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e2000 - Abstracts

Abstracts of Papers Published in the Conference Proceedings - Section 6: Virtual and Extended Enterprises

Section 6: Virtual and Extended Enterprises
A Web Enabled Solution for Managing Distributed Product Innovation
K. Cormican, D. O'Sullivan
MOTION - a Distributed, Innovative eWork Platform to Support Teamwork
in Large Extended Enterprises
M. Boero, P. Chiabra, C. Ghezzi, M. Jazayeri, M. Tarkiainen
Active Knowledge Models of Extended Enterprises
F. Lillehagen
New methods and tools for collaborative rich media production in broadcasting organisations
A. Gaiser, F. Schmidt
Web-based Virtual Enterprise Network for the Maritime Industry
C. Odendahl, R. Angeli, J. Haenisch, D. Jaramillo, S. Makris, E. Weitzenböck
Smart organisations: Benefits of Mobile Internet to business processes
E. Lopez, J.M. Rueda, E. Guardo
Virtual Service Enterprise Services: An Architectural Framework
D. MacRandal, K.-D. Kreplin, S. Mathews, B. Slof
Binding Distributed Business Process Co-ordination (DBPC) and Digital
Co-operation Networks
Á. Nunes, J.J. Pinto Ferreira, J.M. Mendonça
Sharing of Computing Facilities and Engineering Tools via Web Based Internet application
G. Palli, G. Agosti, A. Rodolico
From Business Integration to E-Business
J.J. Pinto Ferreira
An Agent-based Workflow System for Inter-enterprise Business Processes
A. Dogac, Y. Tambag, A. Tumer, M. Ezbiderli, N. Hamali
A Distributed Information System for Improved Business Co-Ordination within Networked and Extended Enterprises
J.P. Sousa, A.L. Azevedo, A.L. Soares
COMPETE - A COMmon Platform for the ExTended Enterprise
M. Sanseverino, N. Matino, G. Secco Suardo, S. Gusmeroli, M. Argilli
Extended Products in Dynamic Enterprises: The IST Project Cluster EXPIDE
B.E. Hirsch, J. Eschenbächer
A tool to support co-operative product development in the area of e-Business
H.K. Tönshoff, V. Uhlig, U. Dietrich

 

A Web Enabled Solution for Managing Distributed Product Innovation
Kathryn CORMICAN and David O'SULLIVAN
Computer Integrated Manufacturing Research Unit (CIMRU), NUI, Galway, Ireland.

New organisational forms such as strategic partnerships and networks are replacing simple market based transactions and traditional bureaucratic, hierarchical organisations. Consequently, a new conception of product design and development will focus on managing strategic partnerships and facilitating communication, collaboration and co-ordination in a distributed work environment. This paper examines some of these issues. First, the changing business environment is considered. Then, the shifting workforce paradigm is examined. Within these new forms the changing role of information communication technology is discussed. Finally, we present a web-enabled solution called Product Innovation Manager (PIM) which is specifically designed to enable effective product innovation in today's dynamic environment.

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MOTION - a Distributed, Innovative eWork Platform to Support Teamwork
in Large Extended Enterprises
Marco BOERO(1), Piero CHIABRA(2), Carlo GHEZZI(3), Medi JAZAYERI (4), Mikko TARKIAINEN(5)
(1) Softeco Sismat SpA, World Trade Centre, Via De Marini 1, Genova, 16149 Italy
(2) Electrolux Zanussi, Via Giardini Cattaneo 3, Pordenone, 33170 Italy
(3) Politecnico di Milano, Via Ponzio 34/5, Milano, 20133 Italy
(4) Technical University of Vienna, Argentinierstrasse 8/184-1, Vienna, 1040 Austria
(5) Nokia Corporation, Research Centre, PO Box 407, 00045 Nokia Group, Finland

The multi-site, multi-process and complex organisational structure of worldwide enterprises, as well as the introduction of the new concepts of extended and virtual enterprises, are determining increased needs of advanced Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities for improving team work and distributed working methods in engineering, manufacturing and production processes. This paper reports on the approach and solutions proposed in the European project MOTION, started in the framework of the IST Programme, under Key Action II on New Methods of Work and eCommerce. MOTION addresses the development and validation of a novel distributed eWork architecture to support teamwork in large and extended enterprises, with validation in two relevant manufacturing environments of today consumers market: household appliances and mobile phones production. The paper outlines the technical approach followed in the project and describes the planned validation for the developed architecture.

