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ForestExpress Teams with webMethods to Extend papiNet Support

Press release from the issuing company

Company Promotes XML-based Standards Traction in the Paper Industry ATLANTA--March 12, 2002-- ForestExpress, the transaction processing network for the forest products industry, today announced expanded support for the XML-based papiNet standard to be delivered in conjunction with webMethods, Inc., a leading provider of integration software. This announcement was made during the annual American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) Paper Week show in New York City. papiNet is a global initiative to develop, maintain and promote the implementation of electronic transaction standards that facilitate the flow of information among all parties engaged in the buying, selling, and distribution of paper and forest products. Open and freely available, the papiNet standard involves common business documents like purchase orders, shipping notices, and invoices. Members of the forest products industry already use the ForestExpress network, which leverages the webMethods integration platform for external integration to trading partners throughout the supply chain. The initiative announced today will expand availability and use of papiNet by making the standard "native'' to the webMethods solution as part of the basic ForestExpress integration offering. According to Bob Renner, chief technology officer of ForestExpress, "This is an important step to ensure broad acceptance of this very important standard. One of our primary goals is to ensure that mission critical business processes are supported through guaranteed delivery, robust transaction management, monitoring and validation using the industry's standard of choice, papiNet.'' papiNet has already made significant progress in achieving its goals of improving the reach and richness of communication throughout the supply chain, increasing efficiencies in transactions and marketplace activities, and supporting interoperability among trading partners. According to papiNet NA sources, "A single process and documented standard for communicating business transactions is critical to companies buying and selling paper products. The papiNet standard is open, free, and easy to adopt, providing common benefits to supply chain participants. We encourage all participants to use the papiNet standard as their mechanism for achieving business process collaboration.'' "Our goal is to get the forest products industry connected so everyone can benefit from a more collaborative supply chain,'' said Keith Russell, CEO of ForestExpress. "By working with webMethods to facilitate XML-based standards like papiNet, our customers can realize those benefits more quickly. Specifically, this enhancement to our hub network strategy makes it even easier for our trading partners to establish an electronic relationship with each individual trading partner.'' ForestExpress offers a comprehensive range of e-business solutions including B2B integration services - the focal point of which is the ForestExpress data exchange platform - a secure transaction platform designed specifically for the integration needs of forest products companies. The webMethods integration platform enables ForestExpress to transact and broker messages using EDI or XML-based standards. "As a leading provider of integration software, we have extensive experience promoting standards and providing connectivity to more than 750 customers across a wide spectrum of vertical sectors including high tech manufacturing, process industries and automotive,'' stated Scott Crompton, Vice President and General Manager, Manufacturing Business Unit, webMethods, Inc. "We're excited to team with ForestExpress and papiNet to apply that experience to help achieve greater trading partner connectivity throughout the forest products industry.'' The webMethods integration platform provides the following benefits for the paper and forest products industries: * Secure Internet messaging and communications including HTTP over SSL, digital certificates and digital signatures; * Validation of agreed upon electronic message formats, standard use of data fields and the associated business process flows based on the specific requirements of trading partners; and * Rapid implementation through pre-defined templates, business scenarios, business document types and conversation processes. Integrating just once to ForestExpress enables companies to rapidly connect to all of their customers and suppliers. Instead of managing multiple partner connections to support each trading partner or activity, companies utilizing ForestExpress leverage a single connection to reach a large number of trading partners or business services via a secure, industry-specific network. By choosing to integrate to ForestExpress, companies can reallocate resources invested in infrastructure toward driving more strategic e-commerce activities. International Paper, an active advocate of the papiNet standard for e-commerce communications, applauded the announcement. According to J. Chris Scalet, chief information officer of International Paper, "This move makes perfect sense for us, ForestExpress, and the industry. The further adoption of communication standards will enable the paper and forest products industries to benefit from some of the significant efficiencies of e-commerce. ForestExpress continues to play an important role in enabling our industry to get connected and do business more efficiently.''