Christian Breu, Norbert Meckl, Patricia Shiroma Brockmann,
For the development of the first manned mission to Mars, thousands of industrial contractors, universities, and research institutions will need to work closely together. Important project data, such as project progress, performance, deadlines, costs and cash flow, will need to be transferred between contractors and their subcontractors. The technical implementation of these interfaces will be quite challenging, because the project participants often use different project management software. This makes the automatic integration of data much more difficult. As a result, costly and time-consuming manual integration is usually necessary.
In order to alleviate this problem, the European Space Agency (ESA) requires all contractors to use the same software: ECOS (ESA Costing Software). With ECOS, the electronic calls for proposals can be distributed electronically by the contracting agencies. Subcontractors send their proposal data electronically to the next higher contractor, who can then integrate these data in their proposal bid automatically. Other software packages have extended this philosophy to include completion of all phases of the entire project. The disadvantage of this method is, that one particular contractor could be forced by each of his different customers to use a special software package for project management.
WB-B2B (Web-Based-Business-to-Business) is a software system, which solves the conflict between internal and external integration. This tool integrates all project data over the entire project life cycle across enterprise boundaries and over multiple hardware and software platforms by using the Internet. Both the call for proposals as well as the development of proposal bids on each contractual level can be conducted over a B2B platform. Furthermore, the e-procurement interface makes it possible to connect to already existing virtual B2B market places. In this paper, WB-B2B and its possible application in an international Mars mission will be presented in detail.