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“B2B connectivity is no longer a luxury; it's a necessity in order for a company to remain competitive. B2B integration enables a company to focus on its core competencies and offload other services to partners in order to gain efficiencies and reduce cost.”



That observation by Oracle Product Director of Integration Server Technologies Ashish Mohindroo is, in a nutshell, why enterprises need to succeed at B2B.

In the ebizQ webinar Derive B2B Efficiencies with a Standards-Based Integration Platform, part of Oracle's Creating an Integrated Enterprise series, Mohindroo outlined how to do just what the presentation’s title refers to.

“Companies today operate in a global business environment. They don't live on an island; they need to interact not only with their suppliers but also with their trading partners and customers, all of whom may be distributed throughout the world,” he noted.

“After spending the greater part of the past decade purchasing expensive ERP systems, Customer Relationship Management, and e-Commerce applications in a departmental manner, companies are turning their attention to integrating these information silos and looking beyond the corporate walls for new opportunities to eliminate costs and gain a competitive advantage.

“Companies need to embark on three distinct initiatives for creating and deriving value from an extended enterprise. First, optimizing internal processes; second, reducing transaction costs; and finally, enhancing supply chain efficiency.

Optimizing Internal Processes

“A primary reason for building e-business integration initiatives internally is that value chains are only as strong as their weakest link,” Mohindroo said. “Devoting extensive time, resources, and capital to B2B projects will seldom yield substantial return on investment if internal systems are not integrated.

“B2B initiatives such as e-commerce and procurement often fall outside the capabilities of ERP software. To compensate for ERP's shortcomings, companies purchase other applications, build custom applications, or rely on legacy applications. Although they provide significant value collectively, these disparate applications build fiefdoms of information that cannot be easily shared, contributing to business process bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

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