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ARMONK, N.Y. - IBM has been selected by Wal-Mart to help Wal-Mart's thousands of domestic and international suppliers adopt an Internet-based system that will enable them to exchange purchase orders, invoices, advanced shipping notices, and other data faster, at lower cost, and with greater reliability and improved security.
This new system leverages the Internet to transmit traditional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) information. Wal-Mart has said it expects suppliers to transition away from the telephone networks and Value-added Networks (VANs) traditionally used today.
Wal-Mart has selected the EDIINT AS2 standard to govern its Internet EDI system. AS2 is an Internet standards-based protocol for exchanging information over HTTP in a secure, high volume fashion.
Wal-Mart has also chosen IBM to provide VAN services as a backup contingency to EDIINT.
IBM will assist Wal-Mart suppliers in selecting and implementing the appropriate AS2-certified solutions that best meets their needs. IBM is integrating key AS2 software products with IBM's WebSphere Business Integration Connect software.
The AS2 standard is being widely adopted in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries for transmitting both traditional EDI messages and XML messages, such as those used in item synchronization. Wal-Mart suppliers who use Websphere Business Integration Connect are positioned to collaborate with Wal-Mart and all other trading partners through UCCnet.