Founded in June 1998 by companies including Computer 2000, Ingram Micro, Computacenter, Compaq, IBM and Hewlett-Packard, Rosettanet is a non-profit organisation which is pushing the adoption of an open common business interface to help e-commerce trading in the IT industry.
Speaking to MicroScope, Rosettane's European vice president, Thierry Ceillier, said the adoption and implementation of the group's Partner Interface Process was gathering pace across Europe.
We started properly in Europe in January 2000. During the year, we gathered 75 European partners, including companies headquartered in Europe and European subsidiaries of US and global companies; he revealed.
We have started to put our standards into practice in Europe and companies such as Biomni are using them. We have 15 other implementations, involving companies such as Cisco, Intel, Motorola, Ingram Micro, Arrow and Philips, which are all trading with their suppliers and distributors using Rosettanet,” he said.
Ceillier added Siemens and Intel were planning implementations for early June and others, including National Semi Conductor, Eurodis and Memec, were also developing Rosettanet implementation projects.
But he conceded that while progress was being made with Rosettanet's standard implementations across Europe, the territory had been lagging behind acceptance levels across the US and Asia.
This is because Europe has a strong EDI culture. Most Rosettanet partners are heavy EDI users and while we are not competing against EDI, those partners will have to switch, because what we are delivering are system-to-system standards and not transaction-based standards; he said.
Ceillier insisted Rosettane's adoption had not been stifled by the level of investment that partners needed to make to switch systems from EDI-based links to ones based around the Rosettanet standard.
This has to be seen as an investment, in terms of setting up systems to match Rosettanet and changing internal business systems. The first implementation is quite expensive, but as you go into the second and third, the cost decreases along with the time it take; he said.
Many in the industry have stood on the sidelines of the development of e-commerce standards and watched a number of other entrants, such as the Microsoft-sponsored BizTalk and XML, claim a leading position in common e-business trading standards.
Ceillier argued the standards were not competing, but could easily co-exist. There are three elements to these standards, the most important of which is the framework. Over time, we will be interoperable with BizTalk and we are committed to being XML compatible when it is ready and robust enough,; he stated.
Although some within the channel claimed to be in the dark over Rosettanet implementations within distributors in Europe, Ceillier said he was happy with the progress the standard had made here.
There has been a significant change in the type of companies signing up, both globally and in Europe. The commitment of the likes of Sony and NEC shows companies believe in this. European subsidiaries of global companies have been waiting for their parents to define technical IT systems and they are all ready to go,; he said.