Digital Transformation

INFOGRAPHIC – ISO 20022: It’s Coming…Are You Ready?

In earlier All About B2B blogs, GXS’s Jerome Tillier and Curt Brill discussed the migration to ISO 20022 for SEPA and Corporate Actions. But did you know that there are other high-profile ISO 20022 migration efforts underway affecting financial services? I’ve created an infographic which explains what ISO 20022 is and how it benefits the financial services industry. The infographic also outlines some of the industry and regulatory-driven ISO 20022 initiatives underway across payments, securities, treasury, trade services, cards, and foreign exchange. Are you ready?

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Payments, SEPA and the Berlin Wall – EBA Day 2013

Last week I attended the Euro Banking Association’s EBA Day 2013 in Berlin, a pan-European conference focussing on cross-border payments, collaboration between banks and payment infrastructures, partnerships and innovation. The city and the venue’s location were highly symbolic of the conference themes. The Berlin Estrel Convention Centre is located on the edge of the cold war era demilitarised zone, with three original sections of the Berlin Wall still standing in the hotel’s courtyard. Another big concrete wall is about to be demolished within the next few months, this wall was constructed of domestic payment schemes, rules and laws. The SEPA and PSD wrecking balls from the European Commission will now provide the cross-border payments harmonisation that will enable corporates, banks and infrastructures to maximise their business outcomes. If you missed this conference, you can view the full agenda and speaker’s list here, and watch interviews of key speakers and experts on the EBA Day TV here. The most valuable session, in my opinion, was “The future payments and transaction banking landscape”, delivered by Patrick Dixon. According to his study, it currently takes a consumer like you or me about three seconds to be annoyed by a slow loading web page. It takes both of us about five seconds to decide to hit the “back” button when faced with a slow experience. Those five seconds can lead to 95% loss of patience with Bank clients, be it a consumer on a mobile app, a treasurer on a banking portal or a wealthy investor stuck on an automated personal banking switchboard. Patrick Dixon believes that the future of Banking, not just payments, will thrive around monetising customer’s personal emotions and habits. If they want to deliver, Banks, Mobile Network Operators and phone manufacturers should team up to provide an end-to-end service, wrapped up with Big Data analytics, and focus their efforts around packaging a total “turnkey” personalised solution that includes both Banking products (accounts, cards, services, payments) and mobile services (handset, voice, data, identity). In summary, EBA day 2013 was a great occasion for networking; I and the rest of the GXS team there had the opportunity to meet with many of our global clients to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Payments. I am already looking ahead to this conference next year and my personal expectation is to be able to walk through each bank’s lessons learned from the SEPA migration and understand where some may have tripped up. The re-unification of Germany and lifting the Iron Curtain was a lot more complex than just breaking down a single concrete wall; the next iteration and broader scope of the Payments Services Directive, as well as future SEPA rulebook are going to be the new operating frameworks for all players. Why do I say this? Well, my colleagues and I are already helping Financial Institutions, Corporates and Payments Processors to transform this first generation of “tactical compliance” into long-term and strategic operational excellence. If you want to know more about how we are doing this, I’d love to talk to you about it!

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A rush and a push and the land is ours

The title for this blog and newly launched report comes courtesy of The Smiths, a 1980’s alternative rock band. Not that I was a big fan but the title fits with the current interest with companies on international expansion. The thought of expanding your business into a BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) market may seem intimidating, however, a closer look at the challenges reveals one startling truth; the opportunities are significant and available to those who can capture them. Many European retailers, whether they are trading up or down, are operating in increasingly sluggish domestic markets, characterised by low growth, intense competition and ever more demanding consumer expectations. As a result, many are now accelerating their expansion ambitions, looking to capture new sales growth away from home in new territories that are demonstrating rapid growth. International expansion was once considered the province of the multinational giants, but the opportunities are so strong that even mid-market retailers and brands are making moves, viewing it at the very least as a necessary survival strategy to secure their domestic position. Spurred on by the relatively low-risk attractions of reaching new customers that are buying online, many firms are now refining their balance of sales channels, whether physical or digital, and finalising which territories to target. Despite the significant challenges involved in embracing a multiplicity of local variables including; partner relationships, workforce management, government regulations, physical distribution, local culture and economic factors – the good news is that there is now significant best practice on which to draw. Increasingly integrated global supply chains are enabling companies to leverage new cost efficiencies. This latest report examines the major challenges in building a supply chain to support a global business. Download a copy and read more from companies including: Tesco, TM Lewin, Boden, Phase Eight, Crew Clothing, Martec and Planet Retail.

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OK Glass, How Can You Help Improve Supply Chain Visibility?

Unless you have been living under a rock or staying with the Flintstones over the past few weeks you may not have heard about the next big consumer electronics device called Google Glass. For years Apple has dominated the spending power of today’s tech savvy consumers, but is the tide about to change in favour of Google and their new piece of ‘wearable’ kit? Google Glass has only been out for a few weeks in the US and they have not even released the developer kit yet to allow new apps to be created but already many industry analysts are speculating that this could potentially be a game changer in the competitive consumer electronics industry and provide an edge for Google over their arch rival Apple. Time will tell I guess, but YouTube is beginning to get flooded with videos of how these glasses work. Given there are so many videos available I won’t go into too much detail in this blog post except to say that the most important aspect of these glasses is the tiny screen that allows the user to view different types of information. So it got me thinking, how could something like this work in the context of the supply chain?, could it make our lives easier in terms of how we interact and work with a trading partner community or access B2B related information?, analyse Big Data?, will it compliment the many business apps that are now being released for tablet devices? or will it herald the introduction of a new generation of apps? I guess we have become so use to how we interact with today’s mobile apps on phones and tablets, Google Glass provides a way to do things very differently. Given the wearable nature of this device, even though they currently cost around $1500, I think they would be ideal for the transportation or logistics industry. Tesco has just opened one of their largest distribution centres in the UK, similar in size to twelve football pitches and having twelve miles of racking. I am sure Glass could help to speed up the location of specific goods in the warehouse and even use projected satellite navigation images to guide the ‘pickers’ to a specific storage bin or pallet. Perhaps combining augmented reality with the image seen in Glass would allow goods to be ‘visually marked’ so that they can be found immediately. What about if you are expecting a delivery of new products?, the image below shows a view from within Glass, selecting Trace Shipment would let you know exactly where a shipment is whilst moving across a supply chain. Locate Part in Warehouse would guide the picker to the localtion of the goods. Any delays and a video conference could be setup with the 3PL provider to discuss the progress of a shipment. Once the package has been tracked down you may want to Scan Bar Code to view further details on the shipment. You may want to run a quick inventory check or you may want to query when the next shipment is due. From a retail store perspective, Glass could be used to examine specific products, may be placing a request to get empty shelves filled up by instructing Glass to Scan QR code. If stock levels are getting low and the primary supplier has run out of stock then you could search the procurement platform to Locate Alternative Supplier and place an order directly with them instead. Now there is a bit of work to do behind the scenes to get something like this up and running, developing a suitable logistics related app, integrating the API with your back end business systems, through web services. But I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this appears at some point in the future, who knows may be the augmented reality solution that I discussed in an earlier blog would compliment Glass in some way ? I will be discussing further supply chain related applications for Google Glass in future blog entries.

