IBM Sterling Partner Engagement Manager

Increase your Return on Relationships by accelerating, simplifying, and optimizing partner onboarding and management.

Services & Solutions > Capabilities > B2B Integration and EDI > IBM Partner Engagement Manager

Accelerate and simplify trading partner management for better business outcomes.

There’s no time to lose. No time to waste. No time to accept unnecessary, unprofitable delays. So, when you get started with a new partnership, you want to see an immediate Return on the Relationship You want to get them up and running as fast as you possibly can. And, not only that, you want to be able to effectively manage that relationship – and all the others you have – with a consistent, streamlined, and scalable approach.

IBM Sterling Partner Engagement Manager automates and accelerates partner onboarding, and provides powerful tools to monitor and manage relationships more efficiently. Our team can help you leverage this innovative solution to meet the needs of your organization and your diverse network of partners precisely. With our expertise in B2B integration and Partner Engagement Manager, you’ll be able to support rapid expansion of your ecosystem and benefit from stronger partner relationships that deliver a better and faster ROR.

Is your onboarding process slower and more tedious than that of your competitors? Your partners will know…even if you don’t.
  • 68% of organizations exchange important information with 250+ partners, customers, and suppliers. ¹
  • 23 days average onboarding time¹
  • 40% of organizations report 30+ days onboarding time.¹
  • 53% of enterprises cited a lack of visibility into trading partner relationships as a main concern with the existing B2B integration solution. 2

Leveraging IBM innovation and Lightwell ingenuity, we can help you onboard and manage partner relationships more efficiently and effectively.

Your partners will quickly recognize the value of their new relationship with you and will appreciate the superior tools you offer to make your work together faster, easier, and potentially more profitable.

1 IBM Supply Chain Data Report, Vanson Bourne, 2017
2 Ovum, IBM Partner Engagement Manager simplifies trading partner onboarding, 2018

Great onboarding experiences transform prospective
partners into productive collaborators.

It can take months of research and negotiation to find the right partner. And once the decision is made, you want to take advantage of the new relationship. Now. Not four to six weeks from now. This is a challenge facing many organizations that are under greater and greater pressure to reduce time to revenue and increase return on investment.

We’ve consulted with many professionals who have faced challenges when onboarding and new partners and managing their relationships. Do any of these issues sound familiar to you?

  • Your current onboarding process is slow, tedious and error filled.
  • Once they’re onboarded, you’re finding it difficult to efficiently manage your partners.
  • Consistency is hindered by the complexity of your partners and their diverse systems.
  • You’re under pressure to reduce costs and accelerate results in your B2B operations.
  • Lack of visibility and governance around partner management puts you at risk.
  • Changes in customer expectations are driving increases in partner expectations.
  • You’re using manual processes that can take 30+ days to transfer data from spreadsheets and emails and other sources.
  • You have more than 250 partners, suppliers and customers of various sizes and technical acumen to onboard and manage – and you’re constantly adding more.
  • Mergers and acquisitions are bringing in multiple B2B platforms that need to be incorporated.
  • You have a complex B2B partner community that includes global partners and legacy systems.
  • You’re reliant upon an IT department with limited resources to complete the onboarding process.
  • Your partners are frustrated by the length of time to onboard and you’re frustrated by the delay in revenue generation.
  • You need to maintain current records of partner contacts, transmission requirements and other details that are constantly changing.
  • You’re trying to manually handle hundreds, if not thousands partner transmission details, keys, and certificates that expire at various times of the year.
  • You need to adjust backend systems to reflect whatever changes occur to your partner records database.
  • You have a diverse community of partners, some of whom are using outdated technologies.
  • There is no single source of truth that you and your partners can rely upon for information about the status of transmissions and transactions.
  • Your partners lack the ability to view or manage their information, so both organizations waste valuable staff time tracking down issues or re-keying data.
  • IT budgets have been slashed, and you’re competing with other departments in your organization for valuable IT staff.
  • When they’re helping you with onboarding, your IT staff are often performing manual processes that waste their time and talents.
  • Your organization is trying to reduce capital expenditures in favor of the OpEx advantages offered by fluid SaaS (software as a solution) agreements.
  • You want to realize immediate benefits by reducing time to revenue from new customers.
  • You must adhere to governance and security requirements and processes when managing sensitive partner information.
  • Manual processes make it difficult for you to quickly adapt to continuously changing and increasingly complex requirements.
  • You have limited visibility and lack of control over processes, leaving you vulnerable to violations and fines.
  • The consumerization of technology has created new expectations for ease of use, timeliness, and visibility.
  • Your customers expect self-service capabilities and visibility into the onboarding process – and they don’t like waiting.

Partner Engagement Manager provides extensive
features and benefits

IBM Sterling Partner Engagement Manager is fast, secure and efficient way to transform new business relationships into productive partnerships. With rapid self-service onboarding and centralized partner management functions, you can readily engage and interact with your B2B partners. You and your partners will benefit from greater visibility, consistency, while improving accuracy and collaboration.

  • Self-service onboarding
  • Automated processes
  • Self-Service for partners and business users
  • Real-time visibility
  • Simplified partner management
  • Consistent yet flexible workflows
  • Continual, engaging touches
  • Greater security
  • Seamless integrations
  • Hybrid deployment options
  • Great business results

Self-service onboarding

  • Empower your line of business teams and B2B partners with centralized, user-friendly self-service tools to onboard and manage their relationships.
  • Employ customized questionnaires and streamlined processes.
  • Alleviate onboarding dependencies on the IT department.
  • Eliminate the redundancy of onboarding trading partners across multiple applications and processes.
  • Provide constant access to partner details with always-on capabilities.


