B2B Collaboration and Connectivity

Advanced capabilities to foster collaboration, control complexity, reduce cost, and adapt to change.

Services & Solutions > Capabilities > B2B Integration and EDI > B2B Collaboration and Connectivity

Strengthen, nurture, and protect
your B2B partnerships.

Has there ever been a more challenging time for organizations? Short answer: no.
B2B EDI Consulting

Frequent and rapid change disrupts stability

Never before have businesses grappled with the issues they’re facing today. Monumental shifts in society, concerns about ecology, global economic pressures…the list goes on. These uncontrollable variables encompass the business world, disrupting stability and forcing rapid, untested change.

With this in mind, it makes more sense than ever before to ensure that the very foundation of your business – the strength of your relationships – is absolutely solid. You have your partners’ backs, and they’re just as protective of yours.

Ensure your foundation is solid

To achieve this, you need to connect your partners with frictionless systems that build trust and make their lives (and yours) much easier. You need to empower them with innovative tools that foster collaboration and help your entire ecosystem succeed.

Working with Lightwell can help you solve your most urgent B2B integration issues: connectivity to transact with your partners efficiently, reliably, and securely – and collaboration to transcend the competition.

Collaboration and connectivity are essential

Collaborative B2B partnerships that work together toward the same goals experience dramatic improvements in performance: increased efficiency, reduced costs, improved product innovation, and better customer service.

To determine whether you’re getting the full value of your ecosystem relationships, ask yourself whether you have the foundation needed to transform partnerships into competitive assets.

  • Do you have full visibility into your supply chain? How about your business partners?
  • Are your processes scalable enough to manage the increasing complexity of data?
  • How are you managing costs? Do you control them, or do they control you?
  • Are you on the cloud? And, if so, are you on the right cloud?
  • How much risk is your organization willing to accept?
  • How quickly can you adapt to change?
  • Are your partners the masters of their own fate, or are they dependent upon others for the information they need?
  • Have you considered the quality of your customer relationships?

When business is moving rapidly, it’s important for everyone to have an accurate perception of where in the process their transactions may be. However, technology limitations, aging infrastructure, siloed applications, inconsistent data quality issues, and lack of instantaneous access inhibit the ability to track down accurate, real-time transaction status. Delays in finding this information result in missed orders, late shipments, and dissatisfied customers who could take their business elsewhere.

An accessible, secure B2B partner network eliminates the need for middlemen. Line of business personnel and business partners can connect from anywhere in the world to view transaction status using easy-to-understand tools. Lightwell B2B integration consultants are experts in leveraging the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network for delivering these capabilities and more.

B2B partner networks continue to grow in size and complexity with a constant stream of large, critical files being exchanged: internal, external, structured, and unstructured. Most organizations struggle to manage a combination of manual and automated processes and siloed systems and teams.

Lightwell can help you leverage the powerful IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network to connect with partners of any size, in any geography – regardless of data format.

There’s more to controlling costs than negotiating contracts. A lot more. Downtime on your B2B network generates unexpected expenses. Inappropriate inventory levels create surpluses or shortages that impact business processes. Exorbitant delivery costs or unexpected delays impact customer commitments.

When you select a leading network to provide collaboration and connectivity, you’re giving your suppliers, customers, and internal teams end-to-end, real-time visibility into your supply chain. That means that stakeholders can see transaction status, adapt quickly to changing circumstances, and get the best, full use of their resources. Our B2B integration consultants will show you how to accomplish this.

What’s best for your organization and its ecosystem? If you’re not on the right cloud, you put security, reliability, and resources at risk. And if you’re not leveraging the cloud at all, you’d better hurry because your competition already has a formidable advantage over you.

The overwhelming majority of enterprises have found that a hybrid cloud model works best – and perhaps that’s the right option for you. Our B2B Integration consultants can help you assess your organization’s cloud and hybrid cloud needs, and determine which combination is best for you, your suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders.

