In a blink we find ourselves halfway into the first quarter and our second edition of Thinkronization. This month’s topic was inspired by studying a variety of articles on business and data integration. These articles centered on the current and future state of enterprise and B2B integration infrastructures.
In all instances, these pieces outlined the slow but steady migration of multiple stand-alone solutions for MFT, B2B and enterprise integration to comprehensive integration suites. The movement to these new integration infrastructures includes on-premise, as a service, and outsourcing alternatives or some combination of the three.
Factors driving the development of these new enterprise and B2B integration infrastructures include:
- A forecasted doubling of integration traffic from 2010 to 2014
- The ability/inability of aging single-purpose tools to keep up with transactional growth
- The SOA design of new integration software and services
- The build out of middleware tools with B2B capabilities and B2B tools with middleware capabilities
- The audit, security, and reliability of next-generation tools
In this edition, we explore what this means for the decision maker, technologist, and talent manager.
For The Integration Decision Maker…
When your transactions, process executions, and file transfers double in size and volume, can your infrastructure hold up?
In the introduction, we mentioned that integration traffic is expected to double by 2014. The fastest growing infrastructure segments include managed file transfer as a service (MFTaaS) for B2B, cloud services integration as a service, and B2B integration outsourcing. Meanwhile, the on-premises B2B Gateway segment has the largest traction in terms of number of installations.
Cloud services integration encompasses the broader concept of infrastructure convergence, which allows companies to get their IT applications up and running more quickly, with the added benefits of easier manageability and less maintenance as IT decision makers are required to rapidly adjust IT resources based on fluctuation demands.
A multienterprise infrastructure (also called an Enterprise and B2B integration infrastructure) combines B2B software and services in a modular design which allows organizations to start small in terms of the build out of new infrastructure, and add functionality, scale, and processing power after a series of incremental success. The end goals are to make your environment more cost-effective, simpler to operate and more efficient with less chance for error.
A partner in this process can help maximize your resources in many ways as you enhance or overhaul your integration infrastructure. Partners (REMEDI) can help…
1. build, extend, or outsource your enterprise integration infrastructure
2. evaluate your existing resources and find scalable, reliable solutions
3. acquire, install, configure, train, and support Enterprise/B2B Integration and MFT solutions such as:
- IBM Sterling Business Integration Suite solutions including:
- IBM Sterling Managed File Transfer solutions including:
- TIE Kinetix solutions
- GXS/Inovis solutions
- EXTOL solutions
- Cleo Communications solutions
- And more; based on your current tools, requirements, and objectives
For The Technician…
Should your infrastructure support multiple stand-alone solutions or restructure to support business demands including: integration, secure file transfer, transactional logging and audit, financial/regulatory/SLA compliance, process/transformation error notification, restart and recovery, and other integration components available in one comprehensive integration suite?
Market research suggests that the multienterprise/B2B gateway software market is expected to show steady growth over the next few years. Gartner, Inc. has identified nine segments of multienterprise/B2B infrastructure.
- B2B Integration Outsourcing (BIO)
- Traditional E-commerce Integration as a Service (IaaS)
- Cloud Services Integration as a Service (IaaS)
- Managed File Transfer (MFT) for B2B
- Managed File Transfer as a Service (MFTaaS) for B2B
- Service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance software for B2B
- Stand-alone multienterprise/B2B gateways
- Embedded multienterprise/B2B gateways
- Electronic data interchange (EDI) translators (stand-alone)
The research shows that now is a good time for technologists with a breadth of skill sets to embrace a market with great potential to support their organization’s growing needs. Embedded B2B functionalities within integration suites continue to be in high demand across multiple industry sectors. Mid-size to large companies who have revamped their integration infrastructure rely on their flexibility in supporting ever-changing data transformation requirements, transport and communication protocols, security standards, auditing, and process tracking.
While integration suites offer many benefits, modern stand-alone solutions still provide good vertical functionality and performance if a holistic approach to integration is not for you, due either to budget constraints or having your various integration needs covered with point solutions. At the end of the day the ability to offer cost-effective, scalable integration solutions presents your best bet to remain relevant and viable in a fiercely competitive environment.
For The Talent Recruiter…
Can you support a complex matrix of skills across existing disparate solutions?
As integration traffic is forecasted to double over the next few years, will your IT talent budget double as well? While in a perfect world that would be the case, it is most likely you will be required to retain, train, and hire professionals who can work within several platforms and systems, from integration suites to various stand-alone options.
How can you find IT professionals with a variety of skill sets required for your environment? How can you ensure your IT dollars are being spent on finding the best fit for your application? Where do you go to find a talented pool of professionals? In the absence of budget for new hires, how can you get your staff cross trained to support your integration systems as resources come and go over time?
For more information on any of the above, including the articles referenced, please contact us at 614-436-4040 or firstname.lastname@example.org. REMEDI Electronic Commerce Group can provide solutions, services, support, and personnel to meet your needs. REMEDI works with organizations and IT teams to develop systemic business strategies and training. REMEDI hires top-notch IT professionals and experienced project managers for full time and contract positions across the US and Canada.
In Other News…
We have the ability to finance software and services for credit-qualified clients. Contact us for more information about 0% financing of IBM software for 12 months and competitive rates for 24-36 months. Most any REMEDI services can also be financed for 12-36 months at competitive rates.
IBM will cease support for Gentran Integration Suite/Sterling Integrator version 4.3 effective March 31, 2012. In an effort to provide reliable high-quality products and services, IBM is only providing support and fixes for the current and next previous product versions. If you are looking into your upgrade options or would like to hear about the latest features of IBM Sterling B2B Integrator, contact us to assist you.
Does the EDI/EAI/B2B software training you need exist?
Do scheduled training times meet your desired time lines?
We have received an increased volume of training requests lately from our customers. REMEDI offers customized training to accommodate your business requirements; contact us today to discuss your training needs.
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REMEDI Electronic Commerce Group is a business integration services and staffing provider. We have served clients in the US and Canada since 1994. Clients come to REMEDI for our application-2-application (A2A) and business-2-business (B2Bi) integration niche, expert resources, engagement flexibility, quality / speed in resource placement, integration experienced account managers / resource managers, and our tenure in business.
The company installs, maintains, upgrades, and expands business/data integration and EDI solutions for its clients. Consulting Services provide temporary resources for projects such as integration infrastructure upgrades and ERP conversions, or staff supplementation to eliminate backlogs. Placement Services assist the client in finding the right full-time person for the client integration team.