Sterling Commerce buys data synchronization vendor

Sterling Commerce Inc. announced Thursday it acquired TR2 Consulting Enterprises Inc. , a privately held company that offers data synchronization software and services.

A familiar name in the business-to-business e-commerce world, Sterling grew its business as a value-added network (VAN) provider. TR2's hosted data synchronization services will bolster Sterling's existing family of licensed integration broker software. The combined company will offer data validation, data cleansing, catalog capabilities, and consulting and support services, Sterling says.

Analysts say there's money being wasted by retailers and suppliers swapping poor data in business-to-business transactions. According to research from Ernst & Young, administrative and paperwork errors are responsible for 13 percent of the US$46 billion retailers could lose annually to inventory inefficiencies and theft.

Data synchronization software aggregates and organizes item-related data from multiple application sources. It's often used in conjunction with data syndication initiatives such as UCCnet compliance. A Uniform Code Council subsidiary, UCCnet is a nonprofit organization that manages a standards-based item registry for companies' product data. Retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., The Home Depot Inc. and Staples Inc. are requiring suppliers to begin exchanging data via UCCnet's hub.

Sterling did not disclose the financial terms of its TR2 deal.

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