COMMERCE, Calif. -- Unified Western Grocers here plans to install a messaging/translation system from Microsoft over the next 90 days that will enable the wholesaler to begin synchronizing data with suppliers through UCCnet's synchronization hub and data registry.
Greg Vick, Unified's director of distribution systems and Web development, told SN that Unified is Microsoft's first distributor, or demand-side, partner for the system, called BIZTalk UCCnet Toolkit, which Unified received for free.
Unified, which became a subscriber to UCCnet, Lawrencville, N.J., last August, has already used Microsoft's BIZTalk Server system to set up a workflow approval process; that results in approved data received from suppliers being integrated into Unified's master catalog in its back-end systems, Vick said.
"We did the back-end, foundational work first, while Microsoft got the Toolkit ready," he said. "A lot of companies have not built the back-end piece."
In December, Unified upgraded to Microsoft's .Net platform to support e-commerce applications such as UCCnet, its intranet, its customer portal (Memberlink), and a vendor portal for non-UCCnet vendors.
Unified has selected a pilot vendor with which it will begin synchronizing data once the Toolkit is installed, Vick said, declining to name the vendor.