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· significant and instant ROI for businesses

· enables dramatic increases in process efficiency, speed & accuracy

· cost-free, easy-to-use solution for suppliers

London, 5 December 2001 – Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBC Communications (NYSE:SBC) today announces the launch of STERLING Workflow Manager for Web Trading in EMEA to its extensive portfolio of leading e-business integration products and services. The solution allows companies with a network of small or occasional suppliers to draw all their trading partners together into an integrated e-community quickly, simply and cost-effectively.

STERLING Workflow Manager™ for Web Trading enables businesses to bring 100% of their suppliers into an integrated supply chain via a web interface. This interface automates order and invoice procedures and eliminates the need for manual processing, resulting in significant and immediate ROI for businesses.

In addition to these cost benefits, the web trading solution dramatically improves the speed and accuracy of business processes by automatically routing orders to designated suppliers and controlling their access to pre-determined data fields. A built-in exception handling facility automatically notifies businesses if suppliers fail to log on to the system in order to verify or validate an order within a specified timeframe.

It’s been 20 years since EDI standards were first established, but due to limited spend, only 25% of mid-sized companies and 5% of smaller ones are currently EDI-enabled,” said Paul Silvester, Vice President Consulting & Services, EMEA at Sterling Commerce. “Our new Web Trading solution provides suppliers, and their customers, with maximum value and reduced costs, and enables them to focus on the process of doing business more efficiently, securely and reliably. It is particularly well suited for companies who have already implemented EDI as it is evolutionary and not revolutionary and does not require firms to throw out their existing XML or EDI, but is equally suited to companies wanting to reach out over the web for the first time.”

Integrating Small Suppliers with Larger partners at low cost, low hassle with STERLING Workflow Manager™ for Web Trading:
The solution comes with four real working templates: Purchase Order, Purchase Order Response (acknowledgement), Invoice and Remittance Advice – which should be a perfect fit for most companies. If these templates aren’t a perfect fit, extra documents, data fields and rules can be added quickly and easily - Sterling Commerce has the expertise in-house to customise the solution to meet the complex needs of businesses.

Dr. Tony Hart, Managing Analyst of Business e-Infrastructure with Datamonitor, commented on STERLING Workflow Manager™ for Web Trading: “Enabling small trading partners to integrate their e-business strategies with their larger partners has always been a tough nut to crack. The issues of cost and lack of 'tech' knowledge have always been the key barriers for the 'mom & pop', and larger, companies. The browser-based Web Trading offering can crack this nut. It is a no-code, no-cost solution to the client and allows the integration of supply chains, order processing systems and accounting packages with the larger business.“

Some of the additional benefits provided by Sterling Workflow Manager for Web Trading include

· Cost-free for suppliers – no need to purchase complex integration software

· Easy to use – suppliers just log onto a website, via any standard browser, to receive and

· Rapid response - automated receipt of orders, account handling and purchase order response through to remittance covering multiple payments

· Reduced risk of errors due to limited manual processing and entry

· Standardised entry forms based on United Nations commercial document standards – option to continue dealing with high-quality print outs included

· Platform independent and Java based for greater flexibility – no need for installation with suppliers

· Intuitive workflow modeling and management capabilities - adaptable to workflow extensions to incorporate complex business processes

The data flow component can be plugged into existing EDI/XML interfaces (including STERLING’s CONNECT and GENTRAN software products) - so an ERP system can gain hundreds of additional integrated partners with no interface changes In support of Workflow Manager™ for Web Trading, Sterling offers two important customer care services to ensure a complete, integrated solution: Customised Support Desk Services and the E-Community Development Service (ECD).

In addition to being able to take responsibility for a company’s EMEA-wide call handling and technical support services, through its Customised Support Desk Service, Sterling also offers a dedicated team of e-business enabling experts who can help guide businesses’ existing partners and suppliers to becoming fully integrated members of its e-community – an excellent service if they need to mobilise their community quickly, or are met with some resistance from suppliers.

Prior to its official launch, STERLING Workflow Manager™ for Web Trading solution already has one early adopter, an Ireland-based, International food company. After looking at a number of options, the company chose the new STERLING Workflow Manager™ for Web Trading solution as it offered them a cost-effective and hassle-free integrated solution which allowed them to automatically link their IT system directly to their suppliers’ systems.

- 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.

For media enquiries please contact:

Willemijn Steegenga
Sterling Commerce
Tel + 31 20 560 5794

Sarah Griffiths /Claire Smither
Nelson Bostock Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 4400

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