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Subject: ebXML seen as SME web service enabler

Bangkok Post
ebXML seen as SME web service enabler
by Sasiwimon Boonruang
6 Aug 2003

Govt, private sector begin pilot projects

The Government and the private sector have adopted the Electronic
Business Extensible Markup Language (ebXML) standard to boost national
competitiveness, launching Internet-based paperless trading pilot
projects and a collaborative e-tourism project .

ebXML is an open standard around web services that will be crucial in
three major aspects _ setting standards for data; standards for data
interchange as well as for electronic service interchange, according to
the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec)
director Dr Thaweesak Koanatakool.

Speaking at a seminar on ebXML Awareness Day last week, Dr Thaweesak
noted that these three open standards were important infrastructure
necessary to develop one-stop e-government services, for collaborative
B2B e-commerce and to provide an opportunity for the local software

Meanwhile, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry
will now appoint a committee on data interchange standard.

IT veteran and honorary president of the ATCI Manoo Ordeedolchest said
traditional e-commerce was the interaction between humans and computers,
but that we would soon be seeing computer-to-computer interactions.

But this new economy will not bring benefits here unless SMEs were also
part of this electronic business. Smaller firms needed to use ICT and in
order to create competitiveness ebXML technology or web services were
the solution, said Mr Manoo, who is also a consultant to the ICT

The Internet and web services would change all business transactions
soon, he said, noting that web service technology would define the
practice of decreasing a company's dependence on complicated high-cost

This would enable SMEs to adjust to enable themselves to conduct
e-business at lower cost,'' he said, adding that this was all about
business collaboration.

Computer systems would not be for data processing as they were today,
but rather they would be extended to do serious business-to-business
applications, including self-service, business collaboration, and
dynamic discovery.

Mr Manoo noted that the convergence between the traditional PSTN and the
emerging PSDN, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and distributed
systems were the ``big three'' new technologies.

He explained that SOA defined a new concept for a service requester, for
a service provider, and for a service registry to support business
collaboration over computer networks. The distributed system worked
under a set of ``standard'' technologies including a data standard, a
data interchange standard and a work process standard.

If Thailand decided to develop its software industry to be at the edge
of a new wave of ICT technologies, it should focus on technologies where
the market is abundant in size and opportunity such as distributed
system technology, enterprise software technology and XML for business,
he said.

``ebXML is an opportunity that enable SMEs to expand their markets
throughout the globe,'' he said, adding that the Government must invest
and allow SMEs to utilise services from a central point.

According to Commerce Ministry's Business Development deputy director
general Skol Harnsuthivarin, the department was now working with other
organisations to cope with the problem of data interchange by applying
the ebXML standard.

To achieve the target of paperless trading in the year 2005, the
department and all agencies in the ministry first have to complete
integration within the ministry by the end of next year and then extend
it to the external partners.

An Internet-based paperless trading pilot project is now being conducted
with the cooperation of the Customs Department, the E-commerce Resource
Centre (ECRC), the Institute for Innovative IT of Kasetsart University
(i3t-KU), the Business Development department and private companies such
as Minebea (Thailand), TKK, and CTI Logistics.

The project aims to analyse the system in terms of traditional EDI and
ebXML, to find a suitable way to promote the utilisation of ICT in SMEs
and to boost competitiveness through the B2B e-business. It also pushes
for the development of data interchange and service interchange
standards in order to accommodate APEC's paperless trading project.

Another ebXML pilot project is collaborative e-tourism, conducted by
i3t-KU, ECRC, and Datamat. Objectives are to promote SMEs in the tourism
industry to use ICT to cut costs, to enhance efficiency and to expand
their markets.

Carol Geyer
Director of Communications
Voice: +1 978.667.5115 x209

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