3.00 FYI France: Enewsletter and archive

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Oct 15, 1993 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on October 15, 1993. This particular issue originally was distributed in two parts, as indicated below.
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From: Jack Kessler 
Subject: Network Ideas from Europe -- Italy (pt.1/3) (15 Oct 93)



October 15, 1993


	FYI France: Network Ideas from Europe -- Italy (pt.1/3)

edited by:	Jack Kessler
		kessler@well.sf.ca.us


The Italian networking scene is as different from the European
Communities' approach, outlined by Alan Reekie last month, as Brussels
is from Naples. Yet they both are aimed in the same European direction,
which makes the differences fascinating to a non-European observer. The
one begins everything with unifying standards, the other may be one of
the strongest forces for unifying standards in a country which recently
has had troubles finding unity. 

Ettore Paolillo and Pieraugusto Pozzi present here a good overview of
networking, and in following installments they list and describe a few
of the larger recent Italian efforts. Those interested might also look
at the gopher at the University of Turin -- itocsvm.csi.it -- and at
the many other gophers popping up regularly now in Italy.


Jack Kessler

kessler@well.sf.ca.us

***

	NETWORKED INFORMATION IN EUROPE: The Italian Scenario

by:
Ettore Paolillo, COSI s.r.l. - Tecnologie per l'OSI ed i Sistemi Aperti	
Pieraugusto Pozzi, FTI - Forum Telematico Italiano

1 .  Background

No meaningful assessment of the Italian scenario with regard to the
availability of advanced information services could be done without
considering the following trends:

a)      The strategic role of information.
Today business, and economy in general, is increasingly dominated by
the need for information: its availability in the right form, at the
right time, at the right place can provide economic operators with
important competitive advantages in nearly every sector and,
frequently, can even influence their capacity to survive.  Since almost
no economic enterprise has within itself all information needed to
perform and expand its business or to undertake new ones, access to
several external information sources is vital and has to be provided in
the most effective way.  An "information network" has to be built and
maintained with a variety of suppliers and, most importantly, suitable
means have to be provided to access information only according to
pre-determined user requirements (profiles) in order to avoid
"information overloads".

b)      The internationalisation of the information market.
Following the same pattern of globalisation of economy in almost all
sectors, the information market is more and more becoming a "global
information village". The information industry is rapidly evolving
towards an information offer which exceeds national limits.

c)      The role played by Information Technology and
Telecommunications (IT&T) in the transition from paper-based
information flows to electronic information dissemination.
The evolution from a centralized to a distributed approach in the
information market made possible by Information Technology and
Telecommunications (IT&T) has been particularly evident in the area of
the distribution of information.  With on-line Database access, in
fact, the traditional pattern of the information offer to end-users is
reverted. Users no longer need to move to the information source
directly but can, on the contrary, have information delivered directly
at their premises (both domestic and business).  However, the
distributed approach is gaining momentum as well in the area of the
build-up and maintenance of the information sources. Also databases, in
fact, no longer need to be physically resident in one place only.
On-line access and the provision of suitable "directory services" allow
for database creation and maintenance wherever it is more appropriate
and convenient in terms of the information content.

Notably, the last two considerations are of importance in assessing,
respectively, what is available today to a network user in Italy and
what kind of evolution can be expected in the medium/long term with
regard to the networked information market.  Generally speaking,
however, the existence of a networked information market implies that
whatever is available to a network user on a public network in any
country of Europe (the world) should, in principle, be as well
available to any user in any other country. This general statement is
supported by the ever increasing and almost complete coverage of Europe
by Public Switched Data Networks (PSDN) based on X.25.  In this report
the major emphasis will of course be put on the on-line databases
information market.


2 .  On-LINE DATABASE information TAXONOMY

Generally speaking, the information contained in the databases can be
classified into two different categories:

a)      "Primary" Information that are full text documents,
statistical, scientific or technical figures, formulas, reference data,
economic indicators, marketing information about products, etc.;

b)      "Secondary" Information that are abstracts or pointers to
primary information such as bibliographic information.

Databases can accordingly be categorized as primary, secondary or mixed
depending on the information content in them. In the following the
above taxonomy will be used.


