LANSA Supports New 1SYNC Product Data Standard
May 29, 2007 Alex Woodie
LANSA this month released an update to Data Sync Direct, its i5/OS- and Windows-based data synchronization tool designed to be used with 1SYNC‘s data pool platform for coordinating product information in supply chains. With the availability of Data Sync Direct version 6, LANSA is the first software vendor to support the new standards used by 1SYNC. The company also announced a co-marketing agreement with ERP developer QAD for Data Sync Direct.
LANSA Data Sync Direct was launched about four years ago as a way to help companies manage their product data and participate in a certified data pool managed by 1SYNC, which is the a nonprofit subsidiary of GS1 US that was formerly called UCCnet. 1SYNC was spearheaded by the GS1 US organizations with backing from Wal-Mart and other industry giants as a way to overcome discrepancies in product data that reduce efficiencies, increase the need to manually manage data, and cost the industry tens of billions of dollars per year.
Companies start their GDSN activities with Data Sync Direct by plugging the product into their ERP system to extract the product master data catalog or item-of-record database. Once that data resides in Data Sync Direct, supply-side companies (manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors) can start performing product information management (PIM) activities with Data Sync Direct, including registering and publishing their Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTINs) and Global Location Numbers (GLNs) to the source data pool. Once demand-side (retail) companies have also registered with their recipient data pool, the two sides can begin normalizing their GTINs and GLNs and eliminate differences between their products, such as how many cases to a pallet, or using grams instead of ounces for weight measures. 1SYNC sits above the two data pools to ensure the product data complies with GS1 (UCC and EAN) data standards. Data Sync Direct keeps things up-to-date thanks to two-way communication with the ERP system’s product data master.
Obviously, standards play a huge role in any GDSN initiative. After all, users would see no benefits to GDSN activities unless all participants in a supply chain are on the same page when it comes to product data synchronization. That’s why it’s so critical for vendors selling GDSN solutions, like LANSA, to keep up-to-date with the latest 1SYNC standards.
With Data Sync Direct version 6, LANSA says it is the first 1SYNC solution partner to offer out-of-the-box support for the latest 1SYNC standards, dubbed Data Recipient XML Release 6.1.1. Being an early supporter of the new data synchronization messaging and data content platform gives LANSA a head start on helping its customers adopt the new technology.
Other new features added to Data Sync Direct with version 6 include the capability to dynamically define and store item attributes, which make it easier for customers to define, add, and maintain industry- or partner-specific attributes, LANSA says. Another new feature allows users to save a specified number of historical versions of attributes as they change over time, thus showing the impact of publication or attribute changes, the company says. These features bolster the product’s master data management (MDM) capabilities.
Version 6 also provides users the capability to process item data received from non-GDSN sources in a manner consistent with how GDSN publications are handled. This is an important feature, says Jeff Holzman, director of solution product sales for LANSA Americas, which is based near Chicago, Illinois. “LANSA’s customers and business partners have told us that many existing PIM and MDM solutions have proven to be difficult and expensive to implement,” he says. “Therefore we feel there is a strong need for a quality, affordable solution that supports GDSN-1SYNC and other critical data sources.”
Last week, LANSA announced it has formed a co-marketing partnership with QAD, a Carpinteria, California, developer of Windows-, Linux-, and Unix-based ERP applications for manufacturers. As part of the deal, QAD will sell Data Sync Direct along with its QAD Enterprise ERP suite.
QAD picked LANSA because it’s one of the top players in the data synchronization field, says Robert Cramer, director of product management for QAD. “Their experience with global data registries and global implementations, along with their ability to provide both a low-cost hosted solution and a behind-the-firewall implementation for more demanding users, fits extremely well with the retail data synchronization needs” of QAD’s customer base, he says.
Data Sync Direct version 6 is available now. The software runs on OS/400 V4R5 or higher and Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003, and integrates with dozens of popular ERP systems. Pricing for supply-side companies ranges from $20,000 to $70,000, and $50,000 to $500,000 for demand-side companies. For more information, visit www.lansa.com.