Sunbury, United Kingdom — December 14, 2005 — GXS™, a leading provider of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce solutions, today announced that both AS2 connections and transaction volume doubled for the second year in a row in the one-year period from November 2004 through October 2005. AS2 volume reached a record total of more than 7 million transactions for this single year period. In fact, the number of AS2 transactions on the GXS Trading Grid® during the pre-holiday peak season (Oct. 2005) surged more than 180 percent, versus the same period in 2004. GXS customers in a wide-variety of industries including retail, consumer product goods and high-tech manufacturing have increased use of the AS2 communications protocol for the purpose of exchanging product data and conducting e-commerce transactions. In addition, GXS recently was recertified for AS2 specifications by eBusinessReady®, an industry-neutral software testing program under joint partnership of GS1 US (formerly the Uniform Code Council) and Drummond Group, Inc. (DGI).
Part of the GXS Trading Grid suite of B2B e-commerce solutions, GXS offers a range of AS2 service options that simplify businesses’ ability to comply with AS2 mandates from trading partners. The GXS Trading Grid enables businesses to use their standard of choice and to have their transactions converted to AS2 if required by trading partners. In addition, by using the GXS Trading Grid for AS2 connectivity, customers gain access to the world’s largest electronic business community of 40,000 businesses. For example, clothing manufacturer, CEE Sportswear, uses GXS AS2 Outsourcing Service to connect to major U.S.-based retailers that require documents to be transmitted via AS2.
“As a worldwide supplier to major retail outlets, CEE Sportswear needs to meet increasing customer volume requirements that must be processed via a multitude of standards and technologies. By outsourcing AS2 connectivity to GXS, we are able to conduct B2B e-commerce transactions efficiently, enabling us to concentrate on core business functions, and avoid the high costs associated with in-house installation and management. After a smooth implementation of the GXS AS2 Outsourcing Service, we are able to communicate easily with any trading partner,” said Andre Olmos, general manager of CEE Sportswear, Inc. “This has improved customer service levels for our existing customers, and allowed us to expand the trading partner base with whom we communicate via AS2. Whereas B2B e-commerce complexity may be increasing, GXS offers a simple solution that has turned a challenge into an opportunity.”
GXS’ AS2 service options include the AS2 Mailbox Service, the AS2 Outsourcing Service and the AS2 Contingency Service. GXS AS2 Mailbox Service enables businesses to standardise on AS2 as a single communications method for all B2B e-commerce needs. The service can be used to connect directly to large trading partners and also to the GXS Trading Grid, enabling B2B e-commerce with any of GXS’ 40,000 customers. GXS AS2 Outsourcing Service is a hosted service ideal for both large and small companies that do not wish to invest in the hardware, software and technical expertise necessary to implement, monitor and manage AS2 transactions themselves. Instead, those customers connect to GXS using their own preferred protocol and formats, while GXS manages the AS2 connectivity and conversion as required by their trading partners. GXS AS2 Contingency Service provides backup communication capabilities for companies that communicate via AS2 with the GXS Trading Grid. This service enables companies to reroute and access business-critical documents via an alternate connection, if their primary AS2 connection is temporarily unavailable due to AS2 server problems at the customer site.
“AS2 is an increasingly popular communications protocol, as it enables companies to communicate in real-time over the Internet, while leveraging existing EDI investments. However, AS2 is an additional protocol in the alphabet soup of standards that many businesses must support to remain competitive. By using GXS for AS2 service, companies can minimise complexity and easily expand trading partner networks,” said Steve Keifer, vice president of industry and product marketing for GXS. “GXS allows businesses to focus on core competencies, instead of dealing with technical management of B2B infrastructure.”
Few business partners use the same communications protocol or document standard to exchange information. AS2 is a cost-effective, real-time communications solution, allowing businesses to connect directly to their trading partners, or to the GXS Trading Grid for additional scalability and value-added services. GXS’ full portfolio of AS2 services and software enables companies to leverage existing software investments, and standardise communications with all partners in their global trading communities. More than 2,000 businesses including CEE Sportswear, Inc., Eight O’Clock Coffee, Hudson’s Bay Company, Kroger, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company and Warnaco rely on GXS’ AS2 services for B2B e-commerce communications. The GXS AS2 portfolio provides real-time communications capabilities and improved customer productivity.
The GXS Trading Grid® is GXS’ unique global integration platform that enables and streamlines cross-enterprise business processes. Trading Grid is the world’s largest electronic business community, used by more than 40,000 trading partners every day to exchange goods and services. As a service-oriented architecture B2B platform, the Trading Grid helps customers automate global trading communities by shielding complexity from rapidly changing standards, eliminating manual and duplicative efforts, and enabling a new level of process integration and business intelligence.
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.