RosettaNet, the year-old project to establish an internet supply chain among IT suppliers, began its implementation process on Thursday, following the approval of its specifications a few days ago. Called eConcert, the implementation phase aims to get the first systems into full production by eConcert Readiness Day set as February 2, 2000. Thirty companies have […]
RosettaNet, the year-old project to establish an internet supply chain among IT suppliers, began its implementation process on Thursday, following the approval of its specifications a few days ago. Called eConcert, the implementation phase aims to get the first systems into full production by eConcert Readiness Day set as February 2, 2000. Thirty companies have committed to have systems in production by that date.
Like vendor specific initiatives, such as Microsoft Corp’s BizTalk, RosettaNet uses XML as an exchange protocol for business-to-business e-commerce dialogs. But unlike Biztalk, RosettaNet is currently limiting its focus to IT suppliers, and has its primary focus on what the organization’s CEO, Fadi Chehade, views as the hardest problem to solve – data alignment. According to Chehade, the initial strand of the implementation phase of the project is already under way. Member companies are aligning partner interface processes or PIPs. These define how business processes are conducted between manufacturers, software publishers, distributors, resellers, integrators and volume end- users. So far, nine PIPs relating to catalog updates and purchasing processes have been developed. These include computer dialogs relating to requests for pricing information, inventory levels and order statement and management of purchase orders. Three groups of companies are set to complete tests of the PIPs at the end of June, with five more tests finished by August. By readiness day all thirty committed companies have agreed to put the PIPs into full production mode.
Chehade claims that a single PIP can yield annual savings of up to $1m for each implementer, and the full IT supply chain could save as much as $25bn annually when all PIPs are implemented. RosettaNet has also implemented a dictionary of 3,600 reusable words that enable common terminology for product categories and descriptions.
RosettaNet has won support from 80 companies, representing some $400bn of the IT industry’s $700bn in total revenues. They include Arrow Electronics, Compaq Computer Corp, CompUSA, Extricity Software, GE Information Services, Hewlett-Packard Co, IBM Corp, Intel Corp, MicroAge, Microsoft Corp, pcOrder.com, SAP AG, Solectron Inc and 3Com Corp. Obviously missing companies included Dell Computer Corp and Oracle Corp – though Chehade claims that he has yet to do any active recruiting.
Chahade says that RosettaNet is not currently interested in extending its technology to industries beyond the IT field, but acknowledges that there has been interest from the furniture, health, petroleum and auto industries. He says an agreement with Microsoft Corp to cooperate over an alignemt with BizTalk is currently under discussion and should emerge over the next few weeks.
Application integration companies are likely to take an interest in the specifications. GE Information Services says it is readying tools to help companies implement the PIPs, and believes other companies will follow suit.