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e2000 - Abstracts

Abstracts of Papers Published in the Conference Proceedings - Section 10: Tools and Technologies

Section 10: Tools and Technologies
Internet Hyper Chains. Architectures to add flexibility to the value chain
N. Sakkas, R. Malkewitz, A. Oliveira
On the Offline Portability of Web Sites
G.R. Joubert, O. Kao, I. La Tendresse, S. Weinhuber
VIRTUE - The step towards immersive telepresence in virtual video-conference systems
O. Schreer, P. Sheppard
eBusiness Solutions for Flexible Mobility Services In Europe
G.Ambrosino, M.Boero, P. Eloranta, D.Engels, B. Finn, P.Sassoli
Solutions for Voice-Controlled eCommerce and eBusiness Processes
R. Köppen
Measuring the Performance of eBusiness and eWork based on their business processes
I.S. Fan, A. Heslop, M. Heras, J. Heredia
TOWER: Theatre of Work Enabling Relationships
W. Prinz, A. Mcgrath, A. Penn, P. Schickel, F.Wilhelmsen
How Business Models Influence the Development of E-Business Applications
H. Kühn, S. Junginger, F. Bayer
Technical Tools for Improving communication in Textile/Clothing Sector
F. Kotzia
Requirements for Mobile E-Commerce
A. Tsalgatidou, J. Veijalainen
Sustainable Workplace and Workplace Design: From The Definitions Towards A Conceptual Model
C. Caramelo Gomes, G. Aouad, M. Ormerod
Net Society: Content Creation in Broadband Systems
B. Lennstrand, C. Persson, L. Forsström
The challenge of Quality Assurance in the growing telecollaboration practice
J.A. Garcia, J.M. Hernandez, A.J. Arenas
Recognizing Speech over IP: Towards Spoken Language Interfaces for E-business
C. Peláez-Moreno, A. Gallardo-Antolín, F. Díaz-De-María
An R&D RoadMap for AI Planning applied to Workflow Management
P. Kearney, D. Borrajo
eComponents in Action: Software Components Successfully Applied to Survive to eShock
C. Pérez-Chirinos
Sign Language Translation Technology and Its Applications
M. Takeuchi, H. Ando, H. Sagawa, A. Koizumi, J. Matsuda, H. Fujisawa
A Mobile-Agent based Infrastructure for eWork and eBussiness Applications
G. Samaras, P. Evripidou, E. Pitoura
InGeo-IC: The portal to Geodata
U. Jasnoch, S. Göbel, D. Balfanz
Zabalnet: A powerful platform for learning and training on the Web
A. Segovia, J. Guinea
ECOS project: E-Business platform for SMEs
M.F. Borras, R. Gonçalves, A. Steiger-Garçao
The Promotion of Electronic Commerce in SMEs through a National Network of Local Business Centres
C. Mayoral, I. Atorrasagasti, P.L. Palomino, F. J. González
eBusiness Models within Small and Medium Enterprises
F. Pigni, A. Ravarini, M.Tagliavini, G. Buonanno, C. Gallazzi, D. Sciuto
A Methodology for Exploitation of Innovative Results in Internet-Multimedia Fields:
The ECLAIR Project

B. Lacort

 

Internet Hyper Chains. Architectures to add flexibility to the value chain
Nikos SAKKAS(1), Rainer MALKEWITZ(2) and Alvaro OLIVEIRA(3)
(1) Planet, L. Riencourte 64,11523 Athens, Greece
(2) Fraunhofer Institut für Graphische Datenverarbeitung, Rundeturmstraße 6,
64283 Darmstadt, Germany
(3) Alfamicro, Alameda da Guia, Nº192 2750 Cascais, Portugal

A hyper chain is a simple, yet powerful conceptual extension to the traditional client- server computing paradigm. It suggests a three layer model, including, besides the client and the server, also a directory service provider. Through this service, clients can first search and "reach" suitable business partners, before embarking on fully custom and "rich" queries and other business transactions with these, meaningful to their purpose, partners. The implications of this model can be significant, especially in the case where the business environment involves value chains that are relatively loosely connected and not fixed by definition. It may not be equally helpful, in cases where the value chain involves always the same companies, set around a fixed supplier mindset and modus operandi. In this work a number of aspects of the hyper chain will be presented. We will start by reviewing the business rationale that underlies the approach and that in certain circumstances may render it particularly resourceful. Then, we will present the technical details of a particular hyper chain implementation in the furniture-manufacturing sector. Finally, we will conclude with some hints on the modalities by which such a service is delivered and exploited.