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Why SAP Consolidation Projects Should be on Every CIO’s Agenda

Last week SAP hosted their Sapphirenow conference in Orlando, a conference that I was fortunate to visit this time last year. It was quite clear last year that SAP were making a very big push towards promoting their cloud, mobile and data analytics based services. Then just after the show they announced that they would be acquiring Ariba. One of the highlights of the show for me was seeing what HANA could do. Now this is not a name of a robot out of a 1950s sci-fi film, it is actually the name of SAP’s in memory database. HANA is expected to be at the core of SAP’s product offerings in years to come and the intention is to move customers onto a common ERP platform that will allow their customers to ‘fully’ take advantage of the power of HANA. Perhaps SAP’s new direction provided a distraction to many CIOs over the past year especially as a recent report by the Indian service provider HCL, shows quite clearly that many companies still have a significant way to go in terms of getting onto a single instance of an SAP ERP platform. Their report contains some interesting statistics from a survey of 225 global CIOs. For example only 6% of those CIOs surveyed use a single SAP instance and 90% of the CIOs expect HANA to play a big role moving forwards. On average it was found that survey respondents had five separate instances of SAP and increasing complexity still further, some 39% stated that they were running more than six instances. There are many benefits of running a single SAP instance but the most important one is cost, it was estimated that on average up to 25% could be saved. So with this in mind, why should GXS have an interest in this potential opportunity for SAP instance consolidation? Well put simply we believe that B2B helps to complete ERP as it provides secure and highly reliable connectivity to an external trading partner community. When a company is thinking about SAP consolidation, this will also provide the best opportunity for integrating to a B2B platform. SAP environments are incredibly complex and the last thing you want to do after upgrading users to the latest version of SAP is to then interrupt business and production processes once again. Implementing an outsourced approach to managing the integration between SAP and your B2B platform will help to ensure that your business realises even greater levels of return on your investment. Cloud, mobile and HANA may provide a good incentive to upgrade and consolidate SAP instances but integrating seamlessly to a trading partner community should also be high on a CIO’s agenda. Here at GXS, our B2B outsourcing environment has been implemented across many companies from a variety of different industry sectors. We have undertaken many SAP integration projects in recent years and in fact we recently renewed our SAP Netweaver certification which will provide peace of mind when companies are looking to upgrade their SAP platform. GXS supports version 4.2 and version 6.0 of SAP. So now that every CIO across the world has seen that a single instance can save considerable amount of time and money, I expect we will see a mad rush of SAP consolidation projects taking place. After all, they are keen to simplify the user experience, make SAP more widely available via the cloud and accessible via mobile devices and more importantly undertake data analytics. But when a CIO diverts resources to undertake a SAP upgrade or consolidation project, it means that the B2B platform could be exposed. For example who would undertake the on-boarding of new trading partners? Who would create any required document maps or who would undertake any trading partner connectivity that may be required to support an important customer project on the other side of the world? Well help is at hand. To learn how GXS Managed Services can help your business then please click here to review our on-demand webinar – “How B2B Completes ERP” or alternatively visit GXS’s SAP integration web page for further information.

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Healthy Retail

I was struck with a sudden feeling of good health at the GS1 UK Conference in Coventry last week. In particular, I was struck by how many companies were asking in-depth operational level retail supply chain questions. Of course I’m excited by this kind of thing, it’s hard to get me to stop talking about supply chain most of the time I am told, but the reason I was struck this time was because I wasn’t surrounded by retailers as I usually am. I was at the GS1’s UK Healthcare Conference! Healthcare representatives from a host of companies joined other GS1 member organisations and the focus of the day was clear, efficiency through change and automation. I heard some great stories from Southampton University Hospital about their stock control and visibility drives with their use of 2D bar codes for patient identification. I don’t know why I was surprised with a call for £20bn of savings needed before 2015; the NHS is at its most fiscally strained for 40 years. Add to this an aging population, the increase in funding required to just maintain the current position, and this shows the true scale of need for this efficiency drive. The idea of other industry sectors looking to the Retail sector for expertise to improve supply chain efficiency is a smart move I believe. If the retail sector had an advanced, fully functional model to draw from 30 years ago when we started “thinking smart” we would all be much further ahead than we are today! The retail supply chain remains one of the most sophisticated and efficient supply chain models in place today, so it makes sense that healthcare looks at this. Healthcare can also bring good ideas to the table as payback. It’s how we have fuelled innovative minds inside retail anyway, looking at how other people have approached similar problems from different perspectives. Collaboration across sectors isn’t new. Whilst RFID is now being used in more and more networks, this concept wasn’t a retail technology to begin with. It was first used in World War II bombers as a way of confirming friend or foe and counting them back in after missions. That old RFIF tag couldn’t have been attached to a silk dress, not by a long shot! The technology changes have been driven by retail needs and now look likely to appear in the healthcare sector as well so that everyone can share the resulting benefits. I was reminded the other day during a discussion with a colleague about our past retail experiences, that maybe even the floor level micro merchandising program trials we conducted at the Arcadia Group in the mid 90’s would be used by all retailers now if we’d had a good model to start with. What was striking for me from our discussion was our inability to be proud of retail’s achievements. We both just came up with another list of ways we could improve things now with new technology or different processes. And that was it, right there! One reason why the retailer supply chain model is so strong is that I’ve never met anyone working around retail supply chain that’s truly happy with the way it all works today. You will always see programs and drives across every retailer, across every department, asking the question “how can we make it better” rather than happy just to watch it work. If healthcare takes on this retail ethos, as well as the model, in the long term, they simply have to be a success in my view.

