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Workshop Approach Information technology is critical to all aspects of business and govern- ment. Standardization has different effects on the business of the various groups involved with information technology. Those who develop and sell equipment, both hardware and software, have one set of vested interests in standards. Those who are strictly service providers, including exchange carriers, interexchange carriers, public value-added network suppliers, en- hanced service providers, and information processing service bureaus, have a somewhat different set of interests. The users have a still different view of standards. Finally, there are the system integrators, who often work between the users and the other groups. In order to bring a balance of views on standards forward, the workshop was formulated to bring the three groups, and many of their subgroups, together. Invitations were extended to 100 executives representing a cross section of the three groups. Each invitee was asked to respond in writing to a set of questions before the workshop. The questions and summaries of the responses are given in Chapter 5. Sixty executives accepted the invitation and attended the workshop. All three segments equipment developers, service providers and users, including government agency representatives as users were represented. Also in attendance were several academics who are involved in research in the applications of information technology in the economy. At the workshop, keynote presentations were made by senior managers, one from a communication carrier organization, one from a hardware 7
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8 and software developer, and one from a large user. There were also presentations on the standards situation in Europe and in Japan. Into sessions were held in which the participants were separated into small groups for the discussion of the issues. During each of these sessions, five groups of participants interacted.