The business-to-business trading exchanges won't be left behind in the move to data synchronization on a global scale.
In July 2002, Transora, Chicago, changed from an "exchange" into a software and services company specializing in data synchronization. Since that time, Transora has been actively involved in establishing standards for data synchronization, acting as a beta partner for UCCnet, and providing the technical solutions and support for implementations.
"As a result, Transora plays a key role both in terms of helping companies get onboard and synchronize data, while also working at the highest levels to help define the standards and ensure that the Global Data Synchronization [GDS] vision comes to fruition," said Ken Fleming, president and chief operating officer.
Transora's manufacturer members account for more than 60% of the items loaded in the UCCnet Global Registry. Transora has completed more than 100 data synchronization implementations to date for companies ranging from Procter & Gamble, Kraft and Unilever to small and midsized companies that have a limited number of items to synchronize with select retailers.
"Transora is 100% committed to the Global Data Synchronization vision of one central connection to access the Global Data Synchronization Network and continues to work on behalf of its customers to make this vision a reality," said Fleming.
The strategy of the WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE), Alexandria, Va., is to implement GDS functionality across countries to enable all members -- when they are ready -- to start the standardization necessary to adopt GDS. The exchange is implementing GDS in eight languages in nine countries (Japan, South Korea, Italy, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain) and one continent (North America). It has a dozen local catalog providers that are either live or being connected to the solution.
"We have an industry vision today for data sync and regional implementations but we are quite far away from realizing this vision," according to WWRE officials. Currently, implementation across all regions is largely focused on the alignment of data and the standardization of item maintenance business process between specific trading partners. "We are achieving standardization globally, however at different speeds, most notably faster in North America than Europe or Asia," they said.
Unlike the other two, GNX, San Francisco, is less committed to data synchronization. To assist customers until data synchronization is standardized around the world, GNX has forged alliances with leading providers of data pool and registry services, according to Judy Gilbert, vice president of GNX. It also takes part in several standards-setting organizations and working groups.
"While we believe that the widespread adoption of data synchronization will facilitate greater collaboration by making the technical integration part of the project easier to manage, we have seen that data synchronization is not a qualifier to collaboration or CPFR," she said. "A number of successful large-scale collaboration projects are here to prove it, including several powered by GNX."