Cloud B2B Integration

Harness the power of the Cloud to improve performance with partners, customers, and suppliers

Global changes in business practices drive
new challenges for organizations.

Unprecedented disruption throughout the world has created unique issues for business leaders. It’s also presented incredible opportunities for those who are quick to innovate. But to do so, organizations need to be fully connected to their growing B2B partner ecosystem. 

Many traditional EDI solutions simply cannot support the more complex B2B processes and collaborative supply chain relationships that are needed to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving business environment. That’s why the number of organizations leveraging the Cloud for B2B integration is expected to grow exponentially.

Industry leaders that have already migrated B2B integration to the Cloud are already reporting improvements in business partner management. They’re gaining a valuable competitive advantage – an advantage you’ll want to seize. Because if you try to maintain the status quo, you’re going to be left behind. Here’s why.

  • The escalating number and diversity of trading partners and transactions add complexity.
  • New customer expectations emphasize immediacy.
  • The knowledge gap widens while evolving workforces stretch organizations to their limits.
  • Ensuring compliance is not optional.
  • Financial pressures are mounting in every industry, everywhere.
  • Data security has become critical…and complex.

The typical organization manages around:

  • 250+ suppliers, partners, and customers.
  • 2 - 5 business processes
  • 10 different data formats
  • 11 B2B protocols

In addition, many organizations still process form-based transactions from smaller partners.

Ubiquitous texting and social media have created expectations of immediacy in business relationships. B2B partners are no longer willing to wait days to understand what’s happening with their transactions. Whether they’re checking on a payment, querying the status of an invoice, or investigating the location of a shipment, they demand answers now.

EDI expertise has always been scarce, but the situation is made more difficult by the current rate of retirement for experienced B2B Integration professionals. Employers are doing their best to capture accumulated knowledge, but with tighter budgets and fewer human resources, it’s a challenge for remaining staff to quickly acquire new skills. IT departments often work beyond capacity to maintain the status quo.

The rate of change is unprecedented. Throughout the world, local and regional governments are implementing new standards and requirements. Industry regulatory bodies are also introducing new guidelines that send ripples throughout a global supply chain. In many situations, if organizations fail to meet compliance, they suffer enormous fines.

Financial performance has always been paramount in corporate objectives. But today’s global economy has put extraordinary pressure on CFOs. They’re aggressively seeking ways to streamline processes, reduce costs, extract as much value as possible from their business partners, and in many cases, convert capital expenditures to operating costs.

No one wants their corporate name in the headlines because of a data breach. Sophisticated cybercriminals around the world are hacking into systems that organizations believed to be safe, and the repercussions can be devastating: fines, lost business, lost partnerships, and loss in brand equity.

Improve overall operational performance
with Cloud B2B Integration.

The enormity, strength, versatility, and ubiquity of Cloud computing has created tremendous opportunities for organizations to improve their financial results, IT department performance, business partner satisfaction, and line-of-business decision making. Organizations that have made the transition to Cloud B2B Integration report faster results than expected, and they’re reaping the benefits of competitive advantages and preparedness for the future.

Reduce the TCO of your B2B operations to
improve financial results.

Leaders in every business sector are under pressure to improve performance. Those who have migrated to the Cloud – and reduce reliance on their on-premises software and infrastructure – have improved results while decreasing capital expenditures and maintenance expenses.

Get started with a low entry cost.

Get started with a low entry cost.

Cloud enables you to pay-as-you-grow so you can start small and gradually increase usage as needed. As the volume of transactions fluctuates, costs can be throttled back or accelerated, empowering you to regulate and control costs.

Reduce operational costs.

Reduce operational costs.

Administrative costs represent about 90% of managing data on-premises. Cloud B2B Integration enables organizations to eliminate the need for expensive infrastructure, backup facilities, and professional staff to maintain these operations.

Improve your balance sheet.

Improve your balance sheet.

CFOs often promote the transition to Cloud because subscription fees are allocated to OpEx rather than CapEx. Moving your B2B Integration to Cloud can be part of this larger effort.

Invest in innovation.

Invest in innovation.

80% of IT budgets are spent on maintaining legacy applications. With Cloud, funds that might have been spent on maintaining hardware can be re-directed toward future-thinking corporate initiatives.

Accelerate revenues.

Accelerate revenues.

When partners are onboarded faster, the advantages of the new relationship can be realized sooner. Additionally, streamlined processes get products to market more quickly to generate faster ROI.

