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Combined Product and Service Capabilities Increase Business Value for Customers By Leveraging Existing Infrastructure and Business Processes


LONDON 8 APRIL, 2002 – Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC) today announced the expansion and enhancement of its core product and service portfolio to provide businesses with complete capabilities to integrate, automate and extend processes throughout their business communities.

Sterling Commerce has enhanced and packaged its products and services under the combined market offerings of electronic trading network services and business integration solutions. This combined offering will encourage and facilitate gradual, modular integration of business processes, systems and applications, giving businesses the flexibility to deploy ‘building block’ capabilities as, and when, they are needed while still building strategically toward a fully integrated, extended enterprise.

“This strategy is all about increasing business value for our customers and delivers on solutions that extend and add capabilities to existing infrastructure, rather than replacing it,” said Dave Robinson, Senior Vice President EMEA, Sterling Commerce. “These added capabilities can be implemented as needed and will further extend the reach and level of automation of B2B business processes while customers build toward establishing an integrated, extended enterprise.”

The strategy and positioning of electronic trading network services and business integration solutions is further supported by research carried out on behalf of Sterling Commerce amongst e-business decision makers of the Top 2500 businesses throughout Europe .

68% of those surveyed said the main driver behind their e-business strategy was to improve their internal business efficiencies (68%), followed by EDI (54%). The research also highlighted that businesses primarily look for a solid track record and proof of success when selecting an e-business integration vendor. Sterling Commerce will call on its 30-year history in B2B commerce and its longstanding expertise in EDI to gain a competitive edge in the redevelopment and marketing of its advanced electronic trading network and e-business integration solutions.

Sterling Commerce’s electronic trading network services facilitate the effective movement of data and management of processes within and between business communities. The business values these services deliver include improved business processes, the expansion of e-business capabilities by leveraging the internet, the ability to respond to increased customer demand by the electronic enablement of suppliers and buyers and higher return on investments, at the core of which is STERLING Information Broker™.

The electronic trading networks portfolio is further supplemented by a host of transaction services including E-Community Development service - to help companies build, manage and service their business partner community, and Outsourcing (Exchange Managed Services) of B2Bi services and exchanges for companies. The introduction of eTransaction Manager later this year in EMEA will further enhance the suite, which will allow small-and mid-sized business partner enablement services based on Internet and browser-based solutions.


“While other providers are retrenching on their electronic trading network services, Sterling Commerce is making significant investments in this area to enable our customers to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. This flexibility allows our customers to maximize efficiencies in their supply chain, ultimately saving them money and providing enhanced service to their business partners,” said Robinson.
For business integration, Sterling Commerce provides a building block suite of solutions to enable disparate applications and systems to dynamically and seamlessly exchange information either within a firm’s four walls or with its business partners.

“Our integration solutions help businesses address the many challenges associated with sharing information between diverse applications. This has enabled companies to lower the costs of sales and services, accelerate response time and ultimately achieve heightened customer retention - while leveraging existing IT investments,” continued Robinson.

Sterling Commerce’s business integration portfolio includes STERLING Workflow Manager™, a transaction-based workflow engine and WebTrading, a solution based on the purchasing process to integrate small supplier. In addition, Sterling’s CONNECT suite of integration middleware software (CONNECT:Direct™ and CONNECT:Enterprise™); and GENTRAN integration software provide solutions for traditional and Internet-based trading networks.

In late 2002, Sterling Commerce will introduce STERLING Integrator™ in EMEA,, a next generation standards-based integration broker designed to coordinate, automate and manage business processes through the integration of internal applications and external business partners.

Sterling Commerce also provides Consulting and Implementation services for both its electronic trading network and business integration portfolios. These services are designed to allow customers to quickly realize the benefits of any business-to-business programme and include customer needs analysis, architecture and design, project planning, system optimisation , proof-of-concept testing, education and training.

Industry analysts are having positive response to Sterling Commerce strategy and product direction. Industry analysts are having positive response to Sterling Commerce and its product direction. “Sterling Commerce has robust and proven integration software assets that enable effective business-to-business trading communities, along with the experience and service resources required to successfully build these communities," said David Alschuler of the Aberdeen Group.

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About Sterling Commerce


Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC) is one of the world's largest providers of business-to-business commerce solutions. For Global 5000 companies and their customers, suppliers and partners, Sterling Commerce software and services help maximize business performance and improve business metrics through integration of applications, external partner systems and people. With more than 25 years of experience serving tens of thousands of customers in a vast range of industries, Sterling Commerce is a recognized pioneer in business-to-business commerce through its longstanding expertise in EDI. Today, as customers explore new ways to improve business performance via the Internet, Sterling Commerce continues to innovate its software and services to further the global adoption of e-commerce while offering its customers strategic solutions that leverage existing technology.

For more information, visit http://www.sterlingcommerce.com


About SBC Communications Inc. ( http://www.sbc.com)


SBC Communications Inc. is a global communications leader. Through its subsidiaries' trusted brands - SBC Southwestern Bell, SBC Ameritech, SBC Pacific Bell, SBC Nevada Bell, SBC SNET and Sterling Commerce – and world-class network, SBC and its affiliated companies provide a full range of voice, data, networking and e-business services, including local and long-distance, high-speed Internet access and data transport, network integration, software and process integration, Web site and application hosting, e-marketplace development, paging and messaging, as well as directory advertising and publishing. America's leading provider of high-speed DSL Internet service, SBC companies currently have 61.3 million access lines nationwide. SBC has a 60 percent equity interest in Cingular Wireless, its joint venture with BellSouth, which serves more than 20 million wireless customers. Internationally, SBC has telecommunications investments in 28 countries and has annual revenues that rank it among the largest Fortune 500 companies.


For media enquiries please contact:


Simone Mahedy
Sterling Commerce
Tel: +44 (0)20 8867 8000
simone_mahedy@stercomm.com


Sarah Griffiths /Claire Smither
Nelson Bostock Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 4400
claire.smither@nelsonbostock.com

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