B2B Commerce Networks – Changes are Afoot

In today’s competitive landscape, no company can afford to go it alone. This is because over the last decade, globalization and highly-evolved supply chains have made it necessary to have high levels of visibility and connectivity across the entire business value chain.

Time-to-market and the need for more flexible and reactive supply chains, coupled with distance and time zones between trading partners, have necessitated closer collaboration between trading partners on a 24/7/365 basis.

As a result, a new era of enterprise technology was required. An era that is centered not only around connecting businesses, but also enabling easier and more efficient communication and dynamic interactions across entire supply chains, and bringing integrated value-added services such as real-time payments, dynamic discounting, and supply chain financing to name a few.

Case in point, in the fast few years, we’ve seen a sharp increase in interest and excitement around B2B commerce networks—these web-based or cloud-based purchase-to-pay or order-to-cash platforms that enable interconnected buyers and sellers to transact, communicate, and collaborate with each other. Traditional players in this space include companies like Ariba (now owned by SAP), Basware, and OB10 (now owned by Tungsten), who command a majority market segment share. However, in the past several years, literally hundreds of other new players have emerged, fielding next-generation solutions to complement and sometimes compete with these existing players. They’ve made it their mission to transform how B2B companies transact, communicate, and interact around the clock and around the globe.

Traditional B2B commerce network systems do a good job of capturing and managing static data and information for the enterprise, but these systems – including ERP, CRM, finance, and accounting systems – were not built to connect trading partners across the value chain for dynamic or real-time interactions. Today, business is not static—it is dynamic—and it requires enterprise systems to match. The need to connect, collaborate, and interact across the entire value-chain in this way has a greater priority for companies today, and new approaches and/or platforms are needed to accomplish this effectively.

Although most B2B networks were built on a buyer-centric approach, new and emerging B2B commerce network technologies and operators have tailored their approaches to bridging and providing value to both sides involved in the transaction – expanding and improving capabilities for both buyers and suppliers. On the buyer side, capabilities include submitting purchase orders, reviewing and approving invoices, dynamic discounting programs, financing, and making payments. On the supplier side, B2B networks are providing more value and capabilities to suppliers in the areas of marketing, communications, sales, access to financing, factoring, and the entire order-to-cash cycle. Or course, social networking elements are very much part of the equation in these new platforms as well, enabling a higher order of transparency and communication between various players.

The overall market and customer urgency for deeper insights and collaboration across the value chain, and higher levels of visibility and connectivity has necessitated the creation of next-generation B2B commerce network offerings from country- or regionally-focused networks, to industry- or process-specific networks – including payment networks. These platforms are not wishful thinking, or available in some distant future. The future is here, and now.

In today’s competitive landscape, organizations are looking for help and to gain better insights and efficiencies into their increasingly complex supply chain. These requirements are challenging the traditional paradigm of static, buyer-centric B2B commerce network platforms. The platforms that businesses use to transact, communicate, and interact with each other have become a critical factor in improving the competitiveness, operational efficiency, and performance of the enterprise. Buyers and suppliers are ready to change and to begin developing stronger, clearer, and more collaborative relationships with their value-chain.

Here at Traxpay, we are thrilled to be at the forefront of this new era of enterprise technologies with our B2B dynamic payments platform, and to be working with leading companies to transact, communicate, and interact around the clock and around the globe. Today, no company needs to go it alone. Traxpay is here to help.

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