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Active Knowledge Models of Extended Enterprises
Frank LILLEHAGEN
Computas AS, Vollsveien 9, P.O.Box 482, 1327 Lysaker, Norway

This paper presents the Active Knowledge Model approach to EE engineering and E-work solutions. EE services and systems are currently being developed in the External Project, EU IST- 1999-10091. The EE methodology, infrastructure with tools and templates, and the customer delivery process are all integrated through visually managed type-hierarchies, domain templates and models. The goal is to enable fast template re-composition, solution re-engineering, work re-activation and management of EE knowledge entities. The ambition is a new way of systems development.

 

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New methods and tools for collaborative rich media production in broadcasting organisations
Anke GAISER(1) and Dr. Friederike SCHMIDT(2)
(1) Sender Freies Berlin (SFB), Masurenallee 8-14, 14057 Berlin, Germany
(2) Pixelpark IMD AG, Rotherstr. 8, 10245 Berlin, Germany

Traditional broadcasting organisations are facing new challenges due to the rapid development of the IT-sector. Video on Demand, Interactive TV and Internet broadcasting force public broadcasters to redefine their production strategies. Already, they have lost their broadcasting monopoly to webcasting companies. To stay competitive they need to transform to MultiMedia broadcasters. This requires systems for broadcasting production teams that enable flexible cross-media publishing from remote, mobile and heterogeneous workplaces as developed within the IST-Project MultiPro.

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Web-based Virtual Enterprise Network for the Maritime Industry
Clemens ODENDAHL(1), Ralf ANGELI(1), Jochen HAENISCH(2), David JARAMILLO(3), Sotiris MAKRIS(4) and Emily WEITZENBÖCK(5)
(1)University of Saarland, Institute of Information Systems, Altenkesseler Strasse 17, Geb. D2, D-66115 Saarbrücken, Germany
(2)Det Norske Veritas, Veritasveien 1, N-1322 Høvik, Norway
(3)Germanischer Lloyd, Vorsetzen 32, D-20459 Hamburg, Germany
(4)Laboratory of Manufacturing Systems, University of Patras, 26110 Patras, Greece (5)University of Oslo, Institutt for Rettsinformatikk, St. Olavs Plass 5, N-0130 Oslo, Norway

The EU-funded research project MARVIN (EP29049) develops software tools to operate Virtual Enterprises in the maritime industry, more exactly in the ship main-tenance business field. One of the main objectives of the project is to reduce the out-of-service time of ships in operation. The main tool, the Maritime Enterprise Integration Tool (MEIT) supports a web-based Virtual Enterprise in its initial set-up as well as during its operation. The architecture of the MEIT is based on state-of-the-art multi-agent technology and is designed to be domain independent. Within the MARVIN project two business scenarios: Emergency Repair and Planned Mainte-nance are in scope of developments and demonstrations. Legal aspects, arising from the operation of Virtual Enterprises and concerning exchange and use of data during the processes involved, are also taken into consideration.

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Smart organisations: Benefits of Mobile Internet to business processes
E. LOPEZ; J.M. RUEDA; E. GUARDO;
ALTRAN SDB, Ramirez de Arellano 15 3ª, 28043 Madrid -SPAIN

In today's business world, enterprises may conduct their day-to-day operations with remote employees and partners around the clock. The whole infrastructure needs to be adapted to support and distribute business intelligence. At this point, Mobile Internet technologies offer a great solution, and furthermore they come with many other advantages: compatibility, platform independence, international coverage (as large as the cellular coverage), support to business paradigms as CRM, collaborative work, Knowledge Management, e-business, the buzz-words of IT today. But still there are a few burdens to be lifted. We are researching the state-of-the-art technology to provide a comparison of solutions and technologies, analysing how they contribute to a better scheme in the enterprises of tomorrow.

