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· Analysts predict massive growth in integration investment

· Datamonitor commends Sterling Commerce’s integration solutions

London, 19 November 2001 – A report into corporate banking by leading analyst group, Datamonitor has found financial institutions are being forced to integrate electronic data communication into their corporate banking systems, including the use of Internet technologies like those already used for private customers.

As a result of this demand, Datamonitor forecasts that banks will increase expenditures for enterprise integration from €885 million (US5 million) in the previous year to €1.35 billion (US.2 billion) in 2004 in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region.

The reasons for these considerable expenditures are compatibility problems between the IT systems and business processes of various banks and their corporate customers, which cannot be overcome with conventional technologies.

Datamonitor recommends the use of specialist integration solutions to overcome these problems. Two specific products from world leading e-business integration provider, Sterling Commerce - CONNECT:Direct® and CONNECT:Enterprise® - were highly recommended in Datamonitor’s report.

“Finance institutes that take up CONNECT:Enterprise in their e-business strategies will have a win-win business model”, said Dr. Tony Hart, Managing Analyst, Business e-Infrastructure, of Datamonitor. “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.”

The threat of cyber-attacks for any business is not only real - it's costly. Unsurprisingly, security is a key issue with financial institutions, due to the volume of sensitive and valuable information transferred. Sterling’s key security solution, CONNECT: Direct® Secure+, an add on to the CONNECT: Direct solution, supports the special security requirements of data traffic for financial institutions.
Secure+ has the ability to provide strong mutual authentication, data encryption, data integrity and key management for Internet data exchange, and uses digital signatures for the positive identification and secure authentication of business partners, every time data is transferred. In addition, data integrity in ensured by using industry-accepted algorithms that flag any misuse of data that may occur during a transfer, while public key management ensures the secure transfer of encryption keys between systems.

“Secure+ offers a security concept that provides high-volume data exchange between mission-critical applications both within a company and with its business partners”, explains Simon Bond, Director of Sales, Northern Europe, at Sterling Commerce. “Communication within diverse system landscapes like those typical of corporate banking, with their wide range of different software solutions, protocols, and interfaces, makes optimal security solutions a must. As Datamonitor states in its research, Sterling Commerce’s solutions meet these requirements.”

The Datamonitor whitepaper, entitled “Financial services in a connected world”, can be found and downloaded from the Sterling Commerce website,

- ENDS -

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.

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.

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