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Kewill acquires IBM Sterling TMS

Acquisition gives Kewill multi-tenant SaaS offering to target shippers intent on managing planning and execution.

   The transportation and trade compliance software provider Kewill on Wednesday said it has purchased the IBM Sterling transportation management system, a software-as-a-service TMS tool.
   Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
   Kewill will rebrand the Sterling TMS as Kewill Transport, with the company providing integrations to its broader Kewill MOVE platform. The acquisition of the Sterling product allows Kewill to provide an SaaS-based TMS to complement its existing TMS offering.
   “This acquisition is complementary to our current offerings and, in particular, allows us to better address the specific needs of the shippers who want to manage their own transportation planning and execution,” Kewill Chief Marketing Officer Evan Puzey told American Shipper.
   Kewill Transport represents a varied offering for Kewill, which last month unveiled a cloud-based version of Kewill MOVE, to target companies that want to ease the upfront licensing and implementation costs of an on-premise deployment.
   But whereas the cloud offering announced last month essentially allows Kewill users to deploy in a so-called “private cloud,” the erstwhile Sterling product is a “a truly multi-tenant solution that will run on the infrastructure we have as part of our private cloud,” Puzey said. “It will be part of the shipper- and retail-focused cloud solution we will launch in late October and November.”
   Kewill said its existing customers will benefit from enhanced multimodal transportation management functionality and access to a wider carrier network. The software provider also benefits from Sterling’s roster of customers, which include a number of major global brands.
   IBM purchased Sterling Commerce (which also offers business integration tools alongside its supply chain execution tools) from AT&T in 2010 for $1.4 billion. Sterling’s offerings include a warehouse management system and supply chain visibility tool as well as its TMS, but those were not part of the Kewill acquisition.
   Kewill Transport capabilities include contract management, execution, freight payment and reporting. A TMS essentially allows a shipper or logistics services provider to automate the planning and execution of its inbound and outbound transportation processes. The most sophisticated tools allow users to optimize their transportation network and analyze the efficacy of that network.
   “As part of the transaction, the IBM team transferring to Kewill will add valuable domain and industry knowledge and further strengthen Kewill’s global multimodal domain expertise,” Kewill said. “Moving forward, Kewill will continue to invest in this offering as part of the Kewill MOVE platform.”
   Mike Skinner is senior vice president and general Manager at CLX
Logistics, a certified reseller and delivery partner of IBM Sterling.
   “Our customer base is increasingly integrated on a global scale and demanding of logistics technology to manage all transport modes within and between all regions. As a leading global player in transportation and trade management technology, Kewill appears ideally suited to carry this vision forward.”