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Technology Development Consortium Builds Covisint Hub Data Messaging Solution

Covisint and Consortium of Automotive Leaders to Develop Data Messaging Solution

Product Will Be a Cost Effective Alternative to EDI

Southfield, Michigan, USA. May 12, 2003.

Covisint today announced the formation of a technology development consortium that will build and implement a data messaging solution to improve communications between companies in the automotive industry and replace costly EDI solutions. The messaging solution will also enable smaller companies, not currently using EDI, to connect to their customers and suppliers. Members of the consortium include DaimlerChrysler, Delphi, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Johnson Controls and Lear. Each has committed financial and human resources to contribute to the development of the solution.

When deployed in late 2003, the new messaging solution will allow Covisint customers to send and receive electronic data to applications behind each other's firewalls, as well as to Covisint applications, at a significantly lower cost than available from current EDI solutions. It will support the latest Internet based protocols, XML standard messages, as well as the millions of EDI (EDIFACT and X12) messages, that are exchanged daily in the automotive business. The specifications for this solution are being developed in cooperation with the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG).

"A coordinated messaging implementation will lead to common processes and increased velocity of information throughout the automotive industry," said Bruce Swift, president, CEO and Chairman of Covisint. "Simplification of the messaging process will provide increased participation and reduced costs to businesses at every level of the supply chain. This will be core to Covisint's strategy in becoming the hub for the global automotive industry."

Automotive OEMs and Suppliers Pledge Support

"Covisint's new messaging service helps to enhance open communication and information sharing at all levels of the supply chain," said Gary Valade, Executive Vice President, Global Procurement and Supply, DaimlerChrysler AG. "We continue to support and work with Covisint in partnership with our suppliers to improve the effectiveness of critical processes."

"EDI connections have long been a costly inefficiency for the industry," said J.T. Battenberg III, Chairman, President & CEO for Delphi Corporation. "This jointly developed messaging service will help to reduce this expense and improve the flow of information among the supply base."

"Supply chain efficiency is a shared vision of the OEMs and their suppliers," said Adriana Karaboutis, Director, Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain Information Technology, Ford Motor Company. "Covisint's coordinated data messaging tool represents an excellent opportunity to achieve part of this vision."

"GM sees real value in creating an EDI alternative that allows us to more efficiently collaborate in real time with our supply base," said Ralph Szygenda, GM group vice president and CIO. " We believe a standard solution will deliver economic efficiencies while providing an affordable data communication tool for smaller automotive companies as well."

"The service being developed by the consortium will help to reduce the number of connections and improve our data communications with the rest of the industry," said John Barth, President and CEO for Johnson Controls, Inc. "The simplicity of the new system should reduce cost and complexity."

"The consortium approach being employed is the best method of developing a true industry solution," said Jim Vandenberghe, Vice Chairman, Lear Corporation. "We look forward to rationalizing our EDI network".

About Covisint

Covisint is the independent e-business service provider for the global automotive industry. Its business-to-business services connect and enable car manufacturers and their suppliers to reduce costs, increase efficiency, enhance quality and improve time to market. Covisint was founded by DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Renault, Nissan, Commerce One and Oracle in 2000. Since its inception, PSA Peugeot Citroën also has joined the initiative. Covisint has its headquarters in Southfield, Mich., and sales offices in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Paris, Brazil and Mexico. For more information about Covisint, visit


From the "Covisint Messaging Question and Answer" document:

The Covisint messaging Consortium is "a group of seven companies -- Covisint plus DaimlerChrysler, Delphi, Ford, GM, JCI and Lear -- that share common views about the problems of the way information is currently being exchanged within the automotive industry and how it could be improved in the future. The companies will jointly develop the new service. All of the companies have made financial and human resource commitments to the development.

The Consortium has been formed and development work is well underway. Teams of people from the consortium companies are busy designing the service and architects and programmers are assembling the pieces. The Messaging service application, called the Covisint Hub, is a collection of off-the-shelf software plus some code that customizes the service for the automotive industry.

In addition, the consortium is developing standard business document formats based on XML. This work is being done with the help of the AIAG and OAGI organizations. These XML documents will become the automotive industry's canonical model for business documents.

The automotive industry is in need of solution to the communication mess that slows the flow of information and prevents real time collaboration. The new messaging service will speed the flow of information and enable the use of new web based collaboration applications.

Suppliers and automakers would send purchase orders, shipping schedules and other documents through the hub via the Internet. Covisint would then put the data into a desired format and send it. The result is Covisint managing the relationship with each trading partner separately and enabling them to communicate with the rest of the supply chain while preserving their IT investments."

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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