Managed Service for UCCnet and Datapool Data Synchronization

Cleo looks to help suppliers overcome barriers to meeting near-term data synch requirements

Rockford, IL— April 14, 2004 — e-Business communications specialist Cleo Communications has released a new managed service for UCCnet and datapool data synchronization, designed to help suppliers overcome barriers to meeting near-term data synch requirements with a minimum of headaches.

Cleo's Synchronized Commerce Service, based on the Quick-to-Market synchronization engine from the Kodiak Group, is a data capture, validation, translation and message transport solution for managing and publishing product data through UCCnet's GLOBALregistry. Quick-To-Market is certified by the Uniform Code Council for UCCnet 2.2.1 schema, including the hardlines extensions.

The service includes training, pre-formatted forms for loading and managing item data, hosted synchronized UCCnet messages and live technical phone support. Cleo said that all aspects of UCCnet data synchronization are professionally managed, allowing suppliers to rapidly achieve compliance with the least amount of risk. There is no software to buy, install or support.

Data synchronization is the continuous harmonization of product and service information between two parties for integration of retailer and manufacturer processes. It helps trading partners reduce errors involved in pricing, purchase orders, product delivery, and scanning.

As product data changes, new information can be communicated quickly and accurately in a standardized format. Additionally, data synchronization can help companies take new products to market faster and help buyers and sellers locate one another with greater ease, regardless of location.

The organization driving this movement in supply chain efficiency is UCCnet. A not-for-profit organization, UCCnet provides product registry, validation and data synchronization services. Largely involving the retail and CPG market, UCCnet data synchronization is estimated to be the largest industry-wide movement since the UPC code. Many retailers including Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Lowe's, Home Depot, Ahold and others have published deadlines for suppliers to achieve data synchronization with UCCnet.

"The benefits of data synchronization — including greater efficiency, reduced errors, global presence and the ability to take products to market faster — can easily be overshadowed by the immediate need to meet a retailer mandate for synchronized product data," said Jeff Lightcap, product marketing manager for Cleo. "Lack of experience in new technologies and processes and limited resources are obstacles for many trading partners."

Lightcap said that Cleo aims to remove these obstacles, giving suppliers a cost-effective path to UCCnet compliance. "Time and resources are significantly reduced when suppliers receive assistance from skilled professionals who understand UCCnet and have helped other companies through the process," Lightcap suggested. "Users can achieve the business benefits of UCCnet right away, with no learning curve penalty and no stress."

He went on to say that the new service could serve as either a long-term or interim solution. "Depending on long-range plans, trading partners can budget additional time to engineer or investigate a behind-the firewall solution while using the service," he said.

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