IBM Launches Websphere For Global Data Synch

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Jul 30, 2012 (5 years and 15 days ago)

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IBM Launches Websphere For Global Data Synch

By Ephraim Schwartz, InfoWorld

22 December 2004

This story also appeared on ComputerWeekly.com (UK) and ComputerWorld
Australia


Leveraging its acquisition of Trego, an ISV with a product information management
system, IBM unveiled additional middleware components to work with the Trego
technology to ensure product data synchronization between retailers and suppliers.


The IBM Global Data Synchronization (GDS) for WebSphere Product Center
announced last week wil
l handle the actual publication of product data, putting it into
proper formats to be read by data pools.


At the moment there are a number of large data pools that do not all share formats
with one another, according to Kara Romanow, research director at

AMR Research.


Some of the major data pools are the WWRE (Worldwide Retail Exchange),
Transora, and UCCNet.


GDS for WebSphere Product Center also manages the subscription to the data pools
and the messages between trading partners, a critical component

before, during, and
after the exchange of secure data.


Romanow said that Big Blue's competitive differentiator can be found in that their
GDS solution does not require technical expertise to use.


"Everybody else manages these transactions with a techn
ical person and they have
to know XML. IBM's tool looks like Outlook and can be used by an end
-
user,"
Romanow said.


Dan Druker, director of product information management at IBM, said the problem of
managing and sending product data cannot be solved thro
ugh IT.


"This can be used by buyers and sales persons," Druker said.


Earlier this year, IBM announced WebSphere Product Center, which took the
technology from Trego and created a data repository to manage thousands of SKUs
with hundreds of attributes f
or both manufacturers and retailers.


While the worldwide effort to synchronize product data is far from complete it will over
time greatly reduce shipping errors, inventory levels, and the possibility of empty
shelves at the retailer by insuring that wha
t is ordered is what is sent and received.


"When a trading partner says I want item number XYZ, both sides will agree that it is
the same color, the same size, the same number of items per pallet, the pallet size,
and how many pallets fit in a container,
" said Romanow.


Nevertheless, industry adoption is not uniform, nor is there worldwide support for the
Global Registry managed by EAN.UCC, a joint North American and European
organization, that insures standards for interoperability between data pools.


Most items have anywhere from 12 to 600 attributes that need to be synchronized.


According to Druker, the effort got under way three years ago when WalMart Stores
Inc. issued a mandate to its 20,000 suppliers on their standards for digitally sending
Wal
Mart product information.


The IBM GDS product will also include business reporting and analytics.


"It can look across 30,000 manufacturers and see who is consistently sending me
bad data. Or it can see which partner is being slow or which are responsiv
e in
approval of selling products," said Druker.


IBM Global Data Synchronization for WebSphere Product Center also includes the
IBM DB2 database and the application server integrated into the data pool of the
customer's choice.