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On the Offline Portability of Web Sites
G.R. JOUBERT, O. KAO, I. LA TENDRESSE, S. WEINHUBER
Department of Computer Science, Technical University of Clausthal
Julius-Albert-Strasse 4, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany

Due to the development of e-commerce/e-business combined with global marketing strategies, the way in which products and services are advertised changed dramatically. In the transition from brick-and-mortar-business to e-business, the classic approach of advertising in newspapers, on TV and radio, etc. was firstly complemented with CD-ROM's. Due to the flourishing use of the internet, companies increasingly tend to advertise directly through web sites. A disadvantage, which is increasingly being felt, is that many customers, sometimes still the great majority, prefer the bricks-and-mortar mode of doing business. Companies are thus confronted with the task of maintaining two separate information bases describing their offerings. In this paper web elements are analysed. Furthermore a system is described, which enables the porting of a company's product information from a web site to another medium, such as a CD-ROM. The main advantage is that only one information base must be maintained.

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VIRTUE - The step towards immersive telepresence in virtual video-conference systems
Oliver SCHREER(1) and Phil SHEPPARD(2)
(1) Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, Einsteinufer 37, D-10587 Berlin, Germany
(2) British Telecommunications, BT Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath, UK-IP5 3RE

We present the challenging project VIRTUE, which will supersede current video conferencing systems. The essential features of this virtual video conferencing system, aiming at a convincing impression of immersive telepresence, are presented. To demonstrate what telepresence in video conferencing means the main properties of such a system are described together with the approaches to achieve the illusion of telepresence. We discuss the technological challenges of the project, which aims to advance the state of the art in a number of component discipline areas, in terms of either proposing novel paradigms, approaches and algorithms or pushing forward the frontiers of the current approaches. Finally, we give first results of the work, which end in the requirements specification of the advanced real-time demonstration system. It will be designed and constructed to achieve a 3-way telepresence video conferencing system supporting life-sized upper body video images in a shared virtual environment.

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eBusiness Solutions for Flexible Mobility Services In Europe
G.AMBROSINO(1), M.BOERO(2), P. ELORANTA(3), D.ENGELS(4), B. FINN(5) and P.SASSOLI(1)
(1) ATAF, Azienda di Trasporto dell'Area Fiorentina, Via Pratese 105, Firenze, 50145 Italy
(2) Softeco Sismat SpA, World Trade Centre Tower, Via De Marini 1, Genova, 16149 Italy
(3) Mobisoft Oy, Hatanpaan valtatie 26, Tampere, 33100 Finland
(4) TRITEL, Louizastraat 40b, Mechelen, 2800 Belgium
(5) ETTS, European Transport Telematics Systems Ltd., 55 Main Street; Rathfarnham,
Dublin, 14 Ireland

With increased eCommerce and new forms of working, new patterns of daytime travel and of activity are increasingly based within the community. This radically changes the mobility patterns, and poses new questions for transportation which have to be addressed and answered in the correct way in order for the digital economy to bring real benefits to the citizens. This paper provides an overview of main contributions provided by eBusiness and eCommerce technologies in the development and operations of innovative, flexible transport systems, addressing the different levels of the business-to-consumer and business-to-business sides of the process.

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Solutions for Voice-Controlled eCommerce and eBusiness Processes
Ralph KÖPPEN
Novalisstr. 10, 10115 Berlin, Germany

Today's business solutions using speech processing applications are often designed to give customers easy access to standardized information. These systems are rather expensive, inflexible and knowledge-intensive, and thus not suitable for smaller companies or a broad market. Besides this, they often do not have an intelligent acoustic user interface, customers complain about their poor quality and they do not use convergent technologies. A new approach (CorporateInfoCenter) acts like a voice solution factory to overcome a lot of these shortcomings. In addition, totally new value-added voice and internet services can be designed and implemented. New speech processing technologies will facilitate the next step towards eCommerce - voice commerce: solutions for voice-controlled eCommerce and eBusiness processes based on the internet.