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INFOGRAPHIC – New B2B Managed Services Study

In an earlier blog entry I highlighted some of the results from a new B2B Managed Services study by Stanford University’s Supply Chain Management Forum. The blog entry highlighted some of the results relating to how B2B Managed Services supports international expansion projects. Overall, the study looked at the how B2B Managed Services is being adopted by global companies today.  To support this study I have just produced the following infographic which conveniently summarises the key results from the study.  For a full explanation of these results and to download your own copy of the study please CLICK HERE.    

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Reconsider Your B2B Strategy – Reason 8: Business Divestiture

The current economic environment will continue to see a high degree of divestment activity as some organisations look to grow and others to focus on their core competencies. Divestitures impact all areas of a company and the measurement of success is achieving effective business continuity while transitioning business processes, data, people and IT systems. The Challenge There is often a year’s ‘phase out’ for the divested organisation to move from one organisational structure to the next. This is hardly sufficient time to select and implement new systems such as an ERP or supply chain solution. Organisations that have spent years integrating and consolidating their business processes and IT systems can find themselves with just 12 months to de-couple and transition them. 2 Key Areas to Review in Your Company (click on the links to learn more): The Supply Chain IT Systems The Role of B2B Managed Services Within divestitures, B2B Managed Services can play a key role. It can be an interim solution during the transition period to ensure business continuity, or a longer term solution providing specific services such as electronic invoicing with partners, as well as ensuring any transition of supply chain, financial or ERP systems remain invisible to your trading community. For more information, including further benefits and a checklist visit www.b2boutsourcing.co.uk or click here to contact GXS. If you missed any of the previous blogs in this series, click on the link to view now: Cost Reductions Customer Integration New Markets & Channel Adoption ERP Integration Business Consolidation Business Modernisation Workforce Optimisation

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How Connected Cars Could Drive Real Time Aftermarket Supply Chains of the Future

This recent blog entry about the connected car led me to extend the thinking a bit further. The connected car will completely change the way in which both the consumer connects with their car and the car connects with its surroundings. The so called ‘internet of things’ is starting to paint a picture of what life will be like when connected devices can interact with each other but what about if they could also interact with a supply chain and hence potentially form a closed loop parts ordering system for rectifying potential faults that may arise in a vehicle? So imagine the following scenario for a few moments…… A vehicle’s on board computer, or ECU, detects a significant change in flow rates across a water pump. The low flow rate has reached a certain level that could lead to failure. In fact what has happened is that the O-ring seal has a very small split causing water to leak slowly from the cooling system. To compound the issue still further the low level coolant bulb has blown in the instrument cluster so the driver has no way of knowing that the water pump is about to fail. So how can the connected car help? The flow rate information is sent, via the car’s internet connection, to a central service centre where a database compares the flow rate information received with known failed water pumps from the same manufacturer. The service centre confirms that the O-Ring is about to fail within the next 200 miles and they decide to order a new seal from their supplier and it will be delivered to the nearest repair centre to where the car owner lives. The central service centre also checks the online maintenance schedule of the repair centre and identifies a slot when the seal could potentially be replaced. Once the part has been ordered and the repair slot reserved, the service centre sends the repair information directly to the car owner, either as an email or directly to the car’s infotainment system. The owner is then made aware that the pump is about to fail, a new seal has been ordered and a repair slot has been reserved at their nearest service centre. For the car owner concerned they are not worried about how the replacement part was automatically ordered but for me this brings together the physical and information supply chains. In North America, the ‘OnStar’ service has been used for many years to connect cars to a central service centre to help diagnose problems or call for assistance. A cloud based telematics and service environment can potentially change how manufacturers repair and service vehicles. It could also revolutionise the way in which car manufacturers conduct vehicle recalls, such as the airbag recall experienced by four of the Japanese car manufacturers recently. Therfore service centres will be informed of a problem with a vehicle before the driver becomes aware. The RAC, a leading vehicle recovery service in the UK, recently announced that they would be offering a service that would connect a ‘black box’ to a car’s ECU so that if a problem occurs, the RAC can proactively inform the driver of an impending problem. The RAC clearly realises that the cloud telematics market is potentially large and by offering this service they can retrofit into older cars that may not have any form of internet connection. We are seeing some demand now to integrate with Dealer Management Systems, essentially the back office platform that a car dealer uses to manage their inventory and order spare parts. (This integration process provides the ideal opportunity to link the physical and information supply chains together). So with more and more cars being launched with internet connectivity, is there an opportunity to integrate to a back end B2B platform to take care of the parts ordering process via traditional EDI transactions?, well of course there is. Companies have been automating their ordering processes via the exchange of EDI or electronic business documents for many years. The cloud based telematics system potentially allows the consumer to be integrated with an automated ordering process and hence aftermarket supply chain. This in turn helps to improve efficiencies, reduce repair/spare part inventory levels at a dealer but more importantly improves customer loyalty and brand loyalty. In closing, I guess in the perfect world the next step would be to have an autonomous car drive itself to a service centre whenever a problem was detected, but I will leave that thought right there for the moment! I will continue the discussion about the future internet of things in future blog posts.

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NACHA PAYMENTS 2013: Day Two Highlights

