Sterling Commerce launches GIS Foodservice Edition

New packaged integration offering developed to enable fast, robust and cost-effective electronic trading using OFSCI-approved GS1 UK standards
London - September 26, 2005 - Sterling Commerce, the multi-enterprise collaboration company, announces availability of its Gentran Integration Suite (GIS) 'Foodservice' Edition - developed in response to the growing adoption of electronic trading in the UK Foodservice industry. GIS Food Service Edition is built on Sterling Commerce's Gentran Integration Suite.
Foodservice is one of the major industries in the UK, with an annual spend of £60 billion that is set to increase even further.[1] Traditionally, however, the adoption of electronic commerce has been lower than in the retail and consumer goods supply chains. The Optimum Foodservice Supply Chain Initiative (OFSCI), an initiative driven by a number of major Foodservice operators, distributors and manufacturers, has now developed sector-specific standards for electronic trading in partnership with the e-commerce standards body GS1 UK.
The Sterling Commerce GIS Foodservice Edition is an "off-the-shelf" package, that enables organisations of all sizes to trade electronically with major operators and distributors who have adopted the OFSCI-approved GS1 standards. OFSCI members such as Compass Group, Mitchell & Butlers, Unilever, 3663 and Sterling Commerce work together to increase operational efficiencies and cut costs in the supply chain through the implementation of standards based technology. Sterling Commerce is one of a small number of OFSCI "Partner Program" solution providers.
Sterling Commerce's Gentran Integration Suite is a comprehensive B2B integration platform, built on the Sterling Commerce Multi Enterprise Services Architecture (MESA). This provides the flexibility to deliver a cost-effective, packaged solution that enables fast and highly robust compliance with OFSCI-approved standards and a strategic platform on which to progressively build out the full range of Multi-Enterprise integration, business process management and B2B capabilities required by the organisation over time, for example EU115 compliant electronic invoicing.
Capabilities built into the GIS Foodservice Edition package include AS2 messaging, invoicing, credit note, remittance advice and order and order response messaging. Customers can implement full or partial message sets, in function of the requirements of their trading partners. The solution further enables automated GS1XML message translation to ensure smooth and inclusive communications flows.
Chris Love, Supply Chain Project Manager at Mitchell & Butlers commented: "By embracing e-commerce and by supporting the development of standards-based solutions, the Foodservice Industry can achieve breakthrough benefits for manufacturers, distributors, operators and most importantly of course, end-consumers. OFSCI-approved solutions such as the GIS Foodservice Edition ensure that our trading partners can quickly achieve the benefits of e-commerce: rapid reductions in costs whilst improving supply chain performance."
Roy Lee, vice president marketing EMEA at Sterling Commerce, said: "Collaboration is the key to enabling future growth within companies and markets and the challenge lies in managing the complexity of communications between trading partners. The agility and flexibility of the MESA architecture, which enabled Sterling Commerce to swiftly deliver a pan-European e-invoicing solution earlier this year,  has once again been applied to develop the GIS Foodservice Edition solution to meet the specific needs of a significant and growing industry."

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