In Other News...

A roundup of new solutions and services announcements from the supply chain community.

May 16, 2003  Following is a selection of recent solution- and services-related announcements that have come into the iSource Business newsroom. These press releases are, for the most part, presented as received. Datelines have been edited for consistency, and trademark and similar notations, as well as "forward looking statement" and similar notices, have been removed.



Answerthink Introduces Rapid Insight; Quick Start Business Intelligence Solution Driven by Best Practices

Hackett Research Shows That World-Class BI Enables Companies to Dramatically Cut Time Spent Compiling Data, Freeing Up More Time for Analysis

Other Benefits Include Reductions in Manual Reporting, Cycle Time, and Support Costs

Miami  May 6, 2003  Answerthink, Inc. today introduced Rapid Insight, a business intelligence solution framework which quickly and easily adds powerful decision support capabilities and financial analytics to leading business applications. The solution combines the capabilities of leading financial analytics software with integrated proven best practices and business metrics from The Hackett Group, an Answerthink company, to provide companies with clear insight into current performance and market trends, enabling executives to make smarter, faster, and more efficient decisions.

Answerthink's Rapid Insight solution can help companies improve planning, forecasting, reporting, and analysis in as little as six to eight weeks, through the implementation of scorecards, dashboards, portals and other tools as an extension to existing Lawson, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, or Siebel environments. Rapid Insight is designed to utilize analytics components from leading business intelligence software vendors, as well as embedded analytics capabilities in popular business applications. With this solution, companies can establish a foundation for world-class performance management in finance, human resources, sales and customer service, supply chain, procurement and other key areas by implementing up to 30 Hackett best practices in business performance reporting and analysis.

Answerthink is a leading business and technology consulting firm that enables companies to achieve world-class business performance. The Hackett Group is the world leader in global benchmarking and best practice research, offering guidance backed by quantitative research into best practices at nearly 2,000 client organizations, including 97 percent of the Dow Jones Industrials and 81 percent of the Fortune 100.

One major goal of Rapid Insight is to cut the time that companies spend compiling information, so that they have more time to analyze it. According to Hackett, average companies spend almost half their time compiling data and half on analysis. But utilization of best practices enables world-class companies to dramatically streamline the data compilation process, so that they can dedicate almost 90 percent of their time to analyzing information. Hackett has also found that highly effective business intelligence solutions can help companies reduce manual reporting by up to 50 percent, cut reporting cycle time by up to 75 percent, and trim support costs for managerial reporting by up to 25 percent.

To help clients implement Rapid Insight, Answerthink utilizes its Business Process Intelligence (BPI) approach and tools, which facilitates business performance improvement through a coordinated approach that simultaneously addresses the key business drivers of people, process, technology, and information. According to Hackett, companies that use this coordinated approach can achieve almost five times the business value that can be attained by focusing solely on a technology implementation.

Answerthink's BPI knowledge repository also provides Answerthink consultants with application-specific tools designed to simplify the process of implementing best practices in leading software solutions while maximizing the value clients receive. These tools include implementation and configuration guides, current state questionnaires, process flows, and fit/gap requirements matrices.

"Today, most companies have too much information about their business, and very little true knowledge about what it all means. We're offering them a way to utilize best practices that have proven themselves at the world's most successful companies to cull real intelligence from the flood of data coming from business application, legacy systems, spreadsheets, databases and flat files," said Answerthink President Allan Frank. "With Rapid Insight, companies have a powerful reporting and analysis solution that allows them to analyze new trends and more accurately predict future business performance. They can see and take advantage of existing and emerging business opportunities they might otherwise have missed. It's easy to understand how this easily translates into significant competitive advantage."

About Answerthink

Answerthink, Inc., http://www.answerthink.com, is a leading business and technology consulting firm that enables companies to achieve world-class business performance. By leveraging the comprehensive database of The Hackett Group, the world's leading repository of enterprise best practice metrics and business process knowledge, Answerthink's business and technology solutions help clients significantly improve performance and maximize returns on technology investments. Answerthink's capabilities include benchmarking, business transformation, business applications, technology integration, and offshore application maintenance and support. Founded in 1997, Answerthink has offices in 10 cities throughout the United States and in Europe.

