14 August 2002 The recent merger between the Uniform Code Council (UCC) and RosettaNet, two of the most prominent technical standards bodies, has been well received by technology industry analysts.
RosettaNet is a non-profit consortium consisting of around 400 electronic components, semiconductor manufacturing and IT systems companies around the world. It was founded in 1998 to form a common ebusiness language to align processes between trading partners and quickly found a niche within the hi-tech sector. The organisation was acquired by the UCC on 5 August.
The rise to prominence in the late 1960s when it introduced the standard Universal Product Code (UPC) for grocery retailers. Since then it has driven the adoption of electronic data interchange (EDI) in Europe and North America through the introduction of standard business-to-business definitions in the retail, distribution, food and drinks and grocery sectors.
The merger will benefit companies in both organisations, according to AMR Research analyst Peter Abell. “UCC gains complete access to the fast-moving high-tech/consumer electronics industry and RosettaNet’s advanced technology,” said Abell. “RosettaNet will benefit from UCC’s financial stability and 30 years of experience in maintaining and administering standards.”
RosettaNet members will also benefit from UCC’s work on electronic product codes (ePC), which Abell said will help address the IT industry’s anti-piracy, warranty, loss prevention and supply chain problems.
Giga Information Group analyst Ken Vollmer concurs. “We expect the new UCC/RosettaNet organisation will be successful in providing new solutions that combine the best of the old and the new, resulting it a minimum in process-oriented EDI capability,” he said.
However, both AMR and Giga have raised issues about the pace of standardisation within both organisations. RosettaNet’s success is based on the rapid definition and adoption of standards, a characteristic which is attributed to the technical nature of its members. But UCC is not considered as fast moving an organisation.
“The differences surrounding adoption pace will be difficult, particularly when UCC fully integrates the standards approval process into the RosettaNet membership. An engagement model must be deployed that lets the leaders lead at an accelerated pace, but still allows the rest of the industry to participate,” said Abell.