IBM Sterling B2B Integration Services Review
We've outsourced the onboarding and translation our EDI with our customers. We're looking for analytics to predict when customers have issues on their side.


What is most valuable?

For us, we've basically outsourced the onboarding and translation of all of our electronic data interchange (EDI) with our customers. We've got a lot of trading partners. The value that they talked about bringing forth is that IBM has a lot of connections with trading partners, so we shouldn't have to start from ground zero on each one.

How has it helped my organization?

So far, it's probably been pretty neutral.

What needs improvement?

We're looking for analytics to try to predict when customers have issues on their side. If a customer traditionally would send records through on certain volumes on certain days and there's an interruption in that volume, we want IBM to tell us when our customers are having trouble before our customers tell us they have trouble or before we detect that we're not getting the loads. Can they do some analytics or trending to predict that? That's what we're asking them to do.

I need to see the innovation that they talked about in the road map actually come to fruition.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We actually had an issue the morning I provided this review. We are looking for IBM to be a little more proactive and predictive in finding issues, for example, of file size and things along those lines. We had a customer send through a file erroneously that was too big for them to handle in their service, so it blew up our processes. What we're asking IBM to do is be proactive and see those files before it impacts our whole system.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support resolved our issue very quickly, but I asked, "Why can't you use Watson to help figure that out before it blows up and interrupts my company's business?"

How was the initial setup?

I kind of was involved with the initial setup. I've taken this group on since then, but my manager was very involved in that. Ours setup is complex, but they did a good job.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our CIO had a relationship with IBM and said, "I want to do it." I think that we looked to use this relationship, as opposed to considering other vendors.

The biggest thing for me when choosing a vendor is that, if I have issues, I need to know that they're going to help me resolve it from an immediate perspective and long term.

What other advice do I have?

From our perspective, we've really outsourced an entire team. That has gone very well if that's what you're looking for. They do have some of the basic setups with some customers. It's probably not as much as they sold us in their value proposition, so be cautious about that. They do have a platform. They do deliver what they said they're supposed to do. You just got to look at it; keep your eyes open.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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