Sterling Commerce Refines E-Business Initiative With 5-Point Strategy

At Sterling Commerce's EC Strategies '99 conference in Chicago this week, the company announced a five-point strategy for advancing its overall e-business initiative. Sterling's strategies address a number of areas -- extranet management services, community management, business process integration (BPI), e-commerce infrastructure and outsourcing services.

These strategic initiatives will rely upon solution from Sterling's COMMERCE, CONNECT and GENTRAN product families -- as well as a number of services offerings -- for implementation.

"Each of the five initiatives, fueled by the adoption of Internet technologies, is a natural extension to our core competency and each represents a significant and fast-growing market," says Warner Blow, president and CEO of Sterling Commerce (Columbus, Ohio). "We are aggressively dedicating resources to establish and maintain leadership in each market and will be making announcements over the next several months in support of these goals."

Sterling Commerce is rapidly transitioning to an Internet company, according to David Kishler, manager of industry relations for the Commerce Services Group of Sterling Commerce. "This is not a one- or two-year plan," he says. "Some of these technologies are already in place, we're simply expanding them for broader audiences. Other components are new and will be initiated through partnerships. You'll see products supporting [Sterling's strategies] rolled out over the next couple of weeks and on into the summer."

One of the first products to materialize in support of Sterling's corporatewide e-business strategy is GENTRAN Web Suite, a family of Web integration components designed to enable BPI via the Internet. GENTRAN Web Suite will be released for Windows NT on June 30, followed by a port to the AS/400 platform later this year.

Sterling Commerce defines BPI as an organization's desire to streamline internal processes, then open up these processes and share them with an external customer and partner community, according to David Evangelisti, director of Web commerce marketing for Sterling Commerce. Through the enablement of BPI, Sterling is looking to support e-business through enterprise application integration, Web integration and traditional EDI.

--L. Greenemeier