LONDON, 28 January, 2003 - The World-Wide Retail Exchange (WWRE) has chosen IBM's WebSphere Commerce and Digital Union's ezMarket solution to provide significant enhancements to their auction solution. The WWRE chose IBM and Digital Union over competitors. The WWRE is the premier Internet-based business-to-business exchange for retailers and suppliers and includes 62 retail industry leaders from around the world such as Tesco, Boots, Target and JC Penney with the combined revenue of the members of over $850 billion. To continually enhance its level of service to members, the WWRE reviewed the leading sourcing solutions and ultimately chose IBM's WebSphere Commerce and Digital Union's ezMarket offerings. The WWRE, with assistance from IBM and Digital Union, spent six months working closely with members to ensure that the WebSphere Commerce and ezMarket tool delivers sourcing and auction capabilities that met member requirements. "Digital Union's multi-dimensional auction tool allows buyers to focus on key purchasing decision factors other than price, giving the buying company a true sense of the total cost of ownership. Equally important, Digital Union shares the WWRE's focus on delivering the highest levels of customer service and product quality," said James Williams, Director of Negotiations and Auctions, Worldwide Retail Exchange. Using the ezMarket platform for strategic sourcing allows WWRE members to authorise buyers and sellers in their own private marketplace. By allowing buyers to evaluate sellers on an unlimited number of 'attributes' such as terms, quality, and delivery timescales, bids can be visually evaluated to determine the best overall supplier or suppliers to fulfil member requirements. "The combined WebSphere Commerce and Digital Union ezMarket solution, will allow the WWRE to continue to enable retailers and suppliers to substantially cut costs across their supply chain process and offer the best service to its members," said Bart Lautenbach, Director, WebSphere Commerce, IBM Software Group The global solution is developed by Digital Union utilising additional leading edge technologies provided by IBM Watson Labs in the USA. Delivery and implementation was performed utilising both Digital Union and IBM consultants working closely with the WWRE and its members. The solution is now being hosted by IBM's e-hosting group in Raleigh, N.C.