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ABX LOGISTICS Selects Covast for EDI
Covast’s EDI Accelerator Integrated with Microsoft’s BizTalk Server Form Central Communications Hub for Top Logistics Services Provider

ATLANTA and ROTTERDAM – March 24, 2004 – Covast, provider of the recommended electronic data interchange (EDI) solution for Microsoft Corp’s BizTalk Server, today announced that ABX LOGISTICS, one of the world’s top logistics service suppliers, has selected Covast to provide EDI functionality to its centralized communication hub for the company’s worldwide customer base.

Serving the three major geographical regions of the world including Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific, ABX LOGISTICS is a world player in logistics services for cargo shipping. Because EDI services were not uniform across all countries the company does business with, ABX LOGISTICS devoted resources and technology to building a central hub so that customers everywhere can communicate with an ABX LOGISTICS subsidiary through a single interface and a single point of integration. “This way, ABX LOGISTICS can offer the same service in Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific,” said Glynn Jones, project manager, ABX LOGISTICS.

A single, centralized communications hub that can deliver the same service to all customers worldwide simplifies work both for the customer and for ABX LOGISTICS. It also costs less for the company to maintain. The system will ensure that an ABX LOGISTICS customer who wants to work with both France and Germany will no longer require two integrations, one for the French system and one with the German system.

Covast’s EDI Accelerator and Microsoft’s BizTalk Server integrate the internal systems at ABX LOGISTICS. This integration was necessary before the company could provide a central point for customers to communicate. In terms of integrating systems across ABX LOGISTICS, it was very important for ABX LOGISTICS to use a standard product that is graphical and uses mapping standards. Additionally, because not all ABX LOGISTICS customers are embracing XML, the company required a solution that supports both EDI and XML-based formats.

“ABX LOGISTICS is the type of customer that will benefit from Covast and Microsoft BizTalk Server for the most compelling reasons,” said Daan Scheer, CEO, Covast. “In Covast and BizTalk Server, ABX LOGISTICS has found an effective B2B integration platform that reduces costs. The company has also standardized on an electronic means of communicating with its trading partners that require either EDI, XML or both in their trading environment.”

According to Jones, Covast’s EDI Accelerator was chosen for its value-added network (VAN) connectivity and for the EDI specification templates that the product delivered off-the-shelf. “Although it was important for us at ABX LOGISTICS to use something based on XML – because of the programming advantages XML offered and its flexibility – we needed a system that could support EDI,” said Jones. “The real advantages of the Covast product are the EDI templates and the VAN connectivity it provides.”

Covast’s EDI Accelerator runs on Microsoft BizTalk Server 2002 Enterprise Edition in a clustered environment within ABX LOGISTICS.

About ABX Logistics

With a total staff of approx. 15,000 and 500 offices in more than 35 countries, ABX LOGISTICS is among the world's top ten providers of logistic services.

Headquartered in Belgium, the group's portfolio spans the complete value-added chain, from initial procurement of goods through transport and value-added services right through to distribution. Innovative information technology is vital to ensuring flawless process structures within the ABX LOGISTICS Group network.

About Covast

Covast provides the Microsoft recommended EDI solution for BizTalk Server. The combination of Microsoft BizTalk Server, the Covast EDI Accelerator and AS2 Adapter delivers the ultimate B2B solution - enabling companies to easily integrate their EDI infrastructures with internal applications and providing a gateway for connecting trading communities. With its European headquarters in the Netherlands and its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, Covast has strategic relationships with partners and customers including Microsoft, HP, Citrix, Flextronics, Siemens, Ocean Spray, Grampian Foods and ABX Logistics. For more information, visit www.covast.com.

NOTE: The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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