Via Jorgen

 Microsoft has announced the formation of the Interop Vendor Alliance - a global, cross-industry group of software and hardware vendors that will work together to identify opportunities for enhancing interoperability with Microsoft systems on behalf of their customers.

Customers are telling Microsoft that interoperability is as important to them as security and reliability. Because of this, Microsoft is seeking to proactively work with partners and competitors alike to help increase customers' return on investment in their IT solutions while reducing the cost and risk associated with integrating diverse systems.

The goal of the new alliance is to foster interoperability across IT systems through communication and identification of opportunities for enhanced collaboration. More specifically, the alliance will focus on these goals:

  • Encourage vendor collaboration to foster interoperability
    The alliance provides a venue for members to socialize customer feedback with an eye toward increasing technical collaboration that targets common interoperability challenges. Vendors will have opportunities to share relevant technical information with other members to improve the interoperability of their products with Microsoft systems. Collaborative activities will also include technical meetings and the sharing of customer scenarios.
  • Enable scenario-based testing for interoperability
    The alliance members will have opportunities to work with customers to identify their top interoperability challenges. Microsoft expects these scenarios to include systems management, virtualization, identity management, data integration, storage management, portal integration and interoperability of developer tools. Microsoft plans to host testing sessions on a per-scenario basis to validate real-life conditions for customers.
  • Communicate vendor interoperability solutions to customers
    Alliance members will have the ability to post best-practice guides created as a result of scenario-based testing to an Alliance Web site. Vendors will also have opportunities to post descriptions, white papers and case studies about their solutions that provide interoperability with Microsoft on the Interop Vendor Alliance Web site.

Founding members of the alliance include Advanced Micro Devices Inc., (AMD), BEA Systems Inc., Business Objects, CA, The Carbon Project, Centeris Corp., Citrix Systems Inc., GXS Inc., IP Commerce Inc., JNBridge LLC, Kernel Networks, Levi, Ray and Shoup Inc., Microsoft, NEC Corp. of America, Network Appliance Inc., Novell Inc., Q4bis, Quest Software Inc., Siemens Enterprise Communications, SOFTWARE AG, SugarCRM Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Symphony Services Corp., Xcalia, and XenSource Inc.

Microsoft welcomes other organizations and vendors across the industry to explore membership in the alliance.

Interop Vendor Alliance web site: http://interopalliance.org/
Press release: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/nov06/11-14IVA07PR.mspx