When a customer or prospect inquires about a product or service we call this a "lead". Typically the information given in the initial call is not enough to understand what the customer hoped to achieve. Therefore it is necessary to go back and talk to them about their goals and plans. Today, modern software enables this process. For instance, if you go to the MomentumSI web site, I know you visited within 30 seconds. Via our web marketing automation system (and a network of cookies), I am informed about visits.
A similar system is needed in the SOA world. The SOA registry / repository must be viewed first and foremost as a shopping catalog and should employ modern techniques for capturing visits, searches and users. The service librarian must view all hits to the catalog as "leads". The process of following up on these leads is considered "Service Lead Management".
Here is a sample follow up
- Who are you? What department? What project?
- What kind of service were you looking for? (let me help you look)
- Do you want me to tell you more about Service X? (you found one)
- We don't have Service X. Do you want me to talk to the Service Portfolio Manager about adding one to the Shared Services Group?
Remember, when you first get your Service Catalog going, it will be EMPTY. The goal is to find out what people need and to determine if they are good candidates for shared services. Kill "Empty Registry Syndrome"!