Category Archives: Certifications

Brand Marketing of Standards

By Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group

Today everyone is familiar with the power of brands. Managed well, they can develop strong biases amongst customers for the product or service, resulting in greatly increased revenues and profits. Managed badly, they can destroy a product or an organization.

I was sitting in San Francisco International Airport one day. A very loud couple was looking for somewhere to get coffee. The wife said, “There’s a Peet’s right here.” Angrily the husband replied, “I don’t want Peet’s, I want Starbucks!”

A jewelry retailer in the UK had grown, in six years, from having 150 stores to more than 2,000, with 25,000 staff and annual sales of £1.2 billion. Then at the Institute of Directors conference at the Royal Albert Hall in 1991, he told an audience of 5,000 business leaders the secret of his success. Describing his company’s products, he said: ‘We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, for £4.95. People say “How can you sell this for such a low price?”  I say, because it’s total crap.’  As if that were not enough, he added that his stores’ earrings were ‘cheaper than a prawn sandwich, but probably wouldn’t last as long’.

It was a joke that he had told before but this time it got into the press. Hordes of people queued at his stores, immediately that word got out, to return everything from earrings to engagement rings. The company was destroyed.

The identity of a brand emerges through communication backed up by a promise to customers. That promise can be a promise of quality or service or innovation or style. Or it can be much less tangible: “people like you buy this product”, for example.

Early in my career, I worked for a company that was in the business of manufacturing and marketing edible oils and fats – margarines, cooking oils and cooking fat.   When first developed, margarine was simply a substitute for the butter that was in short supply in the UK during wartime. But when butter once again became plentiful, the product needed to offer other advantages to the consumer. Research focused on methods to improve the quality of margarine–such as making it easier to spread, more flavorful and more nutritious.

At the time there were many brands all focused on a specific niche which together amounted to something like a 95% market share. Stork Margarine was promoted as a low cost butter substitute for working class households, Blue Band Margarine was positioned slightly up-market, Tomor Margarine for the kosher community, Flora Margarine was marketed as recommended by doctors as being good for the heart and so on. Today, Unilever continues to market these brands, amongst many others, successfully although the positioning may be a little different.

Creating, managing and communicating brands is not inexpensive but the rewards can be significant. There are three critical activities that must be done well. The brand must be protected, policed and promoted.

Protection starts with ensuring that the brand is trademarked but it does not end there. Consistent and correct usage of the brand is essential – without that, a trademark can be challenged and the value of the brand and all that has been invested in it can be lost.

Policing is about identifying and preventing unauthorized or incorrect usage of the mark by others. Unauthorized usage can range from organizations using the brand to market their own products or services, all the way up to counterfeit copies of the branded products. Cellophane is a registered trademark in the UK and other countries, and the property of Innovia Films. However, in many countries “cellophane” has become a generic term, often used informally to refer to a wide variety of plastic film products, even those not made of cellulose,such as plastic wrap, thereby diminishing the value of the brand to its owner. There are several other well-known and valuable marks that have been lost through becoming generic – mostly due to the brand owner not insisting on correct usage.

Promotion begins with identifying the target market, articulating the brand promise and the key purchase factors and benefits. The target market can be consumers or organizations but at the end of the day, people buy products or services or vote for candidates seeking election and it is important to segment and profile the target customers sufficiently and develop key messages for each segment.

Profiling has been around for a long time: the margarine example shows how it was used in the past.   But today consumers, organization buyers and voters have a plethora of messages targeted at them and through a broader than ever variety of media, so it is critical to be as precise as possible. Some of the best examples of profiling, such as soccer moms and NASCAR dads have been popularized as a result of their usage in US presidential election campaigns.

In the mid-1990’s X/Open (now part of The Open Group) started using branding to promote the market adoption of open standards. The members of X/Open had developed a set of specifications aimed at enabling portability of applications between the UNIX® systems of competing vendors, which was called the X/Open Portability Guide, or XPG for short.

The target market was the buyers of UNIX systems. The brand promise was that any product that was supplied by the vendors that carried the X/Open brand conformed to the specification, would always conform and, in the event of any non-conformance being found, the vendor would, at their own cost, rectify the non-conformance for the customer within a prescribed period of time. To this day, there has only ever been one report of non-conformance, an obscure mathematical result, reported by an academic. The vendor concerned quickly rectified the issue, even though it was extremely unlikely that any customer would ever be affected by it.

The trademark license agreement signed by all vendors who used the X/Open brand carried the words “warrant and represent” in support of the brand promise. It was a significant commitment on the part of the vendors as it also carried with it significant risk and potential liability.   For these reasons, the vendors pooled their resources to fund the development of test suite software, so they could better understand the commitment they had entered into. These test suites were developed in stages and, over time, their coverage of the set of specifications grew.

