"Plug-and-Play" Solution for UCCnet Services

Entry-level solution targets small, midsize suppliers facing data synchronization mandates

Pottsville, PA — March 16, 2004 — EXTOL International, a provider of B2B applications, rolled out what it is calling a complete "load and go" UCCnet application for suppliers to implement UCCnet services.

The software application enables users to enter, validate and synchronize trade item data with UCCnet services in less than an hour, the solution provider said.

The product is certified by UCC as a complete UCCnet Synchronization Suite solution, packaged with prices beginning at $2,500. EXTOL said it has taken this move to rapidly expand UCCnet usage to the 80 percent of retail suppliers that have not yet participated.

"Retailers are wrestling with a bottleneck of suppliers who are not able to onboard to UCCnet easily and quickly," says Andrew White, research director at Gartner. "Suppliers need to be able to access UCCnet and data synchronization services to meet with retailer mandates to participate in retail driven initiatives aligned with global data synchronization. Small and mid-size enterprises are not alone in this effort and they look for 'lighter' solutions to avoid the bottleneck."

The EXTOL shrink-wrapped data synchronization solution is designed for suppliers with a limited number of products affected by a UCCnet customer mandate to subscribe to UCCnet services. It is the identical product shipped to EXTOL's enterprise clients, with the internal integration capabilities locked.

"Until now, a supplier facing UCCnet deadlines was forced to choose between primitive tools lacking basic management capabilities and expensive high end products that required significant time, effort and custom coding to implement UCCnet services," stated Tony Baran, CEO of EXTOL.

"This new offering removes the obstacles of cost and deployment times for the [small and midsize business (SMB)] enterprise without sacrificing the automation and ease of use previously available only in expensive, high-end solutions," added Dennis Bonagura, President of EXTOL. "The plug and play approach enables a supplier to install the system, immediately enter, validate, register and publish trade item data in less than an hour. This gives them a UCCnet services solution under their control, provides a fixed cost solution and can be expanded for full integration with a simple license upgrade."

The product is configured to allow the supplier to key the data directly into the internal product item data catalog, where it will be automatically checked for compliance and synchronized with the UCCnet services. The EXTOL SMB enterprise solution contains features for workflow approvals, e-mail notifications, intelligent stop lighting and automated lifecycle tracking. The internal product catalog has the ability to support more than UCCnet data, but also data required by other initiatives such as WWRE, RFID and other industry or customer specific requirements.

As a supplier's data synchronization requirements increase, or if they choose to take advantage of the integration capabilities of the EXTOL Business Integrator, they already have the software installed and available through a license upgrade, EXTOL noted.

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