Why Interoperability Clearinghouse?

Dr.Thomas J Mowbray
Chairman, iCMG

When man could climb hills he desired to fly like birds. When he could fly like birds he desired to walk on the moon. There is no end to this .It is mankind’s Instinctive behavior to search for excellence. And software industry is no exception to this. From huge mathematical machines to mainframes to desktops and now distributed computing, computing has come a full circle. There is a desire now to have greater quality and compatibility in the IT industry. Competition and the resulting lock-ins and upgrades are increasingly intolerable...

Enter Interoperability Clearinghouse (ICH). This is an entity that effects the necessary changes towards known product qualities, known product compatibility and coordinated industry architecture. It is a massive job of bringing towards every player in the industry ranging from product developer and standards body to the end-user. If one looks back in time, this effort is an extension of the initiative taken up by the telecommunications and networking industries to bring about compatibility among respective products and standards. ICH draws from the experiences of these efforts and aims to bring about a change in the entire IT industry. For instance, the INTEROP organization, which is now part of Ziff Davis, helped resolve multi-vendor incompatibilities at the networking hardware and lower level protocol layers. The organization used a unique combination of events like exhibitions and conferences, newsletters and Internet forums to bring about a change in the mind-set of networking protocol vendors to opt for comparability. Regular floor-exhibitions where interoperable networks convinced vendors and end-users alike that such a thing as ‘interoperable network’ was possible.

If not for INTEROP, compatible networks would have been just a dream today.The efforts to bring about compatibility in the telecom field had even greater impact. It was Telecommunications Information Network Architecture Consortium (TINA-C) that laid groundwork for multivendor telephone system compatibility through technology agreements and standardization. If not for TINA-C International telephone calls wouldn't’t have been as easy as it is today. The INTEROP and TINA-C have demonstrated successfully how an independent bodies can help manage implementation and coordination of technical specifications and architectures. And provide a world free of legacy and proprietary systems. ITCH now plans to fill up another vital gap in the world of compatibility and interoperability but this time in the areas of commercial software components.

See you,

Tom Mowbray

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