It was only later that products had to be tested and certified before they could carry the X/Open brand.

The trademark was, of course protected, policed and promoted. Procurements that could be identified, which were mostly government procurements, were recorded and totaled in excess of $50bn in a short period of time. Procurements by commerce and industry were more difficult to track, but were clearly significant.

The XPG brand program was enormously successful and has evolved to become the UNIX® brand program and, in spite of challenges from open source software, continues to deliver revenues for the vendors in excess of $30bn per annum.

When new brand programs are contemplated, an early concern of both vendors and customers is the cost. Customers worry that the vendors will pass the cost on to them; vendors worry that they will have to absorb the cost. In the case of XPG and UNIX, both sides looked not at the cost but at the benefits. For customers, even if the vendors had passed on the cost, the savings that could be achieved as a result of portability in a heterogeneous environment were orders of magnitude greater. For vendors, in a competitive environment, the price that they can charge customers, for their products, is dictated by the market, so their ability to pass on the costs of the branding program, directly to the customer, is limited. However, the reality is that the cost of the branding program pales into insignificance when spread over the revenue of related products. For one vendor we estimate the cost to be less than 100th of 1% of related revenue. Combine that with a preference from customers for branded products and everybody wins.

So the big question for vendors is: Do you see certification as a necessary cost to be kept as low as possible or do you see brand marketing of open standards, of which certification is a part, as a means to grow the market and your share of that market?

The big question for customers is: Do you want to negotiate and enforce a warranty with every vendor and in every contract or do you want the industry to do that for you and spread the cost over billions of dollars of procurements?

brown-smallAllen Brown is President and CEO of The Open Group – a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through IT standards.  For over 15 years, Allen has been responsible for driving The Open Group’s strategic plan and day-to-day operations, including extending its reach into new global markets, such as China, the Middle East, South Africa and India. In addition, he was instrumental in the creation of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA)., which was formed to increase job opportunities for all of its members and elevate their market value by advancing professional excellence.

 

 

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Filed under Brand Marketing, Certifications, Standards, Uncategorized, UNIX

ArchiMate® Users Group Meeting

By The Open Group

During a special ArchiMate® users group meeting on Wednesday, May 14 in Amsterdam, Andrew Josey, Director of Standards within The Open Group, presented on the ArchiMate certification program and adoption of the language. Andrew is currently managing the standards process for The Open Group, and has recently led the standards development projects for TOGAF® 9.1, ArchiMate 2.1, IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (POSIX), and the core specifications of the Single UNIX Specification, Version 4.

ArchiMate®, a standard of The Open Group, is an open and independent modeling language for Enterprise Architecture that is supported by different vendors and consulting firms. ArchiMate provides instruments to enable Enterprise Architects to describe, analyze and visualize the relationships among business domains in an unambiguous way. ArchiMate is not an isolated development. The relationships with existing methods and techniques, like modeling languages such as UML and BPMN, and methods and frameworks like TOGAF and Zachman, are well-described.

In this talk, Andrew provided an overview of the ArchiMate 2 certification program, including information on the adoption of the ArchiMate modeling language. He gave an overview of the major milestones in the development of Archimate and referred to the Dutch origins of the language. The Dutch Telematica Institute created the Archimate language in the period 2002-2004 and the language is now widespread. There have been over 41,000 downloads of different versions of the ArchiMate specification from more than 150 countries. At 52%, The Netherlands is leading the “Top 10 Certifications by country”. However, the “Top 20 Downloads by country” is dominated by the USA (19%), followed by the UK (14%) and The Netherlands (12%). One of the tools developed to support ArchiMate is Archi, a free open-source tool created by Phil Beauvoir at the University of Bolton in the UK. Since its development, Archi also has grown from a relatively small, home-grown tool to become a widely used open-source resource that averages 3,000 downloads per month and whose community ranges from independent practitioners to Fortune 500 companies. It is no surprise that again, Archi is mostly downloaded in The Netherlands (17.67%), the United States (12.42%) and the United Kingdom (8.81%).

After these noteworthy facts and figures, Henk Jonkers took a deep dive into modeling risk and security. Henk Jonkers is a senior research consultant, involved in BiZZdesign’s innovations in the areas of Enterprise Architecture and engineering. He was one of the main developers of the ArchiMate language, an author of the ArchiMate 1.0 and 2.0 Specifications, and is actively involved in the activities of the ArchiMate Forum of The Open Group. In this talk, Henk showed several examples of how risk and security aspects can be incorporated in Enterprise Architecture models using the ArchiMate language. He also explained how the resulting models could be used to analyze risks and vulnerabilities in the different architectural layers, and to visualize the business impact that they have.

