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Compuware Division to Modernize GM's EDI

Compuware Corporation's Covisint division has struck a deal that will see more than 6,000 General Motors suppliers use the firm's messaging platform to combine XML formats data with traditional Electronic Data Interchange .

The conversion from the 30-year-old data interchange system is expected to be completed by year-end.

General Motors will be using the Covisint Connect data messaging services that support traditional EDI, as well as the electronic business Extensible Markup Language data communications standard.

"We exchange millions of production-critical EDI messages each month between our suppliers and our facilities," said Ralph Szygenda, GM's group vice president and chief information officer, in a statement. "Covisint Connect will give us a more reliable, cost-effective messaging solution that will further improve our processes and drive real-time integration with our suppliers."

According to Covisint, GM's move to the modern Covisint Connect platform was over two years in the making, and has been needed for some time. "Some of the supplier communications being used by GM are up to thirty years old," Covisinit's director of marketing, Paul Manns, told internetnews.com. "For GM, this represents a bold strategic move."

Through the Covisint Connect platform, GM will continue to provide its suppliers with zero-cost data exchange access. The system also promises to reduce the complexity of multiple formats, protocols and connection points across the GM supplier network. As part of the deal, Covisint will also be handling security management and the set up of a trading partner community network.

"It is part of an overall change in the way that they interoperate with their suppliers and move information throughout their company," Manns told internetnews.com. "GM's strategy is based on ebXML that will enable ease of information exchange."

Covisint was originally launched in 2000 by DaimlerChrysler , Ford Motor Company General Motors, Renault/Nissan, and Oracle. After a number of somewhat less than stellar years of financial performance, the company was aquired by Compuware in February.

Covisint claimed a customer base of about 135,000 users across 96 countries at the time of the asset sale to Compuware.

Covisint isn't the only technology company to benefit from GM's upgrading initiatives. IBM announced on Wednesday that it had signed a deal with GM for 145 of its supercomputer p655 servers for the automaker to use in auto development and virtual crash simulations.