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INCITS Enters 2003 as New Organization

Contact: Maryann Karinch
Karinch Communications

INCITS Enters 2003 as New Organization
Slate of International Work Restructures Relationship among Key IT Standards Development Organizations;
Industry Leaders Cite ROI Implications

Washington, D.C. February 10, 2003 - Following nine major announcements on new standards and projects, the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) stated today that it has substantively become a new organization. The fundamental change is that INCITS, which boasts members from industry-leading technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Network Appliance and Oracle, now has a strengthened link to the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC). The new standards body supplants both 41-Year-Old INCITS (formerly ANSI-accredited X3) and Joint Technical Committee 1 Technical Advisory Group (JTC 1 TAG). The latter had carried the US position on many IT standards to ISO/IEC-a function that will now be performed by INCITS.

Other ANSI-accredited standards organization integral to the announcement are the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA)/Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and the Uniform Code Council (UCC). Together, their standards programs combined with that of the "original" INCITS have accounted for nearly all of the formal IT standardization work in the world, and all had used JTC 1 TAG to send new projects and US positions to ISO/IEC.

"The new organization sets a precedent in that it is a forum for all these ANSI-accredited groups to formulate standards policy together," said Kate McMillan, Executive Director for Standards at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), which hosts the INCITS secretariat.

"Three main features further distinguish the new INCITS," McMillan continued. "First, it directly carries new work items as well as the US position on our industry standards to ISO/IEC. Second, the market value and global relevance of projects in the 52 technical committees make INCITS a central player in systems integration and end-to-end solutions. Third, consortia are coming to INCITS to validate their specifications and fast-track them to the international standards bodies. The consortia maintain the flavor and focus of their output, and use our fast-track process to seek international approval."

Value to Industry
Dr. Donald Deutsch, Vice President of Standards Strategy and Architecture, Oracle Corporation, stated: "With this re-focus in 2003, INCITS will now fulfill two serious needs of the IT industry and our customers: It streamlines the process of submitting US standards to the key international bodies and eliminates redundancy in standards development that can sap resources and cause confusion in the marketplace." Deutsch, who also chairs the INCITS H2 Technical Committee on Database, continued: "By providing a single focus for developing IT industry standards recognized both within the US and throughout the world, the new INCITS provides a forum where we can better represent our customers' interests in defining world-wide SQL language and other standards."

"HP is pleased that the formal standards process for the creation of information technology standards in INCITS continues to evolve to meet industry and customer needs. We are hopeful that the new INCITS organization means greater cooperation between standard setting bodies resulting in low cost, high quality technical specifications that are both strategic and timely, " stated Ed Yang, Chief Technology Officer, Personal Systems Group and Vice President of Strategic Architectures.

Judith Gorman, Managing Director of the IEEE Standards Association, said: "The IEEE looks to its engagement in the work of this new organization as an opportunity for the key standards developers in information technology to offer industry the most cohesive, innovative, and business-smart model for a voluntary standards system."

"Information Technology is a global language, requiring a unified voice to address critical standards issues that impact the international economy, said Bob Davis, Technical Director of Network Appliance. "As a principal data storage supplier to a worldwide customer base, Network Appliance understands first hand the need to eliminate marketplace confusion and shorten the timeline between company innovation and customer implementation."

"The new INCITS organizational structure offers a view of the future," said Fran Schrotter, senior vice president of the American National Standards Institute. "This model, which stresses positive, cooperative relationships and coordination for the benefit of industry and users alike, serves as a hallmark for the information technology sector and for the entire voluntary standardization community. ANSI congratulates everyone involved in the transition effort."

INCITS Technical Work Program
In the recent past, INCITS has made nine major announcements related to new IT standards and projects in security, emergency response, storage, XML, and education, as follows:

  • Two on biometrics that relate to data formats that will enable device manufacturers to exchange fingerprint and iris data
  • One on cryptographic modules
  • One on geographic information systems, specifically, open GIS framework data content
  • Two on Serial Attached SCSI
  • One on BIOS Interface
  • One builds on the SQL work that INCITS is known for-it's a new project on representing SQL data in XML format
  • One is the announcement of a new committee in IT for Learning, Education and Training

INCITS is known for its consistent contributions in a number of key areas, including:

  • Multimedia (MPEG/JPEG),
  • Intercommunication among computing devices and information systems (including the Information Infrastructure, SCSI interfaces, Geographic Information Systems),
  • Storage media (hard drives, removable cartridges),
  • Database (including SQL3),
  • Security,
  • Accessibility, and
  • Programming languages (such as C++).

INCITS is the primary U.S. focus of standardization in the field of Information Technology (IT) encompassing storage, processing, transfer, display, management, organization, and retrieval of information. As such, INCITS also serves as ANSI's Technical Advisory Group for ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1. JTC 1 is responsible for International standardization in the field of Information Technology. Contact: INCITS Secretariat, Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC), 1250 Eye St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005 (

INCITS Executive Board of supplier and customer members includes Apple Computer, Center for Global Standards Analysis, CRC Enterprises, Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA), DCTA Inc., DDC-I, EIA/TIA, Farance Inc., Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Hewlett-Packard, IBM, ICCP, IEEE, Intel, Microsoft, Network Appliance, NIST, Open Strategies, Oracle, Panasonic, Purdue University, Sony Electronics, Sun Microsystems, the Uniform Code Council, Unisys, US DOD/DISA and Xerox.