3 .  The actors

Five categories of actors have to be considered in describing the
Italian networked information market:

y       End-users. These, of course, represent the final destination of
the information but, frequently, are also the active subjects
addressing different information sources and guiding the search either
directly or indirectly.

y       Network Operators represent public or private organizations
providing basic regulated communication services used to convey
information to end- users.

y       Service Providers (also called Value Added Services or VAS
Providers) are private or public organizations providing additional,
non regulated, communication services which are frequently built upon
basic telecom services provided by the public network operator.
Services provided usually include electronic messaging facilities.

y       Information Providers are the owners of somehow structured
information. These can either be commercial or non-commercial
organizations which create and maintain periodically an information
repository which is then made available to third parties under a user
agreement.

y       Information Brokers. This category of actors represent
companies which usually operate as a trait d'union between end-users
and information providers. Their offer usually consists in the
possibility for an end-user to access a vast number of information
sources of a different nature and from different providers with a
one-stop-shopping approach also from a contractual point of view.
Information brokers can also coincide with Service Providers.

According to the above categorisation, the present Italian market of
networked information will be considered in some detail in the
following chapters.

3.1 .  End-Users

Present users of networked information services are of a very different
nature:

y       Researchers/scientists in public or private organizations
accessing bibliographic information sources of a specialized nature.
y       Professionals looking for up-to-date information in different
sectors such as: economy, law, health, medicine, pharmacology etc.
y       Journalists/economic operators accessing specialized news
information services (REUTERS, ANSA, RADIOCOR, etc.)
y       Companies or public administration officers monitoring
real-time economic indicators, prices of raw materials (oil, steel,
gold, etc.), currency exchange rates, stock exchange rates,
y       Users of E-mail/messaging services
y       Registered users (both domestic and business) of electronic
bulletin- board/conferencing systems on specific issues.
y       Domestic users of general-purpose information services accessed
through low-cost network facilities such as TELETEXT provided by the TV
broadcasters and VIDEOTEXT and AUDIOTEXT services (whose commercial
names in the offer by the Italian public network operator SIP are,
respectively, VIDEOTEL and AUDIOTEL).

3.2 .  Public Network Operators

Year 1992 has marked the beginning of an impressive evolution of the
public telecommunications sector in Italy. A new law re-organizing the
whole sector was emanated in January 1992 bringing to an end a very
long period during which no clear-cut separation had existed between
operational, regulatory and control functions. This new law, beside its
additional intents of rationalisation, intended to amend this anomaly
and align the Italian situation to the views of the CEC for a complete
separation between the regulatory responsibilities of the national TLC
Administrations and the operational functions. (1) Only regulatory and
control functions are now delegated to the Italian Ministry of Post and
Telecommunications. Operational responsibilities formerly pertaining to
its two directly controlled agencies, namely A.S.S.T. and
Amministrazione P.T., have been transferred, effective 1st of January
1993, to IRITEL, a newly formed company of the state participated
I.R.I. group. On the same date A.S.S.T. ceased to exist.

With only minor exceptions (2), I.R.I. - STET now holds responsibility
for the operations of the whole public telecommunications sector
through its concessionaire companies: SIP (basic telephony and data
transmission services), ITALCABLE (international and sub-marine cable
telephony), TELESPAZIO (satellite communications) and, of course,
IRITEL.  This scenario is still far too complex, however, and I.R.I. -
STET is in turn expected to provide a complete re-structuring of the
organization of the concessionary companies. Very likely, this will
turn out in a greatly decreased number of concessionaires if not in the
unification into a single concessionaire. At the time of this writing
(March 1993), however, the re- organization is in process and few clues
can be anticipated as to the who, how and when.

It is worth noting that, today, exclusive concessions to the above
companies have been granted only for the provision of "basic" TLC
services and for equipment in the public network. In fact, as a
consequence of an on-going deregulation process, provision of all
additional services and all kind of equipment at the customer premises
is now liberalized and open to competition by companies in the private
sector.  For the time being, the only condition for the commercial
offer of value-added communication services is that the public network
infrastructure is used for the transport of information.

It has already been said that basic telecommunications services are
still operated under a monopoly condition by the public network
operator (or its concessionary companies). Interestingly enough,
however, recent years have seen a steady increase in the establishment
of Italian subsidiaries of foreign network operators (e.g. British
Telecom, France Telecom, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, TRANSPAC, etc.). Could
this be considered as an expectation that soon, following the example
of other European countries (i.e. UK), liberalisation could be extended
to basic TLC services?