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Measuring the Performance of eBusiness and eWork based on their business processes
Ip-Shing FAN(1), Alistair HESLOP(2), Miguel HERAS(3) and Jose HEREDIA(4)
(1)Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, United Kingdom
(2)Business Integration Technologies Ltd, Stoke Bruerne, Northants, NN12 7SJ UK
(3) ESADE, Av Pedrables 60-62, Barcelona, Spain
(4) Universitat Jaume I, Campus Riu Sec, Castellón, Spain

eBusiness and eWork require new working paradigm. The relationship between consumers, business and people who works within the business are changing. The pace of change is such that there are no static model that could be used as reference for the way to work. For organisations to remain effective within this fast changing environment, it needs to know what is it doing (strategy), how it is working (business processes) and how well it is doing (performance measures). Esprit Project 26736 delivers an integrated methodology and a set of tools to help an organisation to develop its performance measurement system through business process. The performance measurement system is developed in a way that aligns the operations performance measures fully to the business mission and vision of the organisation. Using the software tool developed in the project, the organisation can rapidly review and adjust to the changing business environment. This paper reports on the methodology and how organisations can benefits from the approach.

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TOWER: Theatre of Work Enabling Relationships
Wolfgang PRINZ(1), Andrew MC GRATH(2), Alan PENN(3), Peter SCHICKEL(4),
Fredrik WILHELMSEN(5)
(1) GMD-FIT, Schloß Birlinghoven, 53754 Sankt Augustin, Germany
(2) BT-Labs, Ipswich,UK
(3) UCL, Bartlett School of Architecture, London, UK
(4) blaxxun GmbH, München, Germany
(5) Statoil, Trondheim, Norway

TOWER supports group awareness and chance encounters through a 3D en-vironment which is at the heart of the Theatre of Work. Users and their current actions on shared objects while using a groupware application are re-pre-sented by avatars and their symbolic actions. Avatars of users who work in a similar context appear spatially close in the 3D environment. The integration of the Theatre of Work into a work setting opens new opportunities for spontaneous en-coun-ters and spon-ta-neous contacts. The usage of TOWER increases the likeliness of synergy effects to occur in virtual teams, and contributes to improved team co-he-sion. The perception of co-presence effects the quality of the work with respect to the quality of the out-come. It improves the working atmosphere by the reduction of planning, sy-n-chro-nisation, and coordination efforts, it reduces the feeling of isolation of teleworkers and contributes to orientation in both the social and the task related environment.

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How Business Models Influence the Development of E-Business Applications
Harald KÜHN(1), Stefan JUNGINGER(2), and Franz BAYER(3)
(1) BOC GmbH, Development Dep., Bäckerstr. 5/3, A-1010 Vienna, Austria
(2) BOC GmbH, Dep. IT Consulting, Voßstr. 22, D-10117 Berlin, Germany
(3) BOC GmbH, Dep. Consulting Services, Bäckerstr. 5/3, A-1010 Vienna, Austria

Currently, we are in the midst of the digital equivalent of the Industrial Revolution. Internet technologies fundamentally change the way business is done. Besides offering new possibilities for existing business models, they also enable totally new ones. This paper presents a methodology for the development of e-business applications which considers in particular the (strategic) business model level. The explicit representation of the business model supports the design of the e-business application according to the business needs. Additionally, a classification schema for business models is explained and application architectures and development technologies for e-business applications are described. The three-level modeling language of the proposed methodology has been realized within the (meta) business process management tool ADONIS.

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Technical Tools for Improving communication in Textile/Clothing Sector
Fani KOTZIA
CLOTEFI SA, El. Venizelou 4, GR-17676 Kallithea, Athens, Greece

It is well known - even to non-experts - that companies in the textile/clothing sector face not only the continuous increasing in the variety of products, but also the internationalisation of the production usually to low-wages countries. Two parts are involved and work usually in co-operation: the 'designers' (contractors) with companies established in Europe and the 'production units' (subcontractors) in third countries. The communication becomes then difficult due to objective reasons (i.e. bad quality of communication) but also due to varying mentality among the different countries. It has been among the objectives of the TEXCOMTOOLS project to work on both sides: to work on a standardising model/recommendation for technical information exchanged and in parallel, to build a bridge between the two parties by introducing new scopes and ways of working to the third countries.

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Requirements for Mobile E-Commerce
Aphrodite TSALGATIDOU and Jari VEIJALAINEN
University of Jyväskylä, Dept. of Computer Science and Information Systems/
Information Technology Research Institute, P.O.Box 35, JYVÄSKYLÄ, 40351 FINLAND

Mobile Electronic Commerce (MEC) can be defined as Internet e-commerce conducted by a mobile hand-held terminal and thus using the wireless telecommunications network. MEC operates in a different context than Internet E-Commerce due to the special characteristics and constraints of hand held devices and wireless networks and the different usage of the hand held devices than desktop or laptop PCs. The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) bridges the gap between the mobile world and the Internet by optimizing the Internet standards for the constraints of the wireless environment and hand held devices. A number of companies started offering products to satisfy the continuously evolving user requirements by exploiting the technical advances in wireless network technology. This paper gives an outline of the dynamically evolving functional and non-functional requirements and of solutions currently offered in this area.

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Sustainable Workplace and Workplace Design: From The Definitions Towards A Conceptual Model
Cristina CARAMELO GOMES; Ghassan AOUAD and Marcus ORMEROD
Research Centre for the Built and Human Environment, Salford University
R. Dr. Francisco Gentil Martins 2, 3dto. 2795-083Linda-a-Velha, Portugal
BridgeWater Building, Salford Great-Manchester M7 9NU, United Kingdom

This paper aims to highlight the interaction of the workplace with the human behaviour. How are the layout, finishing, furnishings and equipment perceived by the human being, as its productivity? In the world, what we perceive it is not the reality but just a repercussion of the physical strengths on our sensitive organs. Which are the psychological impacts of the workplace location as layout in the user behaviour? Is the home workplace a question of social and professional isolation? Is a misunderstanding of the individual life? Is the modern slavery of the worker? Is this a consequence of workplace location, methods of work or just user behaviour? The planning and the design of an office should be a process where different areas give its knowledge contribution to support the objective of the company its activity and the users requirements. This bi-directional interaction should result in the sustainable workplace.

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Net Society: Content Creation in Broadband Systems
Bo LENNSTRAND(1), Christian PERSSON(2) and Lars FORSSTRÖM(3)
(1) School of Business, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 STOCKHOLM, Sweden
(2) Media Technology and Graphic Arts, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 STOCKHOLM, Sweden
(3) Telia AB, Box 20038, SE-104 60 STOCKHOLM, Sweden

The development of a broadband application which integrates TV, Internet, picture telephones etc has been going on for several years within Telia, Sweden's leading telecom operator. The prototype solutions have been developed from a vision of how the distant communication of the future could function. Results of a qualitative study of how the prototype is perceived by consumers and service providers are presented. Compared to the Internet, the NNS prototype was perceived as being simpler, less confusing, faster to navigate and suited for all kinds of people. This paper has two aims: to provide an inspiration for new applications in a broadband environment, and to indicate problems connected with presenting content in a broadband environment.

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The challenge of Quality Assurance in the growing telecollaboration practice
Javier A. GARCIA, José M. HERNANDEZ and Antonio J. ARENAS
SIP, Ronda de Poniente 6, E-28760 Tres Cantos (Madrid), Spain

In our days, more and more companies are adopting telecollaboration practices, supported by the currently available networking facilities and tools. This results in a company profile in which workers can be distributed in different sites and companies, even at home, and can collaborate through heterogeneous means. An immediate consequence is the weakening of the cultural and procedural cohesion in companies. Most Quality Systems, certified or not ISO-9000, are not conceived for such a working scheme. As a result, the whole classical concept of Quality Assurance (QA) has to be revised in depth, and new models for QA have to be devised for those companies joining the telecollaboration era. In this paper, the challenges faced by companies which try to keep their quality standards in this new context are analysed and the proposal of a model for QA in telecollaboration-based projects is presented.

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Recognizing Speech over IP: Towards Spoken Language Interfaces for E-business
Carmen PELÁEZ-MORENO, Ascensión GALLARDO-ANTOLÍN and Fernando DÍAZ-DE-MARÍA
Dept. of Communication Technologies- Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
Avda. de la Universidad 30, 28911 Leganés (Madrid)

In this paper we propose a novel approach to speech recognition over IP. Specifically, we suggest recognizing from encoded speech. In other words, we extract the recognition parameters from the encoded speech instead of decoding it and subsequently extracting the parameters, therefore avoiding the influence of the speech coding distortion on the recognizer. This approach has been proved to be much more effective than the conventional one in coping with packet loss conditions, which characterize the VoIP environment.

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An R&D RoadMap for AI Planning applied to Workflow Management
Paul KEARNEY(1) and Daniel BORRAJO(2)
(1) Advanced Communications Research, British Telecom
(2) Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
 
This is an overview of the R&D Road Map for AI Planning and Scheduling (AI P&S) applied to business process management (BPM) produced by the Workflow Management Technical Coordination Unit (TCU) of PLANET. PLANET is the European Network of Excellence on AI P&S. The purpose of a Road Map is to coordinate R&D by establishing end-user requirements on short medium and long time scales and proposing research and technology transfer goals and activities that will enable the requirements to be satisfied. The current version is only a first step towards such a Road Map, which in any case should be a living document updated regularly.

