Manufacturer Procter & Gamble expects to be able to re-use up to half of its internally developed application code across the business within 18 to 24 months, after rolling out a service-oriented architecture (SOA).
The SOA, built using BEA technologies, underpins an online portal that will aggregate business information for the company's 32,000 managers.
The company plans to build up an inventory of applications to deliver information for its global business units. It will make them available as services through the portal allowing them to be re-used by other parts of the business.
Terry McFadden, associate director for enterprise architecture at P&G, said that in the past the company had to create new code to connect up applications for each business unit.
However, within the first year rolling out the portal to just 2,000 users, McFadden said the company had achieved up to 25% re-use of internally developed code. The roll-out to the next 30,000 users will be phased over the next two years.
"We have a myriad of businesses and business units in the organisation, but many require the same information and by implementing an SOA it means we can develop functionality with re-use in mind to cut application development costs," he said.
The SOA was the result of an assessment done by a P&G enterprise architecture taskforce to find a way to modernise the organisation's IT infrastructure, support business agility, and increase return on application development.
McFadden said P&G had chosen BEA because it wanted an integrated and scalable set of technolgies that were based on open standards to enble the company to integrate with dominant technologies such as SAP, J2E and .net to give flexibility and preserve technology investments.