Global eXchange Services Unveils Business Community

Trading Grid said to accelerate cross-enterprise business process solutions, according to GXS

Trading Grid said to accelerate cross-enterprise business process solutions, according to GXS

Gaithersburg, MD — October 1, 2004 — Global eXchange Services (GXS) said it has launched Trading Grid, a real-time platform the company said is designed to enable and streamline cross-enterprise business processes.

Trading Grid is one of world's largest electronic business communities, according to GXS, serving over 30,000 businesses worldwide. The provider said the community offers capabilities to synchronize product and price information, optimize inventory levels and demand forecasts, speed supply chain execution, and provide business process visibility.

Gartner research analyst Benoit Lheureux, outlining the barriers to successful B2B integration, said recently at an industry conference presentation that most B2B trading partner interactions are still rather simple, like simply exchanging electronic documents, but many interactions are becomingly increasingly sophisticated, such as including data transformation, validation and notification services.

"Although more complex B2B interactions are useful and desirable, they can't be implemented without first having a basic B2B infrastructure," said Lheureux. "Most trading communities still don't have more than 10 percent of their trading partners connected electronically, which undermines the potential for implementing higher-value services such as data validation and notification services." (Gartner Inc., "Integration as a Service — When You Don't Want to Do 'IT' Yourself")

To address these barriers, GXS said it designed and developed Trading Grid to combine the reliability its value-added networks (VANs) with the speed and agility of the Internet. While VANs primarily move data, GSX said that Trading Grid provides capabilities that get more out of the data and manage an overall business process, including components that accelerate this business process networking capability like global messaging services, central data stores and hosted trading grid intelligence services.

In today's global economy, goods and services are typically sourced and manufactured from regions all over the world. According to GXS, the result is that companies have invested in the use of VANs to facilitate the exchange of goods faster and more cost-effectively throughout a supply chain. Globally, however, the majority of businesses still have not participated in B2B automation. And, for the companies that do participate, they are still faced with a high percentage of incomplete orders and inaccurate data due to human error and the lack of automation between sequential business documents, such as purchase orders and invoices.

"With the goal to ensure No Trading Partner Left Behind and to offload the burden of integration complexity and process integration for our customers, GXS' Trading Grid provides a foundation for the future of integration," said Gary Greenfield, president and CEO. "Our investments in Trading Grid over the past year have resulted in a global infrastructure, management capabilities, and new applications services."

GXS said retailers can use Trading Grid to track international shipments as inbound goods flow through networks of marine, air, rail and ground transportation. Additionally, with the increased visibility, retailers can optimize sales through better product mix and promotion planning.

"We are excited about Global eXchange Services vision for business process networking," said Kevin McGee, business-to-business IT technical lead at Borders Group, Inc. "Our e-commerce needs are rapidly evolving, and we expect that Trading Grid will help us move beyond simply connecting with trading partners to truly engaging with them to collaboratively manage business processes."

Bruce Morris, manager of trading partner integration for Rohm and Haas, said that, for his company, the process for receiving and posting invoices and determining invoice accuracy presents a constant challenge. "GXS' Trading Grid allows Rohm and Haas to fully automate the process and improve the overall quality of supplier invoices. This allows both Rohm and Haas and its suppliers to focus on improving the delivery of chemical goods and services, rather than administrative tasks."