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STERLING Workflow Manager merges human and automated activities into a single business workflow – improving the overall efficiency of e-business solutions

London, 29 October 2001 – Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC), today announces the launch of STERLING Workflow Manager to its extensive portfolio of leading e-business integration products and services. It is capable of delivering immediate cost-savings, increased productivity, superior customer service and increased ROI, to businesses across the EMEA region.

The software enables the enterprise to execute business processes ranging from simple exception management to complex supply chain activity, by optimising assets without having to dramatically disrupt work flow or creating down times. Customers’ IT costs are also dramatically lowered, as the software eliminates the need to develop and maintain a variety of program interfaces.

Complete business process modeling capabilities are provided, allowing companies to outline how each step of a business process should be handled, then implement controls that enforce correct procedures at every step of the process – both automated steps and those that require review or input from employees. By ensuring that the human elements of business processes are handled consistently, businesses are able to reduce costs, minimise human error and improve response times.

STERLING Workflow Manager allows companies that already have substantial internal and external integration capabilities to add process modeling tools to existing infrastructure.

"Streamlining inter-company processes requires a combination of rich machine-to-machine communication and intelligent human interaction. Although machine communication can minimise menial processing tasks, human intervention is often needed to handle expectations and important approval processes. Layering workflow software, such as STERLING Workflow Manager, a top a transactional system adds intelligent response capabilities, minimizing exceptions and improving the overall efficiency of an e-commerce solution," said Jon Derome, senior analyst, The Yankee Group.

For businesses using STERLING Workflow Manager, the risk of inconsistent data is minimised and homogenised information can be connected. Built on the idea that customers need flexible software and a strong return on investment, STERLING Workflow Manager tightly integrates with Sterling Commerce’s file-based data transport and EDI/XML translation software (CONNECT and GENTRAN). Herewith extending the reach of automated processes that customers already have implemented using those products.

“We have created STERLING Workflow Manager to satisfy an increasing need among our integration customers for sophisticated modeling and management capabilities,” said Sam Starr, Sterling Commerce chief delivery officer. “With a clear focus on the human element, STERLING Workflow Manager promptly addresses issues that might otherwise stop transactions in their tracks – offering an almost immediate return on investment. In the first instance we will be targeting our existing GENTRAN and CONNECT customers that want to extend their capabilities to fully manage business processes.”

STERLING Workflow Manager is flexible and customisable to allow businesses to address numerous specific workflow issues. The software can be used to help businesses avoid charge-backs by defining and automating error escalation procedures; manage the manual processing of advanced ship notices; provide special processing procedures for transactions for strategic customers; automate error handling of transactions; verify accounts meet minimum requirements; catch errors early to eliminate additional cost; transfer data in a secure manner; manage complex approval processes; and make sure claims are processed quickly by enabling the integration of manual reviews and approvals.

STERLING Workflow Manager consists of four primary components:
§ FlowBuilder – a graphical interface used to model the flows of already-proven business practices or creatively designs new processes
§ Administrator – a monitoring tool that allows for simultaneous, graphical tracing and monitoring of one or more business processes or activities
§ TaskManager – uses a browser-based interface to notify employees of necessary workflow tasks and to facilitate manual input
§ Communication Extension – provides the connectivity and end-to-end audit and tracking between the GENTRAN and CONNECT product families and STERLING Workflow Manager.

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 media enquiries please contact:

Simone Mahedy Claire Smither
Sterling Commerce Nelson Bostock Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 8867 8000 Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 4400

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