First Henk described the limitations of current approaches – existing information security and risk management methods do not systematically identify potential attacks. They are based on checklists, heuristics and experience. Security controls are applied in a bottom-up way and are not based on a thorough analysis of risks and vulnerabilities. There is no explicit definition of security principles and requirements. Existing systems only focus on IT security. They have difficulties in dealing with complex attacks on socio-technical systems, combining physical and digital access, and social engineering. Current approaches focus on preventive security controls, and corrective and curative controls are not considered. Security by Design is a must, and there is always a trade-off between the risk factor versus process criticality. Henk gave some arguments as to why ArchiMate provides the right building blocks for a solid risk and security architecture. ArchiMate is widely accepted as an open standard for modeling Enterprise Architecture and support is widely available. ArchiMate is also suitable as a basis for qualitative and quantitative analysis. And last but not least: there is a good fit with other Enterprise Architecture and security frameworks (TOGAF, Zachman, SABSA).

“The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from”, emeritus professor Andrew Stuart Tanenbaum once said. Using this quote as a starting point, Gerben Wierda focused his speech on the relationship between the ArchiMate language and Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). In particular he discussed Bruce Silver’s BPMN Method and Style. He stated that ArchiMate and BPMN can exist side by side. Why would you link BPMN and Archimate? According to Gerben there is a fundamental vision behind all of this. “There are unavoidably many ‘models’ of the enterprise that are used. We cannot reduce that to one single model because of fundamentally different uses. We even cannot reduce that to a single meta-model (or pattern/structure) because of fundamentally different requirements. Therefore, what we need to do is look at the documentation of the enterprise as a collection of models with different structures. And what we thus need to do is make this collection coherent.”

Gerben is Lead Enterprise Architect of APG Asset Management, one of the largest Fiduciary Managers (± €330 billion Assets under Management) in the world, with offices in Heerlen, Amsterdam, New York, Hong Kong and Brussels. He has overseen the construction of one of the largest single ArchiMate models in the world to date and is the author of the book “Mastering ArchiMate”, based on his experience in large scale ArchiMate modeling. In his speech, Gerben showed how the leading standards ArchiMate and BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation, an OMG standard) can be used together, creating one structured logically coherent and automatically synchronized description that combines architecture and process details.

Marc Lankhorst, Managing Consultant and Service Line Manager Enterprise Architecture at BiZZdesign, presented on the topic of capability modeling in ArchiMate. As an internationally recognized thought leader on Enterprise Architecture, he guides the development of BiZZdesign’s portfolio of services, methods, techniques and tools in this field. Marc is also active as a consultant in government and finance. In the past, he has managed the development of the ArchiMate language for Enterprise Architecture modeling, now a standard of The Open Group. Marc is a certified TOGAF9 Enterprise Architect and holds an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Twente and a PhD from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In his speech, Marc discussed different notions of “capability” and outlined the ways in which these might be modeled in ArchiMate. In short, a business capability is something an enterprise does or can do, given the various resources it possesses. Marc described the use of capability-based planning as a way of translating enterprise strategy to architectural choices and look ahead at potential extensions of ArchiMate for capability modeling. Business capabilities provide a high-level view of current and desired abilities of the organization, in relation to strategy and environment. Enterprise Architecture practitioners design extensive models of the enterprise, but these are often difficult to communicate with business leaders. Capabilities form a bridge between the business leaders and the Enterprise Architecture practitioners. They are very helpful in business transformation and are the ratio behind capability based planning, he concluded.

For more information on ArchiMate, please visit:

http://www.opengroup.org/subjectareas/enterprise/archimate

For information on the Archi tool, please visit: http://www.archimatetool.com/

For information on joining the ArchiMate Forum, please visit: http://www.opengroup.org/getinvolved/forums/archimate

 

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Certifications, Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Professional Development, Standards, TOGAF®

The Open Group Summit Amsterdam 2014 – Day Three Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, The Open Group

May 14, day three of The Open Group Summit Amsterdam, was another busy day for our attendees and presenters.  Tracks included ArchiMate®The Open Group Open Platform 3.0™-Big Data, Open CITS, TOGAF®, Architecture Methods and Professional Development.

Mark Skilton, Professor of Practice, Information Systems Management, Warwick Business School, UK presented “Creating Value in the Digital Economy”. Skilton discussed how the digital media in social, networks, mobile devices, sensors and the explosion of big data and cloud computing networks is interconnecting potentially everything everywhere – amounting to a new digital ecosystem.  These trends have significantly enhanced the importance of IT in its role and impact on business and market value locally, regionally and globally.

