Sterling Commerce

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Sterling Commerce was a software and services company providing Omni-Channel Commerce, B2B including EDI translation software and one of the first B2B Integration platforms and managed file transfer ("MFT") products[1] such as Direct (originally named Network Data Mover). Sterling Commerce was headquartered near Columbus, Ohio in Dublin, OH. SBC Communications acquired Sterling Commerce (see "Ownership" below), then SBC merged with AT&T (renamed as Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Company), who sold Sterling Commerce to IBM. Sterling Commerce's Columbus, Ohio campus is now an IBM facility and this product is well known as IBM Sterling Order Management Software.[2]


Sterling Order Management Software is a comprehensive software solution that tracks orders from inception to delivery and manages processes and data connected to the order as it moves through its order life cycle. Sterling Order Management Software provides cross-channel order orchestration capabilities that enable intelligent brokering of orders across many disparate systems. It manages all information, including order capture, inventory management, order fulfillment and after-sales services and scheduling, and provides real-time visibility into orders from all channels, and thus enables business users to dynamically make changes to order processes. Business users can streamline the order management process by using a single view of orders and inventory across the entire fulfillment network. Organizations can order and receive from any channel, get a committed fulfillment promise, and track the order status. Sterling Order Management Software is an on-premise offering. Business users can deploy the base software as an on-site solution inside their firewall or onto the hosted infrastructure from any provider of their choice. They can also configure and deploy Sterling Order Management Software on Red Hat OpenShift Container platform. The optional components are compatible with Sterling Order Management Software and Red Hat OpenShift Container platform.[2]

Previous acquisitions[edit]

  • In September, 2003, Sterling Commerce divests its Banking Systems Division to Thoma Cresse Equity Partners who in turn launch VectorSGI in the banking industry [3]
  • In April, 2004, Sterling Commerce acquired TR2, a Boston Based Data Synchronization Software Company [4]
  • In January, 2005, Sterling Commerce acquired Yantra a provider of Distributed Order Management and Warehouse Systems as part of its cross-channel supply chain execution application strategy.[5]
  • In May, 2006, Sterling Commerce acquired Nistevo, a provider of on-demand transportation management products as part of its cross-channel supply chain execution application strategy.[6]
  • In November, 2006, Sterling Commerce acquired Comergent, a provider of Advanced Web Selling for B2B and B2C platforms as part of its cross-channel supply chain execution application strategy.[7]


  • Sterling Commerce evolved from a company called OrderNet which was one of the first EDI-based Value Added Network companies found by William Plumb which started around 1978 and was a division of Informatics. William Plumb is often cited as one of the fathers of EDI.[8]
  • In June, 1985, Sterling Software, a public company chaired by Samuel E. Wyly, made a successful tender offer for Informatics and acquired the company. Sterling Software was about 10% of the size of Informatics. Through the integration, the company sold off several divisions of Informatics but kept and invested in OrderNet, renaming it Sterling Commerce.[9]
  • SBC Communications purchased Sterling Commerce in 2000.[10]
  • With the merger of AT&T Corp. and SBC Communications in November 2005, Sterling Commerce became an AT&T company.[11]
  • In May 2010 IBM acquired Sterling Commerce from AT&T.[12]


  1. "Sterling Commerce is now part of IBM". IBM. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "IBM Sterling Order Management Software Overview". IBM.
  3. "VectorSGI Spins Off of Sterling Commerce". Supply and Demand Chain Executive. 2003-09-13. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  4. Ferguson, Renee Boucher (2004-12-20). "Sterling Commerce Completes Acquisition of TR2". EWeek. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  5. "Sterling Commerce Completes Acquisition of Yantra Corporation; Advances Company's Multi-Enterprise Collaboration Strategty". Business Wire. 2005-01-26. Retrieved 2005-01-26.
  6. "Sterling Commerce to Acquire Nistevo". Manufacturing & Logistics IT Magazine. 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2006-06-02.
  7. "Sterling Commerce to Acquires Comergent Technologies". Material Handling News. 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2006-12-05.
  8. Challenge and Consequence: Forcing Change to eCommerce by Ralph W. Notto. Fenestra Books. 2005. ISBN 9781587364143. Retrieved 2018-09-12.
  9. Sterling Software Sweetens Offer to $135 Million : Informatics General OKs Merger. Daniel Akst, Los Angeles Times. 1985. Retrieved 2018-9-12. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  10. "SBC to buy Sterling Commerce for $3.9 billion". CNET. 2002-01-02. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  11. "SBC and AT&T to Become Nation's Largest Telecom Firm". PBS Newshour. 2005-01-30. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  12. "IBM Agrees to Acquire Sterling Commerce from AT&T for $1.4 Billion". IBM. 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2017-11-23.