WWRE & UCCnet Launch Interoperability

Alexandria, VA (May 14, 2003) - In a move to lay the foundation for launch of the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), UCCnet and the WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE) announced today the commencement of a two-phased launch of interoperability to be completed by the end of this year.

Ten WWRE retailers and suppliers will participate in the WWRE-UCCnet initiative, which is expected to demonstrate the value of the GDSN and add considerable momentum to the industry's push toward the adoption of global standards. CVS and Schering Plough will be the first two participants and have announced their intention to subscribe to UCCnet's GLOBALregistry.

"What we're doing is a first of its kind. We're showing the industry's commitment to cooperatively developing a global registry and creating an interoperable network of data pools around the world," said Leo Hartnett, Vice President of Efficient Consumer Response for CVS. "With a single process to synchronize information among all of our trading partners, we will eliminate confusion in the marketplace around the path to data pool interoperability."

"UCCnet recognizes the tremendous value inherent in partnering with the WWRE, an organization that shares a similar vision for the global registry and its value to data synchronization," said Fred Geiger, Sr. Vice President for UCCnet. "This partnership is an important step in bringing the benefits of data synchronization to the global market place."

Among the WWRE manufacturers and retailers backing this initiative are Ahold, Albertsons, CVS, Eckerd, Food Lion, Schering-Plough, Safeway, Walgreens, and Wyeth.

"The launch is especially significant because it brings industry leaders together to work collectively to develop one process for managing product data," said Jim Williams, Manager Business Information Logistics for Schering-Plough. "When you begin thinking about this globally, you can envision the sheer magnitude of the savings for the industry that will be derived from a single network of interoperating data pools."

"When we took the leap alone, without standards in place, we found we were spending too much time scrubbing data and correcting problems," said Gavin Jeffs, Assistant Vice President Logistics/eBusiness for Wyeth. "Now, the WWRE and UCCnet are applying the best solutions derived from a wider array of implementation experiences, and we are finally getting to the point where we can see and start realizing the benefits of data synchronization."

"The industry has recognized that collaboration is necessary for the long-term success of any industry initiative seeking standardization and interoperability," said Cindy Cruzado, Director of WorldWide Item Management at the WWRE. "More companies are coming aboard the WWRE each day because it has emerged as the best way for the industry to achieve that unity, bringing manufacturers and retailers together on a neutral platform where all members retain an equal voice over governance."

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