This document was approved by the OASIS Board of Directors on 12 October 2012. Previous version: 27 September 2007. It is subject to change.
The mission of OASIS is "To drive the development, convergence and adoption of market-driven open standards as building blocks for the global information society". The corresponding tag line is "Advancing open standards for the information society".
This mission shapes the policies, processes and programs that directly affect OASIS members, and also affects how OASIS works with non-member constituents. Non-members include organizations or individuals that comment on proposed or existing standards, and that implement or recommend their use.
Our aim is to be the leading information standards body, building long-term relationships, superior member experiences and tools for interoperability. Our IPR-flexible platform will continue to be based on transparency and openness to ensure that organizations and individuals instinctively and repeatedly turn to us for support, global adoption and validation of their proven standards development work.
OASIS has a distinctive character that contrasts with other standards organizations:
- The OASIS technical agenda is set by its members, who are free to start, and advance efforts to meet the needs of the marketplace; this is in contrast to organizations where direction is centrally managed.
- OASIS governance is responsive to the members — half of the Board are elected each year by the members for two-year terms, allowing the members to indicate annually the direction they would like to see OASIS go. Likewise, OASIS Committee chairs are elected by Committee members through an open, democratic process. Communication between Staff, the Board and Technical Committees is open and collaborative, not prescriptive. This differs from organizations where Board participation and working group leadership are tied to financial contribution, corporate standing, or staff appointment.
- OASIS encourages but does not mandate convergence. This enables adoption to take place by reducing barriers caused by duplicate, contradictory and inconsistent concepts and specifications. OASIS values creativity and consensus over conformity and control, leaving it to groups of members who voluntarily agree to coordinate their standards development to ensure more convergence inside or outside OASIS or to the marketplace to evaluate overlapping efforts and determine the viability of any given approach. This is in contrast to assigning a single working group to address a standardization topic.
- OASIS draws on a diverse membership base that spans industries and geographies, where researchers and practitioners, vendors and users, government agencies and academic institutions, individuals and multi-national corporations all come together; many other standards bodies only represent the interests of homogeneous communities.
- The combination of the OASIS process, which is periodically revised by the Board in accordance with the wishes of the OASIS technical community, and the various OASIS IPR modes, which evolve according to marketplace needs and represent the collective IP wisdom of OASIS’ stakeholders, makes for a highly effective standards development environment. Its effectiveness is periodically examined for potential flaws. This is in contrast to cumbersome standards processes that result from an accumulation of compromises.
Five strategic goals guide OASIS in achieving its mission:
- Provide the most effective, efficient, open and transparent environment for the development, coordination, and maintenance of high quality standards. An excellent OASIS environment is essential to retain existing membership, attract prospective members and create positive word-of-mouth marketing. Openness and transparency of process are basic principles of OASIS.
- Broad international representation and diversity of the OASIS membership to ensure that all those affected by standards have a voice in the collaborative process. Special emphasis is placed on increasing participation from end users, including governments, academic and research institutions, as well as trade associations. This enhances the value and usability of OASIS work in the marketplace.
- Support all stages of the standards lifecycle, including requirements definition, specification development, best practices advocacy, policy definition and adoption services. Each OASIS Committee may choose to address all or part of the standards lifecycle as appropriate for its goals and the needs of the market.
- Productive relationships with policy setters, analysts, and decision makers affected or potentially affected by OASIS work, in order to (a) remain receptive to external input, (b) evangelize the accomplishments of our members, (c) advocate the values of the open standards process, and (d) ensure our work remains relevant within the broadest possible context. This includes liaisons and outreach to the public sector, international organizations, industry groups, academia, and specific constituencies such as trade associations.
- Staying ahead of the technology curve and pinpoint new areas of standardization before they have been fragmented in the marketplace. Leverage the OASIS process, reputation and level playing field as a focal point for convergence and adoption.
The mission and strategic goals of OASIS will be driven through the strategic actions outlined in this section. More detail on each strategic action is in the OASIS execution plan used to guide the OASIS staff and the organization.
- Review and improve alignment of the organizational structure and tools provided to OASIS members with mission and strategic goals. (Relates to goal #1)
Examples of possible specifics include improvements in the areas of:
- Document management,
- TC process support tools, and
- Collaborative tools
- Increase membership outreach and support in under-represented areas. (Relates to goal #2)
OASIS recognizes the reality of the internationalization and localization of technology and the importance of supporting our members throughout the world.
This requires a variety of actions, including continuous improvement of the OASIS IT infrastructure and TC process to support international membership, and increasing the worldwide footprint of OASIS, for example through:
- Regional presence in Europe and Asia,
- Technology transfer with academia using scholarship funds and donations
- Translation of OASIS standards and documents, web pages and collateral through volunteer efforts
- Expand support for the standards lifecycle to include requirements and adoption activities. (Relates to goal #3)
Adoption activities may include:
- increasing the involvement of the OASIS community in requirements and exploratory activities.
- enabling end-users globally, including OASIS members and non-members, to more readily make use of OASIS standards, through education, demonstration, testing and other activities.
- increasing confidence in and interoperability of the standards.
Adoption services may address the goals of supporting a broader OASIS membership, making OASIS an efficient environment and supporting the full range of the standardization lifecycle.
- Support the concept of standardization as an innovation as much as a validation process, by organizing prospective workshops where pain points in emerging technologies are openly discussed by a variety of stakeholders, including other SDOs (particularly de jure organization). Market-driven standards are expected to be the natural corollary of such discussions. This relates to goal #4.
- Educate the community (press, members, non-members) on the advantages of the OASIS process, the status of OASIS activities and the benefits of approved OASIS standards. (Relates to goal #5)
This document is part of the ongoing effort of OASIS to provide visibility to its members, consistent with the use of member reviews to approve standards, and OASIS has a number of mailing lists for members and non-members to provide feedback to the OASIS staff and Board of Directors. We welcome your inputs, suggestions and ideas on the OASIS strategy so we can improve and better align it to the needs of the membership. If you have any comments, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.