About The Hackett Group

The Hackett Group, an Answerthink company, http:www.thehackettgroup.com provides fact-based, objective insights that help clients optimize processes, organization, technology and information in key corporate functions such as finance, IT, human resources, and procurement. Hackett's research-derived guidance is backed by its continuously updated database of benchmark metrics and best practices in use at nearly 2,000 client organizations, including 97 percent of the Dow Jones Industrials, 81 percent of the Fortune 100, and 88 percent of the Dow Jones Global Titans Index. In addition to benchmark studies of finance, IT, SG&A (sales, general, and administrative), human resources, and related areas, Hackett offers management research services and subscription-based collaborative learning programs in shared services and other administrative support processes.

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Zedent Systems Releases Distribution CLASS Version 5

Extended Functionality Allows Wireless Barcode Scanning, 3rd Party Fulfillment (3PF) and Knowledge Management

Centennial, CO  May 5, 2003  Zedent Systems, Inc. today announced the availability of Distribution CLASS Version 5.0, with integrated functionality to supply integrated wireless bar code scanning functionality, third party fulfillment process management, forms barcode printing, and integrated Knowledge Management for combined retail, wholesale and service operations.

"As businesses look for ways to reduce costs and improve customer service they must find ways to improve their utilization of assets, including their inventory, supply chain, cash and internal employee processes. This is often accomplished through improved accuracies in inventory handling, which is why we have integrated six (6) separate wireless barcode modules into Distribution CLASS. Another area that is quick to provide a measurable ROI is to outsource those activities that are beyond the scope of businesses core competencies. The distribution and control of literature, samples (pharmaceuticals, software, consumer packaged goods, etc.) and other hard goods is one area where outsourced fulfillment services can definitely improve operational service and add to the bottom line," according to Jim Zapapas, President of Zedent Systems, Inc.

Zedent Systems, Inc. has integrated fulfillment process management into its flagship Distribution CLASS product, which includes total control of fulfillment client setup and definition, warehouse requirements, project/job requirements and order management. This allows for the management of a client's fulfillment processes, delivering exceptional return on investment to the third party fulfillment companies and their clients.

The six (6) wireless modules that have been integrated into Distribution CLASS provide increased speed and accuracy during the receiving and put-away process (including serial number and lot number tracking), the picking and loading requirements, physical inventory processes and bar code label printing.

As business becomes more complex and the products being distributed become more complex, and the service requirements become more complex, the ability to integrate external documents and information into your everyday processes is critical. Distribution CLASS is now enabled to track and manage an unlimited number of documents, files, images and voice at the source record level. This allows you, for example, to scan a customer purchase order and "attach" it to their sales order, so that it then becomes a permanent part of that record. It could just as easily be a copy of a letter you sent to (or received from) a customer or suppler, product data sheets, drawings or internal memos.

Distribution CLASS enhancements also include tighter integration with the Microsoft desktop, barcode printing on documents, 100% Web enablement, more comprehensive cash management, warehouse management and integrated management reporting.

A Look at the Distribution CLASS Software Suite

  • Customer Interaction: Taking care of your customers from initial contact, to quote, to order and invoice/billing and fulfillment. Complete information for sales and customer relationship management. Includes: Quotes, Orders, Invoicing, Credits, RMA's, Kits, Service, Sales Reporting, CRM, etc.

  • Logistics Management: Managing your assets from the time you order and receive inventory to the time you ship it, helps you make your warehouse more profitable. Includes: Warehouse & Inventory management, Receiving/Counting/Picking/Shipping, etc.

  • Accounting & Finance: Taking care of the customer means taking care of the numbers. Maximum flexibility has been designed into the applications, insuring real time reporting and ease of use. Includes: Invoicing, Receivables, Payables, Bank Reconciliation, Cash Mgmt., General Ledger, etc.

  • Supply Chain Collaboration: Manages communications and collaboration between your customer and supplier partners and your internal teams. Includes: Automatic Reordering, Requisitions, Purchasing, Alert Notifications, etc.

