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An Open World of Commerce Communications is Your Future

A memo from the VAN Summit and Business Development Meeting Chairs

The evolution of the private network plus services model for delivering B2B commerce is an
important chapter in the technical evolution of value added services. Some of the most august
companies in the e-commerce network sector predate the internet era, and are key players in this
golden age of connected trade.

The last twenty years has also seen an explosion in open systems, and new ways to communicate.
The Internet has fundamentally changed commerce communications forever; messages in any
format are routed regardless of originating and terminating providers, mirroring a result that
occurred in the world of telephony.

Commerce networks are no different, and are facing similar market pressures that the X12 VAN
Summit will be addressing in the upcoming meeting.

For Value Added Networks and providers of similar B2B communications, there are recognized
legacy relationships cultured by industry affinity that have evolved a set of truly impressive
integration services and professional expertise. However, the industry has been invested in a
dated messaging model.

The analyst community is watching the development of new commerce ventures in on-line
accounting and mid-market SaaS and PaaS based services - a market that will outstrip revenue
growth in the existing industrial and commercial EDI sector. Many of these innovative
companies are acquiring new users in the tens of millions, with operational tenures measured in
one or years. This is innovation's payoff.

There are opportunities to profit in this new sector. In addition to competing directly in the mid-
market, there are partnerships, conveyance of tools and technology, and OEM licensing to newly
established operators. Strategy is the key to success.

In order to thrive in this emerging sector, respected institutions representing B2B industry
commerce should examine the adoption of open routing, best practices of interconnection, and an
all peers trading model. The creation of a rich palate of standardized services by all members and
partners increases the opportunity for even more value added services in more markets.

Previous meetings were a good start, let's go further and faster:

During the previous VAN Summit meeting held on 7/29, a strategy was formulated to take the
first steps in creating a prototype model that could be presented at the next VAN Summit in Los
Angeles (September 22, 2009). In order to drive this model and facilitate the creation of a pilot
project, the VAN Summit committee chairs would like to form a technical committee to forge
ahead in creating and innovating these concepts and ideas.
Proposed: a first step is to present architecture for a Universal Trading Partner Directory. A call
for volunteer technical contributors is underway, so please join the engineering committee and

The generalized goals of the technical committee will be to define and develop:

1. Functions and features

2. Security requirements
3. Communication options
4. Database synchronization
5. Hosted services RMI (remote method) models
6. Application level services (BPM, Process Workflow, data reconciliation); This is where
value added services make new profits in mid-market territory.

The technical goals of the project are broad, but early consensus is that such a prototype should
use the best of existing standards, and build on high level, proven, and interoperable functions.

The Business Development Task Group sees this upcoming period as the most dynamic time
ever for the growth for X12, VANs, hosted commerce providers, and open B2B trade.

We therefore heartily invite you (and your organization) to join us and fully participate. Share
your ideas and opinions, and hold nothing back, for in this new era of open commerce, we all
gain so much more than technology, we foster enduring relationships.

For more information and to get involved, please register today at:


Robert Fox
Business Development Task Group Chair

Bill Alletzhauser
Business Development Task Group Vice Chair

Alan Wilensky, Todd Gould

Key Contributors