Velosel Rolls out Upgrade

eChannel Manager 5 sees improved workflow functionality for better intra- and extended-enterprise collaboration

Mountain View, CA  December 16, 2002  Velosel, a provider of trading partner e-collaboration solutions for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, today rolled out version 5 of its collaborative product information management application.

The solution provider said that Velosel eChannel Manager 5 provides CPG manufacturers with a collaborative platform to manage product information across the enterprise and to synchronize assembled catalogs with trading partners.

New capabilities in version 5 include improved workflow functionality for better collaboration within the enterprise and the extended enterprise, new data validation capabilities to ensure accuracy of data synchronized with trading partners, and support for WebSphere Business Integrator (WBI) and Web services for easier integration with other applications and data stores.

A new product introduction feature in version 5 provides predefined workflows to automate the gathering of new product attributes for assembly in the master catalog. According to Velosel, the workflow reflects real-world processes found within large CPG manufacturers, where many individuals (from multiple organizational teams) contribute specific item attributes to the item data catalog.

The latest version also provides a new catalog readiness test that verifies catalog data for accuracy and compliance before synchronization with retailers. The test identifies data errors such as missing attribute values and inaccurate attribute types or values. The readiness test also performs a data compliance check to ensure the catalog conforms to industry data standards, including UCCnet GLOBALregistry.

eChannel Manager 5 supports the Java Message Service (JMS) transport protocol for back-end integration, as well as IBM WebSphere Business Integrator (WBI) and IBM MQSeries middleware, the EDI-INT AS2 communication protocol and Web Services.

Kara Romanow, a senior research analyst at technology consultancy AMR Research, wrote in an October research alert that Velosel provides a platform approach to data synchronization that is designed to let CPG manufacturers manage catalog content data behind their firewall. "The product is very solid; particularly in its messaging and workflow capabilities to manage the entire synchronization process," Romanow wrote.

Velosel said that eChannel Manager is the first application to combine essential product information management capabilities with sophisticated business process automation to facilitate true intra- and extended-enterprise collaboration.

Additional functionality in the solution includes aggregation of product data from multiple back-end systems and data stores; creation and management of product catalogs; formatting of catalogs for compliance with the numerous open and proprietary formats, including UCCnet; synchronization of customer-specific catalogs through multiple electronic selling channels, including data pools and exchanges, such as WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE) and others; workflow management for intra- and extended-enterprise collaboration, including routing of messages related to the internal creation of item data catalogs as well as external messages such as UCCnet and other XML-based communications; and business analytics that provide reporting tools, combined with a rules-based querying system that provides advance sales intelligence and notifications.

Velosel is also offering RapidSync, a hosted solution for quick UCCnet on-boarding.