For all business systems, the technical infrastructure considerations are broadly similar. You have the hardware, software, legacy systems, data storage, network systems, back-up and data recovery systems. These have to be implemented, supported, maintained and upgraded. Their capabilities also have to be securely extended as the organization enters new territories and new markets.
Shielding you from Complexity
In the B2B e-commerce sector, adopting specific industry or document exchange standards result in the fastest, simplest and easiest way to perform repeatable tasks with your trading partners. However, on the flip side, standards are constantly evolving, trading partners are undertaking their own technology refreshes at a pace to suit their business needs; and with your business winning new customers or looking at new suppliers for better deals, the technical infrastructure of your supply chain will be changing on a regular basis.
B2B systems are further complicated by the wide range of technology solutions that companies use to handle B2B transactions. Early EDI solutions have been augmented with FTP, AS2 and XML-based solutions. Large partners or customers have their own B2B solutions with which they demand you integrate. Smaller trading partners want Excel or web form capabilities.
This has led to a vast number of B2B document types and a vast amount of maps to allow the effective translation from one document to another. As the amount of B2B transactions that an organization has to handle grows rapidly, this process makes onboarding new partners and customers more difficult as is accurately predicting the costs of your B2B system.
By removing these issues, B2B Managed Services can deliver:
- The development of a ‘technology agnostic’ B2B network
- Reduced software, hardware and network investments
- Reduced data processing time, increased data quality
- Accelerated connection to other B2B systems
- Increased system availability, improved disaster recovery capabilities
- Highly scalable architecture (capable of rapid extension or retraction)
- Highly predictable B2B IT costs (based primarily on the monthly level of transactions)
Key Consideration for Rethinking Your B2B Integration Strategy:
A B2B Managed Services approach insulates your company from ongoing technical complexity by placing the responsibility for supporting a multiplicity of standards in the hands of an experienced managed services provider with a global footprint and local support.