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eComponents in Action: Software Components Successfully Applied to Survive to eShock
César Pérez-Chirinos
European Projects Manager; TransTOOLs, S.A.
Edificio World Trade Center; Isla de la Cartuja s/n; 41092 Sevilla (Spain)

GIRALDA is an advanced Internet-oriented architecture based on standard Java™ components and XML documents, developed by TransTOOLs within the ESPRIT JEDI Project. This paper will show how GIRALDA has been successfully applied to solve some hard problems, in Internet time-to-market:

  • Creation of modular multimedia training courses delivered over Internet, for a German car manufacturer.
  • Cloning a proprietary RAD tool for business applications into a kit of standard Java™ components, making it ready to e-business application development.

Finally, it will show how GIRALDA is being used in Jiralda™, a revolutionary 100%Pure Java™ tool for the visual creation of business applications that TransTOOLs will release in last quarter of 2000. The applications visually composed with Jiralda can run in any Internet client (HTML browser, WML browser, etc.) transparently to its composers.

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Sign Language Translation Technology and Its Applications
Masaru TAKEUCHI, Haru ANDO, Hirohiko SAGAWA, Atsuko KOIZUMI, Junichi MATSUDA and Hiromichi FUJISAWA
1-280, Higashi-Koigakubo Kokubunji-shi, Tokyo 185-8601, Japan

We have developed two sign language systems: a sign-language-animation editing system by which persons who understand sign language can make natural sign language animation; and a Japanese-to-sign-language translation-system by which anyone (i.e., persons who do not understand sign language) can make sign language animation in real time. Using the sign language animation editing system, information providers can communicate with deaf persons by natural sign language animation. And by the Japanese-to-sign-language translation-system, they can communicate in real time. Furthermore, deaf persons can talk to information providers through the Internet by using sign language recognition technology.

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A Mobile-Agent based Infrastructure for eWork and eBussiness Applications
George SAMARAS(1) Paraskevas EVRIPIDOU(1) and Evaggelia PITOURA(2)
(1) Department of Computer Science, University of Cyprus
CY-1678 Nicosia, Cyprus
(2) Department of Computer Science, University of Ioannina,
GR45110, Ioannina, Greece

Mobile agents have emerged as a very promising approach for eWork and eBussiness. We have developed an extensive mobile agent infrastructure that supports diverse applications in these fields. Our infrastructure is built around two basic components: a mobile-agent based framework for distributed database access and the PaCMAn (Parallel Computing with Java Mobile Agents) metacomputer. The major functionality of our database framework includes (a) the ability to dynamically create personalized views for the mobile client, (b) dynamic creation and configuration of Web-based warehouses and (c) dynamic support of mobile transactions. PaCMAn offers the necessary tools for Web-based distributed High Performance Computing (HPC) and distributed data mining. Our infrastructure provides the basis for developing eWork applications in many fields. We have utilized it for applications, both wireless and wireline, such as: Electronic commerce, Health Telematics, Teleworking, Distributed Data-mining and Web-based supercomputing.

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InGeo-IC: The portal to Geodata
Uwe JASNOCH, Stefan GÖBEL, Dirk BALFANZ
Fraunhofer-IGD
Rundeturmstr. 6
64283 Darmstadt

In Germany there exist innumerable geodata which, on the one hand, represent a great economic value but, on the other hand, lie idle to a great extent with (public and private) data suppliers so that they cannot be disposed of by potential geodata appliers. This is the reason for a platform or a turntable to be found connecting the groups belonging to the geodata market: geodata providers and appliers as well as GIS service providers. The information and cooperation forum for geodata (InGeoForum) has taken over to create such a platform as a project and make it available to all groups. Within the development of the InGeo-IC project methods and concepts have been prepared allowing to find, compare, and assess geodata by means of the metadata technique.

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Zabalnet: A powerful platform for learning and training on the Web
Ana SEGOVIA(1) and Julio GUINEA(2)
(1) IBERMÁTICA, Av. Partenón 16-18, 28042 Madrid, Spain
(2) ZABALNET, c/ Hnos. Lumiere, 1. Of.:15; 01510 Miñano, Alava, Spain

This paper introduces Zabalnet, a platform for distance learning on the Web. It describes the functionalities and architecture. It also summaries the feedback collected from current users and the foreseen evolution of e-learning platforms like Zabalnet.

