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Cloud Computing: IBM Acquires Sterling Commerce

Expands IBM's Integration Portfolio and Cross-Channel Commerce Software for Marketing, Selling and Fulfillment

IBM on Friday announced the closing of its acquisition of Sterling Commerce. The company expands IBM's ability to help clients accelerate their interactions with customers, partners and suppliers through dynamic business networks using either on-premise or cloud delivery models.

Organizations are looking for ways to create more intelligent networks of business partners, customers and suppliers in order to enhance efficiency and profitability. These interactions are increasing dramatically due to the proliferation of electronic business transactions, from banks exchanging transaction data and manufacturers sourcing raw materials electronically, to retailers automating stock replenishment and managing orders online.

Sterling Commerce provides software for cross-channel commerce and integration of customer, partner and supplier networks across a wide range of industries. The combination of IBM and Sterling Commerce enables the integration of key business processes across channels and among trading partners - from marketing and selling to order management and fulfillment.

"We now offer a complete platform for multi-enterprise business transactions," said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Industry Solutions. "In combination with IBM's existing offerings, Sterling Commerce, Coremetrics and Unica are expanding IBM's ability to help companies automate, manage and accelerate core business processes across marketing, selling, order management and fulfillment."

With the acquisition of Sterling Commerce, IBM advances its ability to help clients integrate and automate business processes, resulting in improved demand generation, customer experience and fulfillment. Using the combined technologies of IBM and Sterling Commerce, clients have the flexibility to manage these processes - and their networks of business partners - through public or private cloud computing environments.

Since IBM announced its intent to acquire the company in May, Sterling Commerce has seen continued momentum with customers in both its business integration and commerce solutions businesses. Sterling Commerce recently announced that Hostess Brands has implemented its B2B integration solutions both on-premise and as a service to improve Hostess' supply chain performance. In June, Cengage Learning went live with the latest version of Sterling Multi-Channel Selling to take advantage of new market segmentation and enhanced promotions functionality that enhance the customer experience of its award-winning website, CengageBrain.com.

"We view the IBM acquisition of Sterling Commerce as a positive move," said Charles Qian, manager of eCommerce systems at Cengage Learning, a leading global provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions. "Our recent implementation was seamless, and completed under a tight timeframe. I expect the excellent solutions we have received from Sterling Commerce will only be enhanced under IBM."

In addition to enhancing IBM's integration and commerce offerings, Sterling Commerce software also complements IBM's industry-focused software including the company's frameworks supporting the retail, manufacturing, communications, health care and banking industries.

More than 18,000 global customers rely on Sterling Commerce's offerings, including large companies such as Boston Market, Honeywell, Monsanto and Pitney Bowes. Outside the United States, Sterling Commerce's customer list includes leading manufacturers like Toshiba and top retailers such as Auchan and John Lewis.

The acquisition builds on IBM's growing portfolio of industry software solutions designed to help companies automate, manage and accelerate core business processes across marketing, selling, ordering and fulfillment. IBM's recent acquisitions of Sterling Commerce and Coremetrics and the intended acquisition of Unica will enhance the company's ability to support clients' needs in this growing market.

With the closing of this acquisition approximately 2,500 Sterling Commerce employees join IBM. Consistent with IBM's software strategy, IBM will continue to support Sterling Commerce's clients while allowing them to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.

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