Success of EA Practices

A Case Study on Enterprise
Syngenta: A global agribusiness
Syngenta: Background
• Formed by a merger between Novartis and AstraZeneca in 2000
• 20,000 end users in 420 site around the world
• Agribusiness focusing on improving crop production by supplying
products like insecticides, herbicides, etc.
• Because of the merger the company had multiple SAP, Microsoft,
and customer-facing applications
• Servers and infrastructure software was Microsoft and business
applications was SAP
– Even though they had 2 technology providers for their software there
were still redundancies they could cull out
• For the R&D division, however, there was no preferred vendors for
software and systems were more diverse
– This area was identified as having a high-potential for consolidation
and ‘clean-up’ to foster reuse and efficiency
Syngenta: Background
• EA team formed with people from both merging
• People from each company had a different POVs in
terms of directing the business: strategy-driven and
technology-driven POVs
– Epiphany for them was that including these 2 types of
people in the architecture team meant that both IT and
business problems didn’t fall through the cracks if the
team only comprised 1 type of person be it a strategydriven or technology-driver type person
• Although they differed in their view points they had a
common goal of aligning business strategy with
Syngenta: Experiences from 3
• EA evolved in the company in 3 perspectives:
people, process, and technology in the 6-year
evolution phase from getting from their base
architecture to their target architecture
Syngenta: People Perspective
• Skills:
– Architects developed both technical skills & soft
– Provide training for them in project management
skills and this helped their soft skills improve too
because they had to interact more with other
Syngenta: People Perspective
• Architect’s Role
– Initially ill defined and then become more generic
role and as experience built become more defined
– Important to regularly review this role as it
continually evolves
Syngenta: People Perspective
• Organization
– Committee sizes to decide on architecture and
design issues for solutions needed to be small or
else decisions and movement in milestones
became very hard to achieve
Syngenta: Process Perspective
• Governance
– Deciding when and how much the architecture
group should be involved in projects
– Managing ownership of solutions from
architecture to services
– Get buy-in from middle management about
importance of EA
– Deciding what to govern
Syngenta: Process Perspective
• Communications
– Need to know how much detail to provide for
each stakeholder
– Need to know in what form and when to provide
information for each stakeholder
This was identified as one of the hardest parts of the
whole EA effort.
Syngenta: Process Perspective
• Architecture Development
– Architects to review any design proposals for
solutions for each project to ensure they conform
to the enterprise's architecture
Syngenta: Technology Perspective
• Documentation
– Evolved from unstructured to structured
• Communications & Collaboration
– Initially using simple technologies like email, then
transitioned to real-time solutions like webcasts,
and ended with more preference towards
asynchronous tools like knowledge bases
(Microsoft Sharepoint)
Syngenta: Business Objectives
• Reduce number of servers by 40%
• Have integrated go-to-market platform
– Reuse was better at system level rather than at component
– Allow flexibility for local implementations and understand
that reuse will be limited in these instances
• Provide a unified research platform
– Common document storage system
– Common system to record chemical and test data
– Common dictionary and reference data
• Enterprise-wide Business Intelligence
Syngenta: Execution of their EA
• Adapted homegrown frameworks to the
Zachman framework and used TOGAF to help
map old processes to new processes
Syngenta: Reduce number of servers
by 40%
• Contracted a 3rd party to architect and design the
server architecture and infrastructure
• Syngenta architects would provide direction,
challenged and validated the architecture proposals
• Together with the 3rd party, a baseline architecture
framework was built providing the following services:
Web server
Thin clients
Directory, messaging and applications
Syngenta: Reduce number of servers
by 40%
• Based on the baseline architecture, detailed architectural proposals
were created for services being provided
– These were validated by holding review & approval workshops for all
major stakeholders
• Key challenge was to strike a balance of not blowing the lid on
network bandwidth usage when reducing the number of servers
– Ie, less servers meant more network traffic load to and from the
• The realized that ownership of architecture was with their in-house
architects, but others (3rd party implementer, eg.) can and should
• Arrange for smooth transition out of the architecture group to the
implementation team and monitor closely the designs that are
made from the architecture
Syngenta: An integrated go-to-mark
• The idea was to provide a baseline platform that
made it easy to expand into other markets while
adapting that baseline to locale-specific business
• The platform comprised the following application
Sales Team Support
Contact Center Support
Syngenta: An integrated go-to-mark
• The CRM would use a common technology
platform with approved templates for localespecific customizations
– Common business rules could be reused at this level
• B2B would be centrally hosted using standard
middleware software for connecting different
• The CRM/B2B network was managed by both IT
and business people
Syngenta: An integrated go-to-mark
• Challenges
– Striking a balance between global architecture and
local-customizations at the design level
– Consult the data flows and data processes before
architecting technology solutions
– The transition from architecture to design is
dangerous and should be monitored closely because:
• It’s hard for an architect to do this since they lack the detailperspective that an implementer has
• The architecture could be too rigid to allow flexible designs
Syngenta: Provide a unified research
• Requirements were:
– Common doc storage system
– Common system for recording chemical and test
– Common, single instance dictionary/reference
data system for use across all systems
• Most systems were implemented using the
SOA approach
Syngenta: Provide a unified research
• Challenges
– Some problems emerged from the particular
technology especially with SOA where problems of
authentication, transactions, and performance
were encountered
– Design teams were still stuck in thinking of designs
based on historical legacy systems
Syngenta: Enterprise-wide Business
• Too many redundant systems meant data was
inconsistent and lacked transparency
• New requirements required new solutions
Syngenta: Enterprise-wide Business
• Built a single source of truth for data about
the enterprise and housed it in an EDW –
Enterprise Data Warehouse
• A layer in the EDW was called the SPOT –
Single Point of Truth – where all data extracts
to other systems were done at. This allowed
reuse and avoided having to do extracts from
individual information silos
Syngenta: Conclusion
• Their key finding was that architects needed
both technical and soft skills expertise – ie, EA
is as much a social activity as it is a technical
• IT people have to focus on problems from a
business perspective and not from a technical

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