Distributed Object Technology:
A key Enabler for E-Commerce?
Andrew Watson, OMG
Distributed Object Technology is a major growth area in the IT
industry, but arguably has yet to be used to its full potential.
Most first generation distributed object applications were
deployed across small networks inside a single organisation.
However, electronic commerce across public networks (such as the
ubiquitous Internet) makes stringent demands for scalability,
robustness, dynamic reconfiguration and federation of administration (as well as the obvious security issues). A new generation of distributed object applications is beginning to use
the full capabilities of object middleware (such as OMG's CORBA)
to address these challenges, and open the way to widespread use of
Andrew Watson, OMG, is the OMG's Architecture Director. He chairs the Architecture Board, the group of distinguished technical contributors from OMG member organizations that oversees the technical consistency of all OMG's specifications. From 1992 to 1996 he also chaired the OMG's Object Request Broker Task Force, which was responsible for the development and deployment of the CORBA 2 specification. Previously Andrew spent six years with the
ANSA core team in Cambridge researching distributed object architectures, specializing in distributed object type systems.
Europe's Internet Revolution: 'Networked Commerce'
Yvon Le Roux, Cisco
Organisations in Europe are losing out on millions of pounds each year as they continue to contemplate using the Internet as a channel for conducting business. European companies are currently far behind the US accounting for only £600 million ($1 billion) of the worldwide Internet commerce as compared to £4.8 billion ($8 billion) in the States. However, Europe's enthusiasm for online business is set to explode by twenty-five fold in 2001 as they begin to realise the Internet is the only way to trade globally with greater efficiency.
Cisco Systems is one of the worldwide leaders in networking for the Internet. Cisco's volume of product orders taken electronically now averages more than £6 million ($10 million) a day - 40% of all sales. Cisco uses its Web site to hire staff, saving $8 million a year in recruitment costs, software downloads from the site save $85 million a year in production and
distribution costs, $50 million is saved on print and production of literature. 80% of technical inquiries, previously handled over the phone, are now answered electronically. Cisco expects over $4 billion of its revenues in 1998 to be taken online.
Yvon Le Roux, Vice President of Cisco EMEA South, has spent more than 25 years in the Information Systems Industry beginning at Sperry Computer Systems, where he occupied various sales and marketing roles in France and Southern Europe before being appointed Director of International Marketing in charge of all markets outside the USA and Japan. In 1984 he joined Matra Informatique as President. Following the purchase of Matra Informatique by Datapoint he became Vice President and General Manager of Datapoint Southern Europe, subsequently widening his responsibilities to cover all of Europe. In 1992, Yvon Le Roux joined the Amdahl Corporation as President of Amdahl France and Vice President and General Manager of Amdahl Southern Europe. In 1995 he was appointed Vice President and General Manager of Amdahl Central Europe, before being appointed Vice President and General Manager, Europe and South Africa.
European Research in Electronic Commerce and Brokerage
Alessandro Barbagli, European Commission
Electronic Commerce is based on the reliable and secure exchange
of information between customer and suppliers. Although a huge and
growing number of suppliers, manufactures and retailers offer
their goods and services, no scaleable, integrated and feasible
way is currently available for providers to reach customers, for
customers to reach suppliers, for secure
paying, billing, accounting, for creating structured electronic
speech will provide an overview of the European R&D activities on Electronic Commerce contributing to create an electronic marketplace
based on open public communication networks.
Alessandro Barbagli, European Commission, is an officer of the
Directorate General XIII-B, ACTS (Advanced Communications
Technologies and Services) Programme. He is responsible for
several research projects in the IS&N (Intelligence in Services
and Networks) domain addressing network management, electronic
commerce and in particular electronic brokerage. He was
responsible for RACE and ACTS projects in the area of Interactive
Digital Multimedia Services since 1992. Since 1988, he has been
involved in University of Florence and Alcatel Italy in research
activities on transmission protocols for broadband networks. He
graduated at the University of Florence in Electronic Engineering
and Digital Communications in 1987.