Service- and Process-Matching - An Approach towards Interoperability Design and Implementation of Business Networks

Dominik Vanderhaeghen; Dirk Werth; Timo Kahl; Peter Loos(2007)
In: Enterprise Interoperability, International Conference on Interoperability for Enterprise Software and Applications (I-ESA 06), Bordeaux, France, March 2006, Springer, London, S. 189-198, ISBN: 978-1-84628-713-8

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The increasing influence of new developments in the area of information and communication technology has lead to numerous economic challenges in the last years [1]. An awareness that certain benefits can only be reached by focusing on specific core competences and their economic composition in a value-added network is growing continuously. Thus, the development and distribution of products are implemented faster, more efficient and with a lower economic risk in business networks [2].
This subject matter has been treated for a few years by the special field of research called Collaborative Business (C-Business). C-Business focuses on the optimisation of enterprise collaborations within the whole value-added chain [3]. In this context interoperability is defined as the capability of an enterprise or a customer to collaborate with each other under the assumption of the most feasible cost-value ratio [4]. The control of cross-organisational business processes from the original supplier to the end user is a key-factor for success in C-Business. Hence, the following article discusses two paradigms, which provide – as a combination – necessary instruments to act in a business network in an interoperable way.
Thus, management of interoperable business processes may be seen as one of the most important success factors for collaborative enterprises. Flexibility and the capability to manage these processes are considered as central requirements to achieve the necessary interoperability of economic entities. The article discusses two complementary paradigms hereunto: the service-orientated approach and the process-orientated approach. Today, both approaches are mostly separately treated.
While on the one hand business people intend an economic design of business processes, on the other hand IT people often mainly focus on an implementation side only. The integration concept developed in this article shows a combination of these two approaches in order to achieve more flexible and more manageable processes. Thus, it becomes possible to compile “services” in a flexible manner based on business process definitions. Moreover, it facilitates an agile management of cross-organisational business processes.