IBM and Fair Isaac Tie the SOA Knot

IBM and Fair Isaac have expanded their cooperative efforts into a joint strategic and global marketing alliance.

Under an agreement announced on Wednesday, Fair Isaac's enterprise decision management solutions, which typically support decision-making in industries such as finance, insurance and healthcare, will be centered around IBM's service-oriented architecture (SOA) products.

Fair Isaac plans to embed into its solutions various IBM middleware, including "DB2, WebSphere, Rational tools, Lotus software, including Portal, and the IBM System z and System p platforms," according to an announcement issued by the companies. These embedded solutions will be jointly sold by the two companies.

The deal cements a partnership that goes back to 2002, according to Mark Hanny, IBM's vice president for strategic partnerships.

The new strategic alliance agreement also grew out of a need to integrate four of Fair Isaac's products, including Capstone (origination), Finance (account management), Debt Manager (collections and recovery) and Falcon (fraud prevention).

"These products came from different acquisitions that Fair Isaac made over the years," explained Bob Berini, vice president of strategic partners for Fair Isaac. "So it was important to tie them together and integrate them."

Berini added that Fair Isaac wanted a single reference platform for this integration and that many of Fair Isaac's customers were already using the IBM products.

"What we're proposing to do with IBM is to bundle them together and sell them as a preloaded, pretuned, performance-tested package," Berini said. "It will make it easier for customers to add applications like this and move from one package to the other, if that suits their needs."

Hanny emphasized that IBM's platform offers opens standards to help integrate applications in an SOA.

"None of these things sit as silos," Hanny said in reference enterprise applications. "All of these things for the banks to receive value and get their ROI need to be connected and that's why we see SOA as so important in embracing open standards…."

Berini said that some of the first integrated components of the Fair Isaac software suite would start to become available at the end of this year. "So, throughout 2009, we'll be delivering probably the rest of the products," he added.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.