MCC ANNOUNCES CREATION OF ENTERPRISE INTEGRATION DIVISION,
RELEASES DETAILS OF "EINET"
CHICAGO, Ill., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) today released details of the research consortium's new Enterprise Integration (EI) Division. The purpose of the diverse EI efforts being organized within this division is to develop the foundations for -- and accelerate the implementation of -- a national high-speed, standards- based information infrastructure for "electronic commerce." This infrastructure is envisioned by MCC as one that will help businesses develop, manufacture, sell, deliver and support products and services with unprecedented speed, flexibility, quality and economy.
MCC's program has been designed to draw on and leverage the activities of disparate industry- and government-funded EI efforts currently underway in the U.S. and internationally. It will also identify key enabling technologies that must be developed to create the commercial information infrastructure, focus on establishment and implementation of standards to assure interoperability on the EI network, and organize pilot applications to provide a testbed for standards and technologies.
"Earlier this year, MCC's board of directors approved a new vision to carry the consortium through the end of this decade," says Alan Salisbury, executive vice president and chief operating officer for MCC. "This vision focuses on activities that are inherently multi-company, and one of the primary technical areas specifically defined is enterprise integration. This new EI Division, which is being formed through incorporation of MCC's existing efforts in this area and development of new activities, is one of the next steps in implementing that vision."
MCC's EI program includes four elements:
-- EINet Services Project, which forms the foundation of MCC's Enterprise Integration efforts. Central to this project is EINet, which will interconnect project participants and create the starting point for a global commercial "inter-network."
This project will also provide monitoring and analysis of EI technologies, methodologies and standards worldwide, along with information exchange forums. Eventually, EINet will provide the pathway along which a wide range of services will be provided to -- and by -- project participants.
-- Standards projects that will develop, coordinate and define important metrics, standards and infrastructure development tools.
-- Technology development projects that will develop and transfer specific enabling technologies to participants.
-- Pilot projects to deploy EI technology and practices to address specific company applications.
Initial funding has been received from the U.S. Air Force Manufacturing Technology Directorate (see enclosed release) supporting those activities that will help develop a common, standards-driven EI infrastructure for military and commercial applications. One of the two contracts awarded was a $1.33 million subcontract from SofTech, the USAF prime contractor, where MCC will support the development of EI guidelines by providing a supplier's perspective of the needs, requirements and EI reference taxonomy.
The other contract was a $1.3 million subcontract with Lawrence Associates, Inc. (LAI). Activities under this contract include suppliers forums and organization of an international modeling conference in cooperation with the European ESPRIT Computer Integrated Manufacturing Open Systems Architecture (CIM-OSA) program.
Additionally, MCC has formed alliances with other consortia and organizations that have related EI efforts. These include Sematech, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) and the Iacocca Institute at Lehigh University.
"EI is inherently a multi-organization activity, and we believe MCC is well-positioned to focus many diverse efforts on developing a national EI infrastructure," says Alexander Cavalli, chief architect for MCC's EI Division "Many, if not most, companies today are building their own proprietary information infrastructures. At the same time, these companies are doing business with a network of suppliers who also have internal information networks. If these companies could interconnect to share the information that is necessary for producing a product, they could improve time-to-market performance as well as product quality."
Cavalli notes that what is happening, however, is counter-productive to universal integration. While many corporations, and even the government, require on-line information from their suppliers, each has its own individual system, requiring that suppliers be compatible with several (incompatible) systems. "This continued proliferation of proprietary systems creates inefficient, costly duplication of effort. Businesses need a focal point for bringing their integration efforts together, agreeing on applicable standards, and implementing the commerce highway.' As a consortium, MCC is capable of playing that role.
"We can also provide a pre-competitive forum where industry and government can work together on the common issues, forming those strategic partnerships that will be crucial to this effort."
The Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) is a cooperative R&D enterprise whose mission is to strengthen and sustain the competitiveness of member companies who share common elements of a technical vision in information technology. MCC's membership currently includes 22 shareholders and 49 associate members.
/CONTACT: Cynthia Williams of MCC, 512-338-3512/ CO: Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation ST: Illinois IN: CPR SU: SM -- NY081 -- 3603 11/12/91 16:17 EST