E2open Moves on B2B Integration

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2003-10-13

Focusing on the sell side of business-to- business transactions, E2open LLC is gearing its integration software toward helping companies rapidly integrate with customers and partners.

The company last week began shipping its E2open B2B Integration solution, a managed package that includes the necessary software, hardware, hosting, operations, services and support to enable a company to integrate and manage partners and suppliers.

The solution uses built-in mapping capabilities to enable system-to-system integration regardless of communication protocols or data formats. It takes a message from a customer or partner, authenticates it, and transforms and routes that message back into the host companys back-end system.

B2B Integration supports any protocol and format—for example, RosettaNet, XML, Web services and electronic data interchange—and any application format, including those supported by the likes of SAP AG, Oracle Corp., PeopleSoft Inc., Commerce One Operations Inc. and Ariba Inc.

B2B Integration includes unlimited transaction volume and size, regardless of protocols or formats used, with each trading partner integration running about $4,500 a year, officials said.

E2open, of Redwood City, Calif., was founded three years ago by a handful of large companies looking to simplify electronic integration. Those companies, including Hitachi, IBM, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Seagate Technology LLC, Solectron Corp. and Wistron Corp., are also E2opens biggest customers.

With B2B initiatives on the sell side of the house, Catherine Lasser, vice president of service provider operations and B2B initiatives at IBM, in Armonk, N.Y., is using B2B Integration to do electronic business with IBMs customers and partners.

Starting with a small, in-house integration capability, Lasser has grown the solution with E2open and is expanding it to be the one entry point where customers can order through IBMs e-procurement systems.

"They place their orders in only one place," said Lasser. [With B2B Integration,] it comes in only one place and gets authenticated. Its a touchless system-to-system [transaction] that goes right through fulfillment and back to our customer with no human interaction, so turnaround time is significantly [decreased]."

"When we used to have to do point-to-point connections, the time it took us for each party to understand terminologies and definitions varied widely," Lasser said. "It used to take weeks. It could take hours now."

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