The GXS team (including our little mascot Gixsie) is attending the NACHA PAYMENTS 2013 conference in San Diego, CA this week. This year’s PAYMENTS event features more than 130 education sessions and numerous networking opportunities. There are a number of different educational tracks including Corporate Payment Solutions, Automated Clearing House (ACH), Global Focus and The Payments Biz. On Monday I attended great sessions on next generation payments & banking, cross-border ACH payments, B2B payments innovation and the ISO 20022 statement standard. Tuesday’s highlights are summarized below. Breakout Session — “Developing Mobile Standards for Innovation & Safeguarding the Payments System” David Fortney, The Clearing House SVP, and Steve Ellis, Wells Fargo EVP provided their view of how the mobile channel has the potential to transform the payments landscape. However, the mobile payments ecosystem is increasingly complex and fragmented, posing significant safety and soundness concerns that can create barriers to safe innovation and widespread adoption. David and Steve discussed the need for adoption of broad industry standards that provide baseline protections for consumers, create a safe environment in which to foster innovation and protect the safety and soundness of the payments system. Steve Ellis provided some common sense insights on mobile that are often overlooked. For example, the smartphone is a different device and needs a different approach—you can’t just shrink web screens to fit on a phone.  He predicts a day when we can make a mobile payment by having the phone authenticate your identify through facial recognition and verbally providing payment instructions, bypassing the need to manually interact with the phone. Breakout Session — Big Data: Maximizing Revenue through Personalization Jason Korosec, MasterCard Group Head; Schwark Satyavolu, Truaxis CEO; Ron Shevlin, Aite Group Senior Analyst; and Emily Collins, Forrester Research Analyst offered their perspectives on Big data in financial services.  Delivering the right offer at the right time has always been the holy grain in marketing, and the panelists provided advice on how the next generation of marketing database management, “Big Data,” can provide real-time analysis of authorization and settlement data streams to unlock opportunities for personalization and to maximize profits. They discussed the pitfalls of making inferences from data analysis–“Inference is not fact.” Another notable quote was that “We don’t need data scientists, we need data artists”.  The key takeaway is that transaction data by itself doesn’t drive the value of Big Data, it is putting that transaction in a larger context of preferences and influences. Breakout Session — Improving the Client Onboarding Experience John Mateker, McKinsey & Company, and Phil Battaglia, BNY Mellon Managing Director discussed challenges encountered during the corporate client onboarding process. Numerous issues impact customer implementations, including multiple handoffs and poor customer support models.  Wait time, both internal and external is caused by information gaps from the relationship manager, resolution of implementation issues, questionnaire completion by the client and lag time involved with testing. Additional challenges affecting client onboarding including mounting compliance requirements, customer resource availability, and staffing challenges. Battaglia presented a BNYMellon case study for implementing workflow automation to improve “time to revenue” and eliminate defects resulting in a 20% to 25% improvement in client onboarding time.  Best practices in onboarding include proactively addressing staffing issues, involving implementation staff earlier in the process, and building/tracking SLAs with strong escalation processes.

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Taking the ‘Bitcoin’ Approach to Global EDI Standardisation

Bitcoin and EDI, is there really any form of comparison between one of the newest and one of the oldest technologies being used today? To start with Bitcoin is an attempt to get every consumer to use digital currency. For example a mobile phone would become your digital wallet, via a downloadable app, that could store Bitcoins and NFC based technology would be used to then pay for goods or services. Digital currency is not new however Bitcoin seems to have grabbed the fair share of the limelight in recent weeks for one reason or another. Simply put, Bitcoin removes the complexity of making payments anywhere in the world, no longer worrying about exchange rates or even having physical money to buy goods etc. It is a decentralized, digital-only currency with no central monetary authority. Bitcoin uses a peer to peer computer network to maintain transactions and ‘creates’ Bitcoins through a process called mining. Users and their transactions are anonymous and there are no international exchange rates to worry about. Transactions are conducted through a Bitcoin wallet, put simply an app that users download and install on their computers of smart phones. Purchasers and sellers are identified only by their digital wallet address. Identical in a way I suppose to the information contained in an EDI message header which has information about trading partner related mail boxes. I don’t want to spend too much time discussing Bitcoin other than to say that it is a great attempt to simplify, standardise and speedup the exchange of currency between a seller and a buyer. Yes it has its problems but it is helping to remove the barriers that have always existed due to global exchange rates etc. Banks have started issuing debit cards with NFC payment capabilities and smartphone manufacturers are starting to embed NFC chips into their phones. So the infrastructure to support digital currencies is starting to emerge. Many companies are undertaking international expansion projects and they are desperately trying to remove the complexity of trading electronically in any country worldwide. I thought it would be worthwhile highlighting three initiatives that are being undertaken in the automotive industry to simplify today to standardise and speed up the global shipment of parts between suppliers and vehicle manufacturers. Global Messaging Standard The German automotive industry is currently seeing exponential sales growth in the emerging markets such as China and for years the VDA message set has been the standard that all German automotive companies have used to exchange EDI messages. However many German companies found that the traditional VDA message set was too restrictive and the limited number of fields that the VDA messages contained was actually hindering the exchange of B2B transactions with trading partners in other regions of the world. To get around this problem the industry has decided to make a fundamental shift towards using a Global Message set based on EDIFACT. I will stress that this is not a new message set but is merely a recommendation of how to implement the standard EDIFACT message set to support global trade. The aim of this initiative is to provide the European automotive industry with a core set of messages to allow them to work with trading partners anywhere in the world. VW, BMW, Bosch and Hella are the joint driving force behind developing these implementation recommendations and the complete message set is expected to be finished next year. One of the first messages to be made available under this initiative was VDA4938, a global recommendation on how to implement the GLOBAL INVOIC standard. Given the number of cross border shipments that take place each year, simplifying the e-Invoicing process is a great example of how a standardised approach can significantly help to reduce complexity across the automotive supply chain. Global Communications Standard AS2 was one of the first internet based communication protocols to be adopted by businesses, primarily in the retail sector. The internet provides a global platform to allow companies to virtually connect to their trading partners anywhere in the world. Many companies have developed their own web based portals and web service environments over the years and the internet has provided the flexibility to exchange information anywhere in the world. However in the automotive sector, internet based communications have seen slow adoption because of the lack of security associated with internet based transactions. To overcome this issue the Odette organisation released, OFTP2, an update to their long serving OFTP communications protocol that is widely used across the European automotive industry. OFTP2 has many benefits over other communication standards in that it is web based, offers three levels of security to both the transactions being exchanged and the transmission tunnel and it offers check point restart to allow large multi-gigabyte files to be exchanged with ease. The successful roll out of this particular protocol has led to a global initiative by the Joint Automotive Industry Forum (AIAG in North America, Odette in Europe and JAMA in Japan)to see if a similar communications protocol can be developed for use anywhere in the world, across the internet. OTFTP2 would be more than suitable to become the global communications standard of choice. Further information on OFTP2 can be found HERE. Global Transport Label Standard Delivering parts to vehicle manufacturers around the world means that today’s automotive suppliers often have to follow widely differing container labelling requirements, depending on the location of their customer’s operations. The length of today’s automotive supply chains led to an initiative to develop a global standard that would allow one label to be applied to a shipment irrespective of which country the shipment was passing through. The Global Transport Label (GTL) was the very first product of the collaboration that was established between Odette, AIAG and JAMA to produce global standards and recommendations. Now that parts procurement has become a worldwide operation, global standardisation is not only desirable, but essential and vehicle manufacturers are responding to the challenge. Transport labels are a vital part of the supply chain management and build-to-order processes. The standardisation of transport labels is therefore warmly welcomed by suppliers and logistics operations have been significantly improved by the standardisation activities of each region. By introducing a single global labelling standard, such as the GTL, all parties in the supply chain can enjoy substantial benefits by communicating in a common language, cutting shipping errors, delays and losses. More importantly the GTL helps to reduce the vast number of different labels in the global supply chain. Recent studies show that unnecessary variations in this basic business process, multiplied by the millions of parts transported every day, can cost millions of Euros in added supply chain costs every year. This new label template has been developed from experiences with existing label standards, the Odette Transport Label, the AIAG’s B-10 Trading Partners Labels Implementation Guideline and the input from JAMA and JAPIA. These are just three examples where the need to work globally is driving B2B standardisation and if the barriers can be removed it will reduce the complexity of working with global trading partners and help to increase adoption of B2B across the end to end supply chain. Needless to say GXS supports all of these initiatives today and I will discuss these in more detail in an upcoming webinar related to international expansion. More details on this will be made available in the very near future. So in closing, the one common theme between Bitcoin and the three global EDI standardisation efforts discussed above is to remove the complexity of doing business on a global basis. I guess the bigger question is whether one day suppliers will be paid by Bitcoins? or will manufacturers offer supply chain finance through Bitcoins?, we are certainly at the early stages of this payment technology and nothing can be discounted at the moment, watch this space!

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Smart Grids and Collaborative Supply Chains Show Their Form at the 119th EDIFICE Conference

It has been a busy month for one reason or another and as a result I am slightly late reporting on the most recent EDIFICE conference in early March.  My colleague Matthew Walker provided his own review of the 119th EDIFICE Conference in Munich but I just wanted to offer some of my own thoughts as global expansion and supply chain collaboration are key themes for GXS during 2013. This particular EDIFICE session was held at Infineon’s HQ in Munich, an enormous technology campus which certainly makes an impression when you first arrive. Infineon has been a GXS customer for many years, so we know them very well, but this was the first opportunity for me to visit their HQ.  Based on my previous experience, I thought Infineon was a provider of semi-conductors to the consumer electronics and automotive markets, well they do but they offer a lot more. Their solutions are used across the full end to end ‘power supply chain’, from where the electricity is initially generated, for example via a wind turbine, through to distribution of the power to the end consumer.  At each stage of the electricity transmission process, Infineon’s technology is used to modulate, regulate and transmit electricity from one end of the power supply chain to the other. Infineon label their products as ‘Smart Grid Semiconductor Solutions’, and it then dawned on me that they are a key provider in the ‘Internet of Things’, ie a provider of the core infrastructure to support this new emerging ‘technology’. Infineon essentially puts the consumer in control, allowing them to ultimately choose, if they so wish, the exact source of their electricity supply. So in theory if you want your power to come from wind, sea, sun or from a more traditional power station then no problem, you simply select your power source.  Have to say I do find it amazing how many industries have become consumer driven in recent years, even the utility providers, who can now embrace technology such as that offered by Infineon. The aim of Infineon’s Smart Grid technology is to ultimately reduce CO2 emissions, provide a better balance between supply and demand and provide greater grid stability and security. Interesting concept because GXS has invested millions of dollars in recent years to achieve a similar set of goals with our own Grid, Trading Grid®, offering much higher availability and allowing trading partners to remove paper based transactions from their respective supply chains. Actually it is interesting drawing comparisons with Infineon’s Smart Grid and our own Trading Grid.  Trading Grid connects suppliers, 3PL providers and financial institutions to their customers allowing all business transactions to be conducted electronically. Whether monitoring inventory levels, reviewing in transit shipments, making payments or proactively checking the quality of data passing across our network, GXS Trading Grid helps to enable the ‘connected supplier’. My colleague Steve Keifer eloquently highlighted three examples of how the ‘Internet of Things’ is likely to change the way we do things in the future, you can read one of those articles here. Whether you are operating a Smart Grid based on power, procurement or simply connected consumer devices, providing interoperability between all these different ‘grids or networks’ will be key to the success of tomorrow’s business networks. Collaboration and interoperability was the main theme of this particular EDIFICE conference, not just across the high tech supply chain but with the automotive supply chain as well.  I have to say this was one of the most interesting EDIFICE sessions that I have attended in recent years.  The high tech industry, in particular the semi-conductor manufacturers such as Infineon, work in a highly cyclical industry sector where the end consumer is driving the purchasing decisions across the entire supply chain. The automotive industry is also becoming consumer driven now, so much so that a vehicle manufacturer may provide Continental with two weeks notice of a forecast requirement for incar electronic systems.  Continental must then inform their partner Infineon of their own semiconductor requirements and Infineon must then inform their own suppliers. So what turned out as a two week forecast will likely turn into a 16 week forecast further down Infineon’s supply chain. To achieve this level of integration across their supply chain, Continental had to implement VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory) to allow their suppliers, in this case Infineon, to manage their semiconductor related inventory levels.  This allows Continental to focus on working with their customers whilst Infineon looks after their semiconductor inventory levels.  As Continental’s stock levels decline it then becomes Infineon’s responsibility to monitor Continental’s stock levels and then replenish as required.  Bosch presented an identical VMI scenario with their semiconductor partner Analog Devices.  No doubt Delphi and NXP Semiconductors (both GXS customers) will also undertake a similar type of project on the back of their recent announcement to work more closely together.  Cross industry supply chain integration projects will only increase in number in the next few years, especially in the automotive sector as more and more electronics based systems find their way into cars. The ‘connected consumer’ is now driving demand for the ‘connected car’, not just providing internet connectivity but car to car connectivity as well. Cars will also become fully integrated to smart grid infrastructures in the very near future.  Some would argue that this is happening already with the electric car charging infrastructures but it has a long way to go yet to obtain much broader adoption levels. I think the word ‘connected’ is starting to become very commoditised with consumers and they now expect to be connected to the internet 24/7. In the same way, companies will just expect their suppliers to be connected together, both vertically and horizontally across different industry specific networks, and across different regions around the world. I truly believe we are entering an exciting period with the Internet of Things offering the holy grail where everything is connected to everything else! This will certainly be a topic that I will cover in a future blog entry but in the meantime if you would like to read some further insights into this particular EDIFICE conference then please take a look at Matthew Walker’s recent blog entry. If you are a high tech company and you would like further information on the EDIFICE association, please CLICK HERE>>>

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B2B Managed Services for Financial Services

