B2B integration: Efficiency as a Catalyst
In the 21st century, time is money and efficiency is the leading measure of our productivity. This is why an increasing number of companies have begun to look into business-to-business (B2B) integration to improve their workflow and lower their operational costs. To illustrate the power of successful B2B integration, let us look at the example of IBM Sterling B2B Integration, which translated to $73.08 million in higher annual revenue per organization and 85% more efficient document management teams. In the article, we will cover the following topics:
• The definition of business-to-business (B2B) integration
• Types of B2B integration
• Benefits of B2B integration
• The process of B2B integration
What is B2B integration?
B2B (short for business-to-business) integration can be simply defined as the process of automating business processes and communication between organizations for higher efficiency and simplified trade. Companies often use numerous types of programs, protocols, and systems to process and exchange information with third parties, which is both time- and money-consuming. Manual data processing is too slow to meet the requirements of the modern, fast-changing business environment, so B2B integration creates possibilities for automation tailored to the needs of 21st-century companies.
Types of B2B integration
There are typically two types of B2B integration: data-level integration and people-level integration. While the former automates the flow of digital data between involved parties, the latter focuses on simplifying the communication required to successfully execute all business operations, for example, project management.
Data-level integration normally centers around integrations of systems, especially databases, mapping available documentation to show relationships between documents, encrypting data to increase security, validating data to identify potential errors, and compressing files to accelerate the speed of data transfers.
People-level integration, as its very name suggests, focuses on the human element in the business, and therefore, communication between companies, their business partners, suppliers, and clients. Through B2B integration software, companies can implement secure communication protocols, such as HTTP, k8s, or AS2, and build robust event management systems, which allows for real-time status verification of planned activities and ongoing communication. Smooth data flow and transparent communication channels significantly lower the risk of missed deadlines and miscommunication.
The power of B2B integration
Through the use of special B2B integration software, businesses are able to connect different channels of communication and build a digitalized architecture supporting quick and transparent data flow between customers, business partners, and suppliers. Can you imagine a world where all your data flows smoothly between your and your partner companies, and both of you can quickly access relevant documents? Welcome to the world of B2B integration!
The step-by-step process of B2B integration
Depending on our needs, we can choose either cloud-based B2B solutions, store our data on our own premises, or combine both approaches. The process of B2B integration consists of the following steps:
1. Gathering information from our source application
2. Transforming and mapping data to effectively streamline data flow
3. Establishing a reliable protocol, which can easily facilitate data exchange
4. Provide our partners with a target application, allowing them to receive and process the information we sent them
After the last step is completed, we have successfully integrated our B2B processes.
B2B integration is the future of automation. Imagine a world where your company’s delivery of documents and desktops is 61% faster than before, and the number of your document transaction errors goes down by 80%. Sound unbelievable? Not at all: these are real business value highlights of IBM Sterling B2B Integration. In the connected business ecosystem, productivity reaches new heights, so if you want to learn more about B2B integration, our experts are ready to answer your questions at email@example.com!