I’m providing COBRA Continuation Health Coverage to a family member who’s no longer eligible under my company health insurance plan. Three months ago I signed up for the plan, and separately arranged for automatic payment.
Yesterday I was notified that the administration of this COBRA continuation service was sold by one company and bought by another. So of course, now I have sign up again, and arrange for automatic payment again.
This is how I know that SOA (service-oriented architecture) is not dead, but rather slouching towards Bethlehem to be born.
Agent: You’ll need to log in to the website and then, using the account number and PIN in the letter we sent …
Me: Hold on a second. I didn’t ask company A to sell the administration of service B to company C. I don’t even want to know that it happened. I only care that the health coverage continues, and that A — excuse me, C — gets paid. I shouldn’t have to create any new online accounts. But I have the sinking feeling that I will have to.
Agent: Yes, sir, I’m afraid you will.
A service handoff like this could be, and should be, nearly transparent to the customer. It’s doable. But it will require a few layers of secure intermediation and delegation. Call it SOA, call it whatever you like. But so long as we keep having these inane conversations, don’t call it dead.