EDISON, NJ, January 16, 2003- EasyLink Services Corporation (NASDAQ: EASY), a leading global provider of services that power the exchange of information between enterprises, their trading communities and their customers, today announced the launch of its new File Integration Service . The solution is EasyLink's latest offering in the Company's recently launched Trading Community Enablement (TCE) and Management suite of services, designed to facilitate business transactions between large enterprises and small- to mid-sized companies in their trading communities, significantly increasing the number of companies with whom they conduct business electronically. Even today, only about 20 percent of enterprise trading relationships are electronic, with the balance maintained via telephone, fax, and postal mail.
File Integration allows small- to mid-sized businesses to exchange high volumes of transaction data with large trading partners simply by sending documents in formats such as Microsoft Excel to EasyLink, which transforms and delivers them in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Extensible Markup Language (XML) or similar formats used by larger enterprises.
"File Integration Service taps EasyLink into a specific market segment," commented Bill Fallon, EasyLink Vice President of Product Marketing. "The solution is ideal for companies that are not quite ready for EDI, but appreciate the benefits and efficiencies of sending data electronically and generate a high volume of transactions, often with a need to integrate this data into their back-end inventory and accounting applications." EasyLink's recently launched EDI Testing & Certification is designed for companies that have already implemented an EDI system and Web EDI is geared toward companies whose transaction volumes are low enough to be efficiently handled through a Web browser.
Fallon added, "The File Integration Service is an important new element of EasyLink's total approach to connecting business partners. EasyLink assumes the responsibility of developing the connectivity and mapping requirements unique to each of the large company's trading partners. Also, small businesses benefit because File Integration provides a smooth transition from fax and Web-based solutions as the degree of their technological sophistication increases. EasyLink's unique approach provides customers of all sizes a family of services to choose from to best meet their own capabilities and needs."
How File Integration Works
File integration enables large company hubs to exchange data as EDI using dialup, IP, EDIINT, or any other transport format. The hubs can also send data directly to EasyLink or through their existing Value Added Network (VAN), while trading partners can communicate using a modem or other open network platform and use any data format they prefer, including CSV (comma-separated values) files or Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. The solution features automatic checking for syntax errors, compliance rules and mandatory fields to prevent the transmission of inaccurate data, in addition to fast notification for both parties, eliminating errors and improving processing time.
EasyLink's Trading Community Enablement (TCE) and Management Services File Integration is just one component of EasyLink's Trading Community Enablement and Management Services, which allow EDI hubs to communicate electronically with up to 100 percent of their trading community. Companies can choose among several options to best fit the complexion and capabilities of their trading community:
* EDI Testing & Certification, allowing for validation of compliance of spokes' existing transaction capabilities with hub company's EDI implementation guidelines;
* Web EDI, allowing both EDI-enabled and non-EDI-enabled trading partners to easily and efficiently exchange documents electronically via a browser-based data entry interface;
* Production Messaging, providing the ability to send transactions from virtually any system to be transformed and delivered to a wide range of others, offering full integration into existing ERP, CRM and database-driven production systems; and
* Document Capture and Management Service, digitally converting paper transactions into usable data that can be processed directly by enterprise systems such as production servers, workflow solutions and databases.