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EuropeAn COTS User Working Group


The use of COTS (Commercial Off-The-Self) software components is becoming an economic and strategic necessity for European organisations in a wide variety of application areas. The main objective of this proposal is to create and consolidate a European COTS User Working Group to address the common problems faced by COTS users, identify solutions, and produce a favourable impact in the overall COTS market, favouring the achievement of consensus towards the definition of standards. Objectives will be achieved through focussed discussions in Special Interest Groups (SIGs) enabled by a Web-based GroupWare system, electronic discussion forums, SIG meetings and workshops. The Working Group results will be packaged as technical reports, communicated to the appropriate entities (governmental and standardisation bodies) and exploited, ensuring the continuation of the COTS user network.

WG-ECUA objective is the creation, operation and consolidation of a COTS User Working Group to address the common problems faced by COTS users, achieve consensus on their solutions, and produce a favourable impact in the overall COTS market. The Working Group approaches the problems from a COTS user perspective, establishing liaisons with all COTS market players.

The COTS User WG aims at:
1. Analysing the COTS market;
2. Assessing current practice and identifying common problems in acquisition, management and integration of COTS;
3. Providing and sharing solutions;
4. Co-ordinating the definition of requirements for COTS related projects at European level;
5. Favouring the achievement of consensus towards the definition of standards regarding COTS usage
6. Representing the interests of COTS users (especially SMEs) in international standardisation organisations.

Work description:
WP0.- WG MANAGEMENT: Project management; Recruitment and management of WG members;
WP1.- WG LAUNCHING: Market-based analysis of COTS user problems and needs; Identification of best practices in COTS user companies; Define Special Interest Groups (SIGs) operational rules and develop infrastructure for their operation; Define, constitute and launch initial set of SIGs;
WP2.- STEERING AND OPERATION OF SIGs: For each identified problem domain a SIG is constituted with the following activities: Organise periodic SIG meetings; Open a discussion forum on the Internet; Favour the discussion about the problem domain through provocative articles, news, questions; Encourage the interaction between the SIG subscribers; Reply to all formulated questions; Periodically summarise and synthesise the discussion; Look for consensus for the definition of standards, whenever possible; Recognise open problems and co-ordinate the definition of requirements for their solution; Provide technical contents for the organisation of the final COTS Users' Workshop;
WP3.- DISSEMINATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE OPERATION: Maintenance and continuous improvement of an interactive web site (forum of dialogue, permanent contact among WG members and dissemination beyond the WG); Organisation of SIG meetings and the workshop; Management and automation of the whole set of subscriptions operations (Internet forums); Identification of the most appropriate media for dissemination;
WP 4.- EXPLOITATION: Develop detailed exploitation plan and co-ordinate the exploitation actions. Establish and consolidate the Working Group network to guarantee its continuation and further development to ensure the long-term exploitation of its results.

M1 (month 4): COTS market study; Definition of problem domains for SIGs; Operational rules for the functioning of SIGs; Internet infrastructure for SIG work;
M2 (month 6): Interim progress report 1; WG members database - operational version;
M3 (month 12): Interim progress report 2; SIG periodic reports;
M4 (month 18): Detailed exploitation plans; Final progress reports; WG members database - final version; SIG technical work summary; COTS user Workshop results; Dissemination material.

Call for proposal

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Parque tecnologico de zamudio 204
48170 Zamudio

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EU contribution
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Participants (32)