ARC and the interoperability bandwagon

My biggest critique of ARC and the other TLA bandits (excuse me, I mean major knowledgebase consultants) has always been that they are very long on theory and very very short on implementation. Andy Chatha has apparently heard this from other people...you don't think he listens to me, do you?...like his manufacturing sector clients, because ARC has dived into helping to foster and facilitate IOp (that is the TLA for Interoperability...you didn't think they'd let the opportunity pass did you?)...working groups. Assisting in this drive to actually make stuff work is SAP, which has suddenly (with their acquisition of Lighthammer, yesterday) become a significant force in plant level MES integration. This is a welcome change from when SAP said that manufacturing was a black box, and all you needed to know to control your operation was the number of goesintas and the number of goesoutas. There is a convergence happening. Chatha said that there is a need for an oversight steering organization to make sure all plant interoperability standards really interoperate, and there needs to be an organization devoted to implementation standards and I couldn't agree more.