Other notable speakers included Thomas Obitz, Principal Advisor, KPMG, LLK, UK, and Paul Bonnie, Head of Architecture Office, ING, The Netherlands, who shared how standards, such as TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, are necessary and effective in the financial services industry.

During a special users group meeting in the evening, Andrew Josey, Director of Standards within The Open Group, presented the ArchiMate certification program and adoption of the language. . Andrew is currently managing the standards process for The Open Group, and has recently led the standards development projects for TOGAF® 9.1, ArchiMate 2.1, IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (POSIX), and the core specifications of the Single UNIX Specification, Version 4.

Andrew provided an overview of the ArchiMate 2 certification program, including information on the adoption of the ArchiMate modeling language. He discussed the major milestones in the development of ArchiMate and referred to the Dutch origins of the language. The ArchiMate language was developed beginning in 2002 and is now widespread.  There have been over 41,000 downloads of ArchiMate specifications from more than 150 countries.

Henk Jonkers, senior research consultant involved in BiZZdesign’s innovations in Enterprise Architecture (EA) and one of the main developers of the ArchiMate language, took a deep dive into modeling risk and security.

Henk JonkersHenk Jonkers, BiZZdesign

As a final farewell from Amsterdam, a special thanks goes to our sponsors and exhibitors during this dynamic summit:  BiZZdesign, MEGA, ARCA Strategic Group, Good e-Learning, Orbus Software, Corso, Van Haren, Metaplexity, Architecting the Enterprise, Biner and the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA).

For those of you who attended the Summit, please give us your feedback! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AMST2014

Stay tuned for Summit proceedings to be posted soon!  See you at our event in Boston, Massachusetts July 21-22!

 

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Certifications, Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Open CITS, Open Platform 3.0, Standards, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

The Open Group Summit Amsterdam 2014 – Day Two Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, The Open Group

On Tuesday, May 13, day two of The Open Group Summit Amsterdam, the morning plenary began with a welcome from The Open Group President and CEO Allen Brown. He presented an overview of the Forums and the corresponding Roadmaps. He described the process of standardization, from the initial work to a preliminary standard, including review documents, whitepapers and snapshots, culminating in the final publication of an open standard. Brown also announced that Capgemini is again a Platinum member of The Open Group and contributes to the realization of the organization’s objectives in various ways.

Charles Betz, Chief Architect, Signature Client Group, AT&T and Karel van Zeeland, Lead IT4IT Architect, Shell IT International, presented the second keynote of the morning, ‘A Reference Architecture For the Business of IT’.  When the IT Value Chain and IT4IT Reference Architecture is articulated, instituted and automated, the business can experience huge cost savings in IT and significantly improved response times for IT service delivery, as well as increasing customer satisfaction.

AmsterdamPlenaryKarel van Zeeland, Charles Betz and Allen Brown

In 1998, Shell Information Technology started to restructure the IT Management and the chaos was complete. There were too many tools, too many vendors, a lack of integration, no common data model, a variety of user interfaces and no standards to support rapid implementation. With more than 28 different solutions for incident management and more than 160 repositories of configuration data, the complexity was immense. An unclear relationship with Enterprise Architecture and other architectural issues made the case even worse.

Restructuring the IT Management turned out to be a long journey for the Shell managers. How to manage 1,700 locations in 90 countries, 8,000 applications, 25,000 servers, dozens of global and regional datacenters,125,000 PCs and laptops, when at the same time you are confronted with trends like BYOD, mobility, cloud computing, security, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT).  According to Betz and van Zeeland, IT4IT is a promising platform for evolution of the IT profession. IT4IT however has the potential to become a full open standard for managing the business of IT.

Jeroen Tas, CEO of Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services within Philips Healthcare, explained in his keynote speech, “Philips is becoming a software company”. Digital solutions connect and streamline workflow across the continuum of care to improve patient outcomes. Today, big data is supporting adaptive therapies. Smart algorithms are used for early warning and active monitoring of patients in remote locations. Tas has a dream, he wants to make a valuable contribution to a connected healthcare world for everyone.

In January 2014, Royal Philips announced the formation of Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services, a new business group within Philips’ Healthcare sector that offers hospitals and health systems the customized clinical programs, advanced data analytics and interoperable, cloud-based platforms necessary to implement new models of care. Tas, who previously served as the Chief Information Officer of Philips, leads the group.

