May 13, 2014, 1:02 PM

New from IBM: B2B software for connecting faster with suppliers

The new B2B software suite includes several modules for helping companies more quickly and accurately share information when buying and selling products.

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IBM Corp. has launched a business-to-business software suite designed to make it easier and faster for companies to on-board new suppliers onto an online system for exchanging business documents, analyzing the performance of suppliers, and handling large data files at high transaction speeds, IBM announced today at its Smarter Commerce Global Summit.

One IBM client that is already using some of the new software, computer products manufacturer Lenovo, says it has cut by 85% the time it takes to get new suppliers set up on its B2B supply chain collaboration software, IBM Sterling B2B Integration Services.

“Our business depends upon more than 325 global trading partners to drive innovation through the organization,” says Chuck Igba, Lenovo’s director, B2B/EDI strategy and enablement. “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."

The applications in the new B2B software suite also include:

● The IBM Multi-Enterprise Relationship Management platform, designed to let large companies connect and manage shared business processes, including exchanging business documents when ordering products and confirming shipments, with suppliers, technology and business partners, and customers.

● IBM Sterling B2B Services Reporting and Analytics, which uses the IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration Network to monitor supply chain transactions across all of a company’s suppliers. The application is designed to let companies view the status of orders placed with suppliers and see what may be causing some orders to be delayed or fulfilled inaccurately, and to see which vendors perform better than others.

● IBM Aspera eXtreme File Transfer, designed to enable companies to send large data files at maximum speed across any distance, “while avoiding traditional networking limitations and bottlenecks,” IBM says. In addition, the IBM Aspera Enterprise File Sync and Share application is designed to complement Aspera eXtreme File Transfer by giving users the ability “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.”

An IBM spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment on the pricing of IBM’s new B2B software suite.

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