A Hybrid Approach to B2B Digital Connectivity

Posted by Brooke Lester on Jul 22, 2020 3:56 PM

A Hybrid Approach to B2B Digital Connectivity

APIs are quickly becoming a fixture in the B2B technology landscape. In particular, they have a role to play in the onboarding process as well as beyond. This is especially important in the B2B purchase process, as e-commerce and e-procurement hubs are becoming more popular, and APIs have a role to play in ensuring B2B digital connectivity. Read on to learn more.


What Is B2B Digital Connectivity?

B2B digital connectivity is comprised of two terms: B2B connectivity and digital connectivity.

B2B connectivity happens when one company does business with another company. Digital connectivity is when companies sell products online.

What Is a Hybrid Approach to B2B Digital Connectivity?

When we talk about a hybrid approach to B2B digital connectivity, what do we mean? We’re referring to the combination of EDI systems and APIs.

EDI systems have been used for years to transmit information between companies, such as purchase orders, invoices, and advance ship notices. They’re crucial to sharing information quickly and accurately.

“A hybrid approach to B2B digital connectivity refers to the blending of APIs and EDI systems”

However, there are some gaps that EDI systems leave. For a start, EDI systems are designed to handle large batches of information; you couldn’t do something like run a query for an order status in real-time. Additionally, EDI systems connect to a limited number of information systems, and they’re too “heavy” to run as a mobile app on a smartphone or tablet.

That’s where APIs come in. APIs are application programming interfaces, and they’re a set of routines, protocols, and tools for software applications that have been around for some time. They allow you to consume a service. For example, APIs connect applications to databases, so users can get the data they need quickly.


The Benefits of Combining APIs with EDI Systems

There are five benefits of combining APIs with EDI systems:

  • Instant information transfer
  • Faster development
  • Greater connectivity to information sources
  • Overcoming the deficiencies of other architectures
  • Easier onboarding

APIs transmit information instantly. When combined with EDI systems, they can run queries and retrieve results in real-time. So, if you wanted to know the status of a particular order, APIs could find it for you quickly.

It’s also much faster to develop APIs now, so you can implement them sooner. Furthermore, APIs connect to far more information sources than EDI systems do (such as AI and IoT devices), giving you more data. APIs also overcome the deficiencies of other architectures such as SOAs and ESBs by passing information from external information back and forth. Moreover, APIs provide support for cloud applications, making onboarding new trading partners easier.

“There are five benefits of combining APIs with EDI systems”

B2B digital connectivity is crucial to ensuring that you stay relevant and competitive today and in the future. EDI systems are one part of the equation – the other part of the equation is APIs. Together, APIs and EDI systems allow you to deliver effective, reliable B2B digital connectivity. Are You Ready to integrate?

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