A group of information technology heavyweights were scheduled last week to announce the formation of the Business Internet Consortium, a neutral, nonprofit organisation that will serve as a think tank for generating technologies and practices to address the challenges of implementing online business.
Computer Associates, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and SAP AG are among leading members of the consortium.
A key goal of the consortium is to bring customer and vendor priorities closer together, members of the organisation said in a statement. It will also assist with addressing interoperability issues and other procedures that will be crucial for future Internet business initiatives.
"e-business is experiencing an extremely rapid evolution," said Larry Acord, director of strategic business alliances for CA. "It is a mixed bag for companies and clients. We are looking to the consortium for more collaboration."
The consortium is now forming workgroups to address implementation issues. Workgroup topics under consideration include:o Using extensible markup language (XML) and other technologies to transform traditional business practices into e-business practiceso Integrating existing business systems with new Internet business technologies and architectureso Improving the exchange of online business information over multiple devices, such as mobile phones to PCso Addressing latency/concurrency issues on intranetso Establishing secure systems that do not require users to continually log onWorking groups' results will later be published in the form of reference designs and white papers. Additional consortium activities will include recommending standards and technologies as well as suggesting practical means for implementing new practices in large and small businesses.
Additional consortium participants include Advanced Visual Systems, Groupe Bull SA, Cambridge Technology Partners, Commerce One, Commerce Route, Fourthstage Technologies, Fujitsu, Siemens AG, ImageX.com, Oculus Multimedia, Stratus Computer, The Beast.com, Unigraphics Solutions, Unisys, Webridge, Zaplet and Zefer Corp.
Sun Microsystems and Oracle are noticeably missing from the membership roster, but officials familiar with the organisation said discussions have taken place to encourage their involvement.