DISA releases new white paper that advocates vital role for e-business standards in utility deregulation

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 21, 2002 — For the energy utilities industries to recharge their deregulation drive and increase confidence in their electronic transactions, they will need a new strategy for using e-business standards, according to a new white paper.

The white paper, “Utility Deregulation Requires Effective E-Business Standards,” was released Thursday by Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA).

The paper shows how the deregulated electricity and gas industries have created new business processes, new kinds of trading partners, and new opportunities for their customers to achieve greater economies from unbundled energy services.

But these changes mean exchanging more data between companies in new and different ways in order to provide the continued reliability of service, stability in prices, and security of these vital services that the public expects.

The document, authored by Alan Kotok, editor of DISA’s E-Business Standards Recently publications series, proposes a strategy for e-business standards, recommending the definition of industry-wide business processes independent of technology, and offering suggestions for the combined use of electronic data interchange (EDI) messages and eXtensible Markup Language (XML) vocabularies.

The paper also analyzes the ways that the industries now use standards successfully in many of their vital business operations, and how more effective e-business standards can contribute to greater transparency and audibility of transactions, issues of concern to consumers and investors alike.

“The efforts of DISA are the foundation that each standards setting body uses,” said J. Cade Burks, President of EC Power and Board Member of the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB). “NAESB, PIDX (Petroleum Industry Data Exchange), UIG (Utility Industry Group), and every State PUC (Public Utility Commission) has utilized the X12 EDI data foundations, supported by DISA, to establish their utility deregulation data format standards.”

“Because many companies in the utilities industry now use EDI effectively, they are in a strong position to use that experience to design an overall strategy for e-business,” said DISA President Jerry Connors. “This white paper outlines such a strategy and suggests how the utilities industry can benefit from it.”

The DISA white paper available for downloading on its Web site at http://www.disa.org/whitepaper.cfm. This document is the third in the DISA white paper series, including discussions of extending the scope of e-business standards, and a standards-based methodology for current U.S. e-government initiatives.

About DISA

The Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA) is home for the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 and industry groups developing e-business standards that provide the foundation enabling individuals and organizations to participate in global e-business.

To learn more about DISA, visit http://www.disa.org.

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