The user-focused consortium formed by many of the world's largest technology vendors got a shot in the arm today with the announcement that RosettaNet had joined its continuing effort to figure out how best to align business processes for the global economy.
Formed last November by Microsoft Corp, IBM, SAP AG, Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., Computer Associates International Inc., Dell Computer Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp., the Business Internet Consortium (BIC) is an attempt to build a more workable e-commerce framework for customers.
A BIC customer advisory board, including representatives from The Gillette Co., Ford Motor Co. and Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., has been working to create an XML-based standards reference stack and best practice guidelines for business-to-business processes.
RosettaNet Inc., a 400-plus member consortium focused on trading standards in the high-tech community, marks a significant addition to the BIC as it provides a working lab for many of the concepts likely to emerge from the customer board.
"What we're trying to do is dispel confusion, and we know there's a lot of it out there," said Terry Spires, BIC chairman from Intel.
Spires was quick to note that the BIC wants to bring standards groups like RosettaNet under a common umbrella rather than develop new standards of its own. "There's already plenty of standards out there," Spires said.
Yet unifying business processes remains the untapped goal of many e-commerce efforts. Larry Acord, director of strategic business alliances at Islandia, Calif.-based CA, said that BIC hopes to define a common starting point for B2B communications.
"That's why it's important to have a RosettaNet in here," he said. "They're already making a lot of headway in this area."