  • Service and Customer Support: Manages the complete cycle of support from sale through customer service and Help Desk management applications. Includes: Customer Help Desk, Customer Site Management, Service & Warranty Management

About Zedent Systems, Inc.

Zedent Systems, Inc. was founded in year 2000, after 10 plus man years of research and product development. Located in Centennial, Colorado, Zedent develops and brings to market enterprise software solutions designed to improve customer service and financial operations for distribution and fulfillment businesses and other industries with intensive customer interaction requirements. Zedent Systems is the author of Distribution CLASS. Zedent Systems is a privately held Colorado corporation. The company can be reached at http://www.zedent.com, (303) 221-5998 - or - (800) 516-0037, or by email at sales@zedent.com.

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ProcureStaff Launches Consol, Next Generation Human Capital E-Procurement System

New York  May 6, 2003  ProcureStaff, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Volt Information Sciences, Inc., and a leading provider of e-procurement systems and services, today further extended its leadership in e-procurement systems with the release of Consol, it's human capital e-procurement and spend management system.

Patent-pending Consol is a Web enabled application that manages business services procurement including consultants, supplemental staff and project-related service providers. Consol works by synchronizing communications, data and transaction processing across multiple users creating a single platform to manage services procurement and spend.

"In the past, companies have had to use multiple systems and processes to facilitate the management of business services. Consol offers one system that covers all aspects of project work, such as vendor qualification, bid solicitation, bid response, bid evaluation, contract administration, milestone administration, payment vouchering and quality control" says Steven Shaw, President of ProcureStaff.

About ProcureStaff, Ltd.

ProcureStaff, Ltd., a subsidiary of Volt Information Sciences, Inc., provides next generation Human Capital Management (HCM) e-procurement systems, solutions delivery and consulting. ProcureStaff's patent-pending technologies automate procurement sourcing and vendor management services for Global 1000 clients that significantly reduce costs, improve cycle times and decrease risks. For further information, please visit the ProcureStaff Web site at www.procurestaff.com or www.volt.com.

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SSA Global Technologies Extends Value to Customers with Availability of Warehouse BOSS for BPCS

Chicago  May 7, 2003  SSA Global Technologies, Inc. (SSA GT), today announced the availability of Warehouse BOSS  the company's premier warehouse management system  for BPCS, SSA GT's flagship enterprise application product. Continuing its effort to provide business value to customers through extended enterprise functionality, the BPCS to Warehouse BOSS interface enables BPCS customers to quickly implement a best-of-breed warehouse management system using standardized, supported interfaces.

BPCS customers can now achieve the inventory, space and customer service benefits of a robust, radio frequency-directed warehouse management system for warehouse operations ranging from small packages to full pallets. The rich functionality of Warehouse BOSS combined with today's announcement of integration to BPCS, supports SSA GT's commitment to offer key extension products to customers.

"By delivering integrated warehouse management with our manufacturing, supply chain, and financial solutions, SSA GT has made automated warehouse management more economical for thousands of existing BPCS clients," said Cory A. Eaves, vice president, Global Solutions Management, SSA GT. "Our ongoing strategy to invest in the enhancement and integration of our products allows customers to extend the life of their existing technology investments."

With Warehouse BOSS, organizations with high volume finished goods and material items warehouses can have greater visibility and control of their stock. Warehouse BOSS is a full-featured warehouse management solution that helps control all operational aspects of warehouse management, including receiving, locating, order management, replenishment and shipping. The software's rules-based engine manages warehouse operations and facilitates the smooth flow of information, resulting in improved customer service and productivity.

Warehouse BOSS is also available for SSA GT's PRMS and KBM enterprise application products.

About SSA Global Technologies

SSA Global Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise solutions for process manufacturing, discrete manufacturing, consumer, services and public companies worldwide. SSA GT delivers integrated e-business solutions including business intelligence, customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) applications. Headquartered in Chicago, SSA GT has 121 worldwide offices serving more than 10,000 customers that represent market-leading companies in over 90 countries. For additional information, visit the SSA GT Web site at www.ssagt.com.

