The proliferation of mutually incompatible standards and models for conducting e-commerce resulting from the isolated efforts of industry groups and standard bodies have created quite the adverse effect from what was intended, when it comes to wide acceptance of electronic commerce, especially in the SME market.
Industry is looking for methods to meet the exploding demand in the "new economy" to offer increased quality of service, reduction of manual labor and cost, and to meet the requirements of nearly real-time reaction to changing market demands. However, the existing e-commerce frameworks require costly adjustments in order to fit a specific business model to that of a specific framework, with the perspective that similar costs will follow if the business party wants to participate in other frameworks as well.
In response to these concerns from the industry, CID and WebGiro AB, supported by associated partners Microsoft and MCI WorldCom have started the ECIMF project within CEN/ISSS Electronic Commerce Workshop, in order to create a standardized meta-framework, which offers a modeling language, methodology, and prototype tools for describing and aligning various aspects of already existing e-commerce frameworks, with the aim of increasing their interoperability. An extended version of Conzilla will be used as a platform for this project. The development of the ECIMF standard will build on the experiences from projects such as ebXML, UN/CEFACT Unified Modeling Methodology, RosettaNet, BizTalk and various Web Services initiatives.