Railway Companies and the Supply Industry

December 2001
Logistics & Transport Focus;Dec2001, Vol. 3 Issue 10, p9
Trade Publication
This article highlights the fifth Internet Club Forum hosted by the International Union of Railways in 2001, which brought together more than 170 participants representing 68 different companies from 27 countries. At this year's forum, experiences from businesses illustrated the challenges the European rail sector might have to clear when introducing joint electronic business platforms. These challenges mainly concern the use of different electronic procurement methods and hardware/software standards for exchanges between rail sector stakeholders, the high investment costs for platforms and the need for mutual commitment. From a technical point of view, new protocols or concepts such as extendible markup language (XML) or Enterprise Application Integration will reduce the complexity of data interchange between companies, but these new technologies will not solve all business-to-business problems. The key challenges faced in this respect are the need to define global business standards and the technical maturity of companies to design XML distributed architecture.


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