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Epicor Expands Mid-market Hospitality and Entertainment Offering

Purchase of Strategic Restaurant Portfolio Strengthens the "Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment" Suite

Irvine, CA  May 8, 2003  Epicor Software Corporation, a leading provider of integrated enterprise software solutions for mid-market companies, today announced the acquisition of a strategic food service-specific solutions portfolio. These solutions, already integrated with the award-winning "e by Epicor" enterprise suite, were acquired from CompuNet eBusiness Group, a long-time, successful partner of Epicor focused on the food service industry. Together, these solutions form the Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment suite, a set of integrated business applications tailored to meet the requirements of this unique industry. A number of successful enterprises in the hospitality and entertainment industry, including Bertucci's Brick Oven Pizzeria, Scrivanos Group, a network of Dunkin' Donut Franchises, and Sybra, currently use solutions from Epicor to run their business operations.

"To be the best in the industries we choose means we have to focus  Hospitality and Entertainment is an important industry to Epicor," said Bill Borg, senior vice president and general manager of Epicor's Enterprise Group. "We have a large number of customers, a unique product and services offering, and we think this market is growing fast and terribly underserved. Acquiring these products and the talent from CompuNet will allow us to serve our current and future customers even better."

Managing Growth and Creating Competitive Advantage

Critical to the success of any restaurant is the ability to provide management with instant access to vital information, as well as visibility into operations at both the local restaurant and corporate level. This sharing of information across business operations enables management to make better-informed decisions, resulting in tighter cost control and superior customer service. The Epicor for Hospitality and Entertainment suite provides a fully integrated solution for optimally running restaurant, hotel and entertainment business operations. The suite provides powerful applications for restaurants to track and monitor key business processes and to perform reporting and analysis.

Epicor is bringing key individuals from the CompuNet organization over to develop, service and support the newly acquired restaurant modules, which will provide continuity and consistent service to joint Epicor and CompuNet customers. "Our customers welcome this new relationship and the possibilities it brings," said Nader Nemati, director of hospitality industry practice for Epicor. "Epicor's strength as a development and marketing organization combined with CompuNet's market expertise will enable us to further strengthen our hospitality and entertainment suite."

Mid-market hospitality and entertainment organizations will benefit from the addition of the following CompuNet solutions to Epicor's enterprise solutions portfolio: Recipe Builder, Menu-Mix, Dollar-Based Inventory, Cash Receipt, Gift Certificate, and Corporate Polling.

About Epicor Software Corporation

Epicor is a leading provider of integrated enterprise and e-business software solutions for mid-market companies around the world. Founded in 1984, Epicor has over 15,000 customers and delivers end-to-end, industry-specific solutions that enable companies to immediately improve business operations and build competitive advantage in today's Internet economy. Epicor's comprehensive suite of integrated software solutions for Customer Relationship Management, Financials, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Professional Services Automation and Collaborative Commerce provide the scalability and flexibility to support long-term growth. Epicor's solutions are complemented by a full range of services, providing single point of accountability to promote rapid return on investment and low total cost of ownership, now and in the future. Epicor is headquartered in Irvine, California and has offices and affiliates around the world. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.epicor.com.

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SAMSys Launches RFID Consulting Service

Addition Provides Enhanced Support to Supply Chain Management Implementations

Toronto  May 8, 2003  SAMSys Technologies Inc. ("SAMSys"), a world leading provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) hardware solutions, today announced it has launched an RFID consulting service for North American companies wanting to employ RFID technology solutions within their operations. In close collaboration with its value-added resellers (VARs) and strategic alliance partners, SAMSys will provide RFID system design and implementation guidelines and strategies aimed at optimizing functionality and performance of supply chain management (SCM) applications.

"We are witnessing a significant increase in awareness of RFID with many companies needing to better understand the potential benefits harnessed through this technology deployment. While the market is adequately served by companies providing traditional Systems Integration services, we see a remarkable demand to provide RFID-specific expertise," says Cliff Horwitz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SAMSys.

"We see consulting services as critical in providing a 'roadmap' to end-users to minimizing the risk for premature technology obsolescence and excessive capital investment, the key concerns with companies considering implementing RFID systems," continued Horwitz.

