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Sterling Integrator™ Business Process Management & Integration solution signs 150 customers in first six months

London, 11 June 2003 - Sterling Commerce, leading provider of business integration solutions, predicts that Global Data Synchronisation (GDS) will be the next market driver behind the demand for integration solutions, as more than 31 large retailers including Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware confirm their intent to push the GDS initiative, with many more big-name manufacturers also jumping on board.

Data Synchronisation is the methodology that enables manufacturers, distributors and retailers to have a common understanding about the product information they share. The GDS push is being driven by two main factors: the cost implications that out-of-sync information has on the supply chain, and the decision by retail giants in 2002 to launch another initiative that requires their trading partners to establish Internet connectivity using the AS2 protocol.

As the additional pressure mounts to increase the degree of information visibility throughout the entire supply chain, initiatives such as collaborative planning, forecast, and replenishment, scan-based trading, vendor managed inventory, and others are now coming to the forefront.

Sam Starr, president and CEO of Sterling Commerce, said: “Sterling Commerce is already addressing major industry initiatives with our software and service solutions that meet these specific needs and work with an individual company’s existing technology. Our momentum in the integration space continues to grow and we have already signed 150 Sterling Integrator customers (this is known as Gentran Integration Suite in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America) in the last six months. This milestone is further evidence that the market needs a solution that can be implemented quickly to address immediate requirements, such as AS2 and GDS, yet is robust enough to provide a foundation for future integration growth.”

Sterling Commerce’s has a unique approach to addressing the processes and business requirements of AS2 and GDS through its modular software solution, Sterling Integrator, which comes at an opportune time. Hollis Bischoff, vice president, Technology Research Services, META Group states that an estimated 70 percent of the cost of a B2B transaction between retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers is associated with data correction (not receiving the accurate data the first time), which is mainly as a result of data synchronisation issues.

Sterling Integrator tackles the three stages of GDS, which are:

· internal synchronisation, or maintaining consistent information within the four walls of an organization;

· external synchronisation or sharing consistent information among participants in the supply chain – typically between the buyer and seller – facilitated through the exchange of EDI or by publishing data to industry organisations such as Transora and UCCnet;

· the ongoing process of remaining in sync internally and keeping business partners updated with new products, prices and items codes


Starr continued: “Most companies have product information that resides in multiple files, databases, and spreadsheets and Sterling Integrator pulls the data from these multiple sources. Continual data management is essential once accurate data from internal systems are synced up and sent to business partners. Through the business intelligence engine in Sterling Integrator, customers may receive and approve or reject product updates for integration into product data master files.

“The exceptions caused by inadequate data undermine an organisation’s ability to effectively compete. Now that the procedures for conducting GDS have been clearly defined, there is real danger that those taking a wait-and-see approach may be fiscally threatening their businesses. Our goal is to provide customers with a solution that best fits their business model, which may be software, a hosted solution, complete outsourcing or a combination of these.”

- ENDS -

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 www.sterlingcommerce.co.uk


For media enquiries please contact:

Willemijn Steegenga
Sterling Commerce
Tel: +31 (0) 20 560 5794
willemijn_steegenga@stercomm.com
Sarah Griffiths / Jacquelene Hopwell
Nelson Bostock Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7229 4400
jacquelene.hopwell@nelsonbostock.com

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