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ECOS project: E-Business platform for SMEs
Miguel F. BORRAS(1), Ricardo GONÇALVES(2) and Adolfo STEIGER-GARÇAO(2)
(1)AIDIMA. - Benjamín Franklin, 13 - Parc Tecnològic.
E-46980. Paterna. Valencia - España.
(2)UNINOVA - Center for Intelligent Robotics,
Fac. Ciências e Tecnologia - Univ. Nova de Lisboa
Quinta da Torre, P-2825 Monte de Caparica - Portugal

The ESPRIT project 27111 - ECOS "LITE e-commerce OPERATIVE SCALABLE solutions for SMEs" aims to develop and implement a standards-based platform for b2b e-Commerce in the furniture sector. The exchange and share of Product Data were addressed using standard-based platforms for Product Data Management, now extended to support the e-Commerce services using Internet facilities. Harmonisation between the ISO standards for product data exchange "STEP" and "PLIB", and XML technology is being adopted for the purpose. This paper will present the ECOS project industrial objectives, developments and future plans. The text also refers the profiles of targeted industrial users and the implications on the different integration levels.

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The Promotion of Electronic Commerce in SMEs through a National Network of Local Business Centres
Concha MAYORAL(1), Ignacio ATORRASAGASTI(2), Pedro L. PALOMINO(3) y F. Javier GONZÁLEZ(4)
(1,2)Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, Paseo de la Castellana 160, 28071 Madrid, Spain
(3,4) Robotiker, Parque Tecnológico, Edificio 202, 48170 Zamudio (Bizkaia), Spain

This project, founded by the Spanish government, has been another step ahead in the promotion and boost of the Electronic Commerce in Spain. A network of Local Business Centres (AIMME, IAT, IBIT, IAT and ROBOTIKER) has developed activities in order to disseminate all the possible benefits and advantages of Electronic Commerce for SMEs. This activities have consisted on the celebration of conferences, specialised courses in E-Commerce and the implementation of E-Commerce pilots in selected companies. The results of these implementations have been gathered in some documents: best practices, E-Commerce models, Procedure manual, etc. The project activities have moved more than 500 companies all over Spain and 30 of them have participated in the pilots. All the information related to the project is available both in the Industry and Energy Ministry (http://www.min.es/promoce) and in the project WEB (http://www.promoce.net)

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eBusiness Models within Small and Medium Enterprises
F. PIGNI(1), A. RAVARINI(1), M.TAGLIAVINI(1), G. BUONANNO(1), C. GALLAZZI(1), D. SCIUTO(2)
(1) Università Carlo Cattaneo, Centro Competenze Informatiche
Corso Matteotti, 22 - 21053 Castellanza (VA) - ITALY
(2) Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione
Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32 - 20133 Milano - ITALY

The growing diffusion of electronic commerce (EC) and the increasing focus on supply chains could lead companies of any size to face both economic and organizational changes. Thus, EC is becoming a way to redefine the supply chain to achieve a higher level of integration with business partners: this requires the introduction of new business models. Moreover, the business drivers for implementing supply chain solutions turn out to be quite different for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) than for larger companies: while the existing literature mainly focuses on the experiences of large companies, the research on EC driven supply chain applications within SMEs is still relatively new. Through the description of SME case studies, this paper outlines three business models each characterized by a different way of establishing the relationships as well as the roles of business partners.

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A Methodology for Exploitation of Innovative Results in Internet-Multimedia Fields: The ECLAIR Project
Benigno LACORT
CDTI (Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology) Cid 4, 28001 Madrid, Spain

ECLAIR Project (EP 27105) focused on the Technology Transfer Phase of the well-known product life-cycle. Many European SMEs fail to overcome that phase and only a few of them succeed in the marketplace. ECLAIR studied this problem and valuable conclusions are now publicly available. A large number of methodologies related to how to deploy a business plan or how to deploy an exploitation strategy have been developed so far but they have not been effectively adopted by target companies of the ECLAIR initiative (Small European SW developers - SESDs) due to either their small capacity to face up internationalization or the vague and generic nature of such plans not always well adapted to the real needs of these small companies. ECLAIR has developed Guidelines for Exploitation Improvement well-suited to these SMEs. These Guidelines have been tested with success in real-life experiences. Additionally, the ECLAIR project reveals a new way for the Administration to adopt an enabling role in the exploitation of innovation process.

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