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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What Does the New Year Hold for Supply Chains?

What trends are in store for B2B-integrated businesses in 2015? Mickey North Rizza of Supply Chain Digital recently offered several:

Improvement in organizational alignment will be increasingly necessary to maintain and enhance the level of performance in procurement; bolstering relationships across the enterprise will be key.

The proliferation of multi-channel retailing and supply chain consolidation will call for strategies that improve inventory network efficiency and customer service.

Increased Internet integration will require strong relationships with sourcing partners, and the real-time tracking and management of supplier performance will be necessary to contain risk.

Emerging markets around the world will spur growth, notably Asia Pacific and Latin America, and risk identification within these new markets will be key to success.

Finally, procurement officers will be fostering closer relationships with suppliers, treating them like true partners: leveraging their problem-solving knowledge will become a strategic edge, prompting their inclusion in the planning process.

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Are You Using Reverse Logistics?

Reverse logistics get a lot of press in supply chain news, and for good reason: making use of them can lead to considerable savings.

Reverse logistics are concerned with supply chain aftermarket activity, including Customer Service (which feeds back into product lifecycle and development), servicing, remanufacturing, recycling and sustainability. Strong reverse logistics can lead to considerable gains in efficiency, and have a positive impact on product support activities such as refurbishment, field service and parts management. The Reverse Logistics Association adds that RL is “the scientific process of managing assets, in every department in all industries and across all disciplines.”

Within this definition, the data tracked in Reverse Logistics falls within the purview of B2B integration in general: parts, servicing, refurbishment, and other areas of RL all leverage the same data-sharing mechanisms and process that conventional logistics do, placing them within reach of most partners already using B2B.

Given the compatibility of Reverse Logistics with conventional B2B integration resources and logistics, Rl is a worthy consideration as a profitable undertaking for B2B-integrated organizations in the coming year.

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