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Β· Sterling Integrator provides a single platform for application integration, enabling the integrated, extended enterprise

Β· Process-centric approach to improve business operational performance

Β· Pilot testing already underway in EMEA across manufacturing, retail and finance sectors

Β· Supports AS2 for EDI over the Internet and Web services

London, 31st October 2002 – Sterling Commerce, leading provider of business-to-business commerce solutions today announced the availability of Sterling Integratorβ„’, its advanced business process management (BPM) platform, across EMEA. Sterling Integrator supports both enterprise application integration (EAI) and B2B integration, includes both BPM and systems management capability, and is based on a core, business process engine.

Sterling Integrator is a next-generation integration platform that automates the flow of information between employees, legacy infrastructure, enterprise applications and B2B commerce environments. It makes companies easier to do business with, whilst also helping cut costs, accelerate response times and achieve tighter business collaboration, ultimately enabling enhanced customer service. Sterling Integrator allows customers to leverage and extend their current investments leading to greater efficiencies and management of e-business processes.

Sterling Integrator enables companies to graphically map multiple business processes from the first initiation of contact all the way through to fulfilment, and identify how data is to be moved and manipulated throughout the entire process. Because it addresses integration at the business process level, CFOs and line managers are able to take greater control of their business by managing the use of technology to meet their requirements.

Teresa Jones, Research Analyst for the Butler Group commented on Sterling Integrator: β€œThis product addresses a key issue in the integration space: that for enterprise-level integration, BPM is becoming increasingly relevant as a means of making integration achievable. By recognising that the boundaries between external and internal integration are blurring, and the enterprise focus needs to be increasingly on the process rather than the individual applications, Sterling Integrator will stir up interest from enterprises that need to put their processes under the efficiency microscope.”

Whether customers need to react quickly to changing market conditions, increase operational efficiencies, or tighten relationships within the supply chain, Sterling Integrator provides integration between internal and external applications and provides information exchange on a single platform. This leads to faster response times, heightened customer satisfaction and increased revenues.

Because Sterling Integrator is built on a services-oriented architecture, it offers a modular approach which allows businesses to buy and deploy incrementally as their integration needs evolve, new standards emerge or opportunities arise for advanced collaborative processes. This has the added benefit to IT and business decision makers of lowering the risk of their IT projects significantly and making their projects more manageable. It also allows companies to respond quickly to changes in customer demand and define and focus their integration deployment where and when it makes sense.

Dave Robinson, Vice President EMEA of Sterling Commerce said: β€œWith more than 25 years experience in data integration and solving business and IT pains, we recognised the need for a scalable, modular integration solution that can bring together business applications, people and external partners, on a single platform. Sterling Integrator enables the enhanced management of business critical information and productivity, without the need to replace any existing technology.”

Sterling Integrator is a single, comprehensive platform for application integration built to provide BPM capabilities, whilst supporting legacy systems and existing standards. Sterling Integrator supports a wide range of application and technology adapters, such as SAP, PeopleSoft, i2 and Siebel, and messaging middleware such as IBM MQ series, Oracle AQ, and the Java Messaging Service (JMS). Sterling integrator also provides adapters to existing integration solutions from Webmethods, Vitria and Tibco which allow users of those tools to leverage Sterling Commerce’s existing business to reach a business community of more than tens of thousands of customers.

Sterling Integrator is built from the ground up on the scalable and flexible J2EE platform, empowering organisations with unmatched flexibility to incorporate existing and future open standards, such as web services, ebXML, BPML and emerging XML-based security and quality of service specifications. Additionally, the product marries native XML and EDI translation capabilities, enabling large organisations with extensive EDI assets to effectively leverage emerging Internet-based process integration.

Robinson continued: β€œThe timing of our release reflects the current state of the EMEA integration marketplace and the underlying technology and standards that our vision and architecture rest upon. Our best of breed, open-standards architecture positions us for leadership in emerging standards such as ebXML and BPML, while our J2EE application server means we are more thoroughly standards-based than any of our competitors.”

Sterling Commerce is already piloting Sterling Integrator across the EMEA region with a range of market leaders in the retail/CPG, manufacturing (electronic, automotive) and financial services industries and expects to announce a string of new contract wins in the months ahead. Across the board, these companies are looking to streamline their supply chain management through business process integration and are embracing new technologies such as AS2 and web services to enable quicker turnaround times in meeting customer demands, reduce operational costs and eliminate manual processing and related errors and overhead – all of which affect bottom line.

Leica Microsystems, a global manufacturer and supplier of high precision optical solutions, is an early adopter of Sterling Integrator in EMEA. Derek Payne, Fulfilment Technology Manager at Leica said of the solution: β€œIn the past we have experienced delays in the reconciliation of parts due to a manual processing system. With Sterling Integrator, we have a finely-tuned engine that can correctly manage and monitor the flow of data and applications and ensure integrity of critical business processes. This effectively removes administrative delays in the processing and movement of our stock and results in a quick and substantial ROI. Our decision to work with Sterling Commerce was one made with confidence, primarily because of their impressive background and extensive experience in EDI and B2B commerce solutions.”


Robinson of Sterling Commerce concluded: β€œThe modular nature of the solution means it can be implemented as a business’ needs expand - without the need for weighty upfront investment - and its unique design allows us to customise a solution that best meets specific business problems or opportunities. Integration is no easy task, but Sterling Integrator is a strategic integration platform that leads to improved business performance, makes companies easier to do business, and helps enterprises better serve their customers.”

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:

Linda Clifford

Sterling Commerce

+44 (0)208 867 8239

linda_clifford@stercomm.com


Sarah Griffiths / Claire Smither

Nelson Bostock Communications

Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 4400

claire.smither@nelsonbostock.com



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