Business executives and managers at
business-to-business (B2B) enterprises care
about time, money, competitive advantage,
customer loyalty and growth. Few pay much
attention to the vital IT infrastructure that
supports transactions and collaboration with
trading partners—though that B2B backbone
directly affects performance and profitability. In
fact, just 26 percent of business managers view
B2B integration as a competitive differentiator,
according to a study for IBM by Vanson Bourne,
a research consultancy.
As a result, many enterprises continue to utilize
manual and error-prone emails, faxes and file
transfers for B2B transactions. Reliance on
complex, brittle and antiquated systems to
exchange critical data impacts time to market,
cost-efficiency and satisfaction across
suppliers and end-customers. Modernization of
B2B integration in recent years has moved
forward in fits and starts, often undermined by
competing priorities and misalignment between
business and IT managers.
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