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Keys to Automating Partner Onboarding: Think Ecosystems

Adam Hughes
Automate Trading Partner Onboarding

Growing your business in 2019 and beyond requires your company to embrace technology in a way that it probably hasn’t before: by thinking about your business as a digital ecosystem.

Those organizations that have made the decision to transform their IT environment in order to make better business decisions and better meet the needs of key partners comprising their digital ecosystems are the ones that will ensure their business continues to grow well into the future.

So, where in today’s digital economy does business growth come from exactly? It depends on a number of factors, including being agile enough to accommodate changing ecosystem dynamics. Unfortunately, companies with a slow and time-consuming onboarding process will not grow as fast as their competition. Companies must be able to get their trading partners up (or replaced) quickly, else they risk lost revenue in the time it takes to do so.

Your enterprise needs visibility into all of the integration points happening throughout your business ecosystem. That means thinking beyond internal operations and seeing your business from the outside in, i.e., from an ecosystem context.  This vantage point allows you to improve interactions among your trading partners and also reduces any potential exposure to risk. It’s also why a complete and flexible integration platform is so valuable, because it is able to handle all of those new trading partners and applications, each with their own unique requirements. A modern integration platform with all the tools you need already built in allows your enterprise to connect, configure, and execute transactions quickly.

If for example you’re needing to enter new markets faster to maximize your earnings potential, one of the most critical factors to getting there is through automating partner onboarding. When we say automating we mean completely getting rid of all those manual, time consuming processes. In order to succeed, you need flexibility, which means removing those obstacles that slow things down and break down the barriers of communication.

What are some of the keys to successful partner onboarding?

Ability to Accept Any Data Type and Work With Any Protocol

You never want to say ‘No’ to a customer or a trading partner. That’s why having the proper technology in place is important: it makes it easy for you to say ‘Yes’ instead. No matter what unique needs your business partner has, a centralized integration platform puts you in a position to not only accommodate those requirements, but accept them with ease, so you and that partner can keep the revenue engine humming.

Be Able to Route and Move Data

Another important factor to automating partner onboarding is the ability to route and move data efficiently. By leveraging today’s modern data transformation and orchestration solutions, organizations can  quickly transform any data file type, then securely route data to the intended targets.

Always Know What’s Going on in the Process

Transparency and visibility are fundamental to managing your digital ecosystem efficiently. You need a clear view into your data’s life cycle. Improved visibility enhances your ability to be more responsive to your customers’ and trading partners’ changing business needs.

How Do You Get There?

Now that you know what successful automated onboarding involves, how can you get there?  Here’s five points to consider.

Go Digital with your Data

All those outdated ways you rely on to keep data on your trading partners and customers need to go the way of the DeLorean. Instead of spreadsheets and faxes, look for ways to automatically strip and ingest the data electronically.

Structure and Communicate the Process

Communication is everything when it comes to your trading partners and customers. There needs to be a clear understanding – meaning on both sides -- of what each side is responsible for, plus an agreed-upon timeline that both parties can see. The entire onboarding process should be laid out, step-by-step, to ensure there are no questions about what is expected throughout.

Leverage Connectors and Templates

Often, enterprise SaaS and B2B/EDI applications are the most difficult parts of your business ecosystem to integrate.   Fortunately, there are ways to ease the process. A centralized integration platform features reusable integration patterns and templates to accelerate partner onboarding.

Benefits of Automated Partner Onboarding

Once you’ve made the smart decision to improve the way your partner onboarding is done, you immediately  begin to see the benefits.  For example, your business will:

  • Cut the amount of time it takes to onboard new partners
  • Reduce errors from manual data entry
  • Save money and resources with a well-designed plan
  • Get visibility into the onboarding process
  • Extend a repeatable process to future partners

Browse Our Trading Partner Network

End Result?  A Better Customer Experience.  Better Business.

When you are able to onboard your customers quickly through automation, you are already putting your best foot forward. First impressions go a long way towards customer satisfaction, and being able to accelerate the onboarding process can be the critical start to a long and fruitful relationship with the members of your digital ecosystem.

Ecosystem integration puts your business relationships at the forefront of what really matters by prioritizing them to show your customers how valuable they are to you. Additionally, it drastically shortens the time it takes to onboard new trading partners -- making time to revenue much quicker. Cleo’s rapid onboarding technologies are available for both EDI and non-EDI data routing, not to mention the connectors that can integrate any application without the need for additional coding.

Cleo Integration Cloud makes onboarding a priority and it does so quickly through automation. Why spend countless hours (or worse) on manual tasks, when you could spend that time thinking of ways to drive revenue and see some true business results?

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