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Comprehensive channel initiative maximises resources and complements direct sales efforts

London, 10 December 2002 – Sterling Commerce today introduced the Sterling Commerce Global Partner Programme, a comprehensive initiative that streamlines sales processes, information flow, and resources between the company and its channel partners.

The wide-ranging programme provides distributors, resellers, affinity partners and referral partners with access to a variety of sales, marketing and customer support tools designed to address their unique needs and add value to their sales processes.

“This programme underscores the importance of our global partners as a key component of our sales organisation,” said Michele Carvalho, Head of EMEA Partners, Sterling Commerce. “Their effectiveness is critical as we extend and broaden product penetration in target markets and gain a more complete understanding of customer requirements and industry needs.”

Sterling Commerce partners can select a programme participation level (which ranges from Bronze through to Platinum) that best meets their resources and capabilities. Basic participation levels (i.e. Bronze) require a minimal purchase of development software in return for discounts or royalties on Sterling Commerce solutions and access to customer support and education resources. The additional benefits of higher-level categories include joint business planning assistance and discounts on e-Business consulting services.

Rob Shaw, Product Manager of Datacentrix Solutions, a Platinum Partner of Sterling Commerce, based in South Africa commented, ”As a long-standing partner of Sterling Commerce in the EMEA region, we have implemented many e-Business solutions over the years to the total satisfaction of all concerned. This satisfaction stems not only from the quality of the solutions, but also the ease and timely implementation, after-sales support and the total and ongoing commitment by all Sterling Commerce personnel.”

Key elements of the Sterling Global Partner Programme include PartnerNet, Support on Demand and the Partner Advisory Council:

· PartnerNet, a password-protected web site, includes current Sterling Commerce product information and downloadable marketing collateral, training materials and success stories. With personalised partner information presented at log-on, PartnerNet may also be used as a resource for automated collaborative business planning and Web-based seminars

· Support on Demand provides online access to Sterling’s extensive knowledge base of technical support information and frequently asked questions (FAQs), and to Sterling Information Broker Document Tracking, the Web-based tool available in most geographic areas for tracking and monitoring online data by multiple criteria

· Sterling Commerce has also established a Partner Advisory Council, comprised of representatives from partner organisations around the world who act as liaisons and provide feedback and advice to Sterling Commerce about partner relationships

Jaime Fontecilla, director of technology at ENIAC, Venezuela and Puerto Rico, and a member of the Partner Advisory Council, said: “Our participation in the Partner Advisory Council is very beneficial for us and also our customers, as it allows us to directly and regularly express and transmit our customer requirements regarding product and business needs to Sterling Commerce management.”

Additional partner projects in planning stages include a formalised 90-day implementation process to enable partners to quickly support and sell the Sterling Commerce solutions, and the creation of co-op marketing plans with our top partners.

Current partners value their relationship with Sterling Commerce and are enthusiastic about future participation in the Global Partner Programme.

Chris Harasty, managing director, Essential Software, Australia, said, “Essential Software has worked with other EAI vendors over the years to provide Enterprise Integration solutions, however, Sterling Commerce is by far the best vendor to work with. Their technology and product design is better and the way they do business with their partners is unexpectedly refreshing.”

For more information about the Sterling Commerce Global Partner Programme, contact Mr Jay Wolfe, Channels Marketing Manager, Sterling Commerce on

+ 44 (0)20 8867 8238 or visit


http://partners.sterlingcommerce.co.uk


– 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 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.

For more information, visit http://www.sterlingcommerce.co.uk


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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