GE GXS Targets Visibility

Says business process integration capabilities help identify, correct supply chain problems

Gaithersburg, MD  April 10, 2002  GE Global eXchange Services this week rolled out the latest version of its data integration broker software, adding business process integration (BPI) capabilities that GXS said provide greater visibility into supply chain problems.

Also this week, GXS unveiled a series of software adapters designed to enable select enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications to connect to a variety of internal and external systems and trading partners in real-time.

GXS' Enterprise System 7.5 e-Commerce Visibility Manager's BPI capabilities can enable companies to map supply chain processes to specific business objectives, measure purchasing patterns, view specified supply chain metrics and proactively escalate issues to the correct decision-makers, according to GXS.

GXS said that Enterprise System 7.5 software enables companies to identify and act upon business data in order to solve specific supply chain problems, such as document errors and slow transactions between a retail buyer and its suppliers that could lead to lost sales through stock-outs on store shelves.

The solution supports systems integration that would allow transactions such as invoices and purchase orders to be moved between a buyer and its suppliers through transformation into a variety of data formats, secure data routing and integration into back-office systems.

In addition, user-created business rules and process flows support both human and machine interactions, such as identifying exceptions within the data transaction flow, providing visibility into exceptions through Web reports and handling specified categories of exceptions automatically in a pre-determined manner.

Finally, the solution allows processes to be automated and improved, and exceptions requiring human intervention can be escalated to the correct enterprise decision-makers via a Web browser for appropriate action.

"By combining data translation, transaction routing and BPI capabilities within a single system, GXS's Enterprise System 7.5 delivers increased efficiency of routine, high-volume transactions, while handling non-routine transactions in a correct, consistent and effective manner, putting real results from supply chain improvements into managers' hands," asserted Jim Rogers, GXS's general manager of integration solutions.

Enhancements to GXS's Enterprise System in version 7.5 include BPI software templates for exception handling and functional acknowledgement tracking and reconciliation  which GXS said are two key components for preventing stock-outs  as well as support for secure Internet connectivity using the S-FTP and AS2 protocols.

GXS said that in the months ahead it plans to release additional BPI software templates, each designed to address a specific supply chain problem for buyers and sellers.

Meanwhile, GXS said its "intelligent software adapters" for connecting ERP and CRM applications to internal and external systems and trading partners in real-time can help companies to improve information management by decreasing the time, cost and complexity of integrating their enterprise applications.

The adapters enable a completely automated document exchange over the Internet or private networks, with the adapters' built-in data transformation capability allowing the receipt and transmission of trading partner information in a variety of formats, including electronic data interchange (EDI), eXtensible markup language (XML) and proprietary formats, according to GXS.

The intelligent adapters work in conjunction with the Enterprise System 7.5 e-Commerce Visibility Manager (as well as previous versions of Enterprise System) to facilitate efficient exchange of information such as order status, inventory availability and other key business facts between business partners.

GXS currently offers adapters for SAP R/3, Siebel eBusiness 2000, Oracle Financials and MatrixOne's eMatrix.

"Our intelligent adapters are designed to expand the reach of customers using GXS's Enterprise System by providing a ready-made link that enables collaboration between popular enterprise systems, legacy applications and business partners," said Rogers. "Because the intelligent adapters are designed to work specifically with the customer's applications, companies will save significant time and cost compared with custom integration."

GXS's intelligent adapters incorporate Java Messaging Service (JMS) technology, and are capable of complex functions such as event routing, queuing and executing business rules.

In addition to intelligent adapters, GXS now offers an adapter development kit (ADK), a Java-based software package that allows developers to connect their own applications to Web applications, ERP, CRM and legacy systems using GXS's integration broker as a central messaging hub.

Companies in this article