RosettaNet Reaching Milestones

Business may be tough for IT, semiconductor and electronic component companies, but they are continuing to make progress toward connecting to business partners through e-business and XML standards developed through RosettaNet.

Business may be tough for IT, semiconductor and electronic component companies, but they are continuing to make progress toward connecting to business partners through e-business and XML standards developed through RosettaNet, the 4-year-old high-tech industry consortium said Tuesday.

RosettaNet, which had outlined 11 key milestones in May of 2001 for implementation of its standards, announced that it has made strides in reaching all of those milestones. RosettaNet members doubled the number of business-to-business connections using RosettaNet standards during 2001 and expect another doubling of connections in 2002, said RosettaNet Chairman Colin Evans, who is the director of distributed systems at Intel Corp., during a press conference in Santa Clara, Calif. Since the setting of those milestones, RosettaNet members have implemented more than 450 connections with one another worldwide and as many as 1,000 overall when other business partners are included.

"Throughout the six-month period the industry has been extremely challenged," said RosettaNet CEO Jennifer Hamilton. "When we embarked on 2001 with 11 milestones, my expectation was that some of those milestones might not materialize. … Not only did we achieve all 11 milestones, but in some milestones we exceeded our goals."

The milestones focused on four key strategic business-to-business transactions and processes: order management, product discovery and distribution, semiconductor manufacturing, and supply chain information management. Goals included increasing B2B integration with small and medium-sized trading partners, as well as geographically and industry specific ones, such as expanding order management in Japan and tracking the progress of semiconductor manufacturing.

The milestones often include more than just implementation of technical standards such as XML definitions for B2B transactions. The effort to increase participation by small- and medium-sized business partners, for instance, involved developing recommendations on how to use e-business standards and offering a set of software solutions that match the small and medium business market as well as the push to increase connections, said Charles Goodwin, director of Intels private e-market office who led the milestone effort. The software solutions came from 11 RosettaNet member companies, with the average cost of the software before integration costs being $50,000, Goodwin said. More than 70 companies implemented 137 connections involving small and medium-sized companies as part of the milestone.

"The majority of the trading partners any company deals with are small and medium-sized companies," Goodwin said. "Being able to connect up to small and medium companies is key to delivering the overall value of any trading partner network."

While the conference offered few goals for 2002 beyond further increasing connections, Hamilton did say that RosettaNet is moving in the direction of integrating its standards with others emerging in the market, such as ebXML (Electronic Business using eXtensible Markup Language) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol).