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Service Orchestration: The Three-Legged Stool of Intelligent Business Automation

Businesses cannot hope to survive the war against disruptive competitors unless they leverage technology, such as automation, with at least the same commitment as their rivals. The opposition is embarking on digital transformation initiatives and new challengers appear daily. Competitors will use technology as a weapon and the ultimate winners will be those that use it most effectively.

Very few assertions are universal these days. One of the closest is, 'in order to survive and thrive in business today, an organization has to invest in automation'. Automation promises to enable staff to be as productive as humanly possible, by allowing them to focus on improving the business rather than wasting their time (and as a consequence the business' money) carrying out repetitive tasks.

That is the promise of business automation. And there are many tools and products available to enable business automation - some of them with no initial cost. I hesitate to simply say 'free', because in most cases tools with no initial cost have considerable hidden fees down the road. Often 'free' tools quickly become unsupported as their authors simply lose interest in the solution and move on to newer, more interesting projects. I would argue, investing in a scalable, flexible, comprehensive automation platform that allows you to compete, now and in the future, is an investment you cannot afford to miss.

A recent article in CIO magazine included "Automation Architect" as one of their '7 Hot New IT Jobs'. The Automation Architect's single most important task is ensuring the business automation platform put in place today is scalable and flexible enough to meet the needs of tomorrow as well as those of today.

Introducing CA Automic Service Orchestration v12.1

The CA Automic Automation Platform has always provided exceptional functionality, scalability, and flexibility. Version 12.1 of CA Automic Service Orchestration (CA ASO), however, takes automation and integration to the next level, with support for more than 500,000 connected agents from a single instance of the CA Automic Automation Engine, providing unrivaled scalability! Version 12.1 also includes support for IPV6, as well as hybrid networks consisting of a mix of IPV4 and IPV6. It features a number of new integrations for CA products as well as third-party software (such as the Temenos Banking platform) and introduces a fully-featured REST interface that allows applications and third-party tools direct access to the full power of the CA Automic Automation Engine.

For CA ASO users, the most exciting new features in v12.1 are those related to the third-leg of the business automation stool - 'information'. Being able to access and leverage information in order to make informed automation decisions is what puts the 'intelligent' into intelligent business automation.

Version 12.1 introduces intelligent event-driven automation, a capability that gives users the ability to ingest and apply rules to information collected from both external sources and the Automation Engine. These rules provide a powerful, yet simple, way to make informed decisions about whether actions should be taken by the Automation Engine. All this information gathering and collating as well as the evaluation of the rules takes place in a separate event engine. This means the performance of the Automation Engine is not impacted in any way by the processing required to make these intelligent decisions.

Another enhancement in v12.1 is the ability to include external data in reports and dashboards within the CA Automic Web Interface. This facilitates the creation of extremely meaningful and relevant business dashboards and reports, by combining Service Orchestration information along with information representing actual data relating to the service being automated.

CA ASO v12.1 is the 3-legged stool that supports intelligent business automation. It provides a unique combination of automation, integration and information capabilities that allow the promise of business automation to be realized. It allows your workforce to focus on work that provides you with a competitive edge, rather than just trying to keep the lights on.

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nkroeger contributed to this article