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Glanbia plc. realises instant benefits from automation of invoice processing

London, 27 May 2002 – Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBC Communications (NYSE:SBC) has started a pilot program of its recently launched Sterling Workflow Manager™ for Web Trading solution with international food giant, Glanbia plc.

Sterling Workflow Manager for Web Trading 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.

Primarily based in Ireland, USA and UK, Glanbia plc. markets dairy and meat products across the world. With an annual turnover of over €2.6 billion, the company is continually seeking to innovate and maximise efficiency.

“Our biggest single problem in the accounting process was the mismatching of invoices to purchase orders resulting from our paper-based buying process. What we needed was the ability to process invoices on receipt of goods, rather than on receipt of purchase orders. Sterling Commerce was able to tailor its workflow component and process modelling to directly address this issue and provide an efficient, automated solution,” said Eddie Russell, CEO of Shared Services at Glanbia plc.

Sterling Workflow Manager for Web Trading uses a simple web interface with designated suppliers to automatically route orders to them and control their access to pre-determined data fields. A built-in exception handling facility automatically notifies businesses like Glanbia plc. if suppliers fail to log on to the system in order to verify or validate an order within a specified timeframe. In addition, suppliers of Glanbia plc. receive an email informing them that there is an order waiting in their inbox. This capability is extremely valuable to suppliers who only receive orders occasionally from Glanbia plc. and don’t want to log onto the site every day.

The solution allows Glanbia plc. to issue orders generated out of its ERP system automatically to suppliers. Once the order is sent, suppliers have the option to download or print the document. Once the goods are received at Glanbia plc., a delivery confirmation is sent to the supplier which then automatically generates an invoice. This automated process enables Glanbia plc. to eliminate manual invoice processing as the electronic invoice is loaded into the Glanbia plc. ERP system, SAP R3, with no human intervention. The process is completed as automatic remittance advices, covering multiple invoices, are sent to suppliers.

Russell continued: “In summary, what we were looking for was a cost-effective and hassle-free integrated solution which allowed us not just to automate our own processes, but to automatically link our IT system directly to our suppliers’ systems – and Sterling Workflow Manager for Web Trading achieved exactly this.”

“Web Trading is a win-win solution for both Glanbia plc. and our suppliers, as it delivers excellent efficiency gains – it eliminates our need for manual processes, like paper invoice handling, and gives our suppliers the option of downloads which make transactions at their end quicker and smoother. Getting our suppliers’ buy-in to Web Trading will be easy as they will become a preferred supplier, making them easier to do business with,” he concluded.

Paul Silvester, Vice President Consulting & Services, EMEA at Sterling Commerce, said: “By opening up the internet to existing ERP & EDI implementations, our new Web Trading solution swiftly provides big customers and their suppliers with great value and reduced costs, and enables them to focus on the process of doing business more efficiently, securely and reliably.”

Sterling Workflow Manager for Web Trading is particularly well suited for companies who, like Glanbia plc., have already implemented EDI, as the solution is evolutionary and does not require firms to throw out their existing XML or EDI. However, it is equally suited to companies wanting to reach out over the web for the first time. The data flow component can be plugged into existing EDI/XML interfaces (including Sterling ’s CONNECT and GENTRAN software products) - so an already existing ERP system can gain hundreds of additional integrated partners with no interface changes.

In support of Sterling Workflow Manager for Web Trading, Sterling Commerce also offers two important (customer care) services to ensure a complete, integrated solution: Customised Support Desk Services and the E-Community Development Service (ECD).


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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/emea

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


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



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