In January of this year, The Open Group launched The Open Group Healthcare Forum whichfocuses on bringing Boundaryless Information Flow™ to the healthcare industry enabling data to flow more easily throughout the complete healthcare ecosystem.

Ed Reynolds, HP Fellow and responsible for the HP Enterprise Security Services in the US, described the role of information risk in a new technology landscape. How do C-level executives think about risk? This is a relevant and urgent question because it can take more than 243 days before a data breach is detected. Last year, the average cost associated with a data breach increased 78% to 11.9 million dollars. Critical data assets may be of strategic national importance, have massive corporate value or have huge significance to an employee or citizen, be it the secret recipe of Coca Cola or the medical records of a patient. “Protect your crown jewels” is the motto.

Bart Seghers, Cyber Security Manager, Thales Security and Henk Jonkers, Senior Research Consultant of BiZZdesign, visualized the Business Impact of Technical Cyber Risks. Attacks on information systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Organizations are increasingly networked and thus more complex. Attacks use digital, physical and social engineering and the departments responsible for each of these domains within an organization operate in silos. Current risk management methods cannot handle the resulting complexity. Therefore they are using ArchiMate® as a risk and security architecture. ArchiMate is a widely accepted open standard for modeling Enterprise Architecture. There is also a good fit with other EA and security frameworks, such as TOGAF®. A pentest-based Business Impact Assessment (BIA) is a powerful management dashboard that increases the return on investment for your Enterprise Architecture effort, they concluded.

Risk Management was also a hot topic during several sessions in the afternoon. Moderator Jim Hietala, Vice President, Security at The Open Group, hosted a panel discussion on Risk Management.

In the afternoon several international speakers covered topics including Enterprise Architecture & Business Value, Business & Data Architecture and Open Platform 3.0™. In relation to social networks, Andy Jones, Technical Director, EMEA, SOA Software, UK, presented “What Facebook, Twitter and Netflix Didn’t Tell You”.

The Open Group veteran Dr. Chris Harding, Director for Interoperability at The Open Group, and panelists discussed and emphasized the importance of The Open Group Open Platform 3.0™. The session also featured a live Q&A via Twitter #ogchat, #ogop3.

The podcast is now live. Here are the links:

Briefings Direct Podcast Home Page: http://www.briefingsdirect.com/

PODCAST STREAM: http://traffic.libsyn.com/interarbor/BriefingsDirect-The_Open_Group_Amsterdam_Conference_Panel_Delves_into_How_to_Best_Gain_Business_Value_From_Platform_3.mp3

PODCAST SUMMARY: http://briefingsdirect.com/the-open-group-amsterdam-panel-delves-into-how-to-best-gain-business-value-from-platform-30

In the evening, The Open Group hosted a tour and dinner experience at the world-famous Heineken Brewery.

For those of you who attended the summit, please give us your feedback! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AMST2014

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Boundaryless Information Flow™, Certifications, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Healthcare, Open Platform 3.0, RISK Management, Standards, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

ArchiMate® Q&A with Phil Beauvoir

By The Open Group

The Open Group’s upcoming Amsterdam Summit in May will feature a full day on May 14 dedicated to ArchiMate®, an open and independent modeling language for Enterprise Architecture, supported by tools that allow Enterprise Architects to describe, analyze and visualize relationships among business domains in an unambiguous way.

One of the tools developed to support ArchiMate is Archi, a free, open-source tool created by Phil Beauvoir at the University of Bolton in the UK as part of a Jisc-funded Enterprise Architecture project that ran from 2009-2012. Since its development, Archi has grown from a relatively small, home-grown tool to become a widely used open-source resource that averages 3000 downloads per month and whose community ranges from independent practitioners to Fortune 500 companies. Here we talk with Beauvoir about how Archi was developed, the problems inherent in sustaining an open source product, its latest features and whether it was named after the Archie comic strip.

Beauvoir will be a featured speaker during the ArchiMate Day in Amsterdam.

Tell us about the impetus for creating the Archi tool and how it was created…
My involvement with the ArchiMate language has mainly been through the development of the software tool, Archi. Archi has, I believe, acted as a driver and as a hub for activity around the ArchiMate language and Enterprise Architecture since it was first created.

I’ll tell you the story of how Archi came about. Let’s go back to the end of 2009. At that point, I think ArchiMate and Enterprise Architecture were probably being used quite extensively in the commercial sector, especially in The Netherlands. The ArchiMate language had been around for a while at that point but was a relatively new thing to many people, at least here in the UK. If you weren’t part of the EA scene, it would have been a new thing to you. In the UK, it was certainly new for many in higher education and universities, which is where I come in.

