Mobile phones demonstrate the concept of interoperability very easily, especially – the lack of it – on the handset side. From a services perspective, the presence of interoperability is quite evident. Calls or SMS services can be accessed from almost all phones, irrespective of the service provider. However, talk about using the same mobile phone charger to charge phones of different make/model – the interoperability is starkly absent in this case!
However, just go to the other end of the phone changer – where it connects to the electrical socket. Here the problem of interoperability has been tackled by using ‘adapters’. For example, an adapter allows plugging the charger into another type of outlet with the same electrical voltage – Interoperability accomplished!
I taught a class of 70+ students in a Post Graduate Programme at the University Of Colombo, Sri Lanka (Aug 2008) the basics of eGovernment Interoperability Framework (eGIF). I used a few slides to start the discussions on the subject in the class.