How Does Modern B2B Infrastructure Evolve?

In a presentation on how B2B infrastructure is currently evolving, Chandana Gopal, Research Manager for IDC Research, identified three gateway classes now supported in the marketplace.

The first is the basic gateway, which Gopel characterized as a gateway that leaves files unopened, routing them based on their metadata. Such a gateway is friendly to integration with Managed File Transfer, and improves the quality of automation overall.

The second is the application-ready gateway, which can internally process semi-structured data (EDI, etc.) and enables data quality ownership entirely within the system. Such a gateway is capable of end-to-end processing of files, with improved visibility and fewer touchpoints, yielding greatly increased automation and less introduction of error.

Finally, Gopel defined the advanced gateway, which includes support of data streams for predictive analytics and the integration of trading data for predictive business initiatives. Partners with such gateways are sufficiently automated to participate in trading networks.

Gopel made the point that these three gateway classes represent a smooth progression for growth within the enterprise, adopting with the basic gateway and advancing, through uptake of increasingly advanced software and methodology, through the other two classes in as little as three to five years.

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Growing Traffic Makes Control of File Transfer Essential

The transfer of unstructured data (files) between business partners is growing at a brisk pace. This opens the door for potential error, compliance issues, and confusion.

According to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, the number of end users requiring file transfer capability is growing rapidly, between 6% and 9% annually, as of 2013. The volume of file transfers per user is growing faster still, from 8% to 11% annually. Finally, the size of the average file to be transferred is also growing, from 6% to 7%.

The flip side is that IT staff to accommodate the increased traffic is not growing correspondingly.

A sensible solution for B2B partner companies needing to accommodate these increases is Managed File Transfer. MTF augments existing B2B data exchange mechanisms by off-loading the transfer of larger files to an independent mechanism, lessening resource consumption. It automates file transfers between B2B partners, incorporating detection and handling of transfer failures, which conventional file transfer does not; and it can authenticate users against AD/LDAP.

Industry uptake of MTF has been rapid, and it has taken up a permanent place in the B2B toolkit.

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3 Reasons to Adopt AS4 in 2015

AS4 is a relatively new B2B standard and is gaining traction globally. Do you need to start thinking about AS4? In this blog we will cover this new standard and discuss why it may make sense for you to consider this new standard in 2015.

B2B integration typically uses a standard like SFTP or AS2 to exchange a document payload between two business partners. Whether it is as simple as sending and receiving invoices or as complex has handling an industry-specific sequence of transactions, B2B transactions involve a document or a message. Documents can be in any data format, older formats use EDI standard and the newer payload can be an XML document.

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B2B Modernization: a top trend for 2015

B2B Modernization2015 represents new opportunity for organizations that have the agility to quickly address new business challenges. With B2B Integration, 2015 will be about modernizing B2B infrastructure to better leverage big data, and event-based real-time capabilities. Read my blog on Reality Check to learn more about this top trend for 2015.


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