(Next: some Italian network service providers.)

ISSN 1071-5916

***

FYI France: Network Ideas from Europe -- Italy (pt.2/3)

In Part 1, Ettore Paolillo and Pieraugusto Pozzi presented their
thoughts -- an Italian viewpoint -- on the general structure of the
nets, with an overview of the latest arrangements for public network
operators in Italy. Here they list leading Italian service and
information providers (the book industry, the Supreme Court, others).


Jack Kessler

kessler@well.sf.ca.us

***

(continued)

3.3 .  Service Providers

The offer of so called value-added services by both private and public
operators is presently rather large and varied. It relates to the
provision of e- mail services, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
services and products, on-line database access and additional
interactive value-added services.  After a period of relative
turbulence, which has seen the disappearance of some VAN service
providers and the merging of others, the following companies are
presently active in the Italian market of value-added network
services:

y	AMMINISTRAZIONE P.T.	
Presently, the offer is limited to the provision of a public X.400
Message Handling Service, called PT POSTEL, which in addition to
electronic messaging capabilities includes the provision of Physical
Delivery services through Physical Access Units. At the time of this
writing (March 1993) the service relies on an X.400 1984
implementation. Plans are to migrate to X.400 1988 version during 1994.
The offer will likely be complemented with a public mailbox service
based on the implementation of the X.400 (88) Message Store.

y	EDITER
The company is owned by the Italian Confederation of Commerce and
Retail companies (CONFCOMMERCIO). Its business objective is to develop
and provide value added network services and applications for operators
in the distribution and retail areas. The main services provided are
EDI, messaging services, and on-line access to databases and
bulletin-boards.

y	GE Information Services	
GE Information Services s.p.a. was established in 1969 as the Italian
affiliate of GE Information Services Company, based in Washington D.C.
(USA), a company within the General Electric conglomerate. GEIS mission
is to supply Value Added Services on the GE international telematic
network.  The company manages a private network of 10 nodes in the main
Italian cities and the interconnection with the Italian X.25 PDN
ITAPAC. Main services provided are E-Mail, EDI and managed network
services to more than 2000 major Italian companies.  Sales structures
are focussed on vertical markets such as banking, electronics,
pharmaceuticals, oil and transportation.

y	INTESA	
The company is a joint venture between FIAT and IBM. Its main offer
regards the provision of network and EDI services to support
information exchange in the automotive industry and its related sectors
and for financial services between companies and banks.

y	PITAGORA	
The company is directly controlled by Istituto Bancario S. Paolo di
Torino.  Their main offer is the provision of access services to
on-line databases for finance and economics and specialized financial
services. In this last regard PITAGORA, together with GEIS and INTESA,
provides to end-users multi-bank cash management services.

y	SARITEL s.p.a.	
SARITEL S.p.A., belonging to the Public Telecommunications Group IRI -
STET, operates in the fields of telematic services and systems of the
following types:
-       Communication services (Voice Mail, Electronic Mail, Electronic
	Data Interchange, File Transfer, Order Entry)
-	Information services (Data Base Access, Audiotex)
-	Engineering services and systems (Dta Systems, Voice Systems)
-       EC Projects (taking part in: ESPRIT, RACE, EUREKA, ENS, IMPACT)
Particularly, within the on-line services, SARITEL offers finance,
trade, tourism, tenders and client-assurance information.

y	SEVA s.p.a.	
Jointly owned by SIP, Olivetti, ENI, and minor other shareholders, SEVA
s.p.a.  has its main business in the areas of Electronic Fund Transfer
management, Electronic Mail Systems, Telesoftware, Remote Learning
Systems and Remote Banking.  The provision of value added services also
includes activities such as:
-       EDP Facility Management, with a specific focus back-up
	facilities for network-intensive data processing systems;
-       marketing consultancy in new sales services
	(telecom-integrated sale services);
-	technological audit services in the telecommunication area;
-	integrated services (network, database, processing).

Even now, however, it is a general opinion that too many are contending
in a market which, although promising, is still too small and has
difficulties in providing all with acceptable levels of revenues. From
a recent survey performed by SMAU, the overall value of the VAS market
in 1991 was 421 billions of Italian Lira. This figure represents a
growth of roughly 10% over the previous year.

