Covast Connects Trading Community for SMI
The Covast EDI Accelerator for Microsoft BizTalk Server gives SMI next generation B2B environment
ATLANTA – January 28, 2003 – Covast, a provider of integration
software that enables complex electronic data interchange (EDI) functionality
within Microsoft BizTalk Server, today announced that it is connecting the four
steel minimills owned by Commercial Metals Company known as SMI Steel-Alabama,
SMI Steel-Arkansas, SMI Steel-South Carolina, and SMI-Texas (collectively referred
to as SMI) to their trading partners through extensive value-added network (VAN)
connectivity and EDI capabilities.
The SMI mills provide steel to customers throughout North America. The mills
are part of the CMC Steel Group and manufacture a wide range of steel products
including rebar, angles, channels, flats, rounds, squares and special sections.
These mills also provide a variety of grades including special bar quality (SBQ)
steels for forging and customer specific applications.
SMI deployed the Covast EDI Accelerator for Microsoft BizTalk Server to provide
connectivity to their trading partners and to enable the exchange of EDI documents.
The EDI Accelerator was chosen in combination with BizTalk Server to reduce
the costs of maintaining the existing Gentran system from Sterling Commerce.
SMI had two legacy servers that it utilized, one at SMI Steel-Arkansas and
one at SMI Steel-Alabama, which were getting to be both costly and obsolete.
They made the decision to rely on one enterprise server to support the integration
and EDI needs for all of the steel minimills. SMI decided to go with Microsoft
BizTalk Server as its primary solution for integration. This made it imperative
that the company find a reliable product to handle EDI and communication with
the VAN and one that was developed to work with BizTalk Server. Microsoft recommended
the Covast EDI Accelerator.
The challenge that SMI had was to access the data required to create documents
that effectively support its business, including sales order acknowledgements,
shipping notices and invoices. Covast and BizTalk are now providing SMI with
a total communications package and the mapping technology has given SMI more
functionality than its previous system. “A lot of the old mapping tools
were very difficult to work with. The tools that Covast and BizTalk provide
are very seamless and very easy to deal with,” said Patrick Walsh, supervisor
of eBusiness applications for SMI.
In terms of cost-effectiveness, SMI has received a solid base to do B2B without
expensive maintenance contracts. “Thanks to Covast, SMI has already begun
to see cost savings and has dramatically decreased the delivery time of connecting
to our customers. We now have a complete B2B environment to support our trading
community today and into the future,” added Walsh.
According to Daan Scheer, founder and CEO, Covast, “SMI was looking
for a cost-efficient solution that provided connectivity to its trading partners
and a solid architecture infrastructure. EDI Accelerator serves as the ultimate
B2B tool by solving trading partner challenges that businesses like SMI regularly
Covast provides the only integrated EDI solution for the BizTalk Server environment.
The combination of Microsoft BizTalk Server and the Covast EDI Accelerator delivers
the ultimate B2B solution - enabling companies to easily integrate their EDI
infrastructures with internal applications and providing a gateway for connecting
trading communities. With European headquarters in the Netherlands and U.S.
headquarters in Atlanta, Covast has strategic relationships with partners and
customers including Microsoft, HP, Akzo Nobel, Grampian Foods, SMI Steel and
Oldcastle. For more information, visit www.covast.com.
About Commercial Metals Company
Commercial Metals Company (NYSE: CMC) and subsidiaries manufacture, recycle
and market steel and metal products, related materials and services through
a network of over 130 locations including 4 steel minimills, 32 steel fabrication
plants, a castellated and cellular beam fabricating plant, 5 steel joist plants,
4 steel fence post manufacturing plants, 2 heat treating plants, a railcar rebuilding
facility, 27 concrete-related product warehouses, an industrial products supply
company, a railroad salvage company, a copper tube mill, 44 metal recycling
facilities and 16 marketing and distribution offices in the United States and
in strategic overseas markets.
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