When I joined GXS almost three years ago, I attended training on our core offering, GXS Managed Services. But as a veteran of the banking industry, that term wasn’t familiar to me and I had a hard time understanding how B2B managed services was relevant to our financial services clients. One definition of managed services states: “B2B managed services provide technical B2B infrastructure, including the people and processes necessary to manage B2B operations and trading partner connections.” This definition still left me wondering how B2B infrastructure, operations and trading partner connections applied in commercial banking, corporate treasury, insurance, securities or merchant services, all key sectors for GXS. What I finally learned is that B2B is critical for financial services institutions (FSIs) and it is simply a difference in terminology when describing the features and benefits of B2B. The most common terms used by banks for B2B are “host-to-host connectivity” or “managed file transfer”. In fact, integration services between banks and their corporate clients is a core product offering and generates substantial fee-based revenue for banks. Our recent webinar “Corporate-to-Bank Integration in the Cloud” provides a good overview of the complexity faced by corporate treasurers when connecting with their banks around the globe and how B2B managed services’ infrastructure, people and processes can solve integration challenges. GXS has many examples of the importance of B2B managed services to FSIs for simplifying connectivity with clients and other types of financial counterparties. From an insurance point of view, one example is the need to exchange enrollment and claims information with employers, government agencies and third-party administrators. For securities firms, managed services supports a wide variety of business processes throughout the securities lifecycle from order routing to settlement and ongoing asset servicing. In card processing and merchant services, managed services handles large volumes of settlement, acquirer, card holder and payment data. For all of these sectors, managed services enables FSIs to offload complex integration requirements, including protocol mediation, file transfer and messaging, and data transformation. Managed services providers handle  day-to-day technical infrastructure management, including systems health monitoring, data backup, network management, systems administration, database management, and application support. In addition, providers can manage the migration and onboarding of clients and counterparties including connectivity setup, map development, and end-to-end testing.

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Who to Follow on Twitter: Corporate-to-Bank Connectivity Edition

Are you interested in learning more about transaction banking, corporate treasury and corporate-to-bank connectivity? If you thought Twitter was only the playground of celebrities like @justinbieber, @ladygaga or @katyperry, you are mistaken! Many leading experts in the areas of transaction banking and corporate treasury are regular contributors to Twitter. For example, you may be surprised that the global transaction banking units of several large global banks have Twitter accounts with thousands of followers. There are also several leading online (and offline) publications who regularly tweet their latest news updates. In addition, most of the leading journalists, analysts and other industry influencers have active Twitter accounts. And last but not least, industry associations and standards bodies publish status updates to Twitter. We’ve created an infographic with a few recommendations on corporate-to-bank experts to follow on Twitter. Check out the list below and tell me what you think. Have others you think we should include? Tell me about them – in the comments below or with a tweet to @GXSFS. (Click to Enlarge)

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GXS Announces Plans to Develop Active℠ Track 3D – Augmented Reality Based Track and Trace Service

The bar code has been used for many years to identify parts and provide traceability of goods sent through a logistics network. Over time this has evolved into 2D or QR codes however both methods of identification are relatively easy to replicate allowing potential counterfeit goods to enter the supply chain. RFID tag based identification provides a more secure method of part or shipment tracking however the limited coverage and relatively high cost of establishing an RFID reader network has prevented the introduction of a truly global RFID based network. GXS plans to introduce Active℠ Track 3D , a new augmented reality based track and trace service that aims to bring down the traditional barriers of being able to monitor shipments anywhere in the world. A special foil based material is used to store information as a 3D ‘holographic’ type representation of a cube. Details of the shipment, which can cover six different pages ( ie each side of the cube) are entered into a cloud based service via the GXS Active Track 3D app. The information is then encoded and printed onto the foil label using a special ink which bonds with the molecules of the foil material. The bonding of the ink to the foil uses a special quirk of light known as the ‘LIRPA effect’ to encode the foil with a 3D representation of the cube which stores the shipment information. As the information is stored in a dedicated cloud based service it is accessible anywhere in the world, all that is required is a copy of the Active Track 3D app on a mobile device. Given the pervasive nature of mobile devices today, there is effectively a ‘ready made’ global network that can be used to track shipments anywhere in the world. Using the Active Track 3D app, which is similar in nature to the existing QR code reader apps, customs agencies and 3PL providers can simply use any mobile device with the Active Track 3D app installed to scan the foil label and the 3D representation of the cube and associated information can be displayed on the mobile device. Each side of the cube contains different information such as sender and receiver information, quantity of goods being shipped and so on. The user can spin the cube or zoom in and out by simply using standard pinch and swipe type finger movements across the screen of the mobile device. The amount of information that can be stored on the foil label is virtually limitless when compared to a barcode or QR code. Each time the label is scanned, its GPS co-ordinates are automatically uploaded to the cloud service via the Active Track 3D app allowing the shipment to be tracked using a plugin for Google Earth. The LIRPA effect was discovered by Professor Loof, a leading expert in 3D augmented reality displays and material based encoding. Mark Morley, Industry Marketing Director at GXS said, “The proliferation of mobile devices and cloud based services now means that global track and trace capabilities are available for a fraction of the cost of setting up a traditional RFID based tracking solution. The LIRPA effect discovered by Professor Loof has the potential to change the global logistics industry forever. Realising the potential of the LIRPA effect, GXS has signed a sole distribution rights agreement for the technology and it will be initially offered via our Active Track 3D service” Further details can be obtained from our dedicated website (launched today, 1st April 2013) www.lirpaloof.com CLICK HERE

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Smile: That’s an order.

