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New white paper from Sterling Commerce enables organisations to gain control over their businesses

Research provides solution to the challenge of business process management and integration

London, 17th February 2003 – Sterling Commerce, leading provider of business integration solutions, today released a white paper aimed at helping organisations understand the complexities of business process management (BPM), and business process integration (BPI). BPM and integration play a key role in providing business and IT managers with the ability to gain greater control over their processes and predictability in managing them. The white paper, entitled ‘BPM and Integration: Enabling organisations to gain control of their businesses’ is available now at:
http://www.sterlingcommerce.co.uk/integration/pr

Sterling Commerce commissioned analyst house, Datamonitor plc, to conduct market research into the burgeoning European BPM and Integration market, in a bid for greater understanding of the challenges, business goals, market factors, and perceived benefits driving the growth and uptake of integration solutions across a range of vertical sectors.

Datamonitor predicts the European B2BI, BPM and BPI market will grow by 12% to reach $1.9 billion in 2005, with the UK, Germany, and France capturing the lion’s share of spend, with 32%, 24%, and 10% respectively. Most of the spend will come from the European financial services market ($482 million), manufacturing ($375 million), the retail, wholesale and distribution sector ($268 million), and communications ($200 million).

What’s driving BPM / BPI?

The white paper found the key factor driving the growth of the BPM / BPI market was enterprises’ need to ‘regain control’ of their business and technology through a unified business process integration solution that supports both internal and external integration requirements, and that can be implemented incrementally as the business requirements evolve.

The desires to achieve operational efficiencies, reduce costs and improve revenues were noted in the white paper research as the main project drivers for the adoption of business process integration solutions by businesses. Implementing an integration strategy was considered a key means for organisations to become faster and more efficient in responding to growing customer requirements

The research also shows that the strong demand for business process integration technologies across Europe is largely due to the greater need for business process integration and collaboration of people, systems and processes across various geographical boundaries. Relatively advanced ERP, CRM and sell-side initiatives will also drive growth, along with a surge in the demand for BPM and business activity monitoring (BAM) solutions.

Tony Hart, research analyst at Datamonitor said: “It is safe to say that some form of business process integration solution has become the cornerstone of a modern IT strategy. Having the right integration strategy and enabling technology is essential to successful business.”

Lack of supply chain visibility proves greatest BPM challenge

The challenge facing most organisations considering business process management and integration solutions stems from the lack of visibility throughout the entire supply chain, which can result in excess costs and inaccuracies relating to manual processes and stock levels, poor customer service, and a decreased ability to respond to market changes. The requirement to address business integration from both a business and technology perspective is paramount in creating a flexible, agile and dynamic enterprise.

Sector-specific needs require sector-smart solutions

The market research was further supplemented with end-user analysis across the Retail/CPG, Financial Services, and Manufacturing sectors, aimed at identifying the challenges and expected benefits that an integration and BPM strategy will deliver to these industries. These findings showed conclusive evidence that companies delivering business process integration solutions must be capable of assisting organisations to build better, more efficient businesses while demonstrating lowered cost of ownership and the ability to successfully mitigate risk.

The white paper also outlines the unique integration needs of these specific industries that aren’t supported by ‘off the shelf’ solutions i.e. straight through processing (STP) in financial services; collaborative product design in manufacturing; collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment in distribution; and consolidated billing in the telecoms sector.

The paper also draws on the uncertainty that surrounds Web Services and the need for enterprise integration technologies (EAI and B2BI) to be considered within the overall context of Web Services. Amongst the end-user companies interviewed, 32% believed the benefits of Web Services related to the integration of internal applications and the sharing of data between applications in different companies.

What to Look for in a Vendor: Experience, Knowledge and Future-Proof Solutions
Datamonitor warns businesses to ‘tread carefully’ when selecting their integration and business process management vendor to ensure that they are well positioned to exploit current and future trends in the integration marketplace. The white paper recommends users choose an experienced and viable vendor with staying power who is able to provide a comprehensive solution that tackles the issue of business process, application and system integration, in addition to appreciating the nature of their business and the vertical market they operate in. According to Tony Hart, Sterling Commerce, with its proven BPM and Integration platform, Sterling Integrator™, fulfils these requirements.

Dave Robinson, senior vice president of EMEA at Sterling Commerce said: “Integration is no easy task. Eliminating costs, improving business efficiencies and meeting customer requirements are critical components of any successful business process integration project. What differentiates Sterling Integrator from other integration offerings on the market is the modular nature of the solution, which allows businesses to buy and deploy incrementally as their business needs evolve - without the need for a weighty initial investment. This unique design enables companies to leverage their existing systems and infrastructure and gives them the flexibility to adopt a customised solution that will make companies easy to do business with.”



About Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce is one of the world's largest providers of business integration solutions. For more than 25 years, thousands of customers have depended on our expertise to help improve business metrics. Our reliable software and services help customers improve current or deploy new business processes through the integration of applications, external partner systems and people. Sterling Commerce is an SBC Communications Inc. company. For more information, visit
http://www.sterlingcommerce.co.uk

For media enquiries please contact:

Willemijn Steegenga

Sterling Commerce

+31 (0) 20 560 5794

Willemijn_Steegenga@stercomm.com


Jacquelene Hopwell / Yuki Geali

Nelson Bostock Communications

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7229 4400

Jacquelene.hopwell@nelsonbostock.com

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 https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.