On the other hand, the introduction of innovative services such as
Electronic Data Interchange, which could potentially trigger a steep
growth in the demand for network services (including value-added ones),
is still hindered by a number of inhibiting factors. One of the most
serious is that no real interoperability of VAN services by different
operators is still offered to potential customers thereby frustrating
their demand for the provision of networking and value-added services
on a One-Stop-Shopping (OSS), One-Stop- Billing basis. (3) As of today,
the value of EDI related services in 1991 has been estimated in 64
billions of Italian Lira (+ 26% with respect to 1990).

3.4 .  Information Providers

As already stated, information providers are the actors owning,
maintaining and selling the information which is contained in the
on-line databases. A recent study, performed by the Istituto di Studi
sulla Ricerca e Documentazione Scientifica - ISRDS of C.N.R. (Italian
National Research Council) reports that, in 1992, the number of Italian
on-line databases amounted to 177. The following table describes the
rising trend of this figure in past years:

Year			1985		1987		1988		1992	
No. of databases	 120		 132		 147		 177	

With reference to the category of information offered, databases can be
classified as "primary", "secondary" or "mixed". Presently, out of a
total of 177 Italian on-line databases, the 78 secondary databases
offered regard 48 databases containing bibliographic information, 26
with reference data and 4 containing both bibliographic information and
reference data. As for the 79 primary databases, 40 are full-text, 21
are exclusively numeric, and 18 are both textual and numeric. Mixed
(both primary and secondary) databases are presently 19 and only 1
database contains images.

These figures should be compared with the distribution of on-line
databases world-wide (source: Cuadra Online Databases Directory):

y	Primary DBs		2258
y	Secondary DBs	1613
y	Mixed DBs		 461

In the following figure the sharing by type of information of the
Italian on-line databases is shown.

Research in Progress		-->
Scholarships			-->
Telecommunications		-->
Conferences, meetings		-->
Marketing				-->
Building				-->
Demography				--->
Informatic				--->
Bibliography			--->
Photography				--->
Tourism				--->
Biomedicine, pharmacology	---->
Geology				----->
Agriculture, nutrition		----->
Press, news				------>
Politics				------->
Energy, environment		------------>
Human sciences			-------------------------------->
Law					--------------------------------------------->
Economy, finance, commerce	--------------------------------------------->
						10		20		30

A complete enumeration of the Italian information providers operating
in the Italian market could be out of scope in this context. A list of
the major ones is however reported in the following together with a
short indication of the main information sectors dealt with and the
network access:

y	A.C. NIELSEN ITALIA 	
Sector:	impacts on consumers from marketing and goods distribution.
Access:	ITAPAC, own network

y	ANSA	
Sector:	economic, financial, daily press, press agencies news;
Access:	via Saritel

y	BIBLIOTECA DI DOCUMENTAZIONE PEDAGOGICA
Sector:	pedagogic sciences and education at all levels of schooling.
Access:	ITAPAC, PSTN

y       Camera dei Deputati, Servizio Documentazione Automatica (House
of Representatives, Automated Archiving Service)
Sector: Reference data on Representatives, Poll results for the House
of Representatives, Progression of laws in the two branches of the
Parliament, Regional and State Laws, present status of Law Proposals).
Access:	leased lines

y	CERVED
Sector: CERVED is the service company of the Italian Chambers of
Commerce. The on-line databases provide support information for Italian
companies operating nationally and abroad, market studies, surveys of
commercial opportunities, official budgets of all limited and
joint-stock Italian companies, registration data for all companies
registered to any Chamber of Commerce, archive of all protests noticed
to individuals or companies.
Access:	ITAPAC, PSTN, leased lines

y	CINECA
Sector: CINECA - Centro Interuniversitario Nord Est per il Calcolo
Automatico (inter-University Centre for Automatic Processing), in
addition to its institutional activities, offers access to databases
of, scientific and reference data for food and drugs.
Access:	ITAPAC, own network

y	CONFINDUSTRIA - Sistema Informativo GIANO
Sector: Confindustria is the Confederation of .... The information
which is made available to the associated companies regards reference
data of companies, labour market data and indexes, statistic data on
industrial production, wages and salaries, labour contracts for all
industrial categories.
Access: ITAPAC, Tymnet, Telenet, proprietary network

y	CORTE SUPREMA DI CASSAZIONE - CED (Supreme Court of Cassation)
Sector: The CED (Data Processing Centre) offer access to a large number
of databases regarding jurisprudence in several categories of courts
and councils, from civil and penal courts to administrative regional
courts, the CEC Court of Justice and the European Court of Men's
Rights.
Access:	ITAPAC, PSTN, leased lines

y	EDITRICE BIBLIOGRAFICA
Sector: Book industry and distribution; references are provided for all
books and magazines published in Italy and for all publishers and
distributors.
Access:	via CILEA (ITAPAC, PSTN, leased lines)

(Next: more Italian sources, brokers, networks, and the Internet.)