Data breaches pose a constant threat to your finances and your reputation. Failure to comply with government regulations can cost you lost contracts, broken partnerships, and stiff penalties. As these issues continue to increase in importance, it becomes critically essential for organizations to:

  • protect security
  • ensure traceability, and
  • be quickly adaptable to the continuous stream of new risks and regulatory requirements.

Lightwell B2B integration consultants can help ensure secure connectivity and collaboration with your partners with the comprehensive, global IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network and IBM Sterling B2B Integrator. Additionally, we offer onboarding and management assistance to ensure that every new partner is quickly connected, enabling collaboration to begin almost immediately. With these solutions, you’ll be able to address regulations and industry standards effectively, and changes can be executed quickly.

We’ve witnessed monumental, unexpected disturbances in global markets. When the market shifts, are you prepared to change with minimal disruption? And can you adapt to new technologies like AI, blockchain, an IoT as soon as you realize the need? If you can’t adapt, you’re susceptible to dire Darwinian consequences.

OurB2B consultants will assess your situation and recommend the appropriate B2B networks and processes to help you create a more agile supply chain. Employing proven IBM Sterling B2B Integration solutions, Lightwell will help you transform everyday business alliances into thriving strategic partnerships.

If your B2B network stakeholders have to work through your IT or customer services department rather than access critical information about their transactions themselves, you’re erecting barriers to building a better business. And, equally important, you’re wasting valuable IT time on processes that could be automated and taking away from their ability to innovate and improve your overall performance.

Our B2B integration consultants can enable you to onboard customers and partners quickly. Self-service tools simplify and streamline the process so that what might have taken days can now be completed in hours. Security and access management capabilities ensure that your partners have access only to the data that is relevant to their relationship with you – from sourcing to customer delivery. Additionally, add-on features allow you to monitor and measure performance so you can make adjustments as needed.

Today’s customers are demanding, impatient, and out to get their money’s worth. Basically, they’re just like you and everyone else you know. We now live in a world where global communications occur in a split second, and companies can predict and deliver what you want before you know you want it. So, you need to understand that expectations that begin in the consumer world are carried over to B2B. And you’d better be prepared to meet them.

We've helped create positive customer relationships for innovative organizations for more than 20 years and can help you do the same. 

The transformation from business partnership to business empowerment is the transition from manual processes to modern B2B integration solutions.

  • Transport and translate
  • Seamlessly handle documents
  • Connect in multiple ways
  • Improve B2B collaboration
  • Meet privacy regulations
  • Elevate performance with AI

Transport and translate

Modern B2B collaboration solutions enable companies to transport critical business documents from one trading partner to another, and translate them into a standardized format.

Organizations, large and small, are able to rapidly exchange files of information through electronic data interchange (EDI). By mapping the different types of documents, all information can be translated into standard, usable formats.

These documents may be structured or unstructured and include paper, fax, and phone-based information such as:

  • purchase orders
  • invoices
  • requests for quotations
  • loan applications

Seamlessly handle documents

Regardless of your company size, industry, or core business, you need to seamlessly handle an ever-increasing number of document formats and transmission options. 

Connect in multiple ways

B2B partners can connect directly or through a network.

1. Point-to-point or direct connections

Two computers or systems connect with no intermediary over the internet, generally with secure protocols.

2. Value-added network (VAN)

A third-party network manages data transmission, generally with a mail boxing paradigm. Many organizations select a VAN due to the lower maintenance, lower cost, ability to scale, and security.

Improve B2B collaboration

When business partners are connected through a VAN, innovative B2B integration solutions can provide real-time, end-to-end visibility into transactions. By offering these powerful capabilities to your ecosystem, you will:

  • Save time and money - Reallocate resources to core business functions by automating and streamlining processes currently executed manually with paper documents.
  • Improve efficiency and productivity – Accelerate cycle time by sharing and processing more business documents faster and with greater visibility.
  • Reduce errors - Standardize information and data before it enters business processes or applications, enabling you to avoid human errors.
  • Reduce risk – Depend upon a reliable network to ensure all documents are sent and received as intended.
  • Improve traceability and reporting - Improve data collection, visibility, and business intelligence by integrating electronic documents into numerous IT systems.
  • Create positive customer experiences – Strengthen relationships through efficient transaction execution and prompt, reliable product and service delivery.

