B2B integration has become an important success factor regardless of the business type or industry. The term encompasses a comprehensive range of processes that facilitate electronic data exchange between business enterprises, or their customers. Many business enterprises perceive B2B integration as just an IT investment, whereas some businesses have a conception that their business is not complex and requires no such investment. However, the best-in-breed companies perceive it as a key differentiator to succeed in a marketplace. At Adeptia, we believe that the success of any business to business integration architecture depends on five essential components. It is important that companies ensure these components, if they wish to maximize the value of their B2B integration.
High Availability: With businesses competing against each other to maximize their uptime, unavailability of a key technology will have a negative impact on the business. Many business enterprises in industries such as financial services, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and retail entirely rely on B2B integration solutions to conduct their everyday business. It means an outage may affect their operations. To avoid such complications, they have already made investments in advanced disaster recovery solutions. These solutions help them maximize their uptime, minimize disruptions in their communications with their trading partners, as well as retain their electronic documents whenever outages occur. At times these advanced solutions also experience some latency. Hence, enterprises need to invest in B2B integration solutions that ensure maximum uptime – 99.9% in the event of a technology outage, and ensures easy communication between trading partners.
Single Integration Gateway: It is commonly seen that business enterprises invest in multiple systems to process their Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). They have to maintain different types of systems ( like FTP servers, Proxy servers, and VAN connections) to ensure the data flow through the organization. These systems demand full-time dedicated staff and well-defined architectural strategies. Due to the fast-changing technology landscape, business enterprises find it difficult to update the technology stack, or managing end-to-end support. In recent years, advanced B2B integration gateways have helped solve these problems. They are designed to meet your operational requirements, so why not consider them? An agile business to business integration architecture not only facilitates a successful data integration, but also becomes a foundation your business operations.
Simplified Trading Partner Management and Enablement: In this digital age, every business enterprise relies on different e-commerce communities for trading within and outside the organization. An e-commerce community can be of different types and may serve different purposes. For instance, they may span multiple departments within an organization fulfilling the service or product demands of customers, or span multiple companies that are collaborating to manage a purchasing agreement, or a complex supply chain. Whatever be the purpose of an e-commerce community, most business owners find it challenging to maintain a balance between onboarding and trading customer/partner data. IT departments have to double their efforts to simplify onboarding processes, support a growing number of partners or support constantly evolving partner combinations. A well-defined B2B integration strategy will help take care of these hassles, while streamlining the trading partner management processes.
Scalability: Needles to say, business operations are constantly evolving, and are demanding big changes. Your business to business integration capabilities may be incapable to respond to these changes. This incapability may be due to several reasons such as lack of configuration options, lack of ability to support growing business needs, and increasing complexities of data integration requirements. Hence businesses need to ensure that they invest in a B2B integration architecture that supports scalability, enables faster cycle times, reduces operational costs, and above all – maximizes customer satisfaction.
Visibility: Lack of visibility over business processes is one of the key challenges faced by modern digital businesses. With most of them going global and acquiring international trading partners, the audit requirements are becoming stringent, too. Governance over business processes and SLAs are adding to the complexity of audit procedures. Along with conforming to these requirements, it is important to create a unified view of data flows for all stakeholders. Hence, while considering a B2B architecture, it is important to ensure that it enables transparency and end-to-end visibility of all data flows, as well as enables the business to stay competitive and compliant.
These unique elements will help any business to exploit the full potential of a B2B integration and gain a leading edge in their niche, and compete with other businesses. An innovative solution like Adeptia Connect is designed with an in-depth understanding of all critical business to business integration processes and their business value. It helps augment your technical capabilities, business relationships, and user experiences. For more information, please click here.