Jisc, the UK funding body, funded a number of programs in higher education exploring digital technologies and other initiatives. One of the programs being funded was to look at how to improve systems using Enterprise Architecture within the university sector. Some of the universities had already been led to ArchiMate and Enterprise Architecture and were trying it out for themselves – they were new to it and, of course, one of the first things they needed were tools. At that time, and I think it’s still true today, a lot of the tools were quite expensive. If you’re a big commercial organization, you might be able to afford the licensing costs for tools and support, but for a small university project it can be prohibitive, especially if you’re just dipping your toe into something like this. So some colleagues within Jisc and the university I worked at said, ‘well, what about creating a small, open source project tool which isn’t over-complicated but does enough to get people started in ArchiMate? And we can fund six months of money to do this as a proof of concept tool’.

That takes us into 2010, when I was working for the university that was approached to do this work. After six months, by June 2010, I had created the first 1.0 version of Archi and it was (and still is) free, open source and cross-platform. Some of the UK universities said ‘well, that’s great, because now the barrier to entry has been lowered, we can use this tool to start exploring the ArchiMate language and getting on board with Enterprise Architecture’. That’s really where it all started.

So some of the UK universities that were exploring ArchiMate and Enterprise Architecture had a look at this first version of Archi, version 1.0, and said ‘it’s good because it means that we can engage with it without committing at this stage to the bigger tooling solutions.’ You have to remember, of course, that universities were (and still are) a bit strapped for cash, so that’s a big issue for them. At the time, and even now, there really aren’t any other open-source or free tools doing this. That takes us to June 2010. At this point we got some more funding from the Jisc, and kept on developing the tool and adding more features to it. That takes us through 2011 and then up to the end of 2012, when my contract came to an end.

Since the official funding ended and my contract finished, I’ve continued to develop Archi and support the community that’s built up around it. I had to think about the sustainability of the software beyond the project, and sometimes this can be difficult, but I took it upon myself to continue to support and develop it and to engage with the Archi/ArchiMate community.

How did you get involved with The Open Group and bringing the tool to them?
I think it was inevitable really due to where Archi originated, and because the funding came from the Jisc, and they are involved with The Open Group. So, I guess The Open Group became aware of Archi through the Jisc program and then I became involved with the whole ArchiMate initiative and The Open Group. I think The Open Group is in favor of Archi, because it’s an open source tool that provides a neutral reference implementation of the ArchiMate language. When you have an open standard like ArchiMate, it’s good to have a neutral reference model implementation.

How is this tool different from other tools out there and what does it enable people to do?
Well, firstly Archi is a tool for modeling Enterprise Architecture using the ArchiMate language and notation, but what really makes it stand out from the other tools is its accessibility and the fact that it is free, open source and cross-platform. It can do a lot of, if not all of, the things that the bigger tools provide without any financial or other commitment. However, free is not much use if there’s no quality. One thing I’ve always strived for in developing Archi is to ensure that even if it only does a few things compared with the bigger tools, it does those things well. I think with a tool that is free and open-source, you have a lot of support and good-will from users who provide positive encouragement and feedback, and you end up with an interesting open development process.

I suppose you might regard Archi’s relationship to the bigger ArchiMate tools in the same way as you’d compare Notepad to Microsoft Word. Notepad provides the essential writing features, but if you want to go for the full McCoy then you go and buy Microsoft Word. The funny thing is, this is where Archi was originally targeted – at beginners, getting people to start to use the ArchiMate language. But then I started to get emails — even just a few months after its first release — from big companies, insurance companies and the like saying things like ‘hey, we’re using this tool and it’s great, and ‘thanks for this, when are we going to add this or that feature?’ or ‘how many more features are you going to add?’ This surprised me somewhat since I wondered why they hadn’t invested in one of the available commercial tools. Perhaps ArchiMate, and even Enterprise Architecture itself, was new to these organizations and they were using Archi as their first software tool before moving on to something else. Having said that, there are some large organizations out there that do use Archi exclusively.

Which leads to an interesting dilemma — if something is free, how do you continue developing and sustaining it? This is an issue that I’m contending with right now. There is a PayPal donation button on the front page of the website, but the software is open source and, in its present form, will remain open source; but how do you sustain something like this? I don’t have the complete answer right now.

Given that it’s a community product, it helps that the community contributes ideas and develops code, but at the same time you still need someone to give their time to coordinate all of the activity and support. I suppose the classic model is one of sponsorship, but we don’t have that right now, so at the moment I’m dealing with issues around sustainability.

