Organizations that continue to rely on legacy systems within their IT environment do so because of a few reasons. For starters, it’s what they are used to and are comfortable using. Secondly, the idea of investing and spending money and resources on a digital transformation is intimidating, especially if the legacy technology works OK. While those reasons are certainly understandable, the benefits to modernizing your environment in order to take advantage of new technologies drastically outweigh both those negatives.
Take partner onboarding as an example. Those same organizations that for one reason or another are hesitant to begin a digital transformation are limiting the ways that they can introduce a new trading partner or customer into their business ecosystem. Outdated technologies often lead to slow and cumbersome onboarding processes because they cannot natively support all the modern connectivity needs of a business, including SaaS and cloud service integration.
An IT modernization project can have many benefits, and one clear benefit is how much easier and faster it is to onboard a new ecosystem partner when you have technology that actually supports how B2B interactions are done today.
If you have trouble seamlessly connecting and interacting with your ecosystem, odds are at least one of these four symptoms of poor trading partner onboarding will sound familiar. But fear not, we also have the medicine to cure what ails businesses looking to improve their B2B data exchange processes.
1. You Can’t Accept and Route Partner Data
The most fundamental ability you must have when it comes to your ecosystem is the ability to integrate and exchange data, as your bottom line depends on the ability to execute B2B transactions. But that means you must support all the secure communication protocols (AS2, AS3, SFTP, and more) as well as the EDI and non-EDI formats that your trading partners use. It also means integrating those external B2B processes with your internal systems, so you can automatically orchestrate and route data for end-to-end processing.
That’s often a struggle because over time, businesses accumulate many different systems, technologies, and processes, which are siloed and do not natively communicate with one another. Companies with outdated legacy and custom-coded systems will be unable to support new partner requirements and newer integrations with SaaS applications, such as Salesforce and NetSuite.
2. Your Integrations Are Becoming Increasingly Difficult Manage
When a company is attempting to onboard a new trading partner, the typical process often requires a bit of custom coding. Each trading partner or customer has a very specialized and unique set of requirements that organizations must accommodate. Many organizations find that manually customizing partner requirements slows their ability to connect with those trading partners and effectively conduct business.
If it is taking you a couple of weeks simply to start doing business with a trading partner, that is also a couple of weeks of lost revenue. One-off B2B integrations that are custom-built for each trading partner lead to countless hours spent trying to manually support and maintain them, and there’s no central visibility into the associated data flows and integration processes.
3. Your Integration Service is Slow to Respond and Becoming Expensive
A common approach when organizations are faced with an IT skills shortage has been to outsource. Managed service vendors and VANs are designed to provide the skills and expertise for complex data communication processes. Unfortunately, these services also are limited in what they can adequately provide to support your B2B needs.
The reality is that many service providers can be slow to respond, especially if they’re serving various clients, and these services end up being pretty expensive as the costs to add new connections or modify existing ones mount. Enterprises are also giving up a certain level of control when they outsource, which can become problematic if you don’t have visibility.
Additionally, you’re at the whim of your service provider and may not be able to address issues as fast as you could if the technology was under your umbrella. These can lead to delays in critical onboarding processes and revenue.
4. Your Partner and Customer Relationships Are at Risk Due to Missed SLAs
From data loss or inaccuracies and slow transaction delivery times to incorrect file formats, there are many ways a company can violate a customer SLA. Those risks are elevated when businesses rely on legacy technologies that cannot reliably communicate with their customers and partners.
Modern integration technology is designed to ensure you stay compliant with your business ecosystem, even having alerts in place to let you know if any files go missing or errors are triggered. Conversely, because a legacy environment can get so customized, it’s difficult to monitor data flows and understand where the errors are occurring, meaning you’re in the dark on what’s jeopardizing your trading partner relationships.
Modernize Your Onboarding Processes Today
If any of these four symptoms of trading partner onboarding sound a little too familiar to you, that’s OK. Advanced ecosystem integration technology enables you to improve on those poor onboarding processes in a way that supports modern business.
Cleo Integration Cloud comes preloaded with application and B2B connectors with a repository of hundreds of preconfigured, ready-to-deploy communication templates so you can onboard new customers faster. With support for EDI and non-EDI data processes, a central integration platform enables you to begin doing business instantly and improve your time to revenue.
Check out the white paper “How to Rapidly Onboard Ecosystem Partners and Applications” today to discover how integration technology enables businesses to support any data requirement and elevates the key trading partner and application onboarding processes that support business growth.