SEEBURGER has announced that Whirlpool Corporation, the worlds leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, will use SEEBURGER technology to provide a standardised business integration solution for thousands of trade customers that use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to automate business transactions. SEEBURGER adapters embedded in the SAP NetWeaver technology stack will eliminate the need for multiple solutions, and also support Whirlpools global use of the mySAP Business Suite as well as the companys initiatives to implement the NetWeaver platform.

The use of SEEBURGER adapters for data translation and communications will simplify Whirlpools network architecture, both by allowing the company to move away from non-SAP-compliant solutions and by eliminating the need to use trade customer integration solutions from different vendors. In addition, AS2 connectivity services provided by SEEBURGER will aid Whirlpools efforts to migrate more suppliers and customers to the AS2 standard in order to reduce costs and maximize its investment in global data synchronisation through the UCCnet data pool service.

Whirlpool is currently using SAP NetWeavers master data management (MDM) capabilities to synchronize product item information with UCCnet, the SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI) to provide integration broker services, and the SEEBURGER AS2 adapter to meet UCCnets requirement for Internet-based AS2 document exchange. That data synchronisation effort will help Whirlpool comply with its trade customers demands for uniform product information, while also lowering supply chain costs by reducing invoice and product shipment errors.

One of Whirlpools trade customers recently migrated to the SEEBURGER-based AS2 service with UCCnet connectivity. That customers system will be used to demonstrate the benefits of AS2 and UCCnet to other trade customers.

We have more than 5,000 trade customers in the U.S. but fewer than 20 are using AS2 capabilities today, with the vast majority of our business coming in on EDI over a value-added network, said Thomas Ehrman, director of Global Enablement Services for Whirlpool Corporations Global Information Systems. By using SEEBURGER to help move more trade customers to the AS2 communication platform, we expect to see significant cost reductions with VAN elimination while also bringing more suppliers and customers into the UCCnet and AS2 fold.

Whirlpool Corporations transition to SEEBURGERs connectivity solution set is part of the first phase of its SAP NetWeaver and SAP XI implementation. The company is using SEEBURGERs SAP consulting services to deploy the adapters, link to UCCnet, and configure the message formats required for each trade customer. Whirlpool is scheduled to activate SEEBURGERs EDI Translation adapters later this year.

This implementation is significant because it reflects two major IT trends for consumer packaged goods companies today. The first is the move to consolidate on a single global platform in this case the mySAP Business Suite and related applications to reduce costs and enable the service-oriented architecture required to efficiently link business processes. The second is the push for global data synchronization through UCCnet and other trading pools, said Scott Lewin, President, SEEBURGER US. SEEBURGERs tight integration with SAP and 20-year history of providing reliable electronic communication among trade customers support Whirlpools efforts in both arenas.

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