RedTail Acquires Xpress Data Synch Technology

Suppliers seen gaining ability to meet requirements of major retailers for clean data and adoption of RFID

Suppliers seen gaining ability to meet requirements of major retailers for clean data and adoption of RFID

Westborough, MA — July 27, 2005 — RedTail Solutions, a provider of outsourced electronic trading solutions for midsize suppliers, has acquired the Xpress technology platform, a suite of software and services designed to facilitate rapid product data synchronization between trading partners, from Computer Horizons Corp. (CHC).

RedTail said it would incorporate the technology into its own electronic data interchange (EDI) offerings to give mid-market and enterprise-level companies integrated solutions that comply with standards for global data synchronization (GDS) and radio frequency identification (RFID). This combined platform will serve as the basis for the handling of error-free transaction exchange and extending visibility throughout the supply chain, the solution provider said.

The Xpress technology platform, which RedTail is acquiring along with all its associated intellectual property, was originally developed by Commerce One, a pioneer, along with the Uniform Code Council (UCC), in the field of product data synchronization. As part of this transaction, CHC is assigning all the Xpress customer contracts and service agreements to RedTail. Further, CHC, a provider of IT services and staffing, and RedTail have agreed to structure a channel relationship.

Meeting Mandates

RedTail's service-based solution is intended to help suppliers meet the requirements for electronic trading imposed by large enterprises in the retail, automotive and distribution segments without having to make their own investment in infrastructure or specialized expertise. Its solutions are currently marketed with mid-market accounting software publishers, including SAGE and Microsoft, through partnerships with more their value-added resellers.

The Xpress suite of products and services is designed to help trading partners synchronize product data directly through source data pools like UCCnet and Transora, and then synchronize this data with others that communicate with the GS1 Global Registry. In addition to Xpress Messenger, Xpress Conveyor and Xpress Enabler (for SAP) applications products, the Xpress Entrèe, Xpress Start and Xpress Ready services include data integration tools, training workshops and support services that are geared specifically toward streamlining the process and ensuring that manufacturing companies quickly gain the full benefits of data synchronization and are RFID-ready.

Through the acquisition of Xpress, RedTail said it now has the capability to deliver a full suite of compliance solutions and services integrated to business systems of both enterprise and mid-market suppliers.

Key Xpress Employees Added

Several key employees associated with the Xpress practice have joined RedTail's senior management team, including David Unger (formerly head of the Xpress practice and chief technology officer of business solutions for CHC) as CTO, and Ted Trask (of Commerce One and most recently director of delivery for Xpress at CHC) as vice president of business solutions.

Unger, an early leader in the development of e-business portals, was the strategic force behind the acquisition of the Commerce One Xpress data synchronization platform. In his new role as CTO, Unger will be responsible for creating the technology roadmap and helping to build and manage a class of supply chain solutions for the mid-market that are based on the fit of Xpress data synchronization with the RedTail transaction exchange platform.

In his new role as vice president of business solutions, Trask, who has been involved in the Global Data Synchronization effort from its beginnings with UCCnet, brings domain knowledge along with experience in program implementation that RedTail said would be critical to the provider's ramp up of customer acquisitions through channel partners.

Additional Articles of Interest

— For a look at how Canadian company McCain Foods is overcoming data synchronization challenges in its supply and demand chain, see the article "Building a 'Trusted Source'" in the April/May 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— How are outsourcing and supply chain tasks such as purchasing and inventory management tied to "network-centric operations?" What is a network-centric operation? Read the article "The Future of Supply Chain Management: Network-centric Operations and the Supply Chain" to find out.

— A survey of consumer healthcare decision-makers shows opportunities for manufacturers to gain competitive advantage by focusing on some key points in their supply chains. Read more in the In Depth article "Leveraging the Supply Chain for Competitive Advantage."

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