EXTOL Launches Focused B2B Tools
January 29, 2008 Alex Woodie
EXTOL last week rolled out a new collection of products aimed at solving business-to-business integration problems. The new offerings, called Business Extenders, are subsets of EXTOL’s full suite of integration software that are designed to tackle single-issue problems, like converting orders arriving via Excel spreadsheets into EDI formats.
EXTOL has been developing native OS/400 and i5/OS EDI translation tools for decades. More recently, as B2B communication has evolved, EXTOL has added support for technologies such as XML, AS2, and GSM1, to its flagship integration broker, the Java-based EXTOL Business Integrator suite of tools.
Last week, the Pennsylvania company announced it is now licensing subsets of Business Integrator’s functionality as EXTOL Business Extenders. EXTOL decided that, instead of giving customers the entire suite of tools, they may be better off with a highly targeted and pre-configured version of the product designed to solve specific integration problems.
For example, one EXTOL customer, Randa Luggage (formerly Badanco), was experiencing difficulty communicating with its Chinese manufacturers, which didn’t use EDI. “Every morning we printed out the spreadsheets that came over from China,” says Gino Giombetti, vice president of operations of Randa. “Our EDI coordinator literally had stacks of paper all around her office. Despite our best efforts, there were always delays, data entry errors, and our sales department consistently fell short on their promise to ship commitments.”
After installing EXTOL’s Business Extenders, those spreadsheets are now automatically converted into Randa’s EDI format, thereby eliminating re-keying, errors, data latency delays, and the need for custom programming. Now, every Monday morning, Randa receives updates from its 16 Chinese factories in EDI format. And the EDI coordinator no longer must shuffle spreadsheets. “She’s freed up from the stacks of paper to work on much more strategic projects,” Giombetti says.
The EXTOL Business Extenders are available now. For more information, visit www.extol.com.