The Enterprise Ontology Reference Framework
The Global University Alliance (GUA) is an open group of academics with the ambition to provide both business and academia with state-of-the-art insights. Through its ties with the LEADing practice community, which includes large firms and governments, the GUA is able to evaluate and valorize its scientific output. Since 2004, the members of the GUA strive for a continuous improvement of their expertise through the research, comparison, analysis and development of Best and LEADing Practices in Business. Throughout this process, the GUA built its own implicit ontology that revolves around its expertise of Best and LEADing practices.
As ontology formally represents knowledge as a set of concepts within a domain, and the relationships between those concepts, it can be used to model a domain and support reasoning about concepts. The Global University Alliance has used the concept of ontology as both a shared vocabulary and the very definition of its objects and concepts. In order to go the next steps and fully use the potential of its ontology.
The Enterprise Ontology Reference Framework, in which the GUA’s implicit ontology has been embedded, includes the specific objects and/or concepts that exist, and their properties and relations in the following domains of business (that might be covered by the following ontologies):
- Business Model Design (Business Model Ontology, e3value, LEAD Business Model Ontology)
- Strategy and Goal (i*, LEAD Strategy Ontology)
- Scorecards and Decision Making (i*, Balance Scorecard, LEAD Value Ontology)
- Value Management (e3value, LEAD- Value Ontology)
- Information Management (DEMO, REA, LEAD Information Ontology)
- Data Modelling (UFO, LEAD Data Ontology)
- Enterprise Engineering (DEMO)
- Process Modelling (X-BPMN, DEMO, LEAD Process Ontology)
- Performance Management (Balanced Scorecard, LEAD Performance Ontology)
- Service Modelling (SOA, SOC, X-SON, LEAD Service Ontology)
- Measurements & Reporting (LEAD Value & Performance Ontology)
- Governance (COBIT, LEAD Governance Ontology)
- Enterprise Modelling (Organization Ontology for Enterprise Modelling)
- Enterprise Architecture (Zachman, IEEE, ISO)
The first GUA Enterprise Ontology research was published within the LEADing Practice concepts in December 2009 and today resulted in the Enterprise Ontology Framework. The Initial Enterprise Ontology modelling and architecture principles yielded the attention of mayor software vendors like SAP AG, IBM, Software AG (IDS Scheer and ARIS). Some of these vendors used our entire conceptualization, while others adapted the Enterprise Ontology meta-model or specific concepts e.g. eXtended BPMN concepts. IGrafx, which is a new player in the Decision Support Systems field, currently incorporates our modelling aspects into their methods and or meta-models. Below is a short overview of the fast adoption of GUA-concepts by industry:
- 2009 our information ontology modelling and architecture concept was presented at SAPphire 2009 (SAP biggest customer event)
- 2010, our process and measurement ontology principles where presented at the IDS Scheer, ARIS Process World
- 2010, the Official SAP book was published, using our Enterprise Ontology principles: Taylor, J, von Rosing, M., von Scheel, H., Rosenberg, A., Applying Real-World BPM in an SAP Environment, Issue Date: 2011-01, Published by: SAP Press, ISBN: 978-1-59229-343-8, Page(s): 694,
- 2011, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers publishes a paper based on the research and findings around combining our Enterprise Ontology process and architecture principles: Presten, T., Hove, M., von Rosing, M., Academic paper on Combining BPM and EA in Complex IT Projects, Published by: IEEE Commerce and Enterprise Computing Page(s): 271 – 278, Issue Date: 2011-05
- 2010-2012, the Global University Alliance collaborated with TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework) to develop the profession of a Business Architect, this included the business and process ontology modelling as well as architecture principles.
- 2010-2011, SAP adapted the process, value, measurement ontology modelling principles into their SAP ASAP Method, thereby the SAP customers apply the process, value, measurement ontology modelling principles within their blueprint, implementation, maintenance and upgrade methods and approaches.
- 2011-2012: Software AG-IDS Scheer enhace their ARIS process modelling meta model, based on the LEADing Practice ontology concepts
- 2012, the Government of Canada, uses the LEADing Practice Enterprise Ontology modelling and architecture concepts to transform their organization as well as blueprint/implement SAP and Oracle ERP systems.
- 2012-2013: IBM builds the LEADing Practice Enterprise Ontology modelling and architecture concepts into the rational suite software,enabling advanced System Architecture modelling.
- 2012-2013: IGrafx, builds the entire LEADing Practice Enterprise Ontology modelling and architecture concepts into their process flow, process modeller, performance reporting and enterprise modeler software.
- 2013, LEGO Group wins the Gartner Group‘s BPM award: Best BPM Transformation by leveraging the LEADing Practice Enterprise Ontology principles.
- Sept 2013 LEAD 3.0 is published having the full Enterprise Ontology concepts within them and has a community of over 2500 certified practitioneers.
The recent Enterprise Ontology workgroup within the Global University Alliance, has adopted the concept of holistic Enterprise Ontology Frameworks, as it identified the necessity of introducing such a framework into today’s enterprises through the LEADing practice community. In order to develop this Enterprise Ontology Framework, the GUA recently started looking for more mature business and enterprise ontologies that could provide them with state of the art semantics they could found their practices on. These practices should promote new ways of thinking, working and modelling about value identification, creation, and realization through the use of Enterprise Ontology. The Enterprise Ontology concepts in the framework should provide sound semantic foundations for best and LEADing practices in different domains (e.g. process, service, value, information). The concepts and practices will be shared and published as an open standard in the LEADing Practice community. Thereby enabling all academics and practitioners in the community to build on common leading principles to identify, create and realize value, competitive advantage and agility to deal with future challenges.
To realize this vision, the GUA alliance reaches out to all business and enterprise ontology researchers to contribute to the consolidation of academic findings in a research-based Enterprise Ontology Framework that can be used by industries and universities alike. As the GUA considers dissemination and valorization of research as its core tasks, the Enterprise Ontology Framework should provide the foundations for an Enterprise Ontology university curriculum at both Bachelor and Master level, in which the core concepts of Ontology design and all relevant Enterprise and Business Ontologies are incorporated. If you are interested in or would like to contribute to the Enterprise Ontology Framework, do not hesitate to contact the coordinator.
Professor Wim Laurier
Saint-Louis University Brussels & Ghent University, Belgium
Global University Alliance Coordinator:
Professor Mark von Rosing
Head of Global University Alliance, Denmark
Henrik von Scheel
LEADing Practice, CEO
The members involved in this work have been a team that includes academics, researchers and analysts:
- Business Ontology, Wim Laurier
- Enterprise Semantics, Simon Polovina
- Business Model, Mark von Rosing
- Business Process Management, Marlon Dumas
- Information Management, Hans Scheruhn
- Value & Performance Management, Maria Hove
- Enterprise Sustainability, David Coloma
- ERP, Karin Gräslund
- Enterprise Engineering, Maxim Arzumanyan
- Enterprise Modelling, Henrik von Scheel
- Measurement & Reporting, Ulrik Foldager