September 24, 2008

The Open Group Unveils Global Initiative to Drive Enterprise Architecture Standards for Natural Resources Industries

SAN FRANCISCO and JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Open Group, a vendor- and technology-neutral consortium focused on open standards and global interoperability within and between enterprises, has convened a global collaborative to set enterprise architecture standards for the exploration, mining, metals and minerals industries. The Exploration, Mining, Metals and Minerals Vertical (EMMMV) initiative is the first of its kind worldwide, and will see the creation of enterprise architecture reference models specific to the industry.

Founding members of the new initiative are Real IRM, the official representative of The Open Group in South Africa, Datamine, Lonmin, Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration and The Open Group itself. In total, 40 organizations have expressed interest in joining the EMMMV, and most major companies which operate in these sectors worldwide are expected to become members in time.

"The activities of the EMMMV span both business and technology, from the boardroom to the rock face. The initiative's first deliverables will be reference models which can be applied to all companies in these sectors worldwide," said Sarina Viljoen, Enterprise Architecture Consultant and Trainer, Real IRM. "These reference models will span the domains of business, information, data, applications and technology. As intellectual capital, garnered through work done by the founding members both in southern Africa and abroad, it will provide the industry with a foundation architecture from which participating organizations can jumpstart their operations and modify the models to suit their specific needs."

According to Viljoen, "These reference models can cut the time and expense required to design and deliver the enterprise architecture by 60 percent and thousands of dollars. Member organizations will have a significant edge over their competitors and be able to participate in the development and evolution of reference models for their industries."

Similar work in other industries

The EMMMV collaborative will function across five continents. It follows similar approaches to other industries, such as banking, where Microsoft and SAP led work to deliver reference models for that industry; the telecommunications market, which follows the eTOM reference model; and supply chain, which uses SCOR. The formation of the EMMMV follows from an agreement reached at the Gartner Mining and Resource Industry Technology 2007 Summit held in South Africa.

International research has shown that enterprise architecture confers long-term competitive advantage, and that companies which execute their strategy in line with enterprise architectural principles are more competitive and more profitable than their competitors. They are easily able to accommodate change, enter new territories, complete mergers and acquisitions, and maximize return on IT expenditures.

"The objective of the EMMMV is to realize sustainable business value through collaboration around a common operating model," said Viljoen. "In so doing, it will enable its members to differentiate their business-IT investment, and it will support vendors in their delivery of technical and business solutions."

As a member of the vertical, Real IRM will focus on applying enterprise architecture discipline based on The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF(TM)), the most widely accepted industry framework for building an IT architecture. South Africa continues to play a lead role in defining and adopting this standard.

According to Viljoen, "Companies in the natural resources industry have reached the insight that they need to redefine their processes. Where typical drivers of 20th century mining practices were economies of scale, efficiency, vertical integration and domination, they have been replaced by new drivers in support of agility, such as flexibility, responsiveness, optimization, value chains and collaboration. Enterprise architecture will help natural resource companies to achieve these goals."

Other areas enterprise architecture will help natural resource companies to address include:

   -- the IT skills shortage, by encapsulating existing knowledge;   -- business and solution complexity;   -- regulatory and reporting requirements, which change frequently; and   -- the critical need for an integrated approach to safety, health,      environment and quality (SHE-Q).    

For further information on EMMMV and to get involved with the new initiative, contact Sarina Viljoen via phone +2711 805 3734 or email: [email protected]

About The Open Group

The Open Group is a vendor-neutral and technology-neutral consortium, which drives the creation of Boundaryless Information Flow(TM) that will enable access to integrated information within and between enterprises based on open standards and global interoperability. The Open Group works with customers, suppliers, consortia and other standard bodies. Its role is to capture, understand and address current and emerging requirements, establish policies and share best practices; to facilitate interoperability, develop consensus, and evolve and integrate specifications and open source technologies; to offer a comprehensive set of services to enhance the operational efficiency of consortia; and to operate the industry's premier certification service. Further information on The Open Group can be found at

The Open Group

CONTACT: Media, Bill Bourdon of The Bateman Group, +1-415-602-1491,[email protected]; or Carla Bell of Real IRM, (011) 27 805 3734,[email protected]; or Frank Heydenrych of Predictive Communications,(011) 27 608 1700, [email protected], all for The Open Group

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