New communications network will level playing field and reduce costs

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Impatex Computer Systems - the UK's leading supplier of Customs processing software - has welcomed the launch of BT Syntegra's new IPStream network, which levels the playing field for all providers of Customs software linked to CCS-UK, and could significantly reduce costs for many airfreight forwarder users.

IPStream replaces the aging X-25 network which has been in use with CCS-UK since 1994. Like X-25, IPStream links direct to the CCS-UK data "switch", but offers greater speed and reduced costs to the larger companies who have formed the mainstay of X-25 users.

IPStream also offers a viable alternative to ISDN as a means for small and medium-sized companies to connect with CCS-UK. More significantly, it bypasses the CCS-UK Front End Processors, over which ASM has a monopoly.

Says Impatex MD Peter Day: "Quite simply, all users who take the ISDN route have to pay for the ASM system whether they want it or not, just to gain access to CCS-UK. Having done that, they have understandably been reluctant to pay for a second software package such as our own Customs Broker system, even if it is a better product for them.

"IPStream levels the playing field by removing the need for agents to pay for the ASM system just for its ISDN connection. Now users only need one system to connect with CCS-UK, and their choice will be made entirely on the features and quality of that system, rather than the fact that it holds a monopoly over their chosen communication option."

Impatex is currently testing its Customs Manager software with IPStream, ready for the latter's phased rollout from March. At the same time, it is taking the opportunity to upgrade remaining users of its DOS-based MCS system (which will not be developed to support IPStream) to its Windows-based Visual Broker software that contains a number of additional features. Impatex will however continue to support MCS users until they have migrated to IPStream.

Concludes Day: "IPStream is going to be the best communications option for most Airfreight agents, regardless of their size. Its permanent connection and wider bandwidth will result in a noticeable increase in speed. And it will enable all agents to choose the best software for them, without paying twice."

Impatex pioneered 'Intelligent' DTI in 1983 with the introduction of FCP80. Its Customs Manager software uniquely interfaces with all the DTI Communities - CCS-UK, CNS, Dover and MCP. The system comprises 9 modules covering DTI, ERTS, NES, NCTS, CFSP, Warehousing, OPR, IPR and Intrastat, all validated by the full Customs Tariff which is updated monthly. Customs Manager is in use by hundreds of UK freight forwarding companies - including 12 of the UK's top 20 airfreight forwarders.

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