By Robert Fox, VP Emerging Technologies, Liaison Technologies
For most things in life, I’m a DIY advocate. Paint the bathroom, do an oil change, heck – I even roast my own coffee. Some things however, are best left to the experts, like rebuilding a car transmission, adding a second floor to the house or trying to perform home dentistry (don’t ask). In the tech world, business to business integration falls somewhere in the middle. Most times DIY fails because people don’t have the right tools for the job, or don’t have the right expertise.
You’ve heard it all before – B2B traffic has exploded(!). On-premise applications, e-commerce trading partners, APIs and cloud services have all converged in an entangled 5-way intersection and all you want to do is just cross the street (if you’ve ever been to or lived in Seattle, San Francisco, or Rome you know what I mean). As this B2B universe continues to expand, the need to implement a scalable, flexible data integration strategy that seamlessly connects these systems is critical. While a homegrown integration solution seems doable, in reality your IT department is already overwhelmed with responsibilities. On top of this they may not have have the expertise, or the right tools, needed to create true B2B integration. Even the integration between two discreet applications isn’t always straightforward, and when it comes to integrating between cloud and on-premise applications, it can get especially complex. For many businesses, this complexity often results in tactics devised around a single integration. This results in protocols and strategies too brittle and narrow to scale for the many integration projects that inevitably crop up.
Choosing a B2B integration provider is a big task. There are many resources to help you decide how to choose the right integration provider and whether your solution be on-premise or in the cloud. At it’s core, successful business integration requires flexible technology that can scale to emerging applications and data types, as well as take into consideration a wide breadth of B2B applications on-premise, in the cloud and with partners. Remember that a comprehensive, holistic approach to data integration allows for the free flow of information across a wide array of applications and databases. Your goal is to create seamless communication and interaction between often divergent data sources and structures. This, in turn, will allow departments throughout your organization to fully leverage the entire body of enterprise information.