N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie’s Gastransport Services Goes into Production with Covast for EDI
The Largest Gas Transportation Company in the Netherlands Relies on Covast to Make Online Trading More Efficient
Atlanta and Rotterdam - March 17, 2004 - Covast, provider of the recommended
electronic data interchange (EDI) solution for Microsoft Corp.'s BizTalk Server,
today announced that GTS (Gastransport Services, part of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie),
the largest gas transportation company in the Netherlands, has deployed Covast
to provide EDI functionality to its trading partners.
A primary mission of GTS is to facilitate the transportation of gas throughout
the Netherlands. GTS has to communicate with a large number of partner companies
that buy, sell and trade gas and rely on GTS as the intermediary engaged in gas
transport. To serve its partners, GTS needs to know how much gas is involved,
when and what point the gas goes into the GTS network and at what stage it goes
out. Protocols based on EDI (specifically, EdiG@s) have been established within
the gas industry as to facilitate communications among the various market players.
Internally, GTS uses Microsoft's BizTalk Server 2000 for application integration.
However, the company was not utilizing BizTalk Server to communicate with external
parties. GTS is using AS2 as a security protocol and wanted to embark on utilizing
EDI for business communications. But the company needed more than BizTalk 2000
to support AS2 and the chosen EDI specifications it sought to utilize. "We
chose Covast's EDI Accelerator based on Microsoft's recommendation of Covast
as their select EDI partner," said Norbert Ploeger, technical architect,
GTS. "Because we had integrated our internal applications using BizTalk,
we wanted a product that integrated with BizTalk Server easily. The whole messaging
process is seamless - when the message comes in, the process is one uninterrupted
After the system went live January 1, 2004, the whole process of business communication
has been automated using Covast and Microsoft BizTalk Server integrated with
back-office systems. "Because GTS has XML and BizTalk as a corporate standard
for their internal applications, a very important aspect of the system for the
company is the fact that Covast does the translation from EDI to XML,"
said Daan Scheer, CEO, Covast. "Along with AS2 support, the ability to
translate EDI to XML has been and continues to be a very important value proposition
across our customer base."
In terms of business objectives, a key goal for GTS was to deploy this system
to better respond to the recently deregulated gas market in the Netherlands.
All of GTS' internal systems needed to be ready to cope with this new paradigm
in which GTS has to facilitate in transporting gas for several parties. Now,
GTS partners are connected through a virtual private network (VPN) that was
set up between all partners and serves as a shared network. Covast acts as a
messaging gateway to the VPN and BizTalk Server is the application broker connecting
together all of Gasunie's various applications.
Currently, the system serves 58 trading partners and Gasunie is expecting that
to grow considerably in 2004. They are averaging several thousand EDI messages
a month between all trading partners on the VPN.
About Gastransport Services (GTS)
Gastransport Services (part of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie) is a transmission
company, responsible for marketing gas transport capacity and related services
in the Netherlands. The company also operates the country's gas transmission
network, modifying and expanding the system as necessary. The company engages
in research and development related to gas transport. In addition, the company
makes its knowledge and expertise available on a consultancy basis to clients
at home and abroad. Gastransport Services pursues a policy which pays particular
attention to health, safety, environmental awareness and saving energy. For
more information, please visit www.gastransportservices.nl.
Covast provides the Microsoft recommended EDI solution for BizTalk Server. The
combination of Microsoft BizTalk Server, the Covast EDI Accelerator and AS2
Adapter 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 its European headquarters in the Netherlands
and its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, Covast has strategic relationships with
partners and customers including Microsoft, HP, Citrix, Flextronics, Siemens,
Ocean Spray, Grampian Foods and ABX Logistics. For more information, visit www.covast.com.
NOTE: The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
trademarks of their respective owners.
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