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Analysts predict major investment drive by corporate finance sector

London, 3 October 2001 IT integration spending in the financial sector is set to skyrocket to USD 2.1 billion a year by 2004 as corporate banks and financial houses embrace Internet technology, according to a major new report published today.

Market research commissioned by e-business integration specialist Sterling Commerce reveals that the banking and finance industry is beginning to invest heavily in online business solutions.

The Datamonitor study ‘Financial Services in a Connected World’ forecasts that enterprise integration in the financial sector will leap from 5 million in 2003 to USD 2.1 billion the following year in Europe, Middle East and Africa. It concludes that the corporate banking field -- initially slow to adopt Internet technologies -- is now tackling the challenge of bringing together the various communication paths, back office applications and business processes in their financial services.

Simon Bond, Director of Sales, Northern Europe, at Sterling Commerce, said: “The Internet has to be the focal point for the future success of the corporate financial sector as it plays a key role in the distribution of information and allows for customer consultation regardless of location.

“We expect to see considerable investment in setting up Internet platforms to integrate the Internet channel with core back-office applications and processes, with the aim of streamlining workflow-processes and add additional digital sales channels. This is already taking place at such rate that analysts have dubbed 2001 ‘the year of integration’,” Bond said.

Financial institutes are expected to change their previous procedures, switching from in-house developments to packaged solutions to achieve faster return on investment, better customer service and a broader product spectrum, the report said.

Sterling Commerce was named by Datamonitor as a leading supplier of integration solutions for the financial sector. Its products, CONNECT:Direct and CONNECT:Enterprise allow data to be distributed and managed between business partners and across system borders.

“Finance institutes that integrate CONNECT:Enterprise in their e-business strategies will have a win-win business model,” the study concludes. “Banks with enterprise solutions will be able to serve their customers better and cover increasing e-business needs with an automated, secure, and economic data transfer solution.”

Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBC Communications (NYSE:SBC) and one of the world’s leading providers of e-business integration solutions for global companies and their business communities, has more than 20 years of experience in data integration. Through this unrivalled heritage, the company is able to offer internationally active financial service providers with competent integration and consulting solutions for corporate customers. Customers include amongst others BNP Paribas (Ireland), Credit Agricole Indosuez (Luxembourg), Bankenes BetalingsSentral as (Norway), and Dt. Börse Systems (Germany)


About Sterling Commerce:

Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBC Communications, Inc. (NYSE: SBC), is a worldwide leader in business-to-business integration -- providing a wide range of integration software, business enabling and online services for Global 5000 companies and their customers, suppliers and partners. With more than 25 years of experience in a vast range of industries, Sterling Commerce offers the expertise, as well as the breadth of integration software and services required to facilitate, manage and support the electronic exchange of information within a business, as well as with its diverse community. More than 50,000 companies throughout the world rely upon Sterling Commerce to overcome the business and technological complexities associated with integration to decrease costs, increase profit margins, achieve faster production cycles and improve customer satisfaction.

For more information, visit

About Datamonitor

Since its formation in 1989, Datamonitor has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of published market analysis and consulting services. It provides two main services: strategic planning programmes and tailored research and consulting.

The company employs more than 600 staff in London and New York, with regional offices in Manchester, Frankfurt and Hong Kong. Its principal practice areas include technology, financial services, consumer goods, healthcare and medical components, energy, industrial and automotive.

Datamonitor was listed on the London Stock Exchange in November 2000. The company is owned jointly by Reuters, institutional investors and by the directors and employees of the business.

For further information, please contact:

Simone Mahedy
Sterling Commerce
Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 4400

Simon Lloyd /Claire Smither
Nelson Bostock Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 8867 8000

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Nelson Bostock Unlimited in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit