Many will be surprised by the enhancements that B2B Service Providers (the ones we used to call Van’s) have added to their service portfolios. Five years ago, a lot of folks thought that the days of the providers of EDI document exchange services were numbered and that they would fade away into the sunset. But guess what – it didn’t happen.
The main reason why it didn’t is that these vendors aggressively sought out new ways of providing advanced integration capability and services and bolstered their long term chances of survival in the process. GXS accomplished this via key technology partnerships with leading providers of advanced integration solutions. Inovis and Sterling Commerce chose the route of internal development with key acquisitions to bolster internal capabilities. Either way, the result was the same; vendors capable of providing a wide range of hosted integration features that include not just EDI/B2B, but also BPM, SOA and MFT features as well.
These new hosted solutions allow customers to leverage their existing B2B infrastructure while providing easier integration with back-end systems and business applications.
Another trend is the emergence of smaller B2B Service Providers like Axway, Crossgate, Hubspan, Seeburger, and SPS Commerce that are bringing new B2B solutions to the marketplace that will continue to drive innovation in this key sector.
Everything considered, the B2B Service Provider space has become a lot more dynamic than many thought it would. What do you think? Take a second to drop us a line.
Check out my latest research: The Forrester WaveTM: B2B Service Providers, Q4 2009