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  • CEO, ACD Consulting Solutions

     Q: How long have you been involved with The Open Group?
    I became involved with The Open group in the mid-90s. 

    Q: Why did you become a member and what does your involvement look like?

    Until now (July 2011), I have represented the oil and gas industry standards organization POSC (now Energistics) to promote value between the open systems focus of The Open Group and the industry standards focus of my organization. I participated in the development of TOGAF from the early days of adapting US DOD’s TAFIM and participated in the customer member organization, where I served as Vice-Chair for many years. I was elected customer representative to The Open Group’s Governing Board in the late 90s, where I have served the interests of the customer members until now having just been re-elected for a 3-year term through mid-2014. I also served as the Chair of the Governing Board from 2003 to 2007. 


    Q: How has membership in The Open Group benefited you, your organization and the industry at large?

    The Open Group is a balanced customer-supplier industry group that is organized to be a positive agent for real change. The Open Group provides the context and inclusive, level playing field. The members provide the understanding of industry improvement opportunities and the resources to carry initiatives through to the delivery of value back to the member organizations. The Open Group often served as a model for our oil and gas industry standards group, each organization strengthening the other in the parallel pursuit of tangible and beneficial collaborative solutions.


    Q: What contributions to The Open Group are you most proud of?

    I am pleased to have had the opportunity to serve on the Governing Board during both periods when vision had to be tempered by a real need to focus on essential principles and activities as well as more recent periods when vision was met with real growth in global presence and the direct involvement of practitioners. The Open Group epitomizes the adage of continuous monitoring and improvement, which also underlies the work of the members in the various Forums and Working Groups. 


    I am pleased to have seen the Governing Board evolve to an increased level of awareness of and interaction with all Open Group activities, while maintaining an appropriate focus on overall organizational strategy, integrity, and performance. 


    Q: Why is it important for other organizations to join The Open Group?

    Organizations must cooperate with competitors, customers, and suppliers. This has become an essential ingredient for success. This is certainly true in the conception, development, supply, and use of computing, communications, and information solutions. The Open Group provides an effective hosting environment for such cooperation. 


    One measure of success is whether the collaborative activities produce purposeful and fit, openly available solutions. For this to happen, a relatively small fraction of the relevant industry players must be active participants. Many organizations find benefits from joining The Open Group for this reason, whether mainly to influence the outcome or mainly to benefit from early knowledge of the solution. Many more organizations, however, can also earn benefits from joining The Open Group if only to help ensure that the problems being addressed are the properly identified and accurately described and to develop an early and deep understanding of how to interpolate emerging collaborative solutions with the organizations own business strategies and practices. This alone can make a significant different that can overshadow the cost of membership and participation.


    Q: What are your hobbies?

    Travel. Music. Community service.


    Q: What book are you currently reading?

    Knowledge, Information and Data Management by my colleague H. J. A. Van Kuijk.


    Q: Any last thoughts?

    Membership in a consortium is often very narrowly focused and put in the hands of one or a small number of participants from the organization. Although this can be the case with new or even long-term Open Group member organizations, it is important for each member organization to ensure that consideration is given to broadening awareness and participation with The Open Group so that all potential benefits and all relevant contributions are being made. I recommend that every Open Group member organization conduct a routine effectiveness review of the level and nature of their participation on a regular basis with the objective of maximizing the value received both from active participation in Open Group activities and from active use of the direct and especially indirect products and services based on Open Group accomplishments.


    About Alan Doniger


    Alan Doniger established a consultancy in 2010 to assist customers with process and technology initiatives, particularly in the areas of upstream oil & gas and computer & information technology.

    Mr. Doniger previously worked for nineteen years with Energistics, previously called POSC, a not-for-profit, consortium for the development of industry standards for data exchange, reference data, knowledge-information-data taxonomies and catalogues, application interoperability, and data management in the Exploration and Production (E&P) sector of the Oil and Gas industry. Alan served as CTO and was involved in the planning and execution of standards development and support, special interest groups, marketing, and communications. He maintained liaison with industry collaborative and standards organizations, including ISO, MIMOSA, OMG, The Open Group, Open O&M, POSC Caesar, PIDX, and PPDM Association.

    Prior to the standards work, Mr. Doniger worked for Gulf Oil Corporation and Chevron for ten years. During his tenure, he was responsible for managing a software standards, methodology, and tools group. In addition, he was responsible for leading the development of a multi-disciplinary, integrated E&P data and functional model. This was preceded by consulting, management, and technical positions at Computer Sciences Corporation, involving the communications, insurance, banking, manufacturing, and oil industries. He specialized in data base systems and software development methodology.

    Mr. Doniger holds an MS degree in Computer Science and an AB degree in Mathematics from Cornell University. He is a member of the ACM, the IEEE Computer Society, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

    Mr. Doniger has served The Open Group's customer members since 1996, serving as an elected customer member representative on the Open Group Governing Board since 1998. He served as Chair of the Governing Board from 2004 to 2008.