One of the interesting areas that help to make the WebSphere linkage with the SOA category so successful was the cross brand and function governance structure that was led by the marketing team.
The governance structure consisted of two levels of teams. First, a working team was dedicated to the content, strategy, and story line across all functions and brands. Its goal was to drive consensus building and collaboration between marketing, development, and divisions. The second working team functioned as an executive review board. This was known as the SOA Marketing Review Board. Its goal was to ensure agreement between the groups on key strategy and go to market deliverables association with the overall initiatives. The Marketing Review Board brought together disparate groups and drove consensus building and buy-in across the organization. Topics were reviewed and discussed across multiple dimensions.
One of the first items that the marketing board did was to establish 10 agreed-upon goals across the disparate groups. These goals served to unite the teams and ignite them into action and success. It not only worked but also has been held up as a governance best practice both inside and outside IBM. For example, it helped to drive common goals as the developers built products, as the sellers created their plays, and the marketing teams prepared their market plans across multiple divisions inside of IBM.
This was a great example where the marketing team led the charge across the IBM corporation. It was one piece in the broader process of strategy to product development to marketing to sales, but it played an important leadership role. Marketing helped to push a category view in other areas, such as channels, enablement, and packaging, and served as the test bed. Marketing can be an agent of change to other organizations.