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Integration services ensure smooth transition and ongoing support for Wal-Mart and its global supplier community in the adoption of EDI-INT AS2

London, 6 November 2002 Sterling Commerce and IBM have been selected by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., as approved integration specialists and contingency mailbox service providers in support of Wal-Martfs initiative for direct, internet-based connectivity with its global supplier community via the EDI-INT AS2 standard. Sterling's service offerings have been made immediately available in line with Wal-Martfs aggressive transition to the new standard.

Wal-Mart endorses the EDI-INT AS2 technology (a set of communication protocols used to transport data over the Internet) to replace bisync communications for direct connectivity with its global supplier community. Integration products enabled with AS2 allow the user to connect, deliver, validate and reply to data securely and reliably. Sterling Commerce is one of the pioneers of the AS2 standard and one of the key companies that helped develop the specification.

Sterling Commerce will provide interoperability services for EDI-INT AS2 connectivity between Wal-Mart and its supplier community. In addition, Sterling's hosted network services will provide contingency mailbox services to provide a high degree of predictability in the supply chain and identify and support points of communication issues. Suppliers can choose from a wide range of delivery and connectivity solutions into Sterling hosted network services that meet Wal-Mart's contingency requirement.

We are excited to be selected by Wal-Mart to provide this range of services for their AS2 initiative, said Jeffrey Bardash, vice president, strategic sales support and consulting services, Sterling Commerce.

For more than 25 years, Sterling Commerce has been delivering solutions that enable companies and their business communities to conduct business electronically. Our capabilities, resources and experience will ensure that Wal-Mart and its supplier community will accomplish their business objectives and maximise their return on investment.

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In addition, Sterling Commerce recently completed testing requirements for its AS2 solutions by the Drummond Group, a vendor-neutral interoperability conformance consultancy. Sterling was first certified for AS2 in 2000 and has since passed multiple certification tests, including the most recent technical review in August 2002. These software solutions are now generally available to Wal-Martfs supplier community.

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 maximise 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 recognised 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.

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About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

With annual sales of $218 billion, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates more than 2,780 discount stores,
Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, and more than 510 SAM'S CLUBS in the United States. Internationally, the company operates about 1,200 units. Wal-Mart employs 1.3 million associates worldwide. The company's securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be located on-line at and . The SAM'S CLUB Web site can be accessed at

For media enquiries please contact:

Linda Clifford

Sterling Commerce

Tel: +44 (0)208 867 8239

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