April 7, 2009

B2B integration is key to gaining visibility & control of your supply chain

Aberdeen recently published a research report on Five steps to Gaining Visibility and Control that QLogitek was proud to underwrite.
According to the report, Best-in-Class companies took the following five steps to gain visibility and control in their multi-enterprise supply chains viz-a-viz their peer group.

The 5 steps to visibility & control are
  1. B2B integration
  2. Data management
  3. Process collaboration
  4. Network intelligence
  5. Look beyond ERP
Here I focus on the first of the above five steps and highlight the importance of using IaaS for B2B Integration.

According to Aberdeen the most important step an organization can undertake is to integrate its B2B processes. They rightly recognize that EDI is probably not the most effective tool for B2B integration given the cost and time commitment needed.

I agree with their assessment and think organizations should consider Integration-as-a-Service (IaaS) for their B2B integration instead of experimenting with the traditional integration tools. Compared to traditional approach to B2B integration IaaS has few key benefits such as:
  • shorter time
  • lower capital investment, especially in this milieu when it is key to maintain cash-flow
  • lower operating cost
  • greater flexibility
In your experience what B2B process are easiest to integrate with internal systems?