Ascential Software Announces Findings From First Customer Advisory Board Session

'Right-Time' Enterprise Integration and Alignment of IT Infrastructures with Business Imperatives Among Strategic Issues in 2003

WESTBORO, Mass., Feb. 20, 2003 -- Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL), the enterprise integration leader, has launched its Customer Advisory Board of CIO's and senior IT executives from Global 2000 corporations who will provide direct feedback to the company on critical business and information technology issues.

CIO's and senior IT executives from the 13 companies -- all members of Ascential's Customer Advisory Board -- spoke at the board's first meeting held in Boston in January. Board members span a broad swath of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, retail and transportation. They include Acxiom Corp., DHL Worldwide Express, General Motors Corp., Hartford Financial Services, Landstar and New York Life Insurance Company. The panel will reconvene regularly around the globe and continue sharing its views on today's business environment, enterprise integration, and Ascential's corporate strategy and product roadmap.

One common customer requirement voiced at the meeting was the need for "right-time" integration. Right time was defined as integration on batch, asynchronous and synchronous levels that allows customers to select the precise integration processing times needed to achieve business goals and objectives. "While business managers often ask for 'real time,' we've discovered that what really works to reach their goals is a mixture of batch, synchronous and asynchronous integration solutions. Securities traders and air-traffic controllers need real time. For most of us, right time is just fine," said Keith Henkel, solutions and product leader at Acxiom Corp., a leading provider of customer and information management solutions.

In addition to "right time," the Customer Advisory Board also discussed:

-- the need for reliable enterprise data integration systems to derive consistent returns on the information throughout their companies,

-- the flexibility of integration solutions to accommodate dynamic business and IT conditions,

-- the need for consistent data scrubbing and cleansing to ensure success of the end user applications fed by that data; and

-- the dependence of business intelligence and analytics applications on reliable integration platforms.

The meeting's discussions underscored how many of the world's largest corporations are seeking next-generation solutions that will transcend traditional data integration point products to serve a broader need for enterprise integration. Solutions that integrate data, applications and business processes within a continuum of processing times, while maintaining data quality and metadata trails throughout the enterprise.

"The Customer Advisory Board provides a unique forum to share our short- and long-term growth strategies with our customers and to have an in-depth dialogue about the strategic impact that enterprise integration solutions can have in today's business environment," said Ascential President Pete Fiore.

"We were very pleased to hear from our customers that issues related to data remain paramount to successful business integration and are ordering our priorities to reflect these customer integration needs. We look forward to expanding membership of the board as we grow our global base of strategic customers."

About Ascential

Ascential Software Corporation is a leading provider of enterprise integration solutions to the Global 2000. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite and products to turn vast amounts of disparate, unrefined data into reusable information that drives business success. Ascential's unique comprehensive data integration suite enables customers to easily collect, validate, organize, administer and deliver information to realize more value from their enterprise data, reduce costs and increase profitability. Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Ascential has offices worldwide and supports more than 2,200 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods and retail. More information on Ascential can be found on the Web at

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, and these statements are subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address a variety of subjects including, for example, the functionality, characteristics and performance capabilities of Ascential's products and technology, the ability of Ascential to maintain continuous customer-centric dialogue, Ascential's ability to benefit from shared business imperatives, Ascential's ability to map Ascential's plans to customer plans and to order those priorities to reflect customer integration needs, Ascential's ability to grow the customer base and gain importance with Ascential's strategic customers and Ascential's ability to deliver "right- time" integration solutions. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward- looking statements: risks relating to Ascential's sale to IBM of its database business, the ability of Ascential to expand its market share, growth rates for the enterprise data integration software market, general business conditions in the software industry, the technology sector, and in the domestic and international economies, rapid technological change in the markets served by Ascential, dependence on international operations, and difficulties that Ascential may experience integrating technologies, operations and personnel of completed or future acquisitions. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the filings made by Ascential with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Ascential disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in Ascential's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which such statements are based.

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