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IBM Will Help Wal-Mart Suppliers Adopt Web System

Wal-Mart selected IBM to help its domestic and international suppliers adopt an Internet-based system that will let them exchange data, the retailer said yesterday.

That data, which includes purchase orders, invoices and advanced shipping notices, now can be exchanged at a lower cost and improved security, the two companies said.

The two said this new system will leverage the Internet to transmit traditional Electronic Data Interchange information. Wal-Mart expects suppliers to shift from the telephone networks and Value-added Networks traditionally used today. It is encouraging its suppliers to try Internet-based EDI.

Wal-Mart said it chose the EDIINT AS2 standard to govern its Internet EDI system. AS2 is an Internet standards-based protocol for exchanging information over HTTP in a “secure, high volume and reliable fashion.”

IBM will help Wal-Mart suppliers select and implement AS2-certified solutions that best meet their needs. IBM is integrating AS2 software products with IBM's WebSphere Business Integration Connect software, which is part of the WebSphere Business Integration portfolio and offers business-to-business connectivity and integration among trading partners of all types and sizes.

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