As part of our portfolio GXS has been offering a suite of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based applications, this is referred to as the GXS ”Active” product suite. Now, the good news is that we are developing a new interface for these and all of our other B2B solutions that will leap a generation. In fact, we are skipping graphical interfaces with all that look and feel stuff, we are moving beyond touch and voice control and going straight to gesture control.  It’s pretty exciting and mind blowing stuff.  Just for you, my blog readers, I have managed to get my hands on the first draft of the announcement, where we are looking for Beta customers to join the programme (code name Automated People Process Recognition Interface Language).  At the end of this blog is a not to be missed video showing some of the initial work on this project.   “GXS, a leading provider of B2B integration services, is pleased to announce the development of a new, generation, innovative B2B interface, entitled “Active Control”.  This command centre is designed to overlay all existing products and services to provide a simplified, unified user experience, driven entirely by gesture control.  GXS’s technology lead said  ”What we’ve done is taken the best of the human input mechanisms available in the commercial and consumer world, typically items such as tablets, games consoles, security devices and mobile phones, applied them to a new generation B2B  interface. We noticed during research with customers that traditional methods of entering commands, though typing, or by mouse were very slow. We also noticed that voice control would never work in a noisy office environment and that enabling it for multi-language would be a challenge. However, we also saw that most customers had the same physical reactions when asking for and receiving information. Therefore, it seemed logical to build these physical reactions and commands into the software”.   By downloading the GXS software, attaching a standard high definition webcam to the computer and with a brief amount of training the software can respond to most of your basic business requirements. On an operational basis, it uses face recognition for security,  you only need  point or raise your hand an inch or two to start an enquiry, the more you raise your hand the more important the enquiry and making shapes with your hands (a little like sign language) controls the application. So, moving a hand up opens the application, sweeping from right to left moves it on, left to right back and up and down are obvious. If you make the shape of a letter with your hands,  it recognises a pre-defined processes or a filter, so for example it’s A for ASN, a D for Delivery, an I for Invoice, O for Order, T for time, Y for yes  and X for exit. Furthermore, the system can be configured so that touching different parts of your arm or upper body gives different commands. And, as user acceptance develops GXS is able to calibrate the solution to reflect the national “gesture” characteristics of different nations.   “We can also encode smiles, frowns, scowls, grimaces and winks just as you do in emails” said Denise Oakley, Director of International Marketing, “and in doing so we will increase office productivity immensely. Imagine being able to send or receive an order with just a smile. We also think that people will become fitter due to all the exercise, so employers and employees alike will love it”. She added “As a global company, we are sensitive to local culture and so we have already incorporated digital features like the Gallic shrug and Italian hand waving”.   GXS Active Controls is still in development and at a first release stage, APPRIL V1.0 (Automated People Process Recognition Interface Language) but if you’d like to join the development programme we’d love to hear from you. Here is a video example showing the project team in action working on calibrating gesture control. Thanks to the unwitting team for their contribution to this video, today on 1 April 2013. You can see Active Controls in action if you click here.

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How does your B2B program match up to that of your peers?

Would you like to know how much your peers in the industry are planning to spend on B2B integration programs in 2013? Or, what percentage of their business partners do they have electronic connections with? We are frequently asked these questions at GXS.  Now, we can answer with newly available metrics for B2B integration trends. We think this benchmarking data is important for businesses to help you compare your B2B program against those of your peers and help you to make informed decisions about your future B2B investments and plans.  Stanford University’s Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum just completed an independent survey on the use of B2B integration by large enterprises.  It includes many interesting metrics and trends about businesses’ current levels of adoption for B2B integration, their current and future budgets and staffing levels, the key drivers for selecting a managed services approach and the benefits of a managed services approach as compared to in-house. One example of an interesting metric unearthed in this research is that the most important business drivers affecting companies’ original decision to use B2B managed services were, in order of importance: 1) to improve their customers’ experience 2) improve business process efficiency 3) reduce IT costs.  I think that most people would be surprised to learn that cost is NOT in the #1 spot.  It’s still up there in importance, but, it’s not the top priority. This actually makes perfect sense to me.  Every business wants to continually increase customer satisfaction and loyalty because that’s essential to increase sales and enhance the profitability of each sale.  Responding to your customers’ requests to integrate with their systems in order to improve their productivity and increase everyone’s visibility is an important  way for an organization to become more responsive, easier to do business with and differentiate from the competition.  But, integration is very complex and can take a long time.  It’s impossible to standardize the customer-facing side of your business because each customer has different requirements. Each customer dictates the document standard, network protocol, messages, security and data rules, and additional special processes that may be required. As a result, IT organizations struggle with accommodating customer requests and many have a backlog of customer implementations that lasts months. This can significantly affect your time to revenue. So, it’s natural for these companies to turn to a managed services provider who can deal with all the complexities of B2B implementation with customers on your behalf and in the timeframe required by your customers. If you find this metric interesting, download the full report, B2B Managed Services, Business Value and Adoption Trends for lots more great statistics in Stanford University’s new report.

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NACHA Global Payments Forum 2013 – a GXS Waltz in Vienna

In a recent announcement GXS highlighted the reasons behind our new membership to the National Automated Clearing House Association’s Global Payment Forum. Last week, I attended the 2013 forum in Vienna, alongside other senior executives from global payments stakeholders; Banks, ACHs, national associations and technology vendors. Here are the highlights of my GXS waltz in Vienna: The Role of Banks and the Future of Payments.  The Viennese waltz was opened by Elizabeth Lumley from Finextra, who set the scene around the true role of Banks in the payments value chain. Reading from sheet music she commented that the payments industry tends to forget the true nature of a payments instrument, as opposed to pre-paid or stored cards or mobile applications. Whether payments innovation is taking place for consumers or corporates, Banks are ultimately holding funds and regulated to provide a safe business to their client. The Speed of Payments – Real-Time and What it Means for Corporates and Consumers.  Comparable to eating a slice of the famous Viennese sachertorte, the next highlight of the Forum was a series of presentations and a panel discussion led by domestic and cross-border Clearing Houses from all corners of the globe. On the one hand, some regions are already offering real-time payments for business and consumer customers; however each model operates differently and was designed for a different market need. On the other hand, some consumers or businesses have not expressed a need to accelerate the payment time-frames of their current domestic instruments. The whole discussion becomes focused on local pride and history if looked at country by country. Virtual Currency – Can Bitcoin Operate Within the Legitimacy of the Financial World?  I was unfamiliar with the BitCoin opera, until the Maestros, musicians and singers – Trace Mayer, Pierre Noizat and Gabriel Sukenik presented an executive summary of this new technology, its current use cases for Payments, as well as expanding on what it would mean for businesses and consumers. BitCoin is currently part of the financial world, both as a payment instrument and as a currency. It is quite unregulated, subject to volatility of the markets, but is increasingly popular and adopted for initiating or receiving payment across borders. Roundtable Discussion: Cross-border Payments.  This was one of my favourite waltzes of the Forum; an open discussion about the current issues around cross-border payments, on a global scale. The key remarks were first and foremost around the issue of lack of end-to-end visibility from a payer/payee perspective. The next issue was around the distributed ownership of the payment instructions and physical funds as they flow through the various segments, countries, jurisdictions and correspondents, and finally about the early cut-off times imposed on clients to provide predictable timelines when the funds are applied on the ultimate creditor and debtor. SEPA is one example where a level of common scheme rules and domestic laws allow cross-border payments in a fairly predictable manner. On the other hand, the biggest barrier- from a bank perspective is to keep a comprehensive working knowledge of each domestic rules, laws and reach agreements. Many more dances at the ball captured my attention, but this blog would be pages longer if I detailed them all here! However, they included:  SEPA – The Real Deal; Payment Trends from Around the Globe – Myth vs. Reality; Cyber Security; Mobile Payments – What is Real and What is Hype. To conclude, the biggest benefit for me was to capture the current industry trends from the payment experts, in order to feed client discussions with current and accurate information. If you too would like to waltz with GXS, I would welcome the opportunity to expand on any of the topics in my blog and to further some of the discussions points of the NACHA GPF.

