Increased interest in supply chain systems interoperability has emerged during the recent years as a means to access complete and timely information, more automated and efficient interaction between shippers, logistics service providers and authorities and improved visibility and decision making. In contrast to system integration, which basically deals with formats, protocols and processes of information exchange, the objective of supply-chain level interoperability is to have seamless exchange of information between different participants processes, irrespectively of the underlying ICT systems used.
The SELIS Shared European Logistics Information Space would ultimately imply a “collaborative environment” for all EU logistics stakeholders, offering focused interoperability, addressing adoption barriers and contributing to EU policy for growth and sustainability. SELIS offers to different logistics stakeholder communities better ways to share and use information to manage their business in the most efficient, safe and green way whilst maintaining absolute control of their own data. For this it is necessary to a) develop a capability for understanding better the strategies and processes that are dependent on improved information sharing and develop accurate requirements; b) develop the IT solutions that fit the requirements and c) develop the business models that support the development and adoption of the IT solutions.
The Shared European Logistics Intelligent Information Space, SELIS, is a network of logistic communities’ specific shared intelligent information spaces termed SELIS Community Nodes (SCN). SCNs are constructed by individual logistics communities to facilitate the next generation of collaborative, responsive and agile green transportation chains. SCNs link with their participants’ existing systems through a secure infrastructure and provide shared information and tools for data acquisition and use, according to a 'cooperation agreement'. Connected nodes, provide a distributed common communication and navigation platform for Pan European logistics applications. SCNs are powered by Big Data Analytics, feeding green logistics Decision Support Applications.
A common secure unified communications infrastructure as a service provides integration of data (business, sensor, satellite, etc.) that is elastic, software defined, content based and follows the publish-subscribe decentralised approach. Each node participant decides what information wishes to publish and what information wants to subscribe to. A SELIS node is not a B2B aggregator platform in the traditional sense, but a focused supply chain community one. This way the obstacles of large scale data and system integration are avoided and a low cost entry to collaborative supply chain management for green logistics can be realised.
Conceptually, SELIS occupies a single data source on the cloud, which physically consists of distributed connected data sources, participant’s databases, public web sites etc. As more information (meta-data and data) is added, SELIS will resemble an associative network with access rights controlled by the data owners. However, SELIS is not a purely technical endeavour since it requires organisational willingness to provide information and collaborate and requires capacity development across the sector to accelerate wide adoption by all, particularly from SMEs. Project developments are driven from the Business Innovation Agenda.