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• Sterling Commerce outsourcing solution creates improved performance, higher operating efficiencies and faster ROI for businesses

LONDON 21 MAY, 2002 – Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:SBC) today announced the launch of STERLING Managed Services, a dynamic eBusiness outsourcing solution for the EMEA market.

As companies of all sizes move to adopt eBusiness models, the pressure on corporate IT departments to streamline their business processes intensifies. According to research by Frost & Sullivan the principle barrier to businesses looking to develop their online presence is the lack of skilled IT staff.

STERLING Managed Services takes on overall responsibility for all or part of a company’s eBusiness operations, including information systems and staffing, thereby enabling companies to focus on their core business. The company’s eBusiness applications are hosted by the Sterling Commerce operations centre, where a dedicated Sterling Commerce team provides technical expertise, project management and outsourced support to enable the quick and secure expansion of the company’s eCommerce business infrastructure.

“In the current business climate, with the lack of skilled staff and financial resources, there has never been a greater need for outsourcing,” said Paul Silvester, VP Consulting and Services EMEA, of Sterling Commerce. “Companies that use outside experts, like Sterling Commerce, to manage their B2B eCommerce programmes will reap the benefits of enhanced performance, improved operating efficiencies and a consequential faster ROI.”

He continued: “STERLING Managed Services enables businesses to quickly and efficiently expand their eCommerce infrastructure globally, without a huge financial and personnel investment. This is particularly the case where companies who are divesting or acquiring business units need to focus on leveraging their changed businesses and do not have time to worry about how some business processes are actually delivered - as long as they are delivered reliably and at good value.”

STERLING Managed Services is considerably more flexible than other outsourcing solutions on the market, and provides businesses with a complete package for the translation, communication and development of advanced eCommunities. The solution incorporates Sterling Commerce’s own suite of integration and workflow products and solutions, which are favoured by 80% of the Global 5000.

A further benefit of the solution is its scalability. As organisations look to build on their existing eBusiness functionalities, STERLING Managed Services offers the capabilities to enable companies to incorporate new Web applications and build dynamic and integrated extended communities.

STERLING Managed Services works by receiving data from an organisation’s digital marketplace or its eCommerce trading partners. A wide range of communication links are supported, including secure data exchange over the internet or connections to value-added networks (VAN’s) and X.400 networks. The data is then translated to allow all connected parties to trade online in any data format (including EDI and XML, industry-specific formats and fax).

Typical customers for the STERLING Managed Services offering are small to large enterprises that are already in a hub-spoke environment, organisations expecting to undergo a major restructuring through merger or acquisition or businesses wishing to outsource EDI/XML to a third party.

The STERLING Managed Services offering is a key element of the company’s core product and service portfolio aimed at providing businesses with complete capabilities to integrate, automate and extend processes throughout their business communities. The enhancement of the portfolio was announced as part of Sterling Commerce’s new EMEA business strategy in April 2002.

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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:

Willemijn Steegenga
Sterling Commerce
Tel: +31 20 560 5794
Willemijn_Steegenga@stercomm.com

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


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