How much has the community contributed to the tool thus far?
The community has contributed a lot in many different ways. Sometimes a user might find a bug and report it or they might offer a suggestion on how a feature can be improved. In fact, some of the better features have been suggested by users. Overall, community contributions seem to have really taken off more in the last few months than in the whole lifespan of Archi. I think this may be due to the new Archi website and a lot more renewed activity. Lately there have been more code contributions, corrections to the documentation and user engagement in the future of Archi. And then there are users who are happy to ask ‘when is Archi going to implement this big feature, and when is it going to have full support for repositories?’ and of course they want this for free. Sometimes that’s quite hard to accommodate, because you think ‘sure, but who’s going to do all this work and contribute the effort.’ That’s certainly an interesting issue for me.

How many downloads of the tool are you getting per month? Where is it being used?
At the moment we’re seeing around 3,000 downloads a month of the tool — I think that’s a lot actually. Also, I understand that some EA training organizations use Archi for their ArchiMate training, so there are quite a few users there, as well.

The number one country for downloading the app and visiting the website is the Netherlands, followed by the UK and the United States. In the past three months, the UK and The Netherlands have been about equal in numbers in their visits to the website and downloads, followed by the United States, France, Germany, Canada, then Australia, Belgium, and Norway. We have some interest from Russia too. Sometimes it depends on whether ArchiMate or Archi is in the news at any given time. I’ve noticed that when there’s a blog post about ArchiMate, for example, you’ll see a spike in the download figures and the number of people visiting the website.

How does the tool fit into the overall schema of the modeling language?
It supports all of the ArchiMate language concepts, and I think it offers the core functionality of you’d want from an ArchiMate modeling tool — the ability to create diagrams, viewpoints, analysis of model objects, reporting, color schemes and so on. Of course, the bigger ArchiMate tools will let you manipulate the model in more sophisticated ways and create more detailed reports and outputs. This is an area that we are trying to improve, and the people who are now actively contributing to Archi are full-time Enterprise Architects who are able to contribute to these areas. For example, we have a user and contributor from France, and he and his team use Archi, and so they are able to see first-hand where Archi falls short and they are able to say ‘well, OK, we would like it to do this, or that could be improved,’ so now they’re working towards strengthening any weak areas.

How did you come up with the name?
What happens is you have pet names for projects and I think it just came about that we started calling it “Archie,” like the guy’s name. When it was ready to be released I said, ‘OK, what should we really call the app?’ and by that point everyone had started to refer to it as “Archie.” Then somebody said ‘well, everybody’s calling it by that name so why don’t we just drop the “e” from the name and go with that?’ – so it became “Archi.” I suppose we could have spent more time coming up with a different name, but by then the name had stuck and everybody was calling it that. Funnily enough, there’s a comic strip called ‘Archie’ and an insurance company that was using the software at the time told me that they’d written a counterpart tool called ‘Veronica,’ named after a character in the comic strip.

What are you currently working on with the tool?
For the last few months, I’ve been adding new features – tweaks, improvements, tightening things up, engaging with the user community, listening to what’s needed and trying to implement these requests. I’ve also been adding new resources to the Archi website and participating on social media like Twitter, spreading the word. I think the use of social media is really important. Twitter, the User Forums and the Wikis are all points where people can provide feedback and engage with me and other Archi developers and users. On the development side of things, we host the code at GitHub, and again that’s an open resource that users and potential developers can go to. I think the key words are ‘open’ and ‘community driven.’ These social media tools, GitHub and the forums all contribute to that. In this way everyone, from developer to user, becomes a stakeholder – everyone can play their part in the development of Archi and its future. It’s a community product and my role is to try and manage it all.

What will you be speaking about in Amsterdam?
I think the angle I’m interested in is what can be achieved by a small number of people taking the open source approach to developing software and building and engaging with the community around it. For me, the interesting part of the Archi story is not so much about the software itself and what it does, but rather the strong community that’s grown around it, the extent of the uptake of the tool and the way in which it has enabled people to get on board with Enterprise Architecture and ArchiMate. It’s the accessibility and agility of this whole approach that I like and also the activity and buzz around the software and from the community – that for me is the interesting thing about this process.

For more information on ArchiMate, please visit:
http://www.opengroup.org/subjectareas/enterprise/archimate

For information on the Archi tool, please visit: http://www.archimatetool.com/

For information on joining the ArchiMate Forum, please visit: http://www.opengroup.org/getinvolved/forums/archimate

philbeauvoirPhil Beauvoir has been developing, writing, and speaking about software tools and development for over 25 years. He was Senior Researcher and Developer at Bangor University, and, later, the Institute for Educational Cybernetics at Bolton University, both in the UK. During this time he co-developed a peer-to-peer learning management and groupware system, a suite of software tools for authoring and delivery of standards-compliant learning objects and meta-data, and tooling to create IMS Learning Design compliant units of learning.  In 2010, working with the Institute for Educational Cybernetics, Phil created the open source ArchiMate Modelling Tool, Archi. Since 2013 he has been curating the development of Archi independently. Phil holds a degree in Medieval English and Anglo-Saxon Literature.

