Vendors to open up e-business

Vendors to open up e-business

Hoping to foster better communication among technology vendors for improved customer service, Intel and nearly 30 other companies last week announced the formation of the Business Internet Consortium, a non-profit, Web-based corporation chartered to address network interoperability and common e-business procedures.

The consortium will begin the formation of working groups early next year after collecting feedback from customers of the members, said Keith Uebele, director of e-business architecture marketing at Intel.

Those working groups will then publish their findings in the form of reference designs and white papers, as well as make recommendations directly to clients.

The consortium's primary focus will be XML and interoperability between e-commerce platforms, but a wide range of technology and e-commerce issues will be addressed, depending on initial feedback, Uebele said.

"The whole [question] will be, ‘How do I get my solution stack that works for me to run with another [company's] solution stack?" Uebele said.

Neal Goldstein, a senior vice president for architecture and planning at Charles Schwab, which as a Hewlett-Packard customer is a client of the consortium, said his company is taking part to get the message out to vendors that technology is still about customers.

"What we plan to get out of [the consortium] is to help our vendors understand what we need to really help our customers. Everyone gets caught up with the technology and it's easy to forget that the technology is there to add value for the customers," Goldstein said. "Deep technologies like XML, if it makes it a lot easier to put together disparate systems, helps customers.

"There is a point to all this technology. Let's not get so hung up on innovation that it becomes novelty. There are real people using this stuff to do real things," Goldstein addedMembers of the Business Internet Consortium include Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, SAP System Integration, Unisys and Fujitsu, to name a

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