IBM Launches New Cloud-Based Customer Engagement Software for B2B

IBM delivered new B2B software for cloud-based and on-premises environments to give businesses deeper insight and engagement with customers, partners and suppliers.

TAMPA, Fla.—At its Smarter Commerce Global Summit here, IBM announced new cloud-based and on-premises business-to-business (B2B) software to help organizations deepen engagement with their partners and suppliers to ensure goods and services are delivered precisely when and where they are needed.

John Mesberg, vice president of B2B and commerce solutions at IBM, said with its new partner and supplier engagement software, IBM is giving businesses deeper insight and control over their external business relationships, while reducing associated risks and increasing collaboration.

This new capability tightens synchronization across businesses' extended ecosystem, ensuring these complex networks of third-party relationships boost their ability to innovate and gain a competitive advantage. The new offerings further extend IBM's leadership in enabling an adaptive value chain, where it is already helping 160,000 global businesses manage the flow of critical corporate data and mitigate organizational risk.

At a time when organizations are reinventing themselves around the customer experience, the importance of building deeper partner and supplier engagements has never been greater, IBM said. According to CAPS Research, the majority of the value created for a company's products or services originates from its ecosystem of partners and suppliers. Whether an organization has tens, hundreds or even thousands of suppliers and partners, each plays a role in delivering an exceptional customer experience.

"Now more than ever, the fate of any business is deeply intertwined with the success of its network of partners and suppliers around the world," Mesberg said in a statement. "By orchestrating these complex engagements with extraordinary precision and insight, organizations can create new gateways to trade that enable businesses to deliver exceptional customer experiences. With this news, IBM fundamentally transforms these dynamics with partners and customers to drive faster time to revenue across the extended value chain."

Mesberg said the new IBM Multi-Enterprise Relationship Management (MRM) platform enables large organizations to connect and manage shared business processes across a variety of business communities in their ecosystem, including partners, suppliers and customers. MRM also significantly reduces the onboarding process of trading partners, in some cases cutting time by nearly 90 percent, which results in faster time to revenue.

Meanwhile, the IBM Sterling B2B Services Reporting and Analytics enhances the IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration Network by monitoring transactions across an organization's ecosystem to help businesses spot performance trends and make better decisions. And new enhancements to IBM Standards Processing Engine, Supplier Lifecycle Management and Contract Lifecycle Management solutions provide companies with capabilities that monitor, manage and act on the data associated with risk and compliance with a complete view of their value chain and the ability to more proactively mitigate risk.

For its part, the IBM Aspera eXtreme File Transfer enables companies to send big data at maximum speed across any distance while avoiding traditional networking limitations and bottlenecks, the company said. IBM Aspera Enterprise File Sync and Share complements this solution by providing teams with the ability to quickly and securely share and exchange data of any size directly from desktop and mobile devices, making it easier than ever to initiate secure high-speed transfers.

For instance, Lenovo works with IBM to simplify and deepen their partner and supplier collaboration. Using IBM Sterling B2B Integration Services, Lenovo built a unified foundation to connect and collaborate across its partner ecosystem as well as reduce the time it takes to onboard new partners by 85 percent. By optimizing its supply chain with IBM solutions, Lenovo ensures complete customer satisfaction from purchase through fulfillment, invoicing and servicing.

"The path to Lenovo becoming the global PCs leader was not taken alone," said Chuck Igba, director of B2B and EDI strategy and enablement at Lenovo, in a statement. "Our business depends upon more than 325 global trading partners to drive innovation through the organization. By implementing IBM solutions, we provide Lenovo's business leaders with a 360-degree view across the ecosystem so they can maximize the value that our partners and suppliers bring to the company."