Spar AG Deploys Integration Infrastructure

Austrian retailer implements SeeBeyond solution to support new delivery logistics system

Monrovia, CA — December 12, 2003 — Austrian retailer Spar Osterreichische Warenhandels-AG has deployed an integration platform from SeeBeyond to facilitate the integration and synchronization of the company's new delivery logistics system.

Operating approximately 1,500 supermarkets across Austria with a workforce of 31,000, Spar is the country's largest private employer. In 2003, Spar AG group sales totaled $4.4 billion, with members of the group including the Hervis sports goods chain and production facilities such as the Regio coffee roasting plant.

With plans to replace its existing warehouse and order picking system in October, Spar identified the need for a common integration infrastructure. The new warehouse management system, known as Wamas, was to synchronize data primarily with SAP R/3, running on HP-UX, along with an inventory control application running on a BS2000 mainframe. Rather than developing 20 customized new interfaces, Spar decided to standardize on a single integration platform.

Following a one-week proof of concept period, Spar awarded the contract to SeeBeyond in July. In a vendor selection process, the SeeBeyond eGate Integrator platform tackled the required tasks faster and with less personnel costs than the competition. Adherence to this time frame was a critical factor in the selection, as the integration solution was due to go into service concurrently with the start-up of the new logistics system in October.

"The SeeBeyond solution enabled us to integrate our new logistics system easily and quickly with Spar's existing IT landscape," said Andreas Egger of Spar AG. "Furthermore, the eGate platform has proven easy to administrate and in the event of problems, the solution allows us to resume at precisely the point where data synchronization was interrupted. In addition, we were able to quickly train Spar employees during the development phase of the project, which has allowed us to work without external services since September."

The solution is in operation in the first out of six distribution centers synchronizing the supply chain logistics between the SAP system and mainframe applications at the headquarters of the merchandising organization. The movement of master data through the integration platform, for example, comprises about 1,000 changes daily. In addition to the continued expansion of the Wamas system to include all six logistics centers by mid-2004, Spar is planning new integration projects in the sphere of supply chain management, such as the exchange of scanning data with suppliers.

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