Hybrid B2B Integration

With integration technology converging and the continuing need for companies to focus on highly differentiated business processes a new model for B2B Integration has emerged. Companies are simply electing to take the advantages presented with Direct B2B Integration software models and combine them with the benefits of Hosted B2B Integration solutions. This hybrid model allows companies direct control of key customer or supplier relationships and allows them to outsource lower value connections to service provider.

In this hybrid model, companies elect to run some software in house for Direct B2B Integration projects and then outsource other connections to a service provider. The software selected is typically the integration solution performing internal business integration, as most software is now capable of supporting direct connections and connections to a third party service provider. Typically a small number of customers or suppliers are connected directly, with only a handful of internal resources fully applied to supporting those connections.

This convergence of internal integration (Enterprise Application Integration) and B2B Integration can allow companies to operate a single integration architecture managing all internal and external integration processes. One code base, one skill set via a single technology offers it’s own economies of scale in the cost of ownership.

Potential challenges lie in the need to map out a B2B Integration project strategy, deciphering which processes to run in house and which to outsource to the hosted provider. There are also very few vendors that offer both the software and the hosted service in addition to the scale of operation that allows successful implementation of business integration projects worldwide. Companies must plan more prudently for this option, but the benefits of “best of both worlds” can offer compelling advantages.

Advantages

  • Flexibility and control
  • Optimum cost position
  • Focus resources on critical IT projects

Challenges

  • Degree of difficulty in determining which business process to deploy in house
  • Real time integration from software element to solution provider
  • Management of multiple vendor relationships