IoT & Supply ChainBusiness Network

Introducing a tiered approach to business integration for companies of any size

Whether you are a large company or small business operation you will face a similar challenge when it comes to connecting with customers and trading partners around the world. Namely struggling to find the right people, processes, and technologies to seamlessly integrate your digital business ecosystem.

Many smaller and medium-sized businesses have thought that seamless business integration was reserved for much larger organizations with greater budgets, larger internal IT teams, and who typically work with integration outsourcing vendors or systems integrators  The term Managed Service has been used to describe the delivery of people, process, and technology to support the integration of a supply chain and to internal business applications such as ERP. However, in many cases, companies are keen to retain control of certain aspects of their B2B environment and this is where vendors such as OpenText™ have introduced self-service tools to empower users to manage their own integration environments.

We recently undertook a study with IDG to obtain the latest insights into what companies thought about when outsourcing their business integration to a trusted partner. We decided to survey both large and small businesses so that we could see whether there were any major differences in responses. Here are just a few results from the survey.

OpenText has been providing integration-related Managed Services for more than 25 years and over 950 global enterprises around the world are using this environment. OpenText has acquired many integration vendors and consolidated capabilities into our Trading Grid™ platform. However, for Cloud Editions (CE) 21.4, we are introducing a new tiered approach for how companies can consume our integration capabilities. So, whether you are a large global automotive OEM or a small supplier of aftermarket parts, large and small companies alike will be connected to a single integration platform which we call OpenText Trading Grid. Trading Grid is the world’s largest business network and supports thousands of supply chains around the world, including 80% of Gartner’s Top 25 supply chains.

The tiered environment provides both a packaged approach of capabilities and pricing and hence will allow any size of company to establish an enterprise-grade integration platform. Our existing Managed Services offering will become an ‘Enterprise’ level tier and for CE 21.4 we will be introducing a ‘Foundation’ tier. Over time we will introduce further tiers to allow companies to select the integration capabilities they wish to consume and as all tiers are built on the same platform it means that over time companies can upgrade to the next tier as required, thus reducing migration efforts significantly.

The Foundation tier is the current starting point for customers keen to embrace an enterprise-grade integration environment. The key capabilities of this tier include:

  • Base connectivity supporting AS2, SFTP, FTPs and HTTPS
  • Support for up to 50 trading partners
  • Support for up to 100 document maps
  • Reactive 24×5 support but with the option of reactive 24×7 and proactive 24×5 support services

CE 21.4 truly enables any size company to deploy and manage an enterprise-grade integration environment. Over and above the core capabilities listed above, the Foundation tier offers a number of extended capabilities to allow the smallest of companies to accelerate their business ecosystem providing a faster ‘time to live’ compared to managing in-house integration activities, namely:

  • Providing a suite of self-service tools to empower companies to manage their own connectivity and day to day collaboration with trading partners
  • Accessing a prebuilt library of ‘trading partner kits’ that offers both document and connectivity support for the more popular trading hubs around the world, across multiple industry sectors
  • Deploying off the shelf application adaptors to connect with mid-market size ERP systems such as Oracle Netsuite, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other packages from SAP, Infor and Sage

Other capabilities can be leveraged from our full Enterprise tier offering including access to our Professional Services team but these will be offered as at-cost options. These capabilities will allow companies to establish a state-of-the-art digital foundation across their business ecosystem, a platform that can help to underpin digital transformation initiatives and provide a platform for business growth. Companies today face a constant battle to prioritize budgets and resources to deliver many different types of IT and business restructuring projects. The introduction of this tiered approach to business integration will help companies consume integration services based on the size of their business and the complexity of the integration to be undertaken.

For more information on our Foundation tier offering, please visit our website.

Mark Morley

As Senior Director, Product Marketing for Business Network, Mark leads the product marketing efforts for a suite of cloud integration, IoT and IAM solutions that help companies establish an end to end digital ecosystem to connect people, systems and things. Mark also has an interest in how disruptive technologies will impact future business environments. Mark has nearly 30 years industry experience across the discrete manufacturing sector.

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