GXS to Develop Industry’s First Regional Data Pool across Middle East and Mediterranean Region

Sunbury, United Kingdom — March 10, 2005 — GXS™, a leading provider of B2B e-commerce solutions, today announced it has signed an agreement with nine GS1 member organisations in the Middle East and Mediterranean (MEMA) region to develop and manage the world’s first shared data pool. As a result, more than 6,000 manufacturers, distributors and retailers across Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be able to synchronise their product data with trading partners anywhere in the world.

In a unique arrangement, the MEMA group of nine countries decided to share the benefits of building a regional GS1-certified data pool, leveraging economies of scale to benefit their member communities. An agreement was reached with GXS to deploy a shared regional data pool based upon GXS Data Pool Manager. GXS will work with each country to ensure the application supports unique individual country requirements. The data pool will put the region’s retail community on a level playing field with their counterparts around the world.

“GXS has provided our organisations the opportunity to ensure our collective members have access to the industry’s leading GDS standards-based technology,” said David Calleja-Urry, chairman of GS1 Malta. “Our unique partnership with GXS will quickly and efficiently provide our combined organisations with a working regional data pool. Deploying a GS1-certified data pool will help guarantee that our markets are attractive to global retail operators, and that our local retailers can quickly implement industry-best practices to remain competitive.”

The certified Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) data pool will allow item information from international suppliers, using other approved data pools, to be synchronised with the region’s retailers, making worldwide trade easier and more efficient. GS1 organisations in the MEMA region are taking advantage of GXS’ Data Pool Manager, the leading platform for regional and national standards organisations seeking to offer GDS services. GXS Data Pool Manager is designed to lower barriers to implementation of GDS by providing a GS1-certified data pool as a managed service configured to the needs of specific geographic markets. GXS powers more GS1-certified data pools than any other service provider worldwide. In addition to the nine countries in the Middle East and Mediterranean region, GXS supports data pools for GS1 organisations in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

“We’ve supported the development of data pools for GS1 organisations throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, and, as a result, we appreciate how important the management and distribution of quality data is to the global supply chain,” said Ross Curtis, GXS senior vice president of worldwide field operations. “The benefits that synchronised data bring to a business, especially in such a globally competitive landscape, are immeasurable. Never before has a group of countries pooled resources together to deliver a single data pool. Now thanks to this new cooperative attitude, we are one step further to developing a true GDSN, where no country will be too small to participate.”

“The development of the MEMA Data Pool addresses a pressing need to make GDS more accessible in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, important constituencies of the world trading community,” said Gene Alvarez, vice president for META Group. “The creation of regional data pool solutions is vital to enabling manufacturers, distributors and retailers to seamlessly trade information with partners worldwide, bringing the B2B information exchange market one step closer to achieving a truly global supply chain.”

About GS1
GS1 develops global supply chain standards and solutions used by over one million companies for bar coding, electronic business messaging, data synchronisation and through the EPCglobal Network, radio frequency identification.

About GXS
GXS is a leading global provider of B2B e-commerce solutions that simplify and enhance business process integration and collabouration. Organisations worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 500, leverage GXS Trading Grid® to achieve balance between supply and demand. Active in the global standards arena, GXS solutions enable customers both large and small, to connect with global partners, synchronise product information, optimise inventory levels and demand forecasts, and accelerate the execution of supply chains.

Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., GXS provides sales and support to businesses and their partners worldwide. For more information about GXS visit www.gxs.co.uk.