Standards Numerology: The Magic Number is “13”

What do 13 nations concerned with Open ICT Systems and 13 European companies wanting to roll the U.S. and Japan in middleware have in common? They both made major announcements this week.

I’ve got too many other writing projects to attend to this weekend to do justice to these two stories, but you should know about both of them.


The Open ICT Systems story involves the release of a report, sponsored by IBM and Oracle, created under the auspices of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at IBM, and delivered on Friday at a meeting of the World Bank. The report was created by senior government officials from 13 countries, and urges all nations to adopt “open-information technology.” The report advocates mandating “technology choice, not software development models.” For more details, see an article at the New York Times. To download the full report and see other details, visit the project site.


The second story relates to the formation of a new European consortium formed with the goal of generating the next generation of middleware, and seizing the lead in that area. And, it’s been funded with a 2.5 billion Euro budget (do they mean business?). The new research consortium is called the Networked European Software and Services Initiative (NESSI). See the speech by Viviane Reding, a Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media for atmosphere, and the NESSI Website for the details.


The 13 founding NESSI members are: Atos Origin, BT Group, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, IBM, HP, Nokia, ObjectWeb, SAP, Siemens, Software AG, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, and Thales.