Our B2B Relationship Status??? Well… It’s Complicated

B2B Relationship Status? It’s Complicated
B2B Relationship Status? It’s Complicated

Smooth relationships between an organization and its Trading and Supply Chain Partners are critical to its ability to do business and ultimate success. These days, however, the relationship seems to be getting more complicated—especially when it comes to B2B integration. There are now more partners, more diverse data types, and deployments in diverse geographies.

Then there’s data flow governance– some partners tend to be faster and more responsive than others.  Some have very tight SLAs. Others like spontaneity and to live in the moment, or sometimes even in the cloud.  Some need more attention to data quality in data flows, and others rely on varying loose standards, with their last minute, late night non-EDI B2B calls.  Yet other partners are as stable and reliable as the day you first met online. Speaking of that, how long did it take to get your partner on-board? My guess is that it took months.You think you know them well because their B2B profile has stayed the same… or has it? Come to think of it, do you really know your partners?

With any good relationship, communication is really the key.

With all kidding aside — companies need to start re-imagining how they engage with customers and partners. If you haven’t already, now is the time to consider a B2B strategy that fosters efficient and effective B2B communications both now and in the future.

Why now? How is this different?

Some partners use the same B2B integration they’ve used for decades with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). While EDI is still viable, there are many other data, communications and deployment standards introduced constantly, which creates problems for inflexible legacy B2B solutions. B2B integration flows are also not always under your control – even if your EDI integration has been running fine and dandy, application updates or upgrades to other enterprise software can wreak havoc on your EDI flow making it incompatible with another partner in your supply chain. Talk about unintended consequences…

To accommodate dynamic B2B infrastructure these days– especially in companies utilizing mobile and cloud technologies, it’s important to make sure that EDI is not slowing you down and that your B2B integration solution will accommodate multiple standards today and tomorrow. Informatica provides B2B integration / translation software that helps partners communicate effectively, whether on premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid approach that utilizes the best of both worlds.

Informatica has long championed diverse B2B standards and is putting its R&D money into developing advanced B2B cloud solutions.  Informatica B2B Cloud Gateway will be included as an integral part of the next Informatica Cloud Fall 2016 release that enables Informatica customers to easily extend B2B integration to external business partners. Among other interesting capabilities, B2B Cloud Gateway provides users with extensive tracking and monitoring capabilities that will expose potential problems with exchanged files or other situations effecting SLA thresholds.

So, to sum it up, if your organization’s relationship between partners has grown stale or become “complicated” think about how you can better deal with those inevitable complications with better communications through flexible on-premise and cloud B2B integration solutions.

For more information, check out this video asset

* The Industry average to on-board new partners is 52 days according to analysts. With Informatica, that number drops to days or weeks.