Viacore and IBM Strike a Deal

Viacore signs agreement for IBM to resell Viacore's BusinessTone Community Integration Services with WebSphere Business Integration Software

ibmpos blurgb 57cf198907bb4

Pre-Packaged BusinessTone Ready-Activate-Operate Services to Remove Community Integration Barriers

Irvine, Calif. — August 5, 2003 —Viacore, The Integration Utility(TM) for private trading communities, announced an agreement with IBM (NYSE: IBM) in which Viacore's BusinessTone(TM) community integration services will be available through IBM in conjunction with IBM's new WebSphere Business Integration Connect software.

"Our agreement with Viacore addresses many of the inter-company integration obstacles that have hampered community builders to date," said Marie Wieck, vice president, WebSphere Business Integration, IBM. "By aligning Viacore's expertise in community integration services with IBM's expertise in integration software, we will extend our clear leadership in intra-company integration to provide our customers with cost-effective, end-to-end, extended enterprise integration that's measurable, reliable and scaleable -- on demand."

The combination of the pre-packaged BusinessTone Services with the new offering from IBM will accelerate community integration efforts which underpin the growing need for companies to automate business processes spanning different systems across enterprise boundaries.

"The agreement between IBM and Viacore validates Arrow Electronics' choice of Viacore when we sought a partner in developing Arrow Connects!, our large-scale machine-to-machine communications network," said Paul Katz, vice president of Digital Supply Chain Solutions at Arrow Electronics. "Viacore is supporting the community readiness, activation and operation of Arrow Connects!, which uses RosettaNet process integration standards to link Arrow to its suppliers and customers. Arrow has made extraordinary progress in developing real-time business process capabilities, but our key challenge is rapidly achieving the critical mass of partner connections to truly take advantage of those real-time capabilities. Given the strengths and synergies of IBM and Viacore, I can't help but to think that the outlook for mass process integration in numerous industries has been greatly accelerated."

The highly complex nature of integrating, scaling and operating a private trading community requires a solution that ensures and combines the operational capabilities of the community builder, the readiness of the community participants, and the sustained quality and stability of the integration between them. The combination of Viacore's BusinessTone community integration services and IBM's WebSphere Business Integration Connect software can help reduce the time to on-board a partner from months to days, cut costs of enabling and managing a process between two partners by 60 to 70 percent, and reduce the overall community integration total cost of ownership by more than 50 percent.

"Community builders are seriously frustrated by issues of partner on-boarding, interoperability, data quality and cost-effective scalability
-- all of which yield costly implementations and missed deadlines. With WebSphere Business Integration Connect and BusinessTone, IBM and Viacore deliver a compelling solution that helps to eliminate these universal impediments setting the stage for the new paradigm of on-demand community integration," said Fadi Chehade, chairman and CEO of Viacore. "With the WebSphere Business Integration software and BusinessTone Services, businesses will be able to leverage their significant investments in enterprise applications, by extending business process integration beyond their boundaries into the software applications of their customers and partners. Companies that successfully integrated their partner community in order to react dynamically to changing market conditions and competitive threats are already enjoying better business fundamentals and orders of magnitude in cost reductions."

Under the agreement, IBM can resell Viacore's BusinessTone community integration services, which are used to "ready," "activate" and "operate" private trading communities for community builders and their participants. IBM will offer the BusinessTone pre-packaged services using its on demand delivery model, which can significantly lower the amount of risk, capital expenditure and time required to build and operate private business communities.

Viacore and IBM are establishing and training global sales and services teams to address new business opportunities for WebSphere Business Integration Connect with BusinessTone. The teams will initially focus on the retail distribution and manufacturing sectors where companies need to interact with a wide variety of small and large trading partners and require real-time visibility into their extended enterprises.

Continued Chehade, "By pooling our respective core competencies, IBM and Viacore have elevated inter-company integration to a new plateau where customers can enjoy a much higher rate of successful implementation. This agreement is another milestone in Viacore's strategy to partner with solution and technology providers who wish to enhance their offerings by ingraining our proven BusinessTone community integration services."

Viacore currently provides BusinessTone community integration services for a variety of industry leaders, including Arrow Electronics, Cisco Systems and HP. To date, BusinessTone has been used to integrate hundreds of enterprise applications around the globe, enabling and managing round-the-clock more than 150 million inter-company, application-to-application real-time processes.

"We predicted and have been tracking the convergence of B2B connectivity options (e.g., RosettaNet, AS2 and Web services) and trading partner management (e.g., provisioning and change management) in both B2B services (e.g., VANs) and software solutions (e.g., B2B-enabled integration brokers)," said Benoit Lheureux, research director at Gartner. "Agreements like this are further evidence of the convergence of technology that is targeted for use in both licensed, in-house and outsourced, service-provider managed, B2B application integration solutions."

Viacore offers its BusinessTone services to community builders as means of rapidly and cost-effectively creating and managing private trading communities. Additionally, the connectivity burden for the community participant is alleviated through BusinessTone's efficient methodologies and tools for connectivity testing, validation, verification and activation, as well as comprehensive communication and education programs. The result is a complete solution that can significantly reduce time-to-value challenges for building and effectively operating private trading communities to maintain data and process quality.