So why is it that they are still thriving? Let us examine the reasons B2B/EDI is still used by so many enterprises.
- It fundamentally works, and once you get past the initial setup, it is easy to keep running.
- Almost any enterprise can support it readily, without additional technology.
- So many connections exist, direct point-to-point or via a VAN, that migration would be expensive and time-consuming, with a significant direct impact on operations. This is poured concrete in the active runway.
- Most legacy ERP systems depend on B2B integrations to exchange the documents that run their processes.
Yet, there are more modern, efficient, and cost-effective ways to deliver information between businesses and processes.
Embrace API integration
Today, mainstream integration is accomplished via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Talk to a born-on-the-cloud vendor and ask to integrate and they will give you a list of APIs as the preferred method.
If you mention EDI, they will act like you are speaking a foreign language. That’s because APIs are the way a majority of web applications exchange data today. They provide good security, scale, and flexibility for customization. Chances are you have already had suppliers and partners requesting to connect with you via APIs.
Overcoming IT Silos
Many companies have separate IT groups that head up these different integration patterns. Each with their specialists, service levels, and onboarding processes. While many are making it work today with separate B2B/EDI and API silos, is there a better way?
One “better way” approach is with an integration platform. With a platform, different integration patterns, (like EDI and API) can be brought together in a central place where they can be modified or combined into new solutions.
Why an integration platform?
A platform approach can ease the struggles and delays caused by:
- Moving development projects into production architectures.
- Tool proliferation, lack of key skills, with existing skills tied to specific patterns and platforms.
- Recreating everything caused by no reuse, no prototyping, no A/B testing.
- Treating everything as a project, instead of a product for delivery.
Interested in the better together story of B2B and APIs? Learn more about our Amplify platform integration platform.