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Virtual Service Enterprise Services: An Architectural Framework
Damian MAC RANDAL(1), Klaus-Dieter KREPLIN(2), Steve MATHEWS(3) and Bert SLOF(4)
(1)Rutherford Appleton Lab., Inf. Technol. Dept., Chilton, Didcot OX11 0QX, UK
(2)Netlexis Ltd, Siena Court, The Broadway, Maidenhead SL6 1NJ, UK
(3)Athena BV, Witteweg 1, 6586 Ad Plasmolen, Netherlands
(4)empirica GmbH, Oxfordstrasse 2, D-53111, Bonn, Germany

In TeleSurve (Telematics based Virtual Service Enterprise, Esprit 25537), an Electronic Commerce framework for the Virtual Service Enterprise (VSE) was developed and demonstrated. A VSE in this context encompasses a traditional organization, but extends the view of its effective domain of influence in its management of business processes in three principal directions: towards customers (B2C), towards teleworkers and small suppliers (B2x), towards partner organizations in the value chain (B2B). In this document we describe the common internal structures at each organization, their relationship to the interfaces towards the three mentioned user classes, and how the different services are enabled by the relevant standard protocols. The security architecture is also described. This covers workflow as well as non-workflow related security issues, and is based on a Public Key Infrastructure. Finally, the demonstrator implementation in which the approach was shown to work, and its relationship to legacy systems, is briefly described.

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Binding Distributed Business Process Co-ordination (DBPC) and Digital
Co-operation Networks
Álvaro NUNES 1, Agência de Inovação, Portugal
J. J. PINTO FERREIRA, FEUP-DEEC / INESC Porto, Portugal
J. M. MENDONÇA, FEUP-DEEC / Agência de Inovação, Portugal
1 Agência de Inovação, Rua de Sagres, 11, 4150 Porto, Portugal

This paper focuses on the co-ordination mechanisms used in distributed production chains. To a great extent, the success of these variable geometry co-operation networks depends on the capability to co-ordinate, integrate and manage existing and emerging business links. To this end, the use of Enterprise Engineering techniques can help in preventing the cognitive rupture that many companies face when their internal business processes are managed and conducted by external entities.

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Sharing of Computing Facilities and Engineering Tools via Web Based Internet application
Giovanni Palli, ABB Ricerca S.p.A., Viale Edison 50, 20099 Sesto S. Giovanni (MI), Italy;
Giorgio Agosti, ABB Ricerca S.p.A., Viale Edison 50, 20099 Sesto S. Giovanni (MI), Italy;
Andrea Rodolico, NICE S.r.l., Via Serra 33, 14020 Camerano Casasco (AT), Italy;

The goal of the project is to deploy an Intranet application based on Web technologies able to offer a gateway to a Virtual Computer Center. The Virtual Computer Center will be based on several clusters of Unix, Linux and NT hosts that could be distributed along the entire ABB Corporate Network. In this way the power of existing Hardware resources and facilities could be fully exploited and different tools and business applications could be shared over the network.

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From Business Integration to E-Business
João José PINTO FERREIRA
Engineering Faculty of Porto University / Electrical Engineering & Computers Dpt.
INESC Porto - Manufacturing Systems Engineering Unit
Rua José Falcão , 110, 4050 - 315, Portugal

Convergence of information and communication systems is definitely changing the way businesses are conducted. Best synergies however, will only take place whenever this convergence is combined with state-of-the-art approaches to enterprise business integration. Overall, this should be looked at from a 3-axis perspective, People, Business and Technology, joining the implied need for innovation, for competence in technological support to business solutions and for trust in technology. With this objective in mind, scenarios involving the enactment of distributed business processes are explored in this paper bringing along the integration of topics such as: Co-ordination of decentralised telework activities; Supply chain Co-ordination for Distribution networks; and Integration with communication technologies such as video-conference and virtual collaboration environments. As a vision, the author supports that on top of business activity co-ordination, new demands emerge such as the need for improved communication channels between far apart workers, as well as effective means to locate information in the enterprise network.

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An Agent-based Workflow System for Inter-enterprise Business Processes
Asuman DOGAC, Yusuf TAMBAG, Arif TUMER, Murat EZBIDERLI
and Necip HAMALI
Software Research and Development Center, Faculty of Engineering
Middle East Technical University (METU), 06531 Ankara Turkiye

An agent-based inter-enterprise workflow system is developed within the scope of INCO-DC 97 2496 MARIFlow Project for automating and monitoring the flow of control and data over the Internet among different organisations. The main characteristics of the system are as follows: it has a completely distributed co-operating agent based infrastructure, provides a graphical workflow design tool as well as comprehensive monitoring facilities, handles exceptions and contains mechanisms for failure recovery. The system is also capable of automatically activating external applications (which may be inside company firewall) when necessary, keeping track of process information, and providing for the security and authentication of documents. The MARIFlow system in comparison to the monolithic workflow engines and traditional client/server architectures, implements an architecture where the business processes are executed through distributed, cooperating agents interacting with one another over the Internet through messages. MARIFlow system is general enough to be applied to any application domain where data flow and invocation of activities follow a pattern that can be described through a process definition, however the example application is on maritime industry. The system is fully operational for industrial use.

