As more organizations around the world rely on complex networks of partners, banks, vendors and customers to conduct business, the need for B2B integration technology becomes all the more apparent. In today’s cloud-based, mobile world, growing data volumes and an ever-increasing number of networked partners have forced organizations to pay close attention to their B2B integration strategy.
However, companies with these types of strategies typically include an EDI silo and an API silo, meaning higher costs of maintaining core infrastructure, greater risk of non-compliance and even lost business.
Organizations are realizing that having two different channel silos for their partner relationships are not sustainable. As a result, due to the fact that EDI and API remain technically different and address varying requirements, unifying them under one centralized B2B flow governance is the best option.
Consolidating the multi-siloed B2B environment into a single system that governs the flow of both EDI and API data transactions allows for centralized visibility into and across all data flows, accurate monitoring of business performance and tighter security. The benefits of a “B2B 360°” strategy include:
- Providing a central place for endpoint profiles and processes: Having a central repository is valuable when dealing with large numbers of external business partners.
- Enabling wider support: Centrally managing B2B projects allows for more consistent support for various data formats, mappings, transports and communication protocols and security standards.
- Facilitating community interactions: Enabling APIs that offer a streamlined alternative to sending EDI documents can enhance partner community interactions.
- Delivering deeper insight and economies of scale: Bringing EDI and API together can give more insight into the technical aspects of data integration, transaction delivery and process integration.
But how can your organization bring the two B2B integration channels together under one single governance model and achieve B2B 360°?
Two ways to API and EDI
- API-enabled EDI platforms: An EDI platform with API capabilities allows external applications such as customer portals and mobile apps to access all the EDI services using APIs.
- Interoperable EDI and API gateways: A combination of EDI and APIs are applied to the same business transaction, such as tracking a shipment using APIs after having ordered it through EDI.
The challenges and opportunities stemming from the growing complexity of mobile networks and cloud connectivity have forced organizations to reimagine the way they engage with consumers and partners. Here at Axway, our B2B data exchange using EDI and API allows customers to developer their own partner portal and it connects to B2B channels via API for on-boarding capabilities. We have long championed EDI and API technology development, as recognized by IDC, who named us a “Disruptive Innovator” in its 2014 MarketScape for Worldwide B2B Integration Gateway Software. Ultimately, merging EDI and API data exchange under a single management umbrella that will span the full 360° is now not only a reality but a necessity.
To learn more about Axway B2B integration solutions, click here!
IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Business-to-Business Integration Gateway Software 2014 Vendor Assessment (Doc #250741), September 2014