Moving to digital is no more a choice but an obligation for organizations. In addition, they are looking for agility and innovation in every step they take to ensure the seamless customer experience. Integration has gained the utmost importance in any IT strategy and modernization roadmap, like never before.
Integration comes with a variety of dimensions - API, B2B, A2A, and hybrid integration to name a few. API is not new in the market. Its origin dates back to the late 1990s but with limited usage and significance. Over the years, API has evolved as a generic interface to connect remote applications. However, API-led integration is now gaining traction with the proliferation of API polyglot technologies. Similarly, the journey of B2B integration started back in the early 1970s but its significance never wavered. If anything, it kept evolving by taking new shapes and forms.
The API integration is enabling seamless business operations between an enterprise and its end partner/s with capabilities promising enough to complement the modern B2B integration landscape. Key Pillars of modern B2B integration include trading partner management, monitoring, and dashboard, deployment and security, multi-network integration and connectivity for trading partners. Though the capabilities of API and B2B integration are seemingly serving the same purpose, there is a stark difference between the two:
Setting up an environment with well-coordinated and integrated EDI and API systems offers the best of both the worlds. API’s collaborating with B2B is a great opportunity, which will underpin the integration landscape by driving innovation in terms of trading partners outreach through mobile or web channels.APIs can increase the agility of the B2B platform by de-coupling and exposing sub-processes such as monitoring and reporting, acknowledgments, status check, exposing key functions, trading partner onboarding, for consumption by external applications. All these extended B2B processes can be used through mobile channels leading to operational intelligence and quick actionable insights.
Today, most of the leading B2B and upcoming product vendors have started to embed API management capabilities in their products. Both the technologies may have different roots but share a common purpose to empower integration and transform the B2B landscape. With new technologies evolving, the B2B Integration landscape will surely continue to evolve by adding capabilities around hybrid cloud integration, insight to action from transactions, cognitive intelligence, and blockchain integration.
Manager, Wipro Ltd
Rohit has been with the IT services industry for over 12 years with expertise in application and B2B integration architecture, hybrid integration and integration product evaluation projects. He is leading large digital transformation engagements helping clients modernize their integration landscape.