Modernize B2B processes to improve the output and
value of your IT department.

If your organization is like most, you compete with many other departments to get the attention of your IT department. When you implement a system that reduces your dependence upon them, they reap as much benefit as you and your business partner network.

Improve reliability and performance.

Improve reliability and performance.

Leverage the strength of Cloud to improve B2B Integration uptime. In the event of a service interruption, the Cloud provides faster disaster recovery than your on-premises integration infrastructure might allow.

Build once, deploy often.

Build once, deploy often.

A cloud-based B2B Integration platform enables you to save time, money, and the risk of potential errors by re-using applications as often as you like, freeing up developer time for other important initiatives.

Scale up or down as business demands.

Scale up or down as business demands.

Cloud computing enables you to quickly ramp up B2B transactions, trading partners, and industry standards to adapt to market conditions and opportunities.

Increase agility to accelerate innovation.

Increase agility to accelerate innovation.

Cloud enables organizations to very rapidly adopt changes throughout their ecosystems. With the addition of Kubernetes and Containers, organizations can accelerate change even more dramatically.

Improve relationships with your partners.

Your partners expect you to provide them with B2B Integration tools that facilitate collaboration and enhance visibility. And they don’t want to have to learn new processes. When you leverage the Cloud, your partners will look up to you.

Improve partner management.

Improve partner management.

React to market changes, acquisitions, and speed to onboard and manage new partners and customers quickly. When you accelerate customer and partner onboarding, you can begin to generate revenue quickly – in hours or days rather than weeks or months.

Increase partner satisfaction.

Increase partner satisfaction.

User-friendly web interfaces provide accessibility and easy navigation to your users wherever they may be, promoting greater adoption and increasing satisfaction.

Break down internal and external silos.

Lack of communication can result in missed opportunities or – equally alarming – uninformed decisions. Cloud B2B Integration resolves one of the biggest administrative challenges facing organizations: the dysfunction that arises when organizations and their partners create their own processes that others can’t access.

Provide actionable visibility.

Provide actionable visibility.

Capitalize on AI to deepen visibility into B2B transaction lifecycles so you, your partners, and your LOB managers can make faster, more informed business decisions

Facilitate greater collaboration.

Facilitate greater collaboration.

Cloud-based workflow and file-sharing enable your IT, business managers, and external partners to make updates in real-time. Additionally, they can access the Cloud wherever they may be, so full real-time visibility is possible whenever desired.

Respond quickly to market changes.

Respond quickly to market changes.

Adapt rapidly to supply chain disruptions and trading opportunities. Cloud B2B Integration solutions enable you to quickly make widespread changes, improvements, and updates throughout your business partner network.

What’s holding you back?

In the past, many companies have expressed issues and concerns about moving to the Cloud. Today, there are few reasons why every company wouldn’t benefit from the operational and competitive advantages of leveraging B2B integration in the Cloud. Here we debunk some of the myths:

  • Myth 1: Cloud B2B Integration is too expensive and too complicated.
  • Myth 2. We have too many systems in place to move B2B to the Cloud.
  • Myth 3: Cloud B2B Integration isn’t secure enough.
  • Myth 4: We don’t have the technical expertise to move B2B integration to the Cloud.

The transition that was once a daunting rip and replacement overhaul is now a simpler gradual process that minimizes disruptions, leverages existing technologies, and helps minimize the cost of entry.

Regardless of the number of protocols, data standards, and disparate back-office systems used by you and your partners, modernizing through Cloud can be achieved with less difficulty than ever before. If you select the right Cloud partner, they have seen and solved your problem many times before to help you get there successfully.

Even if you and your partners exchange high-security data, you can be confident that the right Cloud B2B Integration solution offers utmost security. And, in many cases, it does so for far less cost than what you may be paying to maintain your own security protocols.

You don’t have to go it alone. You can leverage the expertise of a partner like Lightwell that has helped with thousands of deployments and migrations across a breadth of industries.

How to begin your transition to Cloud B2B Integration implementation

Talk to us. Our experienced team provides end-to-end, comprehensive B2B integration consulting services and support for the IBM Sterling B2B Integration solutions – on-premise and on-cloud.

We take a thoughtful, strategic approach to ensure that your transition and implementation go smoothly without unforeseen roadblocks. With the help of our B2B Integration consultants, you can future-proof your organization, improve partner relationships, and enhance your financial performance.

Illuminating Resources

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