows us one more of productivity. In fact, even very small amounts of sleep deprivation significantly undermine capacity for focus, analytic thinking and creativity.

The research is clear: more than 95 per cent of us
require seven to eight hours of sleep in order to be fully rested, and for our brains to optimally embed new learning. Great performers, ranging from musicians to athletes, often get even more than 8 hours.

Two simple strategies can help. The first is to set a specific bedtime and to begin winding down at least 30-45 minutes earlier — avoiding stimulating activities like answering email, and opting instead for more relaxing ones like taking a warm bath, or reading.

The second is to spend a few minutes reviewing what’s on your mind before you go to sleep, and then write down anything that’s worrying you. What you’re doing is effectively parking these concerns so that they don’t end up keeping you from falling asleep, or back asleep in the middle of the night.

2. Take a renewal break at least every ninety minutes.
It’s now how long you work that determines the value you produce, but rather the energy you bring to whatever hours you work. Likewise, it’s not how long you take off that matters most, it’s how skillfully you renew.

The first key is to intermittently quiet your physiology. You can dramatically lower your heart rate, your blood pressure and your muscle tension in as little as 30 to 60 second seconds with regular practice.

With your eyes closed, try breathing in through your nose to a count of three, and out through your mouth slowly to a count of six. In this way, you’re extending you’re recovery. As your body quiets down, your thinking mind will also get quieter and you’ll feel more relaxed. For further instruction, go here.

3. Keep a running list of everything — literally everything — that you want or need to do.

The more fully and frequently you download what’s on your mind, the less energy you’ll squander in fruitless thinking about undone tasks, and the more energy you’ll have to be fully present in whatever you’re doing.

4. Run up your heart rate or take a nap in the early afternoon.

If your excuse for not exercising regularly is "I don’t have time," consider working out during your lunch hour (and yes, you’re entitled to one).

There may be no better way to clear the mind, lower anxiety and jump start your energy than by intentionally raising your heart rate into the aerobic or anaerobic zones.

If taking a run or going to a gym is too time consuming, how about taking a brisk 15 to 30 minute walk outside? Or if you’re in an office building, how about walking up and down the stairs?

Alternatively, take a 20 to 30 minute nap between 1 and 4 p.m, when most of us feel a wave of fatigue. Researcher Sara Mednick has found that a short nap is not just powerfully restorative, but also prompts significantly higher performance on cognitive tasks in the subsequent several hours, compared to non-nappers.

Few employers sanction naps, but even sitting back in your chair and closing your eyes for a few minutes can be restorative. If you’re the boss, get a barcalounger — my own favorite piece of office furniture — and set an example by using it.

5. Practice appreciation — and savoring.

One of the least recognized ways we squander energy is in negative emotions. We’re far quicker to notice what’s wrong in our lives than what’s right.

Look for opportunities to appreciate someone in your life, and share what you’re feeling — directly, or in a note. You’ll be giving the other person a shot of positive energy, but sharing positive energy will also make you feel better.

Look too for opportunities to appreciate yourself. Take time to savor small victories, give yourself credit where you deserve it, and forgive yourself when you fall short.

6. Develop a transition ritual between work and home.

When we leave the office, many of us carry work with us. The result is that even when we get home, we’re still not truly present. Consider establishing a very specific way to disengage from work so you can leave it behind.

The most powerful ritual we’ve seen clients build is to stop somewhere along the route home, such as a public park, and take a few minutes to let the day go, and to focus on the evening ahead. Turn home back into a place where you’re truly getting renewal

Misys CIO discusses the role of the CIO as a business leader, innovator, and enabler of growth

Microsoft was recently at Sibos, an event facilitated and organized by SWIFT, for the SWIFT community, which creates the stimulus for learning, collaborating, developing new business, defining future strategies and taking collective action that shapes the future of the Financial Services industry. At the event, we caught up with Al-Noor Ramji, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Microsoft partner Misys.

Misys, an application software and services company, has formed a new strategic alliance with Microsoft to deliver the former’s banking and capital markets applications via the Windows Azure cloud platform.

Misys said cloud computing, and specifically Windows Azure, enables banks to move from a capital intensive cost model to one which is based on the consumption of technology.

The scale of the Azure platform allows high volume workloads such as end-of-day processing to be consumed on demand.

The company said that its offering is built on BankFusion technology, which makes it possible to run the offering in the cloud.

Misys EVP and general manager Al-Noor Ramji said by making their offerings available in the cloud, they are enabling their clients to benefit from increased agility with lower TCO and risk, while simultaneously providing them with unprecedented speed and flexibility with access to the latest solutions.

At the event, Al-Noor Ramji took some time out to discuss the role of the CIO as a business leader, innovator, and enabler of growth. This discussion was timely given Steve Ballmer’s announcement of the Global Alliance with Misys to extend financial services applications to the Cloud.



See the video here: http://www.microsoft.com/servers/missioncritical/CIOBlogs.aspx