Cloud-Based B2B Integration

The flexibility, scalability and cost-efficiency promised by Cloud computing has seen rapid acceptance within many companies. The Cloud can be an attractive option for B2B integration because B2B systems require secure and scalable connections between multiple trading partners. Below are 5 key points to consider for success in Cloud-based B2B integration:

  1. Don’t do too much at once
    To ensure your Cloud project is a success and you realise quick ROI, it is easier to move one application or business process to the Cloud at a time rather than take an all or nothing approach. Identify which applications or processes are most important or strategic to your business and prioritise these for maximum business return.
  2. Determine who’s going to be involved
    Your community of trading partners is likely to contain a wide spread of different technical capabilities. Also, if you have any internal users, they are likely to want access to your B2B systems through mobile and tablet devices. Project success will depend on how good you are at encouraging people to use the new platform. Our advice is that your Cloud platform should allow users to access it in the way they prefer if you want to get maximum adoption.
  3. Decide what back-office integration is required
    Cloud-based environments can operate well in isolation but maximum ROI is achieved where back-office integration takes place. Enabling a secure and seamless information flow between your B2B platform and your ERP system is likely to be a high priority. Plan at the beginning which enterprise and back-office systems will need to be integrated into the Cloud-based platform.
  4. Understand the total project costs
    When you calculate the costs of an internal software installation – licenses, maintenance, servers, networking, support – they escalate very quickly. The Cloud can help organisations to virtually eliminate capital expenditure at the same time as giving a greater degree of control over your operating expenses. The scalable, pay-as-you-go model that the Cloud offers means that you only have to pay for the service you use.
  5. Choose the right Cloud integration provider for you
    It may be that you have a very specific need that can be provided by one of the growing number of point solution providers that are appearing, such as e-invoicing providers, however the greatest return comes when you take a strategic approach to all of your B2B needs. On that basis, it’s best to select a single provider that can deliver a complete solution, with a single guaranteed service level and global support.

GXS Trading Grid is the world’s largest cloud-based integration platform. GXS has undertaken thousands of B2B integration projects for companies across different industry sectors all around the world. To find out more please call +44 (0)1932 776047 or click here to contact us.