EDI & B2B Integration in the Cloud
Matt Bucey 270004PRF2 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  van edi cloudbrokerage b2b cloud b2b-automation b2b-integration b2bintegration 758 Visits
Matt Bucey 270004PRF2 email@example.com Tags:  realtime b2bintegration supplychain b2b edi cloudbrokerage sterling sterlingcommerce van b2b-automation 722 Visits
Today’s customers demand more. Companies need to collaborate effectively and rapidly across their value chain. They also must define business processes that integrate on-premises systems with those in the cloud, including the cloud-based services of their community of partners, suppliers, and customers.
Traditional, batch-based B2B or EDI transaction processing is not always enough. To differentiate their business, companies need to be able to respond to customers much faster, if not instantaneously. But what does this really mean? This kind of “real-time” supply chain processing can’t really have an impact on me, a consumer, right? Think again!
Example: Redefining trading partner collaboration with next-generation B2B Cloud services
Imagine your washing machine breaks, and you call a repair service. In the past, you would cross your fingers that the repairman had the correct part when he shows up; otherwise you know it could be a week or more to order the part, and reschedule to complete the job. Now imagine that repairman using a tablet or smartphone (from your laundry room) to check local inventory for the exact parts, reserve the inventory requests at the nearest supplier, and return the same day to fix your machine. Sound too good to be true?...Its not, and it is very real.
This is made possible with the next generation of integration as a service or cloud brokerage capabilities. As the global trading environment grows more complex, the need for basic EDI technologies has evolved. More and more companies are looking for ways build a competitive edge with customizable, customer-focused B2B processes to enhance trading partner integration and process automation. Does your company view EDI and B2B as a source of competitive advantage? How could you improve your supply chain or value chain with real-time processes? Learn more at: http://www.rethinkyourcustomer.com/b2b/
Matt Bucey 270004PRF2 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  b2b-automation b2bintegration b2b cloud van sterling itstrategy b2b-integration it-strategy edi supplychain 954 Visits
If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail – Many companies still address their EDI and B2B integration strategies with this approach. Even some early adopters of EDI and other B2B automation technologies still try to use those same, outdated, many times home-grown tools to address today’s complex B2B environment. If there was a single issue or challenge to overcome, this could prove quite valuable. But as I showed last time, companies are still relying on a mix of manual, error prone processes in addition to automation. So why is this?
The answer is…it’s not so simple. A significant number of global companies still struggle with things like integrating B2B processes with internal applications, and efficiently responding to partner requirements. One would think that after so many years of EDI and B2B experience, most companies would have this thing figured out. In fact, when IBM surveyed 650 Sr. IT Executives around the globe, we discovered that 7 significant challenges still exist:
Based on this research, and factoring in many conversations with IT professionals, it can be concluded that too few companies approach their EDI/B2B Integration from a strategic perspective. Those which do have been able to convert their B2B Integration not only into a source of cost savings, but also a key factor in improving strategic relationships and driving revenue growth. So why are more companies NOT making B2B a piece of their long-term IT strategies? Do these companies view EDI and B2B as something which was addressed in the 1980s & 90s? Or, do they not see the true value that it can deliver? Or, are IT organizations too fragmented geographically to address from a strategic level?
Is B2B part of your long-term IT Strategy?
Nobody wants to admit their weaknesses, just like few want to be the first to speak up in a crowded, yet quiet room of peers. Many IT organizations are no different when it comes to the state of their EDI and B2B integration with a community of partners, suppliers, and customers. We know this, because we’ve been listening to you. Based on our research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, 87% of global companies believe their business community is critical to their success, however what’s more telling is the fact that only 30% of those feel they have full end-to-end integration with everyone they need. That’s a compelling gap, and one that companies should not sit back and ignore.
But what are the other 70% doing in place of B2B Integration and automation? That was the goal of our latest research, and what we found was just as compelling. This issue, at large, is a combination of the myriad of global legacy and manual processes coupled with the ever-growing complexity of that partner community. Did you know…
Where does your company fall on this spectrum of B2B Automation? Are you part of the top 30%? Or are you still relying email, fax, and call centers? Can a company efficiently deliver products and services to customers if the lifeblood (that transactional data) relies on outdated technologies or error-prone manual processes?
My next post will dive deeper into why this gap exists, and what our research tells us…