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December 20, 2004

Sterling Commerce: Yantra acquisition adds supply chain capability

Integration player Sterling Commerce is adding application functionality to its services-oriented integration framework with the planned acquisition of supply chain fulfillment vendor Yantra. The company aims to use the purchase to help its development of composite applications.

By CBR Staff Writer

Sterling Commerce is set to buy Yantra.

Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBC Communications, will pay $170 million in cash for the privately owned Boston, Massachusetts-based company and expects the deal to be competed in Q1 2005. Sterling plans to keep the staff of around 250 and operate it as a new business division, headed by Yantra’s CEO Devdutt Yellurkar.

Yantra’s supply chain fulfillment suite will be incorporated into Sterling’s Multi-Enterprise Services Architecture. This is Sterling’s implementation of a services-oriented architecture that is pitched as the framework that enables organizations to collaborate across the enterprise and with their extended business. Sterling concentrates on integration, collaboration and data synchronization, but the company will also use Yantra’s applications to kick-start the delivery of composite components that can be deployed across Sterling’s services architecture.

This proposed merger would add to the trend of combining integration infrastructure with highly granular application functionality. This then supports the delivery of application services that virtually all enterprise level companies have taken on board – from SAP with NetWeaver to supply chain player i2 Technologies with its Supply Chain Operating System.

The Sterling proposal is similar to i2’s SCOS, which is a standards-based open architecture that offers organizations a way to run collaborative and planning supply chain tools within the enterprise and across the extended enterprise for real or near real time supply chain visibility.

In the past SBC has been uncertain what do with Sterling Commerce, which it bought for $3.9 billion at the peak of the dot-com boom in March 2000. It is not considered core to SBC’s business to the extent that at the end of 2002 SBC tried to divest it and had strong interest from Bain Capital in November 2002.

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