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UK/US University Launches $40m Dollar Ecommerce Management Centre

Originally published - 26 Nov 1999

The Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick and Carnegie-Mellon University of Pittsburgh launched a new formal partnership on Monday 22nd November to create a new, $40 million, e2Business Management Centre. Professor Kumar Bhattacharyya, Director of The Warwick Manufacturing Group, launched the centre as part of a speech to an Internet Strategies for Manufacturing in London that morning.

The e2Centre has a consortium of private sector sponsors including the Parametric Technology Corporation and Sun Microsystems. The new Centre will aim to train 7,000 people a year by 2001, with an annual budget of £100m. Many of those receiving training will be middle managers in industry with half of them based in the UK and half of them from overseas. A summary of the speech in which Professor Kumar Bhattacharryya, Director Warwick Manufacturing Group, will spelt out how WMG is rising to the Internet challenge a summary of that speech now follows:

Speech by Professor Bhattacharyya

"The information revolution has spawned a large number of visionaries who have latched on to the possibilities of living in a frictionless economy where we all live on thin air. Before we get carried away by these ideas it is worth pausing a moment to look back at the impact of the first industrial revolution. The first thing that happened is that the new process, like the division of labour, and the new materials, in particular steel, created a productivity revolution in agriculture. Without this huge explosion in productivity the Cities of Manchester and Birmingham would have been unable to feed themselves and the industrial revolution would have been stopped in its tracks.
The fact is we do not know what the information revolution will bring us in the future. What we do know however is that the information revolution has the potential to produce a massive productivity hike in traditional industries. The kind of integration that was mere rhetoric in the past is now a real possibility. Internet technology enables systems to interrogate one another meaning that legacy systems can be retained. In the past we shrank the business to make productivity gains in the future we will be able to use technology as a growth driver. The new generation of computer aided design software tools are now available to support the complex, diverse, and changing business needs of leading edge manufacturers. Things that many in the IT industry had promised sometime ago are now genuinely possible. They enable all phases of a product's lifecycle to be designed and planned - from concept and definition to production, service, maintenance, and retirement - this is only feasible as an approach to product and process lifecycle management by using an internet based techniques.This process, known by advanced manufacturers as "collaborative product commerce", tightly integrates suppliers and customers into the development process, enabling collaboration between enterprises, and reducing time to market for more innovative, customer-driven products.
e-commerce then has delivered much of the promise of earlier information technology systems. It has transformed the way a company can manage the interfaces and relationships between itself and its customers, suppliers, and partners. To exploit the potential of this new technology the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick and Carnegie-Mellon University of Pittsburgh has formed a knowledge partnership. This brings together Warwick's undoubted expertise in manufacturing and Carnegie's world leadership in e-commerce. Warwick Manufacturing will create at the University of Warwick a new, $40 million, e2Business Management Centre.World-renowned Internet based design/manufacturing companies are directly participating in setting up the international e2Centre. The e2Centre has a consortium of private sector sponsors including the Parametric Technology Corporation and Sun Microsystems. The new Centre will aim to train 7,000 people a year by 2001, with an annual budget of £100m. Many of those receiving training will be middle managers in industry with half of them based in the UK and half of them from overseas
Britain has the chance to be in the forefront of the new industrial revolution if we harness the power of the Internet to our existing industrial processes. This will require e-literate managers to drive this agenda and to reap the rewards of the power this technology will give them.
An enterprise's processes are in fact their real competitive advantage. The problem facing all enterprises is the design and implementation of processes, which require the synchronisation of Telecommunication technology, with computer networking technology, utilising operating systems and web based software applications. All this in conjunction with the knowledge and manufacturing facilities required to actually realise products.
The exciting feature of the e2Centre is that it will provide a collaborative environment where enterprises, that have innovative Process Solutions, can interact with enterprises that have Process challenges."

For further information please contact: Nick Matthews, Tel: 0777 5534352

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