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Why the Love Language of Modern Enterprises is Ecosystem Integration

What do Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge have to do with today’s digital business landscape? It’s all about connections.

Understanding the concept of the five love languages is important to life’s important personal relationships, and fully understanding which language you and your partner speak and feel more deeply is critical to how you communicate over time. But what if there were a “love language” in business, one that enabled the modern enterprise and its ecosystem of partners to more easily connect and communicate more effectively?

Connecting With Ease

Given the proliferation of such dating services as Match.com and eHarmony and location-based apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, it’s extraordinarily easy to make personal connections nowadays. Many of these social platforms, designed to simplify the dating process, are built out in an application on your smartphone or tablet, and it takes just a few minutes to upload some interesting photos, write a short profile, and get swiping toward your next “connection.”

The modern enterprise would LOVE to have the simplicity of these technologies, where a business or IT user can open an app or web portal, enter a few data points, and begin an interactive relationship within minutes. But businesses looking to connect and engage with other businesses don’t have it as easy.

Organizations must make so many varying connections in today’s digital business landscape, and very few of them use a single ubiquitous technology, platform, or language. An ecosystem that once consisted of partners, suppliers, customers, and their respective systems now includes numerous cloud-based apps and services as well as factories, machines, devices, and trucks. But enterprises aren’t properly equipped with the tools to effectively connect and integrate all these ecosystem partners.

The Tangled Web We Weave

Most businesses have been traditionally set up using one-off systems and applications to execute specific communication needs, and it’s still the case today. For instance, it’s not uncommon for a major manufacturer to leverage:

— An AS2 client for EDI data exchanges with Walmart or Target

— A separate SFTP server to send financial data to a Chase or Wells Fargo bank

— Web Services or REST APIs to access SaaS e-commerce applications like Shopify or Magento

— Custom-built solutions to manage other data integration patterns

It’s also highly likely that this list of bullet points would extend well into the hundreds for many organizations, in manufacturing or any industry.

Having various technologies to execute similar data patterns is redundant and cost-prohibitive. It’d certainly be easier if your entire ecosystem used the same applications, formats, protocols, security standards, and so on and spoke the same business “language.” But as it stands, a business today is more like a person using a single dating app to communicate with and court one individual person – and that’s it. That person (or company) would have to load up its cellphone (IT stack) with every single dating application (B2B solution) ever to interact with its network of connections.

You can see how this is a problem for businesses, whose digital ecosystems often consist of thousands of trading partners and business applications. Such a setup not only creates data silos, it’s impossible to manage, and it’s why many forward-looking organizations are proactively taking steps to find a primary business “love language” and enable connections in a more manageable – and meaningful – way.

The Love Language That’s Ecosystem Integration

Modern organizations, however, demand more than just simple EDI, B2B, and application connections. They demand full-service integration that helps them not only connect but actively participate in their important business relationships. Such integration helps them support:

— New markets and customers, new partners and collaborators, and a need to create dynamic service offerings and revenue models

— Evolving customer interactions and expectations that add new complexity to supply chain information flows

— More sophisticated fulfillment strategies, including outsourced and drop shipping models and customized service-delivery options

— Omnichannel selling strategies that enable a seamless shopping experience across online, mobile, and in-person platforms

Making connections to the applications and data across your entire ecosystem of customers, partners, suppliers, and third-party systems is only the first step. It’s the end-to-end integration – executing data movement, data transformation, and elegant data orchestration all at once – that’s the hard part. And it’s why an ecosystem integration strategy is even more critical for businesses in 2019 and beyond.

How to Better Connect, Integrate

The ability to embrace a new partner’s “language” and quickly connect to any system or application leads to increased integration power, which increases your business flexibility and improves your capacity to capitalize on new revenue opportunities. Businesses looking to better connect, then, must arm themselves with all the tools required now and in the future, including:

— Smart B2B connectors, with preconfigured MFT and EDI connections for the largest trading partner ecosystems

— Prebuilt application connectors for all manner of SaaS and on-premise ERP, CRM, HCM, e-commerce, finance, and payment applications

— Reusable integration templates for faster data mapping and expedited time to value

The love language that’s an ecosystem integration approach supports B2B, EDI, cloud, and application integration on a single platform for truly end-to-end data processing and helps the modern enterprise create meaningful business connections. With added control over critical relationships, more predictable costs across the customer lifecycle, and persona-based insights that drive flexibility and agility, your business can speak the business love language that blossoms simple connections into enduring ecosystem relationships.

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Learn how to consolidate, integrate, and automate the mission-critical data flows driving your important ecosystem relationships and powering your business with Cleo Integration Cloud.

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