eBIZ-TCF Pilots summary

The 17 pilots of eBIZ-TCF project demonstrated the validity of the eBIZ Reference Architecture, the inter-operability of different systems and value of digital-data-exchange for companies.

The 17 eBIZ-TCF pilots run in two steps. 

First step (July - October 2008): 4 pilots run with real business to test the validity of a draft of the Reference Architecture, particularly with regard to interoperability between systems. The eBIZ-TCF project team learned a great deal on how to manage the technical cooperation in pilots, particularly with companies having low or no knowledge about e-Business (digital data exchange) 

    •    1 pilot in textile/clothing upstream (manufacturing of fabrics and garments)
    •    2 pilots in footwear upstream (manufacturing of footwear)  
    •   1 pilot in downstream (from manufact. to sales) cross border (Italy and UK) 

 Second step (February - September 2009): 13 pilots for a deeper integration between companies of step 1 and a much larger number of new companies. The new comers were selected after a public call for expression of interest which resulted in as many as 21 proposals for new piltos. This huge response proved high interest in the sector, however due to budget constrains only the best 13 pilots proposals were selected. Proposal ranking was made based on the compliance with the eBIZ-TCF objectives.

    •    6 pilots in textile/clothing upstream
    •    1 pilot in footwear upstream
    •    6 pilot in downstream

Overall 17 pilots with companies/ organisations from 20 countires (18 EU member states plus Serbia and Turkey) tested and demonstrated the validity of the Reference Architecture, particularly with regard to interoperability of systems. 


The pilots run successfuly involving more than 150 organisations in the role of:
    •    13 facilitators
    •    47 producers and suppliers of fashion goods
    •    82 retail companies (*)
    •    22 IT solution providers (6 of which also counted as facilitators)

(*) The retail companies (shops) formally involved in the pilots were 82, however the actual number of companies involved is higher (aproximatelly 180) because sometime only a subset of the participating retailers was formally included in the pilot.

All pilots demonstrated interoperability between the partners differetn software systems (e.g. the ERP). In the second step, real business documents were exchanged between two pilot networks, this demonstrated full business-proof interoperability.

Only minor deviations from the original pilots workplan occured, usually due to external factors. For example in a few pilots some companies dropped out either hit by the 2008 crisis or changed ownership. In almost all cases the companies withdrawing from the pilot were quickly replaced.

Quick replacement was another evidence of the high business interest in eBIZ.

No major problems were found in the Architecture technical specifications, some concerns in downstream pilots affected coding and numbering systems (e.g. product classification, product identification and location identification). As a result, much clearer guidelines were given in the final version of the Architecture.