Gaining Visibility Into Inter-Enterprise Transactions

Cyclone rolls out solution to provide real-time view of transaction lifecycle

Scottsdale, AZ — June 16, 2003 — Software company Cyclone Commerce today rolled out a new solution designed to help enterprises manage the flow of transactions "outside the four walls" between its customers, suppliers and other partners by providing real-time visibility into the transaction lifecycle.

Cyclone said its Transaction Director application is intended to let companies act in real-time upon data captured "in flight" between enterprises, providing visibility into supply and demand chains so that issues can be immediately addressed in business terms. The solution was designed to provide business relevance to documents and transactions that flow between businesses, in contrast to the existing practice of mining archived data and electronic data interchange (EDI) log files for intelligence after the fact.

The goal of the solution is to help companies be more responsive to their customers by proactively tracking and identifying problems occurring within the transaction lifecycle. It gives customers and their trading partners the ability to monitor the status of in-progress transactions and allows them to detect problems before business or revenue is lost.

Companies also can use the solution to drill down into actual transactions to compare information to contracts and service-level agreements and to understand relationships within the transaction process in real-time. The reporting capability provides visibility into transaction details like issue resolution, auditing and compliance.

"A failed transaction results in increased costs and ultimately decreased revenues," said Andy Gage, director of product management at Cyclone. "Our research has found that costs increase significantly with the length of time a transaction failure remains undetected and unresolved. In the past, resolving these transaction failures was resource intensive with support personnel spending excessive time locating and resolving transaction issues. Now with Transaction Director, companies can locate and resolve transaction failures in real-time, before revenue is lost."

Transaction Director will be offered in three modules, depending upon customer need. Companies using the Tracker module are able to see their business transactions in real-time as information flows between value chain partners external to the enterprise and internal systems utilized for collaborative commerce, including B2B gateways, EDI systems, translators and integration brokers. Tracker links together the different documents and associated events that make up a transaction, with the goal of giving technical and business personnel access to actionable data.

The Support module enables EDI and customer support representatives access to a single view across the collaborative commerce infrastructure. With this single view, support representatives can use business-oriented search criteria, such as purchase order number or trading partner name, to find and resolve problems that frequently occur within collaborative commerce business processes. Support also allows support staff to examine the content of EDI and XML documents at various stages along the collaborative commerce infrastructure before and after a document translation step. This can assist a company's first-tier support staff to resolve more issues before consulting with their technical staff, helping to reduce troubleshooting time.

Finally, the Self Service module is intended to allow a company's trading partner to answer questions about the status of collaborative commerce business processes on their own. For example, trading partners can search and share information based on the purchase order number, trading partner name, item stock-keeping unit (SKU) or item description. By allowing trading partners to access this critical information, companies can allow their trading partners to make decisions about resolving breakdowns and exceptions. The goal is to reduce calls to the company's support group and to let customers work on their own time.

Additional modules due to be released later in the year will provide real-time alerting, a rules-based transaction activity monitoring function and executive dashboard that can be deployed as a management tool to business units.

Cyclone, founded in 1996, has about 1,000 customers for its solutions, including some of the world's largest retailers, 30 top suppliers of consumer packaged goods and the world's top two computer manufacturers.