webMethods Extends webMethods Fabric with Product Information Management

New capabilities provide critical systems, key business processes, and supply-chain partners with a "single version of the truth" for product data

FAIRFAX, Va. -- July 11, 2005 -- webMethods Inc., a leading business integration and optimization software company, today introduced webMethods Product Information Management (PIM), a new component of the webMethods Fabric product suite that provides retailers and suppliers with a "single version of the truth" for all of their operations that rely on accurate, up-to-date product information.

Through real-time aggregation of product data into a centralized repository, as well as dynamic synchronization with supply chain partners, webMethods PIM extends enhanced, role-based visibility and accessibility to trusted product data to all of the business processes, transactions, and users that depend upon this information. In doing so, webMethods PIM can be used to help reduce the cost of complying with current data-synchronization mandates, to improve supply-chain collaboration, to speed new-product introductions, and to fuel additional corporate initiatives designed to turn existing product data into a strategic business asset. webMethods PIM builds upon technology licensed from GXS, a leader in B2B integration technology, as part of a strategic partnership that the two companies announced in November 2004.

According to a recent report from AMR Research, "A Sell-Side Product Information Management Vendor Landscape" (Robert Bois, Eric Newmark and Jim Murphy, 3/16/05), "Companies that react now and build a pragmatic PIM system will dramatically increase their agility for deploying future product-related initiatives such as dynamic catalog generation, multichannel product syndication, or more effective print catalog creation. ... As e-commerce standards continue to evolve, and the balance of power between buyers and sellers oscillates, the agile company with a sound PIM strategy will enjoy a significant competitive advantage."

"webMethods PIM can now be used to help retailers and suppliers measurably reduce error rates across all levels of operations that rely on product data," said Deborah Rosen, executive vice president, worldwide marketing, webMethods Inc. "Likewise, both internal and external collaboration and response times can be significantly enhanced and operational costs can be further reduced by using webMethods PIM as the source for a single set of automatically-maintained product data."

webMethods PIM helps enterprises ensure that accurate product data is available to the end users and systems requiring this information. Ultimately, enterprises can use the enhanced business process automation and product data synchronization capabilities of webMethods Fabric and webMethods PIM to help overcome critical business challenges, such as reducing costly catalog discrepancies and invoicing errors, eliminating lost sales due to delayed product rollouts, and the inability to meet specific packaging requirements of key customers. Long term, this mastery of product data is a significant step in becoming truly demand-driven as it supports a number of key collaborative initiatives, including RFID (radio frequency identification), CPFR (collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment), Price Synchronization and fully-integrated, multi-channel marketing.

As its foundation, webMethods PIM incorporates a flexible, centralized repository with extensive metadata management capabilities for storing and maintaining detailed product attributes, including descriptions and imagery, sizing and packaging information, detailed pricing, and versioning of each of these elements. Transforming this repository into a platform for managing product data are additional capabilities for navigation, personalization, process workflow, and quality assurance and compliance that provide users with an integrated means for maintaining and using this information in accordance with established standards. Specific features include automated cross-referencing and reconciliation of inventory, support for multiple languages, event-triggered alerts and notification, and unique templates for both retailers and suppliers with high levels of customization offered for defining product fields, search criteria, workflow processes, and compliance standards.

About webMethods, Inc.

webMethods (Nasdaq: WEBM) provides business integration software to integrate, assemble, and optimize available IT assets to drive business process productivity. webMethods delivers an innovative, enterprise-class business integration platform that incorporates proven integration technology with next generation capabilities into one interoperable set of tools that delivers a unique combination of efficiency, agility and control. More information about the company can be found at http://www.webMethods.com.

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The webMethods name and logo, are registered trademarks, and webMethods Fabric is a trademark, of webMethods, Inc. in the United States and certain other countries. All other marks mentioned are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies.