B2B Integration

Partner Onboarding: How to Go from Average to Awesome

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Onboarding and maintaining the underlying trading partner/customer data is one of the most time-consuming activities IT has to deal with, and it can have a tremendous impact on your business. It’s something most companies engaged in significant B2B activity struggle with at one time or another. Let’s take a look at some recent data that sheds light on the predicament:

  • On average, B2B communities have 574 members worldwide1
  • It takes 9 days, on average, to onboard a new trading partner on their B2B platform2
  • 41% of LOB people indicated a project focused on reducing time to onboard partners, suppliers, and customers would be most beneficial to their department2

As you can see, partner onboarding is a complex challenge. And it extends beyond the initial 9 days to set up a new partner. Over time, the partner data and connection must remain current and incorporate any changes — it’s far from a “set it and forget it” process. Along the way, there’s constant pressure on IT to speed things up and decrease onboarding times, which delay the business’s ability to leverage the partner relationship.

The good news is there’s now a tool that can help you. It’s designed to help with the entire scope of partner management, from the initial onboarding to the continued upkeep of the data. Self-service capabilities allow partners to update and maintain their data, reducing the burden on you, while improving the relationship for both organizations.

Is onboarding challenging for you? Does it take longer than the average 9 days? If you’re feeling pressure from your LoB colleagues to speed it up, please take some time to learn about IBM Partner Engagement Manager by watching the video below. The developers will give you a peek under the covers at the unique architecture, and they’ll also give you an overview of capabilities.


  1. 2013 Vanson Bourne B2B Integration and MFT Global Study for IBM
  2. 2014 Vanson Bourne IBM Line of Business Priorities Study for IBM

Market Segment Manager for B2B, Commerce, and Procurement at IBM

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