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Service science at manchester

Services Sciences at Manchester: Bringing People,
Business and Technology Together
Liping Zhao
Linda Macaulay
Paul Verschueren
Jonathan Adams
Before presenting these activities, this paper first describes ABSTRACT
our environment within which these activities have been IBM’s Services, Sciences, Management, and Engineering (SSME) agenda proposes an emerging, multidisciplinary field that integrates a variety of technical and business fields under a general concept of “services”. One important idea of the SSME agenda is innovative design in the 21st Informatics at Manchester
century. This paper presents our SSME related activities In September 2004, two leading universities in the United around innovative business and curriculum design. Our Kingdom, Victoria University of Manchester (VUM) and business design focuses on IBM’s Patterns for e-business University of Manchester Institute of Science and whereas our curriculum design aims at providing students Technology (UMIST), joined together to form the new with new skills. These two activities are cross-fertilized University of Manchester (UoM). As a result of this merge, owing to our collaborations with IBM through IBM Faculty a new “i-School”, the School of Informatics Awards and the Strategic Partner Programme. d from the old Department of Computation at UMIST, to INTRODUCTION
pursue a new vision of computer science as the science of IBM’s Services, Sciences, Management, and Engineering information, systems and design. Located in the Faculty of (SSME) agenda proposes an emerging, Humanities, Informatics draws upon a range of disciplines, multidisciplinary field that integrates a variety of technical including computer science, design, psychology, business and business fields under a general concept of “services”. and management, to conduct multi-disciplinary study and One important idea of the SSME agenda is innovative design of computer systems for people, business and design in the 21st century. In his lecture at the University of information technology. Informatics’ education aim is to Manchester, Wladawsky-Bergert forward two cases equip the students with the new skills required for the 21st of innovative design: business design and university century, including technical, people and multidisciplinary curriculum design. The purpose of designing business is to identify its structure and components so that it can be Clearly, Informatics’ vision is closely related to the SSME integrated into a successful (and possibly global) enterprise; the purpose of designing university curriculum is to help students understand techniques for use in enabling such a IBM Faculty Awards
business. Although the SSME framework is yet to be In 2004, Jonathan Adams, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, defined and developed, we believe that it builds on two sponsored an IBM Global Faculty Award to the then two foundations—systems theory and design theory—and three different universities, UMIST and VUM. The award was corner stones—people, business and technology. given to four academics, with Professor Linda Macaulay This paper presents our SSME related activities around (Computation, UMIST) and Professor Brian Warboys innovative business and curriculum design. Our business (Computer Science, VUM) as Principal Investigators and design is a research activity based on IBM’s Patterns for e- Dr Peter Kawalek (Manchester Business School, UMIST) business whereas our curriculum design focuses on and Dr Liping Zhao (Computation, UMIST) as Co- providing students with new skills. These two activities are cross-fertilized owing to our collaborations with IBM. The original aim of the award was to bring together UoM-IBM Strategic Partner Programme
researchers of different schools and disciplines to explore The UoM-IBM Strategic Partner Programme was launched IBM Patterns for e-business from three dimensions: in January 2006 to explore areas of overlapping strategic research, teaching and business. The actual effect of this importance to both organizations across research, teaching award, however, was far more significant. First, the award and recruitment. We are four of the 12 partners appointed in brought together researchers from two universities during a the first year. It is also worth mentioning that of the six time of change and in this respect the award facilitated an partners from UoM, three partners are from Informatics: understanding of and respect for differing perspectives. Professor Linda Macaulay, Professor Bob Wood and Dr Second, the award stimulated the development of a new Liping Zhao. Table 1 summarizes the UoM-IBM partner MSc programme at Informatics—MSc e-business programme. Clearly, this programme accords with the Technology—which would bring IBM’s Patterns to the attention of a new generation of graduate students. Finally, the award led to a deeper interest in patterns. Such an UK Network of Researchers in Services Sciences
interest would later become a common core for our pattern- In order to bring together researchers from a range of oriented SSME research under the UoM-IBM Strategic disciplines across the UK to develop a shared understanding and research agenda of SSME, Macaulay and Zhao are driving a proposal for the development of a UK Network of Following the success of the first IBM Faculty Award, Researchers in Services Sciences. Currently, 14 leading Adams sponsored Macaulay and Zhao with a second award academics from different UK universities have joined us to in 2005, to encourage them to explore the role of Patterns serve as the founding members of the proposed network; for e-business in supporting the emerging Services Sciences two leading companies, IBM and HP, have agreed to discipline through research and teaching sponsor this network. is award has further strengthened the relationship between BUSINESS DESIGN USING PATTERNS