In support of the growing industry interest in RFID infrastructure, it is necessary for key decision makers to understand the appropriate technology architecture for any given application, and for the future expansion of that installation. Currently, there is a critical shortage of RFID integration knowledge in North America and a comprehensive "delivery mechanism" such as SAMSys' consulting services is essential to the implementation of RFID as a technology of choice.

The fundamental philosophy upon which SAMSys is built is that there is no single RFID technology solution best for all applications. As an RFID consultant, the company will maintain this philosophy and recommend the most appropriate technology solution for any application. The SAMSys engineering staff and operations management team will continue to evolve the aggressive RFID product development plans in addition to its consulting business.

"SAMSys is committed to the proposition that successful implementations require the right combination of technologies, protocols, and products because no one vendor offers all of these for every application," says Tres Wiley, President and Chief Operating Officer of SAMSys "Our consulting service represents an excellent opportunity for SAMSys to bring greater value to the market."

With over nine years of accumulated experience applying RFID technology into real world applications in real world environments, SAMSys' consulting business will focus on the front-end of the implementation process, including:

  • Evaluating the suitability of RFID to improve existing business process,

  • Recommending the optimal technology (frequency),

  • Recommending the optimal tag protocols,

  • Assisting in architecting and implementing pilot programs, and

  • Facilitating complete technology roll-out.

SAMSys also offers a selection of reader solutions including standard frequency-specific modules, custom-made application specific reader systems, and OEM modules to provide tailored solutions for a wide variety of supply chain management applications. The comprehensive line of RFID readers spans low frequency, high frequency and UHF, supports a very broad range of protocols, and is available in a wide range of form factors, including:

  • Packaged and ready to use low power, multi-protocol readers,

  • High power, multi-protocol readers for demanding applications,

  • Networked reader solutions for complex, multi-reader applications,

  • Smart shelves,

  • Modules for integration into OEM products,

  • RFID reader networking tools for TCP/IP connectivity, and

  • Dual frequency readers at 125KHz/13.56MHz and 134KHz/13.56 MHz.

About SAMSys Technologies Inc.

SAMSys Technologies Inc. (SAMSys), founded in 1995, is a world leading provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) hardware solutions and RFID integration consulting services designed to evaluate and recommend optimal RFID solutions to enhance existing business process. SAMSys offers a family of products to simplify the installation and ensure the ongoing performance of the overall RFID hardware infrastructure. SAMSys is a public company whose shares are listed for trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol: "SMY". The Company has a total of 28.7 million shares outstanding. Visit SAMSys at: www.samsys.com and www.investorfile.com.

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Actuate Delivers Active Portal for .NET

Actuate Empowers Visual Studio .NET Developers with Pre-Built ASP.NET Pages and Controls

South San Francisco, CA  May 12, 2003  Actuate Corporation, the world leader in empowering enterprise users with Information Applications and a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, today announced Actuate Active Portal for .NET, a new component of Actuate 7 that enables organizations who have standardized on the Microsoft platform to rapidly build and deploy Information Applications. Active Portal for .NET deepens the integration between Actuate 7 and the Microsoft environment, building on Actuate 7's industry-leading scalability on the Windows 2000 platform and Actuate's unique support for Microsoft Excel-based reporting with e.Spreadsheets.

Actuate Active Portal for .NET provides Visual Studio.NET developers who are building Information Applications, such as performance dashboards or information portals, with a set of pre-built ASP.NET Pages and a comprehensive library of ASP.NET user controls. IT organizations can thereby leverage their existing Microsoft skill sets and minimize additional training costs as they deliver Information Applications to their users in a much more rapid fashion.

Using Active Portal for .NET, developers can easily tailor their Web-based user interface for Information Applications or seamlessly integrate reporting and analytic content from the Actuate iServer with their existing ASP-based applications. As a result, users across the enterprise will have intuitive, zero-training access to key enterprise data, deployed efficiently to meet their evolving requirements.