***

	FYI France: Network Ideas from Europe -- Italy (pt.3/3)

Ettore Paolillo and Pieraugusto Pozzi here conclude their overview of
networking in Italy. Their list of Italian networked information
sources, continued from Part 2, is completed. They also show Italian
information brokers, some network alternatives, and a bit about the
Internet activity which is exploding in Italy as it is everywhere
else.  Remember to look at the gopher at the University of Turin --
itocsvm.csi.it -- and at the other Italian gophers.  Suggestions for
explaining the origins of the terms "gopher", "archie", and "veronica"
to an Italian audience gratefully accepted.

Jack Kessler

kessler@well.sf.ca.us

***

(continued)

y	ENEA
Sector:	Energy in all its aspects: technology, materials, sources, 
production, reserves, environmental protection, safety, standards.
Access:	ITAPAC

y	ENEL
Sector:	references on electric energy and related technologies.
Access:	via CILEA or ESA-IRS (ITAPAC, PSTN, leased lines)

y       ICE - Istituto Nazionale Commercio Estero (Institute for
Foreign Commerce)
Sector: Complete information support for Italian companies operating
abroad: international calls for tenders, bids, auctions, information on
foreign countries and commercial operators, sector market studies.
Access:	ITAPAC, Tymnet

y	IL SOLE 24 ORE
Sector: The main offer is BIG On Line. It is a full text database of
all articles since 1984 from a number of economic and financial
newspapers and magazines (Il Sole 24 Ore, Mondo Economico, L'Impresa
and others)
Access:	ITAPAC, PSTN, via SEVA, via SARITEL

y	PITAGORA SPA
Sector: Economy and finance: statistic data, historical series,
economic indexes and indicators, stocks pay-back. Demography: annual
data on demographic variations in all Italian municipalities.
Access:	own network

y	SEAT
Sector: Laws and regulations governing creation and life of different
kind of companies, contractual aspects, Intellectual Property Rights.
On line database (AMEDEUS) of all protest noticed and published by the
95 Italian Chambers of Commerce during the last 5 years. On line
yellow-page directory of business operators (the service is called
PAGINE GIALLE ELETTRONICHE).  Travel and tourism information, hotel
availability
Access:	ITAPAC, Videotel, via Saritel

y	TELEMACO
Sector:	Fiscal information: databases on all sectors of direct/indirect 
taxation (the database is BDT Banca Dati Tributari)
Access:	via SEAT and Saritel

3.5 .  Information brokers

Several information brokers are presently active in Italy.  For the
scientific and technical information, CRID (Centro di Riferimento
Italiano per DIANE) was established within ISDRS in 1980 aiming at
developing training and research activities about on-line information
services available all over Europe. Other data processing centres
mainly operating in academic and university environments, such as
CINECA (in Bologna), CILEA (in Milano), CNUCE (in Pisa), CSATA (in
Bari), CRAI (in Cosenza) offer to end-users one- stop-shopping services
to access on-line databases connecting them to national and
international data networks.

In addition to the above public interest information brokers, other
operators are providing one-stop-shopping access services to national
and international on-line databases on a commercial basis:

y       ESA ESRIN - IRS is the European Space Agency Information
Retrieval Service company, based in Frascati - Roma providing access to
more than 200 world-wide databases (primary, secondary and mixed) in a
broad range of subjects. They are also providing information search
services and user- tailored searches.

y       GE Information Services offers on-line information services
such as access to the DIALOG databases, directories and news sources by
Dialog Information Services, Inc. with the possibility of customizing
search menus for its clients. In addition to that specialized services
are offered such as personalized electronic news clipping services from
major business and financial news sources and focused electronic
newsletters providing business intelligence in two High-tech fields:
telecommunications and microcomputing.

