You probably did a double-take when you read the title and asked yourself, “What is SOAM?” Let me start by telling you what it is not. It is not service integration and management (SIAM), which emerged more than a decade ago to address the highly complex contract and governance processes introduced by multisourcing. SIAM was a good starting point for service integration management, but things have evolved and today something more is needed.

Service Orchestration and Management (SOAM)

Companies expect their platform and services initiatives to deliver greater business and customer value in the form of higher-quality outcomes and enhanced user experience. This requires moving past static outsourcing models to embrace one that is scalable, configurable and delivers real-time orchestration. That model is service orchestration and management (SOAM).

SOAM, a new approach created by Cisco and our partner, Avasant, is a service orchestration strategy that encompasses the best of what service integration and management (SIAM) has to offer, but takes it a step further by making use of the many-to-many service provider relationships in the evolving multisourced ecosystem and more flexible contracting. Orchestration within SOAM does the following:

  • Provides automation to allow services to adapt to situations that impact customer value
  • Enables services to respond proactively to customer demand
  • Improves customer outcomes and experience

SOAM Readiness

04April_JimsBlogIn 2014, Avasant conducted a scan of the market and discovered increased investments by companies in service orchestration as a way to tackle challenges not addressed by other integration models. Based on the above statistics, I believe now is the time for companies to get SOAM ready. So what does that look like?

Collectively, we’ve created a scale of readiness that assesses a company in six distinct categories:

Pricing is based on a percentage of the actual cost to produce the outcome and the experience offered to the customer.

Orchestration focuses on service provider relationships and the degree of planning and automation that allows for services to adapt based on the given situation.

Transformative Functions deals with agility in processes that improve a company’s ability to adapt to various customer demands.

Sourced/Retained Functions keys in on strategies that improve competitive advantage using high-performance supplier networks.

Sourcing Mix is the extent to which a company delegates services to managed service providers in a many-to-many relationship model.

Organizational Readiness is the evaluation of an organization’s ability to deliver services based on outcomes and experience.

The Cisco and Avasant Connection

Cisco ServiceGrid, our multisourced integration platform in the cloud, provides a scalable, highly secure, and fast way to integrate with your support ecosystem for end-to-end processes and faster collaboration on support issues. ServiceGrid is prime for the SOAM way of doing business. Avasant focuses on translating the power of technology into realizable business strategies and has a long history of thought-leadership in sourcing models. This is why we have partnered with them to develop this pioneering strategy and lead in this new approach.

Read our collaborative white paper, Adopting Service Orchestration to Realize Greater Value from Your Multisourced Ecosystem, to learn more about SOAM and becoming SOAM ready and then leave a comment to let me know your thoughts.


Jim McDonnell

Director, General Manager

ServiceGrid, CMCP, UCSF Alliance