Bletchley Park Architects Council Part 1

Microsoft UK Architect Council Meeting
8 & 9 June 2009
Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes

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In June 2009 a group of senior IT Architects from across the industry assembled at Bletchley Park, the home of the World War II code breakers for two days to discuss the current state and requirements for interoperability, standards, security and service-orientation across the IT industry. Bletchley offered a more than fitting venue to discuss and debate these subjects given its history and the incredible achievements they made.
Architects Council, Bletchley Park, June 2009

More Photo’s here …

Architects Council, Bletchley Park, June 2009 Architects Council, Bletchley Park, June 2009

Welcome to Bletchley Park

Dave Gristwood and I chew the fat before the two day meeting takes place to talk about what we’re going to be discussing and why Bletchley was such a great place to be doing this. Simon GreenishBut don’t let this stop you from viewing as there is then a great welcome from Simon Greenish, Trust Director at Bletchley Park who really made a special effort for us during our stay and who continues to be the driving force behind the growing success that is Bletchley Park today!


A quick view of Bletchley Park

Bletchley is a key part of our cultural and scientific heritage and for the computer industry stands out, not only as the scene of some of the most amazing code breaking stories of WWII that undoubtedly reduced the duration of the war by some considerable time but also as the birth place of modern computing. We all owe much to Simon and his team at Bletchley for the incredible job they are doing to not only save this for us and future generations but in so doing enable us to learn from the lessons of Bletchley and the work that went on there during the War! However, it should be noted that Bletchley remains under threat and I would impress on all the importance of your roll in ensuring its continued survival and future success. Many thanks in particular to our guide David Whitchurch and also to Tony Sale for demonstrating how Colosus boots faster than his copy of XP!


So what is Interoperability anyway?

Interoperability means many things to many people but here just a few thoughts from the architects who met at Bletchley to discuss the subject …


The presentations …


The interoperability imperative

Giampiero Nanni, Director of Interoperability, Microsoft Ltd

Interoperability is at the same time a challenge and an opportunity for organisations, private and public, with implications that go way beyond the pure technical aspects and issues. Microsoft is committed to solve these challenges, starting from weaving Interoperability into the fabric of the company, and through a collaborative approach with the different communities, government and standard bodies


 John 'A' Phillips

Standards and software – combining innovation and interoperability

John Phillips, UK National Standards Officer, Microsoft Ltd

The vibrancy and innovation of the software industry is incredible. It has created the modern tools needed by competitive enterprises. But raw innovation in the modern multi-vendor, multi-domain environment can challenge interoperability as implementers interpret standards in different ways. The advanced software architect needs to combine innovation and interoperability in complex systems to keep customers happy. This session will explore the challenges today’s standardisers in the software domain may face in building a standardizing capability for system-wide interoperability.

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 Steve Plank 3/4

Who am I?

Steve Plank, Identity Architect, Microsoft Ltd

Projecting your corporate identity in the cloud!


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The Merrill Bros. 

Lessons from Bletchley

Ian Race, Senior Architect, Merrill Lynch Bank of America

Rupert Brown, Senior Architect, Merrill Lynch Bank of America

Why is it that so many software projects fail? As the Standish Group's 2009 CHAOS report confirms, this record is getting worse, with only 32% of projects delivered on time, on budget, with all required features. 44% were challenged being late, over budget, and/or with less than the required features and 24% failed or cancelled prior to completion.

Bletchley represents enormous success by a relatively small group of contributors in a relatively short period of time. Was this just luck or judgement? Are their lessons we can learn? Taking a couple of assumptions into account the council represents well over 800 years combined IT experience, during this time there have probably been one or two successes? Is there anyway we can capture some of this collective wisdom and turn it into a form that could save current and future projects from failure?

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University Challenge

Keith Straughan, Dean, University College Milton Keynes

Earlier this year the Higher Education Funding Council for England proposed a new University Challenge to 'unlock Britain’s talent" to support the Government’s aspiration to see up to twenty new Higher Education Centres in the UK. In many ways Milton Keynes is a natural choice, but perhaps rather than just proposing itself as being another University why not take a step back and maybe consider what the University of Tomorrow might look like. What if it were to really harness the power of modern technology? What would this 'virtual' university look like? Keith and his team have been spending some time thinking about this problem and have come up with some interesting thoughts.

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 Mr Ed P Gibson I believe ...

Security Strategy Briefing

Ed Gibson, Chief Security Advisor, Microsoft Ltd

Ed gave a free flowing account of the state of security across the industry. He covered many of the industries top security challenges, a new economy action plan, and described Microsoft’s strategy in relation to Trustworthy Computing and the Security Development Lifecycle.


Security Intelligence Report

Cliff Evans, Security and Privacy Lead, Microsoft Ltd

Cliff Evans, safe and secure!

Cliff provided his perspective on the changing threat landscape including software vulnerability disclosures and exploits, malicious software (malware), and potentially unwanted software. Using data derived from hundreds of millions of Windows users, and some of the busiest online services on the Internet, this session will provide an analysis of the threat landscape and the changing face of threats and countermeasures, including information on privacy and breach notifications.

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Jon Collins SOA is Rubbish

Jon Collins, Managing Director, Freeform Dynamics

"SOA is Rubbish", "SOA is Dead", "SOA: Lives with Elvis" are just a few of the recent headlines from analysts and press over recent months provoking the debate on whether the great white hope of SOA has ever really materialised? What is the SOA ROI? But SOA has ridden worse storms over the many Gartner hype years than this. What is the state of play? Maybe the truth is we're doing this anyway, leave us alone! Just stop calling in SOA and stop getting my CEO all excited about nothing!

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Architecting of "GEL" Interop

John Whiteway, Lead Architect, Astra Zeneca

Dave &amp; John

Brief overview on Astra Zeneca's current GEL Application Architecture, then open out to the group to consider options for its extension to best realise our vision of maximum interoperability.

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Council representatives:

Alastair Bain, Centrica Bryan Boreham, Barclays Capital Rupert Brown, Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Simon Cox, University of Southampton Barry Ellis, BP Chris Franklin, HMRC Tony Godson, Unisys Darren Hallett, Sungard Vivista Yvonne Harrison, Royal Mail Group Mike Jolliffe, Equiniti Mark Lewis, EDS Mike Lloyd, Carbonflame Stewart McEwan, Digital Semantics Michael Paulson, Avanade Stuart Preston, EMC Ian Race, Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Dave Robertson, AstraZeneca PLC Stephen Simpson, Logica CMG Roger Wagland, Clifford Chance John Waterworth, Independent Consultant John Whiteway, AstraZeneca PLC Russell Wing, Zurich Financial Services

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Council Industry Analyst: Jon Collins, Freeform Dynamics

Guests: Simon Greenish, Trust Director, Bletchley Park Keith Straughan, Dean, University Centre Milton Keynes Microsoft representatives: Matt Deacon Cliff Evans Ed Gibson Tim Gregson Dave Gristwood Giampiero Nanni Steve Plank John Phillips Gurprit Singh Simon Thurman