Open Systems Customers Combine to Form Unified End User Group

Open Group Customer Council to Provide Powerful Single Voice for Customers in Open Systems Development and Standards Process

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 14, 1996) -- In conjunction with the establishment of The Open Group, the largest and most influential assembly of open systems end users to date has been created by the unification of the OSF End-User Forum and the X/Open User Council. The new end user group, known as the Open Group Customer Council (OGCC), will play a major role in driving the open systems process as The Open Group coordinates the development of the next generation of open systems technologies and specifications.

Like its predecessors, the OGCC is designed to provide end user input for the development of open systems specifications, technologies and product directions. The Open Group's OGCC is scheduled to have its first meeting this March in San Francisco and thereafter will meet periodically at various locations in Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Americas. The OGCC will also direct and monitor the ongoing work of newly-established Open Group work teams that will spearhead new technology in five tactical areas: security, architecture, distributed systems management, interoperability, and the Internet.

OGCC co-chairs, Alain-Francois Robert of Elf-Aquitaine and William B. Estrem of 3M Corporation, believe the new customer council will play a key role in driving the open systems process and extending the momentum of open systems in heterogeneous enterprise computing. "This new organization brings to the open systems process a tremendous wealth of knowledge about the current and emerging needs of the business computing marketplace," Robert said. "What the open systems industry is saying with the creation of a strong user organization is that the requirements of the business marketplace will be the most important factor driving technology development and specifications."

Estrem echoes Robert's emphasis on The Open Group's customer commitment. "The establishment of the OGCC is a powerful expression of the open systems industry's promise to implement a customer-driven development process," Estrem said. "From its inception, the OGCC is an important indicator of the commitment open systems suppliers have to providing real-world value to the marketplace."

Represented on the OGCC are more than 300 companies, research institutions and government agencies around the world, including some of the most prominent users of open systems technology: 3M Corporation, Andersen Consulting, Barclay's Bank, Bell Communications Research, Boeing, British Telecommunication, Charles Schwab & Company, Citibank, Credit Lyonnais, Department of Defense (U.S.), Department of Commerce (U.S.), Deutsche Telekom, EDS, Elf Aquitaine, GM Hughes Electronics, GTE, Harris Corporation, Inland Revenue (U.K.), Internal Revenue Service (U.S.), Kaiser Permanente, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lockheed-Martin Corp., Merrill Lynch, Mobil, NASA, NATO, NTT, Nippon Steel Corp., Phillips Petroleum, Shell International, Sweden Post, Telecom Finland Ltd., Toyota, TRW, Volvo, and Wells Fargo Bank among others.

According to PRC, Inc. Vice President Denis Brown who will represent his company on the OGCC, participation on a strong customer council delivers a strong return on his/her company's investment. "Participation gives us influence over the future shape of new technology," said Brown. "And, just as importantly, OGCC membership is a source of information and education for us about the latest open systems technologies. In other words, what we have is a valuable dialogue where our company benefits both by asserting influence and acquiring information. "

In addition to influencing the adoption of specifications and the development of technology, OGCC members will comprise three of the 17 voting members of the Open Group Advisory Board, giving open systems customers a formal policy role in governing the new organization.

Dedicated to the advancement of open systems, The Open Group is an international consortium of system vendors, ISVs and open systems end users. Under the Open Group umbrella, the Open Software Foundation and X/Open Company, Ltd. collaborate for the delivery of technology innovations and the integration of open systems specifications within the industry. With U.S. headquarters in Cambridge, MA, and European headquarters in Reading, England, The Open Group maintains regional offices in Menlo Park, CA, Falls Church, VA, Brussels, Belgium, Grenoble, France and Tokyo, Japan. The combined organization employs approximately 275 people worldwide, with that number scheduled to grow in 1996 as the organization adds approximately 50 new employees to its research, technical development and marketing staff.