Consistently reliable communications with customers and trading partners are the cornerstone of any business relationship, but the various data needs of a vast digital ecosystem can leave many organizations unable to do so.
It often begins when a new customer or trading partner needs to be onboarded, as 63 percent of IT decision-makers say onboarding takes too long because of customized partner requirements. Regardless of whether the requirements or a subpar integration solution are to blame, the end result can negatively affect the relationship – and the bottom line.
The enterprises that do manage to efficiently onboard each component of their digital ecosystem and continue to reliably interact with them are the ones that:
► Consolidate integrations and siloed applications
► Embrace process automation through integrated technologies
► Enable proactive alerts to quickly resolve any issue
► Leverage comprehensive visibility to ensure healthy data flows
Here’s how a centralized ecosystem integration platform can help deliver the faster customer response time that your business requires.
Download “How to Rapidly Onboard Ecosystem Partners and Applications”
Keys to Accelerating Data Flows
In order to improve customer interactions and response times, however, there is a critical step that enterprises must take to improve the way they manage data between themselves and their digital ecosystem.
Instead of having to manage integrations through various disparate products and one-off custom code, modern businesses benefit from consolidating their important B2B and application connections onto a single platform. But it takes a particular platform, one that features B2B connectors, application connectors, and reusable integration templates.
Smart B2B Connectors
The most difficult-to-integrate parts within a business ecosystem vary from enterprise to enterprise. One of the most crucial revolves around B2B connections and trading partner networks, which might include Walmart, Target, and Home Depot. A modern integration solution provides companies prebuilt B2B connectors to some of these larger networks, and these connectors are preconfigured to enable companies to seamlessly connect to an important partner via AS2, AS3, SFTP, FTP(s), HTTP(s) and most other secure protocols in a matter of hours.
Smart Application Connectors
Complementing B2B connectors is a portfolio of prebuilt application connectors that enterprises can use to integrate their business-critical applications. These applications can include SaaS solutions like Salesforce, Shopify, and Taleo, as well as on-premise ERP systems like SAP and J.D. Edwards. A connector for these applications eliminates tedious, manual integration processes and reduces custom coding while leveraging APIs to verify and transform data so it can be ingested into a back-end system in near real time. Connecting applications right into your EDI and other back-end systems will sync order and shipping information, customer data, and more to provide a holistic view of your end-to-end business processes.
Reusable Integration Templates
If your platform doesn’t have a specific B2B or application connector, it’s not a problem as long as your integration platform features robust data transformation capabilities. With reusable integration templates, enterprises are able to spin up new connections and respond quickly to trading partner changes. A smart project generator, for example, will take a templated map you’ve already built, then re-use it to automatically set up another trading partner connection. The automated process takes much of the manual work out of building a new connection, which means accelerated data flows for you and your new trading partner.
Additionally, it can’t be understated how valuable a high-speed file transfer solution is when it comes to accelerating data flows throughout your ecosystem. As the sizes of files and data sets continue to increase, there will be a growing need for a high-speed file acceleration tool. Modern solutions can move to 3 TBs an hour, as well as replicate assets, backup databases, populate data lakes, and even extend acceleration to protocols like AS2 and SFTP.
Better Integration to Better Serve Your Customers
Accommodating changing ecosystem dynamics allows you to grow and become more agile. By ensuring that you can reliably exchange data with your customers and quickly respond to issues or changes, you will improve the way you do business.
When you consolidate data movement technologies and applications onto an ecosystem integration platform, your business can begin to automate the data flows powering operations. Additionally, a fully connected ecosystem means you can set up alerts to quickly act on any file transfer error along the way. Such holistic visibility over your entire ecosystem enables organizations to regain control of their revenue-generating B2B interactions and be easier to do business with.
An advanced ecosystem integration solution enables all of this and simplifies the onboarding routine through support for multiple secure protocols, pre-built application and B2B connectors, as well as the ability to reuse integration templates and increase operational efficiency.