IoT & Supply Chain

Five network essentials to connect your business to anything

The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance for companies to find a trusted partner that can seamlessly connect their digital ecosystem together. Companies today potentially work with thousands of trading partners all over the world and during periods of disruption, supply chain teams need to ensure they have end-to-end visibility of their entire business ecosystem.

In today’s business world, there are five key capabilities that companies should be looking for when selecting a partner to provide a business network to connect people, systems and things. These five areas will be discussed in a webinar on 9th July 2020, more information available here, but here is a brief overview of these key capabilities.

Connect once, reach anything

The first stage of this supply chain digitization journey is to ensure that all suppliers, irrespective of where they may be located, can be connected to a single business network. This connectivity needs to take into consideration regional communication protocol and document format standards, industry nuances, and compliance-related regulations such as supporting electronic invoicing. Companies may need to ensure they have in-country support to help with onboarding far-flung suppliers based in the Far East, for example. Leveraging a truly global business network such as OpenText™ Trading Grid™ is key to setting the foundation for your digital ecosystem.

Pre-connected trading partners

Once connected to a common business network, companies can leverage the second capability of a business network which relates to information about trading partners that are already pre-connected to the network. This is really important for companies that may be searching for an alternative supplier as part of a dual sourcing strategy. So if one supplier gets disrupted in some way then a company can immediately failover to an alternative, pre-selected, trading partner that can help continue the supply of goods or parts.

Having one, centralized repository or directory of Trading Partners is key to enabling this capability. OpenText’s Global Partner Directory is one such repository and companies can search and filter for new suppliers based on specific search criteria. Global Partner Directory contains over 600,000 trading partner profiles and company information is further augmented with integrations to other company information sources such as D&B and EcoVadis. Leveraging a pre-connected community of Trading Partners in this way helps to build resilience into procurement activities by helping to accelerate the onboarding of new trading partners and improving day to day collaboration across a digital eco-system.

Secure and compliant

The third capability of a business network is that it has to be secure and compliant and meet the regulatory requirements of different industries and regions around the world. Companies need to ensure that they can trust their provider to offer a secure and compliant business network for exchanging all forms of information relating to a procure to pay process for example. What happens to this data as it passes through a third party’s data center? How is data processed or translated? What happens when transaction information is incorrect and it needs to be reworked before it can enter SAP for example? All questions relating to how a business network is managed and how companies interact securely with their trading partners daily.

Does your preferred business network partner ensure that their network infrastructure is regularly audited and complies with the regulatory needs of different countries around the world? What about data governance and where the data will reside from a back-up point of view? OpenText, for example, has its own data center infrastructure to support our Trading Grid platform and it is no surprise that 21 of Gartner’s Top 25 supply chains for 2020 entrust OpenText to manage their supply chain integration requirements.

Robust, flexible and highly-available

As well as connecting trading partners to a secure business network, companies need to ensure that their digital ecosystem connecting to their trading partners is highly available and not impacted by possible outages. Many companies today are embracing the cloud and ensuring that the cloud is available any time, any place, or anywhere in the world is key to the success of today’s global businesses.

With COVID-19, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other forms of business disruption, companies need the reassurance that connectivity to their digital ecosystem will be available 24×7. OpenText data center infrastructure is not only dual failover across North America and Europe, it can also fail over within these regions as well. Just the insurance that today’s companies need when disruption occurs. Choosing a business network partner that invests significantly in its data center infrastructure is key to increasing the resilience of a company’s supply chain operations.

Industry, process and business intelligence

Finally, the last key capability of a business network provider is to ensure they have the industry, process, and business intelligence to support your operations. Do they have expertise in multiple industries or are they focused on one key vertical? Do they understand the key business processes that need to be supported and do they have expertise in integrating with SAP or Oracle for example? What about being able to manage exceptions and proactively monitor information flowing across your digital ecosystem? All of these capabilities and more are available across OpenText’s Trading Grid platform and this industry, process, and application integration expertise will ensure that your supply chain operations don’t miss a beat!

OpenText Trading Grid embraces all five of the above capabilities, ie global in nature, extensive pre-connected community, secure & compliant, resilient to disruptions, and intelligent. Trading Grid is the largest business network in the world, powering many of the largest supply chain operations. With over 1.2 million pre-connected companies exchanging over 26 billion electronic transactions each year, our network has the power to transform business operations and ensure that companies can quickly adapt to whatever business challenges they may face.

To learn more about the power of our network, please join our webinar at 11am EST on 9th July 2020, “Five network essentials to connect your business to anything”. The webinar will include a guest speaker from Godiva, the world’s leading luxury chocolate manufacturer. Register and learn more here.

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Mark Morley

As Director, Strategic Product Marketing for Business Network, Mark leads the product marketing efforts for B2B Managed Services, drives industry and regional alignment with overall Business Network product strategy and looks at how new disruptive technologies will impact future supply chains. Mark also has over 23 years industry experience across the discrete manufacturing sector.

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