Survey Confirms Enterprises Lack a Comprehensive Integration Strategy to Meet Today's Business Challenges

Sterling Commerce-Sponsored Survey Finds That 80 Percent of Respondents Will Enhance Their Integration Capabilities This Year to Address Gaps

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire - April 27, 2009) - Sterling Customer Connection -- Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) company, today released the findings of a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, which focused on the need for a comprehensive integration solution (CIS). The results of the survey were shared at the Sterling Commerce user conference, where the theme is "Connect, Communicate and Collaborate," and can be found at

In the March 2009 study, "The Value Of A Comprehensive Integration Solution", Forrester Consulting defines a CIS as "a selection of pre-integrated components designed to handle enterprise application integration (EAI), B2B integration (B2Bi) that includes support for both EDI and XML, trading partner management (TPM) support, business process management (BPM) for process integration, managed file transfer (MFT) capability, and model-driven application development features." A CIS will "enable enterprises to improve productivity, lower inventory costs, and provide higher levels of support for partner management, while improved support for business innovation frequently leads to game-changing improvements that can enable a firm to leapfrog its competition."

"This research is critical in helping our customers better understand and address the game-changing improvements they can make to solve the integration complexities across their entire business community," said Ken Ramoutar, vice president, Global Product and Industry Marketing, Sterling Commerce. "By revealing the inadequacies in integration capabilities against needs, the research highlights the need for a comprehensive integration strategy and provides strategic guidance to help companies move toward a strategy to optimize and transform the way they do business."

The survey of 260 executive- and senior-level IT decision makers found that 80 percent of participants were planning to enhance their integration capabilities in 2009. Respondents indicated that their existing integration infrastructure was less than very effective 40 percent of the time in helping to respond quickly to integration challenges. Most integration solutions cannot meet companies' CIS needs because they are not pre-integrated; have a lack of EDI, B2B and MFT capabilities; and do not take advantage of service oriented architecture (SOA) principles. The importance of MFT was highlighted in a response to one of the survey questions where a total of 65 percent indicated that MFT was one of the major transport options that they used.

Respondents identified both business and information technology (IT) benefits to moving toward a CIS:

-- Business benefits referenced were:

-- The ability to support complex integration processes across the value chain (44 percent of the respondents)

-- Gain better process visibility (40 percent)

-- More agile integration (39 percent)

-- IT benefits cited were:

-- Lower maintenance and operating cost due to fewer tools to support integration needs (43 percent of the respondents)

-- Greater operational efficiencies by making it easier to maintain the competency of staff members on a single tool set (40 percent)

According to the study, "Many enterprises are currently spending more on integration-related projects than they need to because they do not have an integrated and comprehensive tool set in place, and this leads to inefficiencies and sub-optimization of resources assigned to solve the full range of integration tasks. One mistake that many firms will be tempted to make will be to strive for minimal, incremental improvements when wholesale upgrades to the integration infrastructure are what are needed."

Sterling Commerce is a leading provider of integration solutions that enable flexible business process integration spanning organizations' internal and external boundaries. The company's integration solutions enable seamless and secure integration of key business processes by connecting people, processes, and technology inside and outside an enterprise.

About Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) company, helps companies optimize and transform their Business Collaboration Network to accelerate revenues and reduce costs. More than 30,000 customers worldwide use Sterling Commerce applications and integration solutions to connect, communicate and collaborate inside and outside their enterprise. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Sterling Commerce has offices in 24 countries. More information can be found at