On-Demand Business Collaboration Enablement with Web Services

The outsourcing of critical business operations, such as component manufacturing, for Electronics OEMs, has complemented outsourcing trends already started in the early 1990s around non-strategic business operations. Not only are services and business operations now part of this networked environment, but because of the risk, complexity and cost of new product development companies are now outsourcing these types of functions as well. The result is a virtual enterprise spanning everything from product development, to manufacturing to service and support. The virtual enterprise of today not only crosses business unit boundaries, but geographic and company boundaries creating a “value net of partners”. Until recently, businesses have relied on automated transaction methods using enhanced communications, Webbased collaboration and access functions in order to manage their business operations. With the advent of the value net of partners running extended business-to-business operations creates the need for more advanced human interaction. The foundation of this interaction is creation of the proper context to exploit the management of business interactions. In this paper, we introduce a model for on-demand business process based collaboration, namely, Extended Business Collaboration (eBC), and its major characteristics: modeling, solution stack, configurable business protocol enabling framework, on-demand services deployment, as well as monitoring and analytical control. Then we present a few major research issues associated with facilitating extended business collaboration, followed by our proposed Annotated Business HyperChain technology leveraging Web services and semantic annotation model. A research prototype is illustrated at the end of the paper followed by some observations and discussion of open research issues requiring further exploration.

By: John Y. Sayah, Liang-Jie Zhang

Published in: Decision Support Systems, volume 40, (no 1), pages 107-27 in 2005

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