  • Accelerate partner onboarding by up to 75%.3
  • Reduce IT costs and resource challenges so your IT team can focus on strategic issues.
  • Lower operational costs and improve customer service.
  • Compress the “quote to cash” cycle time for new partners
  • Reduce time to revenue with new customers.

3 Saurabh Sharma, IBM Partner Engagement Manager simplifies trading partner onboarding, Ovum, 2017

Automated processes

  • Abandon the labor-intensive and error-prone manual process that often requires rework.
  • Supports out-of-box flows and the ability to custom design flows for onboarding and maintenance


  • Improve process efficiency and consistency.
  • Improve accuracy and avoid misunderstandings that could have financial implications.

Self-Service for partners and business users

  • Empower partners to self-onboard and self-administer their profiles so they’re in control of the process.
  • Leverage out-of-box flows and the ability to custom design flows to simplify onboarding and maintenance.
  • Equip business users with simplified tools to help partners without IT involvement.


  • Accelerate partner onboarding and profile updates.
  • Improve partner and customer satisfaction.

Real-time visibility

  • Delight your partners with self-service, real-time, 360-degree visibility into their onboarding progress and other details through a simple dashboard.
  • Protect information by setting up custom role-based permissions well-defined roles.


  • Reduces time and effort required by your internal resources to address partner questions.
  • Keep the onboarding effort on track and mitigate roadblocks to progress.
  • Ensure the proper hand-offs and involve the appropriate people at the right time.

Simplified partner management

  • Efficiently manage and control client and partner records with a single, centralized repository that provides easy access to individual partner profiles.
  • Streamline support of a dynamic and changing partner network that has frequently changing contact information, security keys and certificates.
  • Track partners and their certificate expiries.
  • Capture a System of Record for all partner data collected to track the lifecycle of relationships.
  • Create an audit trail that can be used to resolve partner issues.
  • Simplify contact and certificate management with proactive notifications and communications to your B2B partner community.
  • Automatically send out upstream materials including contractual and legal documents, such as semi-annual contact validation requests to your partners.
  • Simplify access and modification of all partner records and data with industry standard RESTful APIs.


  • Eliminate customer and partner downtime due to security certificate or password expirations.
  • Saves hundreds of hours by automating the certificate update process and removing the need for IT group maintenance.
  • Use 85% fewer resources to manage your partners.4
  • Reduce ongoing support costs by 60%.4

4 IBM Supply Chain Data Report Vanson Bourne, 2017

Consistent yet flexible workflows

  • Use a consistent, repeatable centralized approach that enables you to modify as needed for each of your business partners.
  • Easily modify existing workflows and add new ones to meet specific requirements.


  • You and your partners will appreciate the ease and simplicity of a consistent process.
  • Your partners will appreciate the process being tailored to their own unique needs.

Continual, engaging touches

  • Take a continuous touch approach to business partner relationships rather than viewing onboarding as the only goal.
  • Develop and implement campaigns directed toward your partners (or specific segments).
  • Send system availability notifications, process delay notifications, and other helpful information quickly.


  • Proactively manage partners on an ongoing basis.
  • Improve visibility and communications.
  • Establish stronger, more trustful partner relationships.

Greater security

  • Enforce government and regulatory body compliance and security standards.
  • Create a reliable, auditable System of Record.
  • Implement security measures such as dual approval.


  • Reduce the risk of errors and non-compliance.
  • Protect the integrity of your relationships by protecting your partners’ data.

Seamless integrations

  • Leverage built-in capabilities for quickly connecting to your company and your partners’ backend systems.
  • Integrate easily with IBM Sterling B2B Integrator, IBM Sterling File Gateway, and other REST-capable backend applications.
  • Use REST APIs to define and configure new partner backend systems.
  • Integrate with IBM Sterling File Gateway using out-of-box workflows.
  • Connect PEM information with REST API-capable BI and reporting tools, providing insights around partner activity.


  • Accelerate the process of connecting to partners, helping you transact faster.
  • Adapt quickly to the specific configuration needs of partners while minimizing the effort.
  • Leverage valuable PEM data to make better business decisions.

Hybrid deployment options

  • Simplify deployment and management with a software as a service (SaaS) based application.
  • Gain flexibility with public, dedicated, local (behind the firewall) deployment options.


  • Achieve portability, enabling you to move to a different deployment option without losing data.
  • Ensures you meet your organization’s specific data security requirements.
  • Enables you to grow, scale and adapt to change.

Great business results

  • Accelerate the onboarding process to speed up time to revenue.
  • Reduce staff costs for onboarding and management of business partners.


  • Realize the financial and organizational benefits of fostering greater collaboration with partner communities.
  • Gain a competitive advantage as you become the partner of preference to your B2B collaborators.

IBM Sterling supplies the high-performance partner management solution. Our B2B consultants provide the expertise to optimize it for your current and future needs.

For over 20 years, we’ve help companies leverage IBM Sterling B2B solutions to improve performance and gain competitive advantages.

Through our comprehensive B2B Integration services, we help our customers select, deploy, manage, and optimize these solutions to help achieve their full benefits.  We also help them implement best practices, optimize processes, gain better insights, and empower their users and partner communities. The collaborative relationships we help them build with their supply chain give them definitive competitive advantages and differentiates their organizations.

Learn more about our solutions and services and discover how our team can help.

Take the next step in your journey with IBM Sterling solutions.

Learn about additional solutions and services from Lightwell and IBM that can help you improve your overall business performance and seize competitive advantage.

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Learn more about how IBM Sterling Partner Engagement Manager will help you quickly improve your Return on Relationships. Discover how it can help you engage and interact with your business partners to improve relationships and increase productivity.

Contact us today to discuss the specific needs of your B2B partner community and to learn how Lightwell B2B consultants and IBM can help you establish long, happy and profitable partnerships.

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