Addressing the need for e-businesses to maintain a singular, holistic view of their customers, vendors in the e-business and e-customer applications market today announced the Customer Profile EXchange (CPEX) working group. CPEX offers a vendor-neutral, open standard for facilitating the privacy-enabled interchange of customer information across disparate enterprise applications and systems. Charter working group members currently include: Andromedia/Macromedia, Calico Commerce, Cogit, Compaq, Digital Impact, DoubleClick, Engage Technologies, Fujitsu Software Corporation, Harte-Hanks, IBM, InsWeb, Intuit, Lumeria, Marketsoft, Net Perceptions, net.Genesis, Oracle, Personify, Siebel Systems, Sun/Netscape Alliance and Vignette Corporation. Additional organizations that have formally expressed interest in joining the CPEX effort include Lucent Technologies CRM Solutions, Proxicom, U.S. Interactive and others. The CPEX standard integrates online and offline customer data in an XML-based data model for use within various enterprise applications both on and off the Web. The result is a networked, customer-focused environment that allows e-businesses to leverage a unified view of their customers into more compelling e-relationships. More than simply a DTD or XML tag set, CPEX will include a data model, transport and query definitions, and a framework for enabling privacy safeguards. Few of today’s supply and demand chains share a unified image of the customer, leaving customer support, order management, lead sharing and other primary business functions working independently to grasp a customer’s identity, behavior and needs. Customer service capability is severely reduced by this lack of shared information, creating significant and redundant short and long-term IT integration costs. Businesses will be able to apply CPEX across a disparate range of back-office applications, front-office applications and Web customer automation applications. While the benefits of a singular customer view are growing increasingly apparent within an enterprise, CPEX solutions will prove vital in tomorrow’s world of connected enterprises. The CPEX working group intends to develop an open-source reference implementation and developer guidelines to speed adoption of CPEX among vendors. Open to any vendor that wishes to contribute to the standard, the CPEX working group is chaired by Siebel Systems, the Marketing Committee is co-chaired by net.Genesis and Vignette Corporation, and Andromedia/Macromedia chairs the Technical Committee. The CPEX working group is hosted by IDEAlliance.org, a neutral, non-profit organization that also hosts ICE, PRISM and several other XML working groups. www.cpex.org.