For companies looking to build deeper, more meaningful relationships with business partners, it's time to look to the cloud. B2B integration challenges have risen in recent years, as the explosion of data, diversification of markets and concern over security have added complexity to the process of establishing and maintaining successful partnerships. The cloud has proven its worth as a solutions framework for businesses desiring to grow more scalable, responsive and adaptable, and companies can realize the same benefits in their own relationships if they rely on cloud-based B2B integration techniques. Here are three ways that your company can benefit from leveraging enterprise partnerships through the cloud:
1. Build a stronger communications network: With so many devices and network connections in play, it's important that organizations have the tools to ensure effective, seamless collaboration. Differences in hardware and communications processes can make end-to-end communication difficult to optimize, but a cloud-based B2B integration solution can help organizations achieve the level of interactivity they need. A cloud-based service such as the IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration Network Solution offers features such as the Information Broker, which provides a streamlined, reliable connection between an enterprise and its partners. It makes certain that all information is delivered accurately, on time and in the correct format, eliminating confusion or data-based delays.
2. Enables large information transfers: One of the biggest problems many organizations have in the age of big data is ensuring accurate and timely transfers of large files or vast quantities of information. As Market Realist contributor Anupama Shukla recently pointed out, nearly 90 percent of enterprise data these days is unstructured, which can mean big problems for storage systems, transfer protocols and security practices. However, cloud storage alleviates much of the strain this data can put on traditional hardware and processes, both for internal and B2B purposes. A cloud-based B2B integration solution can offer benefits such as better visibility into - and management of - file transfers, as well as protocols that can be configured to take the kinks of out file conversions and formatting. With data becoming increasingly central to many B2B relationships, cloud-based data management is a key aspect of B2B integration approaches.
3. Improves TCO of B2B integration: With so many moving parts involved, maintaining comprehensive oversight and effective management of an entire B2B integration initiative - without running up costs - can be a challenge. However, the cloud provides comprehensive support for key B2B initiatives. In a recent panel hosted by BriefingsDirect, discussion participants articulated the ways in which the cloud enables a paradigm shift in business operations that goes beyond merely IT, resulting in total cost of ownership decreases across the board. Benefits from the cloud extend to hosting applications, utilized by personnel for everything from enterprise resource planning to HR to inventory management to customer service, bringing speed and clarity to their use. B2B integration services offer a faster, proactive implementation of cloud-based technology, help onboard business partners and can be continually updated in response to necessary changes.
If you liked this article, check out others from Lightwell:
- Seamless B2B integration: A journey to the center of the cloud
- B2B integration and the changing role of the CIO
- Like a layer cake: A guide to the levels of B2B managed services
- Why the healthcare sector is in desperate need of B2B integration