What is B2B integration?
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What is B2B integration?

Business-to-business (B2B) integration is the automation of business processes and communication between two or more organizations. It allows them to work and trade more effectively with their customers, suppliers and business partners by automating key business processes.

What is B2B integration software?

B2B integration software provides the architecture that is needed to digitize information and quickly route it through an organization’s trading ecosystem.

What is a B2B integration platform?

A B2B integration platform helps companies integrate all their complex B2B and electronic data interchange (EDI) processes across their partner communities in a single gateway. The platform collects data from source applications, converts the data into standardized formats and then sends the documents to the business partner by using the appropriate transport protocol.

B2B integration software is available for on-premises use or integration services can be accessed through hosted cloud services.

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Why is B2B integration important?

Digitalization is pushing partner and customer expectations. Organizations find slow, inefficient and error-prone manual data process unsustainable in a digitally connected world. And every business has its own mix of systems and applications for exchanging files and messages with partners. Disparate technologies make it difficult to communicate.

To achieve goals like increased revenue, faster time to market and improved efficiencies, organizations need a successful business network—and that requires a modern B2B integration solution.1 With the right B2B tