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Subject: Re: [ebxml-dev] Re: Addendum to Automating execution of Biz Processes(& BPSS)....

On 6/25/02 7:37 PM, "Andrzej Jan Taramina" wrote:

> I submit that automated execution of business process, coupled with
> visual/graphical process modelling (in business terms) and facilitated
> integration with back end apps that expose coarse-grained web services
> interfaces will be absolutely critical if we are to see the adoption of ebXML
> (or something similar) in the SME space.

I fully agree with your conclusion. Let me present some excerpts, from an
article I wrote awhile back to outline what it takes to capture the SME
space. I believe these points support your view.

The role of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in Business to Business

In order for SMEs to benefit from next generation of eBusiness standards,
those standards must contain all the information to allow software
developers to create programs that can be purchased off-the-self
(shrink-wrap-solutions). The question that now arises is, will the software
industry deliver the "cheap" off-the-shelf shrink-wrapped solution for the
SMEs? One would think so, however, many, if not all, of the software
providers that are involved in the current efforts are after high margins
($$$) by delivering solutions for the Fortune 1000 companies.

The success of any new way to exchange data among businesses depends not
only on the adoption by the Fortune 1000 companies of standard agreements,
but on their adoption by the other 25,000,000 SMEs in the world. Without an
economic incentive for the SMEs, any new method of accomplishing eBusiness
is just another pointless effort. This article is an effort to help to
achieve this goal. 


How the SMEs will benefit

Before the SMEs can benefit from ebXML there needs to be content (Business
Process and Information Models) developed on their behalf. SMEs don't have
the resources to engage in standard development work. The value proposition
is simple, if it is not as simple as the current fax solution they are
using, than there will be no adoption of ebXML. In regard to the content
work, UN/CEFACT has taken on that responsibility as part of phase 2 of
ebXML. With the cooperation of all major industry groups UN/CEFACT will
develop eBusiness content that includes SME scenarios within.

So what would it take to replace the current fax solution SMEs are using?
Besides developing the process engine that can execute a business and
information model, integration to existing SME solutions is needed. Most, if
not all SMEs that use a computer in their business, are using an accounting
and inventory package from such vendors as PeachTree, Intuit (Quickbooks) or
Sage. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to get the SME to switch from
those programs. Therefore there is no need to create new applications that
requires and processes the data; instead an interface to their existing
application is required. By integrating their current investment by
providing a interface that implements ebXML automated data exchanges with
their exiting application in a transparent and seamless way, the SME will
have a solution that is better than the current fax. The benefit is the
elimination of reentering of business date into his/her accounting and
inventory system. 


The question is will the current supplies of shrink-wrap solutions integrate
ebXML into their offerings? For now these application vendors don't see the
need for such an interface, or don't have the know-how to develop it. This
opens the door for someone who knows the data interchange business to create
the front end to those applications and to import a particular model in
order to engage in the exchange with other partners that are ebXML

There are many opportunities for such software front-ends. In addition to
being able to execute more than one (if not all) business model(s), the
application could use agents to query on-line repositories to identify
potential trading partners for a specific requirement (order). In addition
to just being the front end to a popular business application, one could add
the capability for the system to be configured to in-house applications that
were custom developed. Further, the in-house business process could also be
stored in a business process model allowing agents to not only identify
potential customers based on a static in-house process, but possibly
extending the number of potential partners by modifying (adopting) the
internal processes based on the knowledge of both models. The technology is
there, we have the know-how; all it takes is for us to harness it.

In closing, the success of any new way to exchange data among businesses
depends not only on the adoption by the Fortune 1000 companies of standard
agreements, but as well as on the utilization of the other 25,000,000 SMEs
in the world. Without an economic incentive for the SMEs, any new method of
accomplishing e-Business is just another pointless effort. ebXML is
currently the global solution that uses business process and information
modeling and object oriented technology to allow the software vendors to
create the "volks data interchange" solution. The time is right for someone
to do it, now. 


BTW, the full article is available on my web site.



Klaus-Dieter Naujok                UN/CEFACT/eBTWG & TMWG Chair
http://www.klaus.naujok.name OR http://homepage.mac.com/knaujok

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we
used when we created them."                  - Albert Einstein

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