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IBM Delivers Software to Help Retailers, Distributors and Manufacturers Execute Strategic Global Data Synchronization Initiatives


SOMERS, NY - 13 Dec 2004: IBM today announced the immediate availability of global data synchronization software that enables retailers, distributors and manufacturers to collaborate with one another so they can share critical business information and integrate it with their internal systems.

Traditionally, manufacturers, retailers and distributors have shared business information using relatively inefficient manual processes such as fax, phone or email, leading to product information errors and redundant processes.

Today, with IBM's new software, IBM Global Data Synchronization for WebSphere Product Center, manual processes are dramatically reduced and companies gain a scalable, certified solution to help them automate how they manage and share the information, using industry standards.

For example, in manufacturing, category managers and product marketers can use the new software to quickly and easily exchange comprehensive product information with their retail counterparts such as merchandisers and buyers.

The new software also helps customers make their business processes more efficient. For example, a manufacturer can use the software to perform an analysis of how quickly retailers are responding to its requests, and a retailer can quickly ascertain which of its manufacturers are consistently providing inaccurate information.

Such automated processes help both retail and manufacturing professionals use their time more efficiently, offer accurate details about goods and services across the supply chain, and improve the relationships between trading partners.

"We sought a solution to help Unilever, both in Europe and North America, connect to leading data pools such as Transora, UDEX and UCCnet. This has allowed us to establish an accurate, consistent repository of our product information that we use to reliably exchange information with our trading partners," said James Jackson, Vice President of Strategy and Technology, Unilever. "Our approach has provided a scalable, resilient, and secure solution that has helped us reduce costs on IT maintenance, reduce time processing erroneous invoices and errors, as well as improve customer service. We also look to leverage this infrastructure for future strategic initiative such as RFID and CPFR."

IBM Global Data Synchronization for WebSphere Product Center is built on IBM's leading product information management solution, WebSphere Product Center. IBM has been helping customers implement their global synchronization initiatives for more than three years, giving IBM an extensive understanding of the needs enterprises face to implement an effective global data synchronization strategy.

IBM Global Data Synchronization for WebSphere Product Center is the first enterprise-class product that includes "in the box" everything needed to deploy a complete production global data synchronization system -- Certified data pool integration, IBM WebSphere Product Center for product information management, IBM WebSphere Application Server, IBM DB2 Universal Database, and IBM WebSphere Business Integration Connect for AS2 network connectivity.

IBM has been an active participant in the establishment of standards for global data synchronization and RFID. Leadership roles in industry organizations such as the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI), EPC Global, and the Global Standards Management Process (GSMP) are examples of the initiatives IBM has participated in.

These initiatives help drive the adoption of global standards to facilitate standards-based exchange of critical business information between trading partners. IBM has also established strategic partnerships with leading data pools including Transora, the World-Wide Retail Exchange (WWRE), UCCnet and SINFOS both to help further the adoption of global data synchronization standards, as well as to reduce cost of ownership to customers by maintaining constantly updated, certified connectivity.

"IBM is leading the way in providing software that creates an automated, more efficient, collaborative effort for business people in both retail and manufacturing environments," said Dan Druker, director of product information management, IBM. "With IBM Global Data Synchronization for WebSphere Product Center, we are helping our customers move to full production with their global data synchronization initiatives and prepare for future RFID rollouts. We're dramatically reducing the cost of ownership and increasing the return on investment for enterprise-class global data synchronization."

Contact(s) information

Julia Hughes
IBM Media Relations
(650) 685-5778
hughesj@us.ibm.com

Ari Fishkind
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-1715
fishkind@us.ibm.com

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Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source

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