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The Open Group and APMG Work Together to Promote TOGAF® and ArchiMate®

The APM Group (APMG) and The Open Group have announced a new partnership whereby APMG will support the accreditation services of The Open Group’s products. The arrangement will initially focus on TOGAF® and ArchiMate®, both standards of The Open Group.

APMG’s team of global assessors will be supporting The Open Group’s internal accreditation team in conducting their assessment activities. The scope of the assessments will focus on organizations, materials and training delivery.

“A significant value to The Open Group in this new venture is the ability to utilize APMG’s team of experienced multi-lingual assessors who are based throughout the world.  This will help The Open Group establish new markets and ensure quality support of existing markets, “ said James de Raeve, Vice President of Certification at The Open Group.

Richard Pharro, CEO of APMG said, “This agreement presents an excellent opportunity to APMG Accredited Training Organizations which are interested in training in The Open Group’s products, as their existing APMG accredited status will be recognized by The Open Group. We believe our global network will significantly enhance the awareness and take up of TOGAF and ArchiMate.”

About The Open Group

The Open Group is an international vendor- and technology-neutral consortium upon which organizations rely to lead the development of IT standards and certifications, and to provide them with access to key industry peers, suppliers and best practices. The Open Group provides guidance and an open environment in order to ensure interoperability and vendor neutrality. Further information on The Open Group can be found at http://opengroup.org.

About APM Group

The APM Group is one of the world’s largest certification bodies for knowledge based workers. As well as the certifications mentioned above, we offer competency-based assessments for specialist roles in the security and aerospace industries. We work with government agencies to help develop people who can achieve great things for the organizations they work for.

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The ArchiMate® Certification for People Program 2014 Updates

By Andrew Josey, The Open Group

Following on from the news in December of the 1000th certification in the ArchiMate certification program, The Open Group has made some changes to the program that will make the certification program more accessible. As of January 2014, it is now possible to self study for both certification levels.  Previously to achieve the Level 2 certification, known as ArchiMate 2 Certified, attendance at a course was mandatory.

To accommodate this, a revised examination structure has been introduced as shown in the diagram below:ArchiMate_2_exam

There are two levels of certification:

  • ArchiMate Foundation: Knowledge of the notation, terminology, structure, and concepts of the ArchiMate modeling language.
  • ArchiMate Certified: In addition to Knowledge and comprehension, the ability to analyze and apply the ArchiMate modeling language.

Candidates are able to choose whether they wish to become certified in a stepwise manner by starting with ArchiMate 2 Foundation and then at a later date ArchiMate 2 Certified, or bypass ArchiMate 2 Foundation and go directly to ArchiMate 2 Certified.

For those going directly to ArchiMate 2 Certified there is a choice of taking the two examinations separately or a Combined examination. The advantage of taking the two examinations over the single Combined examination is that if you pass Part 1 but fail Part 2 you can still qualify for ArchiMate 2 Foundation.

The ArchiMate 2 Part 1 examination comprises 40 questions in simple multiple choice format. The ArchiMate 2 Part 2 examination comprises 8 question using a gradient scored, scenario based format. Practice examinations are included as part of an Accredited ArchiMate Training course and available with the Study Guide.

The examinations are delivered either at Prometric test centers or by Accredited Training Course Providers through The Open Group Internet Based Testing portal.

You can find an available accredited training course either by viewing the public Calendar of Accredited Training Courses or by contacting a provider using the Register of Accredited Training Courses.

The ArchiMate 2 Certification Self-Study Pack is available at http://www.opengroup.org/bookstore/catalog/b132.htm.

The hardcopy of the ArchiMate 2 Certification Study Guide is available to order from Van Haren Publishing at http://www.vanharen.net/9789401800020

ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

 Andrew Josey is Director of Standards within The Open Group. He is currently managing the standards process for The Open Group, and has recently led the standards development projects for TOGAF 9.1, ArchiMate 2.1, IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (POSIX), and the core specifications of the Single UNIX Specification, Version 4. Previously, he has led the development and operation of many of The Open Group certification development projects, including industry-wide certification programs for the UNIX system, the Linux Standard Base, TOGAF, and IEEE POSIX. He is a member of the IEEE, USENIX, UKUUG, and the Association of Enterprise Architects.

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