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New Stanford University Study Confirms Importance of B2B Managed Services for Supporting International Expansion Projects

Over the past few years GXS has sponsored a number of research studies conducted by prominent analyst and educational establishments. Our first study with Stanford University’s Global Supply Chain Management Forum was launched in 2007 and since then GXS has released studies discussing  Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), ERP/B2B Integration and Customer Centric Supply Chains.  The latest study from Stanford University discusses key trends in relation to how B2B Managed Services is being adopted by global companies today. For the purpose of this particular blog I will review some of the key study findings in relation to how B2B Managed Services supports global expansion projects across the manufacturing industry. The previous Stanford Study was conducted just before the global economic depression established itself during 2008/2009.  At that time companies were just starting to evaluate outsourcing their B2B projects but they were unsure of the exact return that could be obtained from using such an approach. Over the next couple of years the global manufacturing industry experienced significant restructuring, cost reduction and more significantly increased global expansion into the emerging markets such as China and India. Then in 2012, wage rises and strikes started to occur in China causing concern for many manufacturers that had established operations in the country.  This in turn led to the near shoring of some production back to home markets. Now that Chinese companies have become more confident with the products/parts they are manufacturing, and they are of higher quality, they are now continuing the globalisation trend that was started by North American and European companies. Therefore all of this restructuring and relocation of production plants led to a need to offer a flexible, scalable and extremely agile IT and B2B infrastructure to support such expansion activities. Over the past couple of years in particular, with increased disruption caused by numerous natural disasters in the Far East, some manufacturing companies have completely changed the way in which they have managed their B2B infrastructures.  Most notably in Japan where for years, home grown software based B2B platforms and private network infrastructures have been dominant.  Now, global manufacturing companies of all sizes are evaluating Cloud or Managed Services based B2B platforms and the latest study from Stanford confirms this new trend. So let me just spend a few minutes providing an overview of some of the key results from the new study, especially with respect to supporting global manufacturing operations. Overall, the study concluded that 96 percent of all companies surveyed felt that Managed Services had added significant value to their overall B2B integration programs. Due to the increased flexibility that a Managed Services platform can provide, 74% felt that they had received significant value from shifting up-front capital expenditure on software licenses and hardware to monthly operating expenditures for Managed Services. In total, 51% of respondents of the study were from the manufacturing sector which is a strong representation for the overall study. One of the highest ranking business drivers from the respondents as to why they would adopt a Managed Service is to improve customer experience.  This is a critical area for many manufacturing companies, especially suppliers, who are challenged to follow their customers into new markets and they are  constantly trying to support their expanded business processes as much as possible. For example which EDI document is being used in the new region?, which communication protocol is most prevalent? and how easy is it to onboard new suppliers who may have a low speed internet connection? Using a Managed Service approach provides the flexibility to expand or contract a B2B platform in order to support a customer’s global expansion projects. In fact 59% of respondents said that Managed Services helped to navigate their way through the changing requirements often imposed on them by their customers.  This could be something as simple as supporting a different communication protocol such as OFTP2 or AS2, but the company concerned has no experience of implementing these particular protocols.  A Managed Service can help implement or mediate between any EDI document or communication protocol. 68% of respondents said that a Managed Service approach helped with onboarding new customers. This can be a critical requirement especially for the CIO who may be more focused on ensuring that a new ERP project does not fall behind schedule or miss a go live date. Managed Services offers a number of onboarding tools to help remove the complexity of connecting with both new customers and of course suppliers that may be located in other regions around the world, for example in the emerging markets. Once you have expanded your operation into a new country then you need to ensure that you have the appropriate support to address any potential issues as they may arise. Being able to offer support in the local language and even understanding any local customs or cultural issues can certainly help to get any issues resolved as quickly as possible.  49% of respondents said that local support was a key reason for choosing a Managed Service. The availability of onboarding expertise and local in country support are two of the most important challenges facing many of the world’s manufacturing companies today. Given that global expansion projects are likely to increase in number rather than decrease, a Managed Service approach can provide a significant competitive and first mover advantage when entering a new market for the first time. I have only scratched the surface in terms of the findings from the study but if you would like to download your own copy of our new Stanford University B2B Managed Services study then please CLICK HERE.  I will be hosting a webinar in mid-May with a theme around International Expansion and I will be co-presenting with a company that is constantly challenged with expanding into new markets. I will provide more details on this exciting webinar over the next few weeks. For further information on GXS Managed Services, CLICK HERE.

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Auto Report Generation, Adding New Drop Down in BIRT Report and Changing Query Parameter

While answering questions in the forums this week I came across a good thread asking how to add percentage data to a legend. Percentage data is something that can easily be added as a series label from the UI. If you want to add this information to the legend you have to do a little bit of scripting.The solution to this problem is to add series labels to the chart from the UI. You can do this by double clicking the chart > Format Chart > Value Series > Labels as shown below. Make sure you remove any other values listed or they will be pulled into the legend. After you have added the percentage data we need to remove the leader lines. Now from beforeDrawDataPointLabel() we can grab each value, place it in an array, then hide the label from the chart. var percentage =new java.util.ArrayList();var i =0;var j =0;function beforeDrawDataPointLabel( dph, label, icsc ){ percentage.add(label.getCaption().getValue()); label.getCaption().setValue(""); i++;} After all of the values have been placed in the array and hidden we can modify the legend. This can be done from beforeDrawLegendItem() by looping back through the array that was created. Since the legend is called in the same order that the chart was we don’t need to worry about the order of the values. function beforeDrawLegendItem( lerh, bounds, icsc ){var legendLabel = lerh.getLabel().getCaption().getValue(); legendLabel = legendLabel +" - "+ percentage.get(j); lerh.getLabel().getCaption().setValue(legendLabel); j++;} The code above retains the series label from the legend. Then adds the perctange data to the end. The end result should look like this. Some other posts worth taking a look at: Auto report generation Adding new drop down in birt report and changing query parameter based on value from dropdown How to change pie slice percentage decimal places Here are some unanswered posts from this week: BIRT – WEBLOGIC INTEGRATION BIRT spring integration How dataset runs in dashboard If you have a suggestion or solution for any of these, please post in the thread!As the week comes to an end I hope everyone has a good weekend and thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment below! 

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