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Manually processing data is error-prone and inefficient. Many businesses today have concluded that manual data processing is not viable in a digital world. Business transactions with many partners- like suppliers, vendors, customers, and other organizations are challenging to handle. However, they have become more efficient in the digitalized world. To carry out these business transactions easily, business-to-business integrations or B2B Integration help enterprises and their trading partners automate their business processes.

B2B integrations offer an integration platform for an organization and its partners to connect and collaborate effectively. So, they not only automate processes but also supply a communication channel.

To get an extensive explanation of B2B integrations, scroll down:

What is B2B Integration?

B2B integration stands for Business-to-business integration, which is the automation of business operations and communication between two or more organizations.

With B2B integration, companies can work and trade with their consumers, suppliers, and business partners more effectively by operating business processes automatically.

To conclude, an organization looking to digitize information and directly route its trading ecosystem, B2B integration software is the organic architecture solution.

What is a B2B Integration Platform?

Companies use B2B integration platforms to connect all their B2B and electronic data interchange (EDI) operations across multiple partner communities in a single system. 

That is to say, the platform obtains data from source apps, interprets the data to standardized formats, and then transmits that data to the business partners using the relevant transport protocol.

B2B integration software is made available for cloud-based services, or its integration can also be installed on-premises.

Why is it Important?

While businesses need a collection of integrated software systems to get their message across the community, disparate technologies make it hard to create an all-in-one data exchange and communication channel.

The manual processing of information is slow, ineffective, error-prone, and therefore not viable.

Companies need a successful business networking system to achieve goals like accelerating time to market, improving efficiencies, and increasing revenue. 

For this purpose, they require a modern B2B integration platform.

Using the right B2B tools, businesses can digitally connect as well as communicate directly and reliably. 

This reduces the time it takes to bring new products and services into the market and helps companies attain the agility and smartness they need to compete.

Key Capabilities of B2B Integration

  • B2B Gateway Software

B2B Gateway helps provide protected and guaranteed delivery of messages and files from your organization’s applications to those of your trading partners. 

A gateway can certainly perform tracking, routing, administration, configuration, and peculiarity handling.

  • Application Integration

App integration contains adapters to integrate to back-end systems such as SAP, databases, and client adapter.

  • Communications Adapters

Communication supports protected internet communications protocols such as MQ, HTTP, SFTP, and AS2.

  • Mapping Software

Mapping software allows to see data fields and shows the connections between documents.

  • Translation Engine

It’s a powerful transformation tool that converts a document to any required format.

  • Tracking and Reporting Message

It provides event management, auditing, and reporting in the centralized dashboard to enable your system administrators and partners’ extended real-time status and activity messages.

  • Data Validation

Applying business rules combined with business process modeling to the data being exchanged helps to identify errors.

  • Compression

This capability enables quicker sharing of big files, message transfer, or sharing of files of variable sizes. 

What is EDI B2B Integration?

B2B Electronic Data Interchange or EDI is the exchange of documents between companies and their trading partners using electronic means. 

Instead of paper methods, a business can send invoices or exchange purchase orders of its customers to its partner. 

EDI B2B has been around for years; it has made the exchange of transactions information essentially easier and efficient in several industries. 

EDI begins working with the interpretation of data into a standardized form. This translation or interpretation is performed by EDI translating software. The software takes data that we may either input manually or through integration. 

Then it translates the data and transfers that translated data to other integrated systems. Here are two prevailing EDI or data transferring methods:

While the first exchange method includes reliable networks, also known as VANs or Value Added Networks, the second method involves transmitting data over the Internet.

For enabling B2B over the Internet, many businesses use File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), or Applicability Statement 2 or 3 (AS2/AS3).

B2B EDI is relatively inexpensive as the VAN charges once over time.

Top B2B Integration Software

  • SAP PI/PO

SAP PI stands for Process Integration, a business integration software that integrates SAP and non-SAP applications seamlessly within an organization as Application-to-Application (A2A) or outside the organization as Business-to-Business (B2B).

This helps organizations exchange information between internal software inside the organization and external systems outside the organization.

SAP PO stands for Process Orchestration, a tool for optimization and automation of business processes. It integrates features of SAP Business Rules Management (BRM), Business Process Management (BPM), and SAP Process Integration (PI). 

Simply put, SAP Process Orchestration is a better and advanced version of SAP Process Integration and combines all the tools needed to integrate applications.

  • IBM Sterling B2B Integrator

IBM B2B Integrator supports as many as 10 million transactions by consolidating and automating B2B processes on a solo, always-on B2B platform every day. 

In a single gateway, IBM Sterling B2B Integrator provides a flexible platform for corporations to integrate multiple complex B2B and EDI processes across trading communities.

Moreover, the platform can be utilized on-premises or as a cloud-based system that supports most communication protocols and data transformation, secures data and the B2B network provides certified support and obtains extended availability for processes with IBM Sterling Global Mailbox.

B2B Integrator supports the consolidation of applications on a single platform to help you reduce the costs and automate B2B processes across organizations. 

Not only this, but it also provides governance, visibility of those processes, and adherence to standards.

Conclusion

To conclude, B2B integration is a great help for companies to streamline their enterprise-wide processes. 

The exchange of information was never easy unless B2B integration was introduced. These days, there are multiple B2B integration software to help your firm automate all its operations. Hence, it is vital to integrate your applications with a B2B integration platform and see how it automates all your operations. As a result, it will bring you ease and will also save you enough time to carry out other tasks.

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