Mining houses, IT suppliers and vendors which join The Open Group’s EMMM (Exploration, Mining, Metals and Minerals) Forum stand to enjoy a wide-ranging number of benefits, says Stuart Macgregor, MD of enterprise architecture specialist Real IRM.
Mining houses gain through application portfolio rationalisation, improving their selection and procurement processes, and through having a common definition of business terminology with suppliers.

For suppliers and vendors, it is a vital sales tool; it allows them to find partners, align themselves with customers’ architecture, be positioned as industry thought leaders, and help drive industry standards.

The Open Group ratified EMMM’s process reference model as an open standard last year. It draws on decades’ work in the mining and associated sectors by enterprise architecture specialists, among them Real IRM, the local representative of The Open Group, a vendor- and technology-neutral consortium dedicated to setting and driving standards globally.

“The over-arching benefit for members is having access to reference models that stands up to scrutiny in multiple mining environments,” says Macgregor.
“It allows members to express their specific value chain and process models in a way that is globally relevant and usable. Applying their thinking in this model to software development can help them to create a framework for enterprise integration, thereby transcending previous information flow boundaries introduced by different mining types, geologies and multiple disciplines.”

It can also help mining houses to reduce their overall application portfolio, in line with global trends, where major initial savings are to be enjoyed through reducing the number of software applications in use. Once organisations know precisely what is in their portfolio, they can save millions a year.

EMMM allows members to map their offering to an industry framework, accelerate their sales process, fit more closely into the industry sector they are targeting, and highlight points of integration. Members can also use it to help guide future architecture.

In addition, members can have further input into the body of knowledge that supports EMMM, to mutual benefit.

“This requires EMMM membership and active participation in workgroups,” Macgregor notes. “Members may publish white papers based on the existing EMMM and submit these papers to the forum for review and acceptance into the body of knowledge.”

Macgregor cites the example of member company Rio Tinto, which has derived significant value from being a member of EMMM.

Roy Irvine, lead consultant at CAE Mining, adds: “We work with clients across the value chain, encompassing exploration to resource modelling, optimisation, mine design, scheduling and financial modelling, to enable users to rapidly generate robust scenarios in a secure governance framework, thus maximising their mining assets. Our internal value chain models map well with the EMMM reference model.

“We have been able to influence the development of the reference model and are engaged in other models such as competencies and applications. CAE Mining fully supports the work by The Open Group in the exploration and mining space.”

Suppliers and vendors can also identify their current solution gaps and plan their future, plan mergers and acquisitions and build capability, and help build brand credibility through the use of EMMM logos.

Mining houses, in turn, get to compare vendor offerings against a common model, requiring vendors to map against the model; and accelerate and improve the quality of decision-making.

They get to create a common definition of business terminology and know where the differences are, accelerate internal enterprise architecture, thereby adding value and reducing cost, and derive value from enterprise architecture.