What is B2B Integration?

Business-to-Business integration is not a new concept and in fact many Information technology organisations have been running B2B Integration projects since the late 1960’s. Simply put B2B Integration means the integration, automation and optimisation of key business processes that extend outside the four walls of a companies organisation.

While these critical processes vary by vertical, geography and company size one point remains consistent, the automation of key external business processes, those that touch your customers and your suppliers delivers sustainable competitive advantage.

For example receiving purchase orders from your customers electronically, you can process order information faster and more accurately. Processing these orders in real time allows companies to be more responsive to their customers, improve customer service and increase sales. Similarly, by connecting to external suppliers electronically, companies can achieve real time views into the visibility of global shipments, automating the warehouse or distribution centres and optimising inventory or stock control – ultimately increasing working capital and lowering costs.

B2B Integration began with large companies mandating methods of receiving business information technology. It evolved through the widespread adoption of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and in recent years has benefited from technology innovations e.g. the advent of the Internet, XML, web services and SOA, Business Process Management and SaaS. These innovations have led to increased benefits being made available to companies of every size. As we explore in this Microsite there are a number of ways to implement B2B Integration solutions. We discuss that the solution approach should be driven by a company’s business needs and objectives, rather than a particular implementation or technology set.