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• Solutions provider to 80% of the largest international banks across EMEA

• Customers include all major banks in the FT Top 500

• Sterling Commerce adds BBS, leading European Clearing House, to its financial services portfolio

LONDON 22 APRIL, 2002 – Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC) has further strengthened its position as a leading supplier of integration solutions to the financial services sector across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), with yet another major contract win. The latest addition to Sterling Commerce’s impressive financial portfolio is European Clearing House, Bankenes Betalings Sentral AS (BBS).

BBS joins Sterling Commerce’s notable line-up of leading European banks, clearing houses and financial services companies, including international banking giant BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, a Luxembourg-based clearing house specialist, Barclays, Lloyds TSB Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland.

In the UK alone, Sterling Commerce provides solutions to every major bank listed in the Financial Times’ Top 500 companies. Across the EMEA region, Sterling Commerce has secured 8 out of 10 of the region’s largest international banks as its customers.

According to analysts Datamonitor, IT integration spending in the financial sector is set to skyrocket from €885 million (US5 million) in 2000 to €1.35 billion (US.2 billion) in 2004 across the EMEA region.

Dr. Tony Hart, Managing Analyst, Business e-Infrastructure, of Datamonitor said: “The corporate banking field, which was 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. Banks are finding they need to provide their customer with secure, integrated banking services, deliverable via the Internet.”

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.

Dave Robinson, Senior Vice President, EMEA, of Sterling Commerce, said: “Security is a key issue with financial institutions, due to the volume of sensitive and valuable information transferred. Sterling’s CONNECT solutions are designed specifically to support the special security requirements of data traffic for financial institutions.”

“Customers who integrate our CONNECT solutions into their e-business strategies can achieve a win-win business model. They are not only able to serve their customers better, but can meet their own increasing e-business needs with an automated, secure, and economic data transfer solution.”

Sterling Commerce connects BBS to new markets with Internet-based Integration solution

Norway-based Bankenes BetalingsSentral AS (BBS) is one of Europe’s leading clearing houses for banks, but has recently diversified its customer base to include small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and consumers.

BBS has just completed its successful pilot testing of Sterling Commerce’s web-based CONNECT:Enterprise software solution with 700 of its smaller trading partners.
During the pilot phase of CONNECT: Enterprise, BBS used the solution as a ‘trading platform’ for developing new payment services and establishing new channels into their smaller partners. Over the next two years, BBS and Sterling Commerce plan to extend this platform to include several thousand partners.

Jan Erik Nordheim, Senior Vice President Information Technology division
of BBS said: “The CONNECT: Enterprise solution allows us to utilise the Internet to reach new customers, including SMEs and consumers. Sterling Commerce is a strategic partner we use to bring on new customers. The Enterprise solution has allowed us to offer value-added services to our current customers, provide round-the-clock support and services, and expand our transaction processing capabilities.”

For more information / case study on Sterling Commerce’s tailored BBS
CONNECT: Enterprise solutions contact Claire Smither at Nelson Bostock Communications on +44 (0)207 229 4400.

For Sterling Commerce CONNECT: Enterprise Whitepapers and case studies (including BNP Paribas), go to

- ENDS –

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

About SBC Communications Inc. (

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:

Willemijn Steegenga
Sterling Commerce
Tel: + 31 20 560 5600

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

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