"More and more customers are taking a close look at the level of integration offered by business intelligence solutions and their existing IT infrastructure," said Nobby Akiha, Actuate's vice president of marketing. "Without tight integration, the development and administration costs associated with empowering all their users with business information can spiral out of control. Actuate's Information Application Platform has provided the industry's most complete level of integration and Active Portal for .NET will make it simpler than ever for our customers who use the Microsoft platform to build and deploy Information Applications in a timely and cost-effective manner."

"Actuate's Active Portal for .NET provides our mutual customers with an effective means of quickly integrating business intelligence capabilities into ASP-based applications," said Graham Clark, GM of Microsoft's .NET platform Strategy Group. "We applaud Actuate's use of the Microsoft .NET technologies and their efforts in helping companies empower users and improve business agility."

Actuate's new Active Portal for .NET is available immediately along with Active Portal for JSP with the Actuate iServer.

About Actuate Corporation

Actuate Corporation is the world leader in empowering enterprise users with Information Applications. Actuate's Information Application Platform is the foundation on which Global 9000 organizations (companies with annual revenues greater than $1 billion) and packaged application software vendors create Business Performance Management (BPM) dashboards, Information Portals as well as business analytic, enterprise reporting and spreadsheet reporting applications. Information Applications built with Actuate can empower 100 percent of an organization's user community inside and outside the firewall, and thereby allow companies to increase their business agility, improve customer and partner relationships, adhere to corporate governance policies, and increase revenues while leveraging existing technology assets. When tested against other alternatives, Actuate's Information Application Platform has been proven to offer the best performance, highest scale and lowest Total Cost of Ownership. Actuate has over 2,000 direct customers and 300 OEM partners in the financial services, pharmaceutical, insurance, logistics and government industries among other sectors.

Founded in 1993, Actuate has headquarters in South San Francisco, Calif., and has offices worldwide. For more information on Actuate, visit the company's Web site at www.actuate.com.

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Retek to Enable Retail Solutions on Linux

Retek Solutions Enabled on Linux Will Provide Reduced Cost of Ownership, Flexibility and Simplicity

Minneapolis  May 12, 2003  Retek Inc. announced today that it has launched a program to enable its retail software solutions on the Linux operating system to offer retailers' greater flexibility and simplicity at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

Retek solutions running on the Linux operating system will offer retailers' greater options and valuable business benefits, including:

  • Lower TCO  The Linux operating system can run on less powerful hardware while still delivering outstanding performance, which dramatically reduces hardware costs. This allows organizations to make their current hardware last longer and can save on future purchases of workstations and servers. Linux's reduced licensing fees make it a lower cost alternative to other operating systems.

  • Flexibility  Retek solutions running on the hardware-independent Linux operating systems will allow retailers' the flexibility to choose the most cost effective hardware option for their business.

  • Simplified Systems  Linux allows multiple applications to run safely on the same server, eliminating the need to run each application on a separate machine and thereby eliminating the need to maintain and support multiple hardware systems for multiple applications.

Linux Growth

Although still a small portion of the server OS market, IDC estimates that the sale of Linux servers to retailers will expand at a 31.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2002 and 2007. "Retailers' extensive experience with Unix servers will smooth out the transition to Linux servers," said Christopher Boone, U.S. Retail IT Program Manager, IDC. "The support for Linux for retail-specific applications by leading vendors such as Retek will continue to fuel the adoption of this OS."

"We are excited about the possibilities and benefits that Retek solutions running on Linux will offer mid-market retailers," said Pat Bohannon, General Manager, Retek Mid-Market Solutions. "The significantly lower total cost of ownership and simplified operations is exactly what mid-market retailers need. We have already seen great interest and request for this new offering."

Retek has customers that are currently live on the Retek Point-of-Sale (POS) solution running on a Linux operating system. Visit the Innovation Expo at Retek World 03, May 11-14, to see Retek solutions running on Linux.

About Retek Inc.

Retek Inc. is the leading provider of mission-critical software and services to the retail industry. Retek solutions integrate collaborative software with patented predictive technologies, consulting services, and the best practices of customers and partners to help retailers create, manage and fulfill consumer demand. Leading global retailers including Tesco, Best Buy, Gap Inc., Sainsbury's, Eckerd Corp. and Selfridges use Retek solutions. On the net: Retek at http://www.retek.com.

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