Towards Conflict-Free Virtual Enterprises

Towards Conflict-Free Virtual Enterprises

Ejub Kajan, Nanjangud C. Narendra, Zakaria Maamar
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch079
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Virtual Enterprise

Most organizations are now modeled according to the principles of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for the sake of improving efficiency, agility, and response to changing market needs. SOA supports the integration of several enterprises into an entity usually known as a VE by exposing these organizations’ capabilities as services (Huhns & Singh, 2005). A VE possesses the following characteristics (Narendra, et al., 2013): (i) it is formed for a specific service-oriented process execution (for short- or long-term), and may dissolve once that execution is done; (ii) it is dependent on the nature of the interactions among the participating organizations; (iii) it is typically formed via a joint alignment of strategies among the participating organizations; and (iv) since the participating organizations are autonomous, conflicts would definitely arise.

Traditionally, organizations have been modeled using Enterprise Architecture (EA) models. Several EA frameworks exist such as CIMOSA (Kosanke & Zelm, 1999), TOGAF2, Zachman in industry (Zachman, 1977); ArchiMate3, SEAM in academia4, and international standards such as RM-ODP (Farooqui, et al., 1995). EA captures the whole vision of an organization in terms of both business and Information Technology (IT) resources. In an EA (Cuenca, et al., 2006; Zachman, 1977) the goal is to align the business and IT resources in order to improve the competitiveness of the enterprise.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Zero Latency Enterprise (ZLE): A BE that has been reached the full A2A integration so that there is no data latency between its own business processes.

Interoperability: An attribute given to systems, applications and data that assigns their ability to communicate with another systems, applications and data in a manner that they may exchange and mutually use that data.

Virtual Enterprise (VE): A temporary alliance of BEs that come together to jointly fulfill common business goals.

Business-to-Business (B2B): Type of EC where participating entities are enterprises at both sides. Nowadays, it may be thought as a third wave of EC, where BE s should be able to establish and handle their business relationship dynamically and seamlessly on demand.

Business Entity (BE): An enterprise, a part of an enterprise and/or its application that participate in A2A or B2B.

Electronic Commerce (EC): An emerging concept that describes the process of buying, selling, or exchanging data, services and products over the Internet.

Framework: A common template that has well defined functionality in order to solve a problem, e.g. interoperability, and precisely defined inputs and outputs intended for its communication with the external world.

Application-to-Application (A2A): Process of data and application integration inside an enterprise in order to reach ZLE. Also know as EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) and EII (Enterprise Information Integration).

Middleware: A dynamic self-organized layer, usually acting on the top of the transport layer, that provides uniformity between the lower layers of the framework (hardware, operating systems, etc.), which are different by default, and hides serious, natural discrepancies that exist among applications.

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