What We Have Here Is … Failure to Communicate B2B

FailuretocommThis line, uttered at Paul Newman in the movie Cool Hand Luke illustrates what businesses often experience with trading partners through B2B gateways.  This happens because their B2B gateways are ancient, fragile and barely held together with software that hasn’t been updated for years.

However, it should not have to be that way.

There are established standards for B2B business ecosystems that are designed to make collaboration easy, or at the very least, consistent.  But not everybody works with the same version of the “same” standard.  I’m reminded of the ironic adage, “the good thing about standards is there are so many to choose from”.  In fact, right now, there’s a list of over 80 “standards” for B2B information exchange.

Then there’s EDI, (Electronic Data Interchange), which predates most everything computer related. EDI is a standard that has endured, but evolved and is now being perhaps superseded by JSON and Web services.

This battle being played out reminds me of the English and Metric measurement standards battle that’s been going on for years. The metric system, created in 1799, is the official system of measurement in almost every country in the world, except the US and UK. This standards difference can, in some cases, wreak havoc. BTW, the English System developed using body parts and familiar objects to secure measurements. But that’s another story.

If I am correct, your business probably has goals to:

*  Further drive down costs through automation with partners
*  Better orchestrate inventory with a more internationally diverse range of suppliers
*  Encourage trading partners to use EDI if they exchange 5 or more documents per month
*  Implement efficient purchasing processes, including mobile

It’s because your business knows that e-commerce is growing worldwide at 20% or more and that North America and China will account for roughly 90 percent of that volume. They also know that in Europe and the US, 70 percent of consumers will use their phones and tablets to make purchases online, and more than 50 percent of the people in Asia Pac will too.

So the question is how do you create a data exchange ecosystem with other businesses around the world when their standards are different from yours?

You use “translators” to transform data into a common lingua franca that gets every business communicating and collaborating… and that’s where Informatica comes in.

Through B2B data exchange software, (Informatica Data Exchange), organizations get modern tools to handle evolving B2B standards, thereby keeping the B2B transformation process simple, accurate, and easy for trading partners to get up and running. Informatica Data Exchange includes a library of more than 200 up-to-date communication standards.  Create the data mappings once using the Informatica visual mapper, then sit back and let Informatica do your transformations quickly and accurately.

What if current standards change or evolve?  No problem. You can use the customization tool which allows you to create necessary modifications and still retain the confidence that your mappings will work, even if the front and back ends of your system have changed.

Using Informatica Data Exchange, recognized by IDC as an Innovative Leader in the B2B data exchange industry, you have right tools on hand to implement a fully modern B2B gateway that quickly gets you up and running with your trading partners, both now and in the future.

On the topic of modernizing B2B gateways, there’s a recommended webinar on the subject with TDWI’s Philip Russom on April 26th, 2016 at 10 AM PST

Modernizing B2B Data Exchange to Keep Pace with Modern Business Ecosystems. You can sign up here.