Enterprises understand that they cannot thrive with yesterday’s technologies for B2B integration. Companies with smart technologies for B2B connectivity and supply chain are leaving behind their competition in the dust. Automated B2B data connectivity helps teams in surpassing runtime errors, redundancies, and inefficiencies in business data exchange. However, selecting a B2B connection is a long-term decision, and organizations need to determine the right models for their unique B2B use case. Here are some common B2B models that help in driving down operational IT costs and help accelerate time to market.
1. Direct Connection or Spaghetti Model
In this model framework, enterprises are directly connected with their trading partners for electronic data interchange. Organizations handle the responsibility of data mapping, data transformation, document tracking, and technical support. In this archaic form of B2B connectivity model trading, partners determine a connectivity protocol (i.e. FTP, VPN, RosettaNet, OFTP, AS2) for data exchange. Under this model, the community size is comparatively small and doesn’t support huge volumes of data sharing between trading partners. It fails to deliver the cadence required to support exchange huge piles of data exchange where large numbers of trading partners are involved. There is also a lack of mechanism for monitoring and fixing issues. It is also a tedious model where changes in protocols disrupt the flow of business. Although this method delivers control, it becomes unmanageable as the partner network grows.
2. Network B2B Model or Value-Added Network (VAN)
This model only uses a single connection but delivers the flexibility of using any type of protocol to connect with a service provider. In this model, trading partners are connected to a service provider who selects a B2B connectivity protocol that addresses data exchange requirements. The service provider takes care of the electronic data exchange requirements through its network. The provider also ensures to take care of resource-intensive operations involving communications issues in lieu of transaction or license fees. In a nutshell, a single communication protocol takes care of varying protocols.
3. Hybrid B2B Model
The hybrid B2B model leverages a raft of combinations and network models for partner data exchange. Enterprises use a web-based platform for B2B connectivity with trading partners. This model is ideal for dealing with a huge variety, volume, and velocity of data. In the hybrid B2B connection model enterprises function as hubs and trading partners use spokes to share data with each other.
4. Automated B2B Connectivity Model
In this managed model, enterprises outsource the entire B2B process to an external service provider. The outsourcing partner automates and orchestrates partners to cut down operational expenses and eliminate IT complexity. The B2B integration vendor delivers technical capabilities to enable data mapping, data translation, and data delivery between trading partners. This model addresses distinct data sharing requirements between business partners.
Some B2B integration vendors also deliver mature business process management capabilities with their enterprise service bus (ESB) platform. They deliver unique capabilities for enabling businesses to acquire control of B2B integration and lower EDI VAN charges. This model helps organizations in harnessing more value from the processes and aligning them with their business objectives.