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A Distributed Information System for Improved Business Co-Ordination within Networked and Extended Enterprises
Jorge P. SOUSA, Américo L. AZEVEDO, António L. SOARES
INESC Porto, R. José Falcão 110, 4050-315 Porto, Portugal.

This paper first identifies some gaps that exist within current information systems that claim to support eBusiness and eWork in networked enterprises, and describes some of the general requirements of distributed and decentralised information systems for companies operating in networks. It goes on to cover some principles for the design of a distributed IS providing an advanced infrastructure to support general co-operation, particular methodologies for co-operative and collaborative planning, and guidelines for network set-up and support. This work is currently being delivered under the scope of the IST project Co-OPERATE, where a distributed and decentralised information system, based on an architecture of agents, and extensively using the internet is being designed and implemented as a means to provide new and more powerful decision support tools for networked enterprises.

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COMPETE - A COMmon Platform for the ExTended Enterprise
Marialuisa SANSEVERINO(1), Nicola MATINO(1), Gianmaria SECCO SUARDO(2),
Sergio GUSMEROLI(3), Marco ARGILLI(3)
(1)Centro Ricerche Fiat, Strada Tirno 50, 10043 Orbassano, Italy
(2)Via San Quintino 38, 10121 Torino;
(3)TXT e-Solutions, Via Socrate 41, 20128 Milano, Italy

The main goal of the ESPRIT Project COMPETE (EP 29933) is to provide IT based methodologies and tools to help companies structured as Extended Enterprises to cope with the challenges of globalization, deregulation and contracting life cycles, combining fast decision making and flexibility to change. Such methodologies embrace both product function, market, life cycle analysis, together with organisational and individual competencies identification and evaluation. The IT tools to be integrated in a distributed Extended Enterprise architecture (called BMA) are: a Business Process Definition toolset (with modeling and simulation capabilities), a Competencies Identification and Evaluation environment, a Human Resources Planner and Scheduler, a Project Management and a Workflow Management tool.

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Extended Products in Dynamic Enterprises: The IST Project Cluster EXPIDE
Bernd E. HIRSCH AND Jens ESCHENBÄCHER
University of Bremen
Hochschulring 20, 28359 Bremen, Germany

Internet and innovations in E-Commerce and E-Business have had a considerable impact on the development of extended products. Consequently, the core issue of the EXPIDE project cluster is to combine knowledge gained by many different European funded research projects to create a coherent view about extended products in dynamic enterprises. The development of digital business concepts and systems realised in both business to business and business to consumer research projects must be synthesised. Otherwise neither the joining of results nor the contribution to the development of standards will be possible. Furthermore, extended products make it necessary to think clearly about the product life-cycle to assure that elements such as service, maintenance or reverse logistics concepts are considered. EXPIDE will identify collaboration opportunities, mainly in promoting and disseminating respective project results to industry for exploitation and advise to the EC.

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A tool to support co-operative product development in the area of e-Business
Hans Kurt TÖNSHOFF(1), Vanessa UHLIG(1) and Ute DIETRICH(2)
(1)Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (IFW), University of Hannover, Schloßwender Str. 5, 30159 Hannover, Germany
(2)dCADE GmbH, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355 Berlin, Germany

In this paper, an integrated business-to-business (B2B) application service is described, which enables customers and suppliers to co-operate in the early stage of product development. The described approach deals with the electronic description, history management and exchange of product requirements and their solutions. A software prototype is developed that allows the customer to define demands of a product component on the basis of marginal requirements, which are stored as separate objects in a description structure. The supplier uses the pre-determined description to work out the solution and to design the component. The approach also includes the possibility to link the objects of the described structures with existing geometry in CAD-systems. In this way, the designer will be informed automatically, if changes in the description structure occur. The middleware CORBA is used to enable interoperability across the disparate applications and computing platforms on a high object-oriented level.

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