y       ITALCABLE spa is the concessionary company for international
and sub- marine cable telephony. Under a licence agreement with
Telebase System, Inc.  - Philadelphia, they operate the M.A.G.I.C. ON
LINE service. This gives access to about 900 databases (primary,
secondary and mixed) in diversified sectors including economy,
marketing, medicine, chemistry, computer science, art and literature.

y       SARITEL s.p.a. SARIN Telematica offer access to a number of
on-line information services such as, Italian railways timetables and
fares, press news from ANSA, the KOMPASS handbook regarding over 50.000
Italian companies, the Official Airline Guides, Dow Jones
News/Retrieval, Dun & Bradstreet, Electronic Yellow Pages on Hotels,
Environment, Information Technology and additional on-line services for
business and domestic use.


4 .  The network alternatives

Italian end-users can choose from a range of different network options
to access on-line database information. Mainly, network access is
offered over public networks (either packet or circuit switched). These
different network access alternatives will be described in the
following.

4.1 .  Packet Switched Data Network (ITAPAC)

ITAPAC is the public Italian PSPDN (Packet Switched Public Data
Network), which is connected to all other European and international
data networks. It can be considered as the most important network
infrastructure for accessing remote on-line databases. By the end of
year 1991, ITAPAC subscribers were 22.500 (+28% compared to 1990).
About half of them access ITAPAC through the public switched telephone
network via an X.28 access; the other half are native X.25
subscribers.

It is worth noting, however, that many service providers offer their
customers a toll-free access to ITAPAC via subscription of a
reverse-charging service with the public data network operator. Hence
the real number of users of the ITAPAC infrastructure could be largely
underestimated by the figures previously reported.

4.2 .  Circuit Switched Data Network (RFD)

RFD - Rete Fonia Dati (Voice and Data Network) is the digital
circuit-switched network. By the end of 1991, users of RFD were 31.500
(+32% compared to 1990).

4.3 .  VIDEOTEL

VIDEOTEL is the Italian Videotext service. By the end of 1991, the
number of VIDEOTEL subscribers was 170.000 and the number of
information providers was about 1.000. About 400 of these are connected
to the central Videotex system through gateways.

4.4 .  The INTERNET

Recent years have seen a steady growth in the use of the INTERNET. Not
to be confused with the term internet which is used by networking
professionals to refer to the generic interconnection of two or more
(possibly different) networks, the term INTERNET is generally used with
a restrictive meaning to refer to the interconnection of TCP/IP-based
networks, i.e. the offsprings of the original ARPA Internet sponsored
by the U.S. Department of Defense.  While originally confined to
research and academic environments where it has been present also in
Italy for almost a decade supporting electronic communications among
researchers and university staff involved in not-for- profit or
education activities, the INTERNET is today experiencing increasing
success also in other economic sectors. Different providers are today
offering INTERNET access services on a commercial basis. Among them it
is worth mentioning IUNET, a not-for-profit company, managed by I2U the
Italian Association of UNIX Users, which provides access services to
its European equivalent EUNET and, through it, to the world-wide
INTERNET.


5 .  Conclusions and future trends

The on-line database information market in Italy is today in a phase
characterised by a very dynamic growth and a multiplicity of offers by
several suppliers. After a long period during which on-line information
access and exchange has been almost exclusively confined to
universities and research departments of large enterprises its
penetration into SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) is now gaining
momentum as telematic literacy increases and new telecommunications
facilities and services are deployed at affordable costs.  Also, the
availability of information is more and more perceived as a key factor
for gaining vital competitive advantages in a market where Italian SMEs
are increasingly driven to compete at an international level. This has
catered for a proliferation of services offering access to information
sources located world-wide.