Meet privacy regulations

Your ability to do so will dictate your company’s growth strategy and competitive advantage. The implementation of EDI and modern B2B integration solutions can radically simplify collaboration and connectivity between people, systems, and data that are important to your business.

Elevate performance with AI

The addition of AI to your B2B processes enables organizations to detect and mitigate issues, take the right actions quickly, extract the full value of their data, and collaborate more effectively.

New AI-powered capabilities deliver insights to identify issues before they occur and automatically initiates alerts to enable prompt mitigation. It allows partners to monitor and manage the relationships, examining KPIs to determine how to improve performance.

Using natural language and easy-to-understand dashboards, business users are empowered to add even greater value to any organization’s B2B value-added network.

IBM provides trusted B2B integration solutions. Lightwell provides the expertise to help you unleash the full benefits.

We’ve been helping organizations like yours adopt new technologies and improve their performance for over two decades now. We’re experienced, passionate, and committed to maintaining collaborative relationships with our ever-growing client base throughout the world.

Here are some of the solutions that we leverage to help improve B2B collaboration and connectivity:

360 degree view

IBM Supply Chain Business Network

This comprehensive solution provides connectivity and collaboration to large and small business partners around the world. With 800,000+ preconnected trading partners, you can connect many members of your ecosystem in hours or days rather than weeks. IBM Supply Chain Business Network provides visibility into B2B and EDI transactions network to help increase transparency and solidify relationships.

connect integrate

IBM Sterling B2B Integrator

Connect securely and reliably with business partners using a high availability, comprehensive B2B gateway. IBM Sterling Integrator is built for the most demanding environments, enabling you to reliably integrate complex B2B and EDI processes across your entire ecosystem.

IBM Sterling Transaction Manager

This secure, cloud-based solution provides a simple way to send and receive a variety of business documents that may be manual or paper-based today. So, you can connect with smaller, non-EDI partners and eliminate the high cost of conducting business through traditional methods.

assessment

IBM Sterling Document Conversion Services

Eliminate manual transactions like Fax, email, and PDFs. Collaborate more effectively without requiring your business partners to change their processes. IBM Document Conversion Services converts non-structured document formats into electronic format to speed processing and reduce errors.

360 degree view

IBM Partner Engagement Manager (PEM)

Get your partners up and running faster so you can accelerate time to revenue. This flexible solution enables efficient, automated trading partner onboarding and management.

IBM Sterling Global Mailbox

Protect your organization against downtime and data loss. IBM Sterling Global Mailbox provides secure and reliable data storage across geographically distributed locations.

Integration

IBM Sterling Transformation Extender

This powerful solution automates the complex transformation and validation of industry-based structured and unstructured data. It transforms data between a range of different formats and standards in any environment – on-premises or in the cloud.

Connectivity to transact efficiently. Collaboration to transcend the competition. Let Lightwell illuminate your journey.

You strive to make every partnership successful and every B2B transaction a perfect one. It’s an ambitious objective, but with modern B2B integration solutions, we believe it’s attainable. That’s why we hope you’ll work with us as you push your organization toward excellence in B2B relationships, performance, and productivity. 

How we help:

  • Improve visibility so line of business managers and partners can make better decisions
  • Adopt scalable technology that can adjust to any level of complexity
  • Control costs by helping you minimize internal resources and maximize cost efficiencies
  • Transition to the right cloud architecture for your specific needs

How you'll benefit:

  • Mitigate risk with secure connections and tools that enable compliance
  • Achieve agility so you can adapt quickly to changing market conditions
  • Empower stakeholders through self-service tools while reducing the burden on IT
  • Strengthen customer relationships by providing modern technologies that help them become better partners.

Illuminating Resources

Let’s Get Started

Transform your business partner relationships into strategic assets and create differentiators that enable you to outmaneuver, outsmart, and outperform your competitors.

Contact us today to discuss how B2B collaboration and connectivity can transform your network into a thriving ecosystem of productive and profitable partnerships.

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