The Collaboration Benefits of a True Value Added Network (VAN)
A significant challenge with many supply chain B2B implementations is storage and access to important transactional data files. While a business may have assembled a top notch process for their internal operations, trading partners may not have the ability to access or utilize the same information or processes.
If all trading partners work together to share and collaborate, the supply chain as a whole will benefit and all parties can realize cost savings and benefits within a value added network.
Collaboration may be easier said than done. One significant hurdle is opening your operation to trading partners and sharing the information required to conduct business. There is a level of trust that must be available in order to make the collaboration happen. Often, serious business discussions should occur, followed by a written trading partner agreement that outlines what will be shared.
The next big challenge to collaboration is HOW to make it happen. This involves a lot of detail and can cover a variety of business and technical areas such as:
- Data storage
- Network infrastructure
- Remote access
- Protocols and data types to use (FTP, Internet, XML, EDI, etc.)
- Key performance metrics
The IBM B2B Collaboration Network can play a key role in making this happen. It brings all of the benefits of a true value added network operation that is designed to support the entire supply chain including all authorized trading partners.
By leveraging a sophisticated cloud computing design, the solution can enable your trading partners to access authorized data files on a highly secure network.
The IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration Network Solution
Lightwell is an IBM Platinum Partner and an authorized reseller of the the IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration Network. This solution consists of flexible cloud solutions to help optimize your B2B process automation. The suite of services includes IBM® Sterling Information Broker®, as well as community services, transformation services, visibility services, and software-as-a service.
The solution is built on a security-rich and flexible service-oriented architecture (SOA), enabling it to process up to 5 million transactions a day from virtually any system, of virtually any data type, format, and/or communication protocol. It helps you overcome the barriers of incompatible systems and standards to help you do business with virtually anyone, anywhere.
Beyond simply delivering information from one point to another, the B2B collaboration Network also provides comprehensive process visibility and real-time data that helps you improve decision-making and improve customer satisfaction. The solution consists of:
IBM Sterling Information Broker
|A single, secure and reliable connection to your business partners. It will deliver your data safely, to the right place, in the right format, at the right time.|
B2B Trading Partner Community Services
|Dedicated services for extending B2B capabilities to your trading partners, including recruitment, onboarding, conversion assistance, document testing, and community surveys|
EDI and B2B Visibility Services
|Provides status of business documents such as purchase orders, invoices and advanced ship notices as well as views of activity by business unit. Also provides proactive alerts and conditional processes to reduce errors and automate exception handling.|
Data Transformation Services
|Helps to eliminate barriers associated with multiple data formats and standards, including flat file and application file formats. These services include mapping, in-network translation, document visibility and tracking, visibility, and event-driven alerts.|
Key Benefits of the IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration Network Solution
- Enables “virtually any partner, virtually any format” capability
- Faster reaction to marketplace changes
- Increased data protection
- Improved B2B processes
- And more.
As a full-service reseller of IBM solutions and an IBM Platinum Partner, we can help you with all aspects of the IBM Sterling Collaboration Network solution.