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ICI Paints Optimizes B2B Integration with webMethods Fabric

Industry Leader Able to Reduce Costs, Improve Responsiveness to Customer Demands on a Global Basis Using Comprehensive Integration Backbone

webMethods Inc. (Nasdaq: WEBM), a leading business integration and optimization software company, today announced that ICI Paints, one of the international businesses of the ICI Group, has successfully employed the webMethods Enterprise Services Platform, a key component of webMethods Fabric™, as the foundation for their next-generation B2B integration infrastructure. As a result, ICI Paints anticipates improving the service levels and responsiveness offered to its largest customers while reducing transactional costs. The deployment also extends ICI Paints’ commitment to webMethods Fabric, which was initially used for integrating their customer relationship management operations with their external supply chain.

“One of the pillars of ICI’s strategy is a strong technology and innovation platform,” said Anne Sharp, IT Director, OTC at ICI Paints. “In that respect, it made eminent sense for us to further our deployment of webMethods so that it could serve as the foundation of a solid and resilient B2B integration infrastructure. Through this process, we’ve been able to automate the exchange of orders, acknowledgement of receipts, and delivery of advanced shipping notices and invoices with four key customers who generate several hundred orders every day. This enables us to process orders faster and more efficiently, which ultimately benefits our customers.”

ICI Paints is one of the international businesses of the ICI group, a $9.7 Billion global conglomerate of businesses that develop and market paints, foods, fragrances, and personal care products. ICI Paints produces and distributes some of the world’s top paints and decorative products brands, such as Dulux, Cuprinol and Polycell. Due to the market’s highly competitive nature, it is crucial that ICI Paints extend its ability to quickly respond to new customer requirements.

Until recently, these efforts were constrained by ICI Paints’ continuing reliance on traditional B2B exchange mechanisms, which typically meant that communications were undertaken using EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) over expensive VANs (Value Added Networks). For other customers, orders were processed manually via telephone and fax.

By standardizing on the webMethods Enterprise Services Platform s the integration backbone supporting these operations, ICI Paints has been able to significantly reduce the EDI VAN costs typically borne by its customers. As a best-in-class solution, it offers comprehensive support for the exchange of all major file types, including TRADACOM, EDIFACT, XML and flat files, across a number of communication protocols, such as EDIINT /AS2 and FTP. Ultimately, this approach allows ICI Paints to use fewer resources to accept and process orders from these customers with this system even being used to exchange documents with ICI Paints’ own Stores group, technically considered as another “virtual” customer.

Added Sharp, “The key benefits of us using webMethods has been its flexibility and versatility, which has enabled us to quickly respond to our customers’ desire to find a replacement communication mechanism for the VANs but also to re-use significant portions of the integration code as we have integrated one customer after the other. At the same time, whilst being flexible, webMethods Fabric has also proven to satisfy our most stringent security requirements around B2B communication. Furthermore, webMethods has proven to be a supplier who is genuinely interested in our success and has worked with us to ensure this.”

Martyn Eley, webMethods’ senior vice president and General Manager, EMEA said, “Our success with ICI Paints has already led ICI Paints to contemplate a number of additional projects that can be undertaken using webMethods Fabric. This is enabled by the essential flexibility and completeness that is inherent in the product suite. By doing so, ICI Paints is able to more readily respond to changes in its business while continuing to lower long-term integration costs.”

About webMethods Fabric
webMethods Fabric is a complete business integration platform that binds information technology into the fabric of the business and provides greater process visibility and control. This frees organisations from the constraints of technology, enabling faster deployment of new business solutions and continuous process improvement. webMethods Fabric can transform a business my maximising business process productivity.

Source: webMethods, Inc.

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