Latest Happenings in and Around UniForum
Industry Trends and Associations Flow Together at UniForum '96
The Open Systems Pavilion will clarify the missions of some key industry
players with its theme "Turning Technologies into Tools."
You'd be forgiven for not seeing immediately the common links among associations
like the Open Software Foundation (OSF), X/Open Co. Ltd., the UnixWare Technology
Group (UTG) and UniForum. As one wag put it, getting such organizations
into the same room could just as easily become "open season" as
an opportunity to focus on open systems.
At UniForum '96, however, the ties that link these organizations and others
will be made crystal clear at the first joint public effort among the associations:
the Open Systems Pavilion.
The unifying theme of the Open Systems Pavilion is "Turning Technologies
into Tools." The participating associations agree that powerful, proven
technologies are at the heart of today's open systems. But technologies
alone aren't enough. They need various types of industry support to turn
them into tools with which people can run their enterprises, today and tomorrow.
The goal of the pavilion, which will occupy premium floor space at the UniForum
show, is to present a common, consistent message of enthusiastic support
for open systems. Another goal is to delineate the specific roles of each
pavilion participant in turning technologies into tools for building and
deploying open systems successfully. Here's a synopsis of what each of the
key participants brings to the party.
Who and Why
OSF focuses on advancing research and development in open systems, and on
facilitating collaboration among developers and users of open systems technologies.
At the pavilion, you'll see examples of OSF's work in demonstrations of
products incorporating such technologies as the Distributed Computing Environment
(DCE) and the Common Desktop Environment (CDE).
X/Open helps developers and users of open systems by integrating industry
standards and licensing the X/Open brand, which hundreds of organizations
worldwide use to ensure consistency and compatibility among X/Open-branded
products and to reduce confusion about standards conformance.
UTG provides a forum in which OEMs, ISVs and others collectively promote,
influence and advance the development of technologies based on a common
Unix implementation. UTG works closely with its member companies--most notably
the Santa Cruz Operation and Hewlett-Packard, the leaders in Unix systems
for business--to ensure that Unix technologies from multiple vendors remain
open, interoperable and responsive to business needs.
As most readers of UniForum's IT Solutions already know, UniForum
is the only user-focused, nonprofit industry association focused on promoting
open systems solutions and educating users and others about them through
conferences, publications and other programs.
Each organization brings unique strengths and contributions to the open
systems movement. But all share common goals, constituencies and (in some
cases) members. The pavilion will help visitors understand more clearly
what each organization does, and which can be most helpful in meeting specific
needs for open systems products, promotion, support or information.
Other organizations are supporting the Open Systems Pavilion as sponsors,
including the Object Management Group and vendors, among them Digital Equipment
Corp., Hewlett-Packard, Siemens Nixdorf and Sun Microsystems, each of which
will exhibit separately from the pavilion at the UniForum show. This broad
industry support underscores the value of the pavilion as a source of information
and reaffirms the commitment of each participant and sponsor to the success
of IT systems that are "open for business."
Another example of this cooperation is the ease with which the primary participants
came together and worked as a team to make the pavilion a reality. Frankly,
we were all at least a little surprised by the speed with which we were
able to agree on common messages, exhibit design and other elements.
The pavilion will include separate areas for each primary participant, a
technology demonstration area and a theater, where an entertaining, interactive
presentation will emphasize the cooperation and synergy among pavilion participants.
Of course, the pavilion is at a trade show, so there will also be giveaways.
These will be attractive, useful and related to the pavilion's "tools"
theme. Visitors who attend presentations and/or other exhibits will be entitled
to these prizes.
In addition to ads for the pavilion in this publication or others, the World
Wide Web site of each primary pavilion participant contains information
about the pavilion and a link to UniForum's Web site for further details.
If the pavilion is the success its organizers anticipate, expect to see
versions of it at future trade shows. Success also could spur further collaboration
among the various member-driven associations represented, pavilion participants
and other organizations focused on open systems. We look forward to getting
feedback from our members and pavilion visitors, and to exploring these
opportunities. --Michael Dortch vice president of marketing, UTG