To maximize outcomes, enterprises need to invest time in selling, transacting, and doing business with other businesses. While doing so, they need to digitally connect and communicate with other organizations such as retailers, shippers, manufacturers, etc. in a reliable manner, and business-to-business integration technology can play a central role in morphing such integrated environment.
Though B2B integration offers many business benefits, prior to selecting a solution, enterprises need to comprehend what it entails, how B2B integration has evolved, and how it helps generate revenue and drive growth.
B2B integration is a technology that automates business communication across ecosystems. It offers a comprehensive digital strategy that integrates applications and streamlines business process automation. In short, a B2B integration platform allows business ecosystems establish connection, communication, and collaboration with entities such as customers, suppliers, partners, and service providers.
So, why do companies need a B2B integration platform? For the starters, organizations take its approach to allow the streamlined exchange of files and messages between trading partners. To allow this, the business employs a disparate mix of systems, cloud, and applications that may need different formats, B2B protocols, and security as well as governance considerations. B2B integration platform helps these myriad technologies communicate to streamline data exchange across business ecosystems.
The goal of B2B integration is to enhance logistic workflows and system integration across the supply chain and value chain. It also enables end-to-end process execution that includes business process management, global community management, and supply chain visibility.
Types of B2B Integration
B2B integration is primarily of two types: data-level integration and people-level integration. Let’s explore both.
Data-level integration involves the process of automating document exchange processes between various external applications. This integration calls a high degree of automation for connecting applications with the aid of a secure protocol and driving electronic data exchange and data transformation processes.
This type of integration strengthens B2B collaboration among people in myriad companies while they carry out different business processes, such as partner onboarding, dispute resolution, and other cardinal customer support scenarios.
People-level integration demands businesses to have robust trading partner management capabilities that allow profiles management and seize as well as share data to deliver performance. These tools enable businesses savor traceability and audit control to improve relationship management.
How Industries can Benefit from B2B Integration
It is evident that the need for B2B integration is so ubiquitous that any industry regardless of size or location will reap the dividends of B2B integration.
Financial services: Data integration platforms allow firms connect banks and brokerages while offering increased security, enhanced governance, improved audit trail capabilities, and better real-time visibility for delivering improved banking services to customers.
Healthcare: B2B data integration platforms prove elementary in connecting various healthcare units such as labs, hospitals, insurance providers, doctor’s offices, and more without difficulty. As a matter of fact, it can replace a VAN and automate processes such as insurance enrolments, eligibility, payment, claims, etc.
Manufacturing: Businesses can employ integration technologies to exchange customer and supplier information over many SFTP connections, use AS2 for allowing secure communication, and ingest files into SAP. Not to mention, B2B integration provides support to various workflow scenarios and file transfer methods.
Logistics: Organizations that deal with logistics can employ this technology to ensure accurate and timely delivery of purchase orders, shipment confirmations, ship notices, among others.
Retail: Integration solutions automate processes including conversion of X12 documents to an XML format that can help retail enterprises handle and reduce chargebacks, fees, time, and more.
Software and Technology: B2B integration, by enabling customer data integration, helps software companies maintain uptime and never miss an SLA.
Additional Benefits of B2B Integration
It is quite clear that B2B integration platforms provide automation, application integration, multi-protocol support capabilities to various industries. However, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Actually, there are many other benefits such as:
Enhanced Partner Onboarding: It eliminates manual intervention and introduce automation to bring new customers faster and increase team productivity.
Improved governance: It secures data integration and meets strict government as well as industry compliance regulations.
End-to-end Visibility: It offers a centralized or unified view of B2B processes to drive actionable intelligence, enabling more responsiveness and better customer service.