Feeds

Dumb customers and dumber software standards

Speak out, or face the consequences

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

BEAWorld 2006 A senior Citigroup techie today called on customers to make their voices heard in the debates over software standards - or else.

Skip Snow, enterprise architect at the financial services giant, warned that unless more customers get actively involved "we don't stand a chance against the vendors".

"For the standards process to really work... the customers need to get involved otherwise vendors will continue to give us the lowest common denominator for standards," he told an open source and standards panel at BEAWorld in San Francisco.

According to Snow, an active member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization, Citigroup has exercised influence on standards. But in the banking world, more interoperability between different platforms is needed. "To innovate in banking, we need interoperability. To get interoperability we need standards [which will help to reduce IT costs]," he said.

Customers should not be deterred from participating in standards groups for fear of giving away business plans or valuable competitive information, Snow added. And we second that e-notion.

"We have stuff we do in the financial services business - I don't speak about that stuff at places like this or in standards organizations because there's a potential loss of competitive advantage. On the other hand, we have a lot of other stuff that isn't core to our business that we'd be better served to commodify [sic]," he said.

Individuals representing companies at standards groups should work with their business managers to identify what is core to the business, Snow said.

His call to man the committees was endorsed by Dave Orchard, a BEA standards architect. "We really do like to see a lot of customers at the table," he said, adding that customers bring a "real world" aspect to the work of industry standards groups.

Typically, standards groups attract a large amount of vendor politicking involvement from the big guns such Accenture, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM along with smaller ISVs and consultants with a specialized technology or geographical focus.

Where customers participate, it's common for big corporations such as Citigroup, Ford, Fidelity and Nationwide Insurance to step up to the plate because they have the bodies to spare. Otherwise, customers' interests will be represented by special groups.

Snow is pro-tem chair of the WS-I requirements gathering work group, a member of the WS-I's WS-Basic Profile group and the W3C's WS-Policy working group. He's also a member of the financial services and technology consortium. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.