In the near/medium term the evolution of this trend will very likely
continue along the following lines:

y       Complete globalisation of the information market
The achievement of a common European market for goods and services
since the beginning of 1993 is posing new challenges especially to SMEs
which frequently have operated only at a national level: competition
can now virtually come from any company in any European (and even
non-European) member state but, on the other hand, business
opportunities can be pursued with no geographical limitations. The
information necessary to face this new situation and to support
economic operators, either directly or indirectly, needs as well to be
available and on-line accessible at a global, world-wide level. This
need will very likely be satisfied by an increasing offer by
specialized information brokers providing one-stop-shopping information
retrieval services from anywhere in the world.

y       Growth of sophisticated information handling services
In addition to simple information retrieval, which, as of now, has
represented the vast majority of on-line information services, new
information handling services will very likely gain additional
popularity:
-       customized information retrieval and assembly, such as
personalized newsletters and periodic news scan performed according to
users-specified profiles, are already present in the market and are
offered by a number of information brokers and service providers;
-       information directory services are going to play a key role
with the proliferation of on-line databases and the consequent need for
locating the right source(s) of the information to be accessed;
-       services allowing a user to both specify, via menu, search
criteria for the information to be accessed and to prowl through all
on-line networked databases containing the information matching with
the search criteria (like the INTERNET "gopher" service).

y       Distribution of information over a wider choice of network
alternatives
Access to on-line databases can usually be performed through a limited
number of network alternatives with some of them often provided by
specific VAN providers. (4) The slow but steady introduction of
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) in the present scenario of
Italian telecommunications should in perspective allow integration of
network services for on-line database access.

y       Integration of on-line database access services with additional
communication services
With the emergence of new communications services (electronic messaging
services, on-line directories, remote database access, multimedia
messaging, etc.) based on open, international standards and the
availability to the general public of higher throughput networks,
traditional remote information access services will very likely gain
additional features both in the content of the information retrieved
(which could become multimedia, hypertextual) and in the way by which
access is granted (i.e. via store and forward messaging services
vis-a-vis on-line access services).


Notes:

(1)     See "Green Paper on the Development of the Common Market for
Telecommunications Services and Equipment" - May 1987

(2)     Installation and operation of equipment for radio-maritime
services on board of business ships is currently granted in concession
to companies SIRM and TELEMAR. The concession will expire in 1997.
After this date operational responsibility for these services will also
be transferred to I.R.I..

Also, radio and TV broadcasting are operated, under a non-exclusive
concession, by R.A.I..

(3)     This situation can by no means be ascribed to technical
difficulties. On the contrary it can be attributed to a rather
old-fashioned, short-sighted approach by several, if not all, VAN
providers which still tend to consider their customers as a sort of
"captive market". As a consequence, still today, customers of VAN A can
interoperate with customers of VAN B if and only if they also subscribe
to VAN B services (and vice-versa).

(4)     As interoperability among VANs is still a dream for the Italian
end- users, this results in a situation where you may need to subscribe
different contracts with different VAN providers if you want to reach
databases which are accessible on different networks.
***

ISSN 1071-5916

***

>From kessler Wed Oct 20 05:20:56 1993
Subject: Information networking in Italy -- a correction


Fabio Metitieri both corrects the Italian gopher address which I included in
the October 15 FYI France posting and announces a multi-lingual e-conference on 
things Italian, in what follows.

Ciao a tutti,


Jack Kessler

kessler@well.sf.ca.us

***

Dear all,

in the notes forwarded by Jack Kessler, there was a small error. Our Gopher
(CSI Piemonte, Direzione Atenei) has the address ITOCSIVM.CSI.IT (good
old Jack forgot an o), and it isn't the Torino University gopher. We work
for Torino University too, but we're not Torino University. We will soon
work at one or two Gopher Server for Torino University (one for humanists,
the second for biomedical disciplines). For whoever would be interested
in italian NIR activities, there is the List NIR-IT-L@itocsivm.csi.it.
Of course, it's in italian... but we all understand a little english and
a little french, and questions in english or in french will be accepted.
Soon there will be (next week, probably) an italian List for humanists.

Thank you for your attention, Ciao a tutti, Fabio.

************************************************************************
   iiiiiiii      CSI Piemonte (Consorzio per il Sistema Informativo)
  ii*iiiiiii     Direzione Atenei
      iiii       Corso Unione Sovietica 216 - 10134 Torino - Italy
   i   iiii      Tel (3911) 4618211  -  Fax (3911) 4618212
  iii   iiii
  iii     iiii          Fabio Metitieri
          ii ii           Email FABIO.METITIERI@CSI.IT
   iiiii ii               Tel (3911) 4618291
    iii

Like Abelard wrote to Eloise: don't forget to drop a line to me, please.
                                                 (a song by Cole Porter)
************************************************************************

XXX


FYI France (sm)(tm) e - newsletter        ISSN 1071 - 5916

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