January 22 2009 - IBM and eFuture Information Technology Inc. announced the launch of a software as a service solution for the retail distribution industry in China.


The two companies have successfully completed the deployment of the solution at select Beijing Wangfujing Department Store Group (Wangfujing Group) stores in Beijing, one of the largest retail groups in China.


This initiative brought 2000 of Wangfujing Group's suppliers onto the platform, allowing them to exchange business information, arrange payments online and access purchase orders, returns, payment status, inventory levels and analysis of sales data. When the system is fully operational throughout the Group's stores in 17 cities across China by the end of 2009, the Group will be able to share the supply chain information in real time with 20,000 suppliers.


"The ability to manage an efficient supply chain is a prerequisite for success in the retail industry," said Changxin Liu, director of IT department/president assistance, Wangfujing Group. "Wangfujing Group now serves 10 million customers per day, and we believe the new supply chain system can enhance our Group's leadership in the China retail market."


IBM and eFuture, a leader in China's supply chain management for the distribution sector, started their collaboration in 2005 to develop software for China's retail industry. IBM integrated its SaaS infrastructure platform, designed and developed by IBM China Research Lab, with eFuture's industry solutions. The end-to-end SaaS Solution, running on WebSphere Application Server and DB2 database, is based on IBM's advanced SOA technology. The solution covers supply chain execution, task tracking and performance measurement. IBM is also responsible for the post-launch operation and maintenance service.


"SaaS is one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry, because it provides companies of all sizes with access to the latest, innovative supply chain solutions delivered remotely via a subscription model," said Mr. Adam Yan, eFuture's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our retail software and industry expertise has been taken to the next level following our partnership with IBM's cutting-edge technologies."

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