Informatics and IBM and helped to develop a new IBM is a leading business designer who has developed a collaboration with Paul Verschueren, Senior Consulting large number of methods and technologies that support Architect at IBM and Chair of IBM Patterns Governance business design. Among these technologies are Component Board. More importantly, the award has connected the four Business Modeling (CBM), Service Oriented Modeling and authors of this paper through a shared interest in patterns, to Architecture (SOMA), and Patterns for e-business (P4eb). explore the role of patterns in SSME for business design CBM and SOMA are used to identify and describe the and to teach the students this design approach. business processes whereas P4eb map these processes onto the architectural components of the software systems. P4eb was identified from thousands of successful IBM Partners
application development projects by Adams and his (UoM/IBM)
of proven, reusable architectural components that can guide the design, development, implementation and extension of P4eb are organized into a hierarchy. At the top level are four Business Patterns: Self-Service, Collaboration, Information Aggregation and Extended Enterprise. These four patterns represent four distinctive types of business interaction. Specifically, Self-Service describes the interaction between users and businesses; Collaboration captures the interaction between users; Information Aggregation represents the interaction between users and data; Extended Enterprise expresses the interaction between businesses. Each Business Pattern is specialized into a set of Application Patterns, which, in turn, are further divided into Runtime Patterns. An Application Pattern describes a logical design of the system whereas a Runtime Pattern suggests an implementation plan (product mapping) for the system. Business Patterns are supported by other patterns such as Integration Patterns, which are Access Integration, Table 1. The UoM-IBM Strategic Partner Programme.
for the front-end system integration, and Application Integration, for the back-end system integration. We are conducting research to enhance P4eb in the • Extend the Collaboration pattern family with new patterns, such as facilitated collaboration patterns. • Extend P4eb with business logic patterns. P4eb are the solutions to the architectural design of the business Combining the School’s strengths in Information Systems, systems, but not the solutions for the business logic Data and Knowledge Engineering, and Interactive Systems design of the applications. Although the business logic Design, the thrust of these new Master programmes is solutions can be provided by other approaches, such as human-centric business design and computing. The CBM and SOMA, we are exploring a pattern-oriented programmes provide the students who have a computing approach to designing business logic and components. related undergraduate degree with new and transferable skills required in the services sector. To help the students to • Develop methods and tools for pattern organization and choose a suitable programme, possible career paths are selection. Although the top level of P4eb only has four given for each programme. The programmes were in Business Patterns, the number of patterns grows operation in September 2005, with the first students exponentially at the lower-levels. For example, there are about 100 Application Patterns and hundreds of Runtime Patterns. Methods and tools that support effective pattern Currently, all the programmes except MEnt have 7 taught organization and selection are therefore urgently needed. courses and one Dissertation Project whereas MEnt has 3 taught courses and one real world Enterprise Project. We propose to use patterns to support business design in relation to SSME agenda for the following related reasons. In the following sections, we briefly describe these four programmes and their links to the SSME agenda. In Patterns are a universal design concept. Either in art or addition to these four programmes, a new MSc programme engineering, patterns represent geometric arrangements on e-services design has been planned for 2007, to be of parts that can be used over again. For example, patterns are used to design dresses, carpets, wallpapers, airplanes, building, and software , to name only a MSc e-business Technology
few. As a design concept, patterns preserve tried, tested experience and best practice. Patterns mean goodness and Today nearly every business involves some technology support. The Internet has become the gateway to most businesses. E-business is therefore a norm for business. • Patterns are a recurring phenomenon. Thus we can speak This MSc programme equips the students with the skills in of weather patterns, symptoms, DNA sequences, analysis, design and development of e-business application communication and control patterns, and behavioral systems. Possible career paths for the students upon successful completion of the programme include e-business • Patterns are relationships between parts and wholes in analysis and design, solutions development, and web natural as well as artificial systemThus patterns service development and web site design. capture fundamental organizing principles and structures Among other taught courses offered in this programme are in systems, such as the structures of molecules, society, e-business and Patterns for e-business Applications, which directly address the SSME agenda. The e-business course In addition, patterns give us an effective, common language teaches the students the following components: (1) e- for communication, so that we can say: “Let’s use Self- business infrastructure and strategy; (2) supply chain Service for this business application”, or “This is an management and e-procurement; (3) customer relationship Extended Enterprise problem.” Patterns, as in the form of management; (4) e-marketing; (5) collaborative commerce; IBM P4eb, are organized as a hierarchy. By using such a (6) case studies. The Patterns for e-business Applications hierarchy of patterns, we can decompose a problem space. course teaches the students the following components: (1) For example, the Self-Service pattern can be decomposed relationships between business requirements and e-business into different Application Patterns which are then divided application architectures; (2) relationships between business into different Runtime Patterns and so on. In this respect, drivers and technologies; (3) IBM’s Patterns for e-business patterns help us to reduce the design complexity. as solutions for e-business application system design; (4) relationships between business processes and IBM Patterns; SSME COURSE DESIGN
According to Wladawsky-Berger, UoM is among 11 These two courses are developed as a result of the two IBM selected universities who have developed SSME courses. In Faculty Awards described above and team-taught by the particular, Informatics at UoM has introduced the following four authors: Macaulay is the academic instructor for the e- four new Master of Science (MSc) programmes. business course with Adams as the industrial instructor; Zhao is the academic instructor for Patterns for e-business support scientists and organizations to conduct their course with Verschueren as the industrial instructor. The scientific investigation or business activities. courses have attracted 80 students from the UK and abroad, This programme helps the students to develop skills in and proved to be very successful and popular among the natural language processing, data mining and information students. Students’ performance and feedback have retrieval approaches; it equips the students with a variety of indicated that patterns provide an effective pedagogical tool career paths in bioinformatics or other organizations, as to e-business application design and help the students to service engineers to help the organizations discover useful gain a better understanding of the relationship between information and knowledge. The programme is taught by UK’s National Text Mining Centre at Informatics and supported under an IBM Innovation Award. MSc Business Information Technology
This programme teaches the students the skills in business
MEnt Informatics
modeling and information management. The students will This is a distinctive and innovative programme, targeting be equipped to follow career paths in IT management both newly-graduated and established scientists and including procurement, auditing, and marketing, as well as engineers who wish to move into a small or a start-up technical roles in database management, user and technology-based company and helping them to develop application support, and business analysis. their own technology-based business concept. In relation to the SSME agenda, this programme offers two The main objective of the programme, which aligns closely with the SSME agenda, is to provide the students with • Enterprise Systems Modeling. Business operations have knowledge and skills in the fields of technology, science become increasingly complex. Understanding the and business, enabling them to contribute fully to the behavior and operations of the business is a precursor to development of the knowledge-based economy. the development of business application systems. Business modeling aims to offer such an understanding CONCLUSION
and teaches the students modeling complex business This paper has reported our SSME related research and systems from three perspectives: strategic decision teaching activities. Our research activity focuses on using modeling, business process modeling and business patterns for business design whereas our teaching activity concentrates on designing new services courses for MSc students. The paper has also outlined our collaborations Information Management. Information has become a with IBM. If there is a key message this paper wishes to major asset and resource in modern organizations. deliver, it is that SSME should take a systems approach to Effective information management is essential to any designing services systems for people, business and business. This course teaches the students the techniques technology; and patterns are an important concept to be of information management from the following aspects: (1) how to manage an organizational information resource strategically and operationally; (2) how to REFERENCES
exploit and deploy information effectively within and 1. J. Adams, S. Koushik, G. Vasudeva, and G. Galambos, Patterns for e-business: A Strategy for Reuse, IBM Unlike traditional information technology courses, this MSc Press, 2001. Pattern descriptions also available at programme helps the students to understand how information and software systems can be best exploited 2. C. Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building, New within the organizational environment to manage data, information and knowledge, rather than how these systems are built. 3. F. Capra, The Web of Life, Flamingo. 1997. 4. E. Gamma, R. Helm, R. Johson, and J. Vlissides, Design MSc Text Mining
Patterns. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1996. Text mining is a vital growth area that deals with the 5. P. Horn, “The New Discipline of Services Science,” information overload problem. As the information Viewpoint, BusinessWeek online, January 21st 2005. published on the web and in print grows exponentially, scientists and organizations need information extraction 6. I.Wladawsky-Berger, “Innovation in the 21 Century,” tools to find the relevant data from the unstructured The Irving Wladawsky-Berger Lecture at the University information haystack. Text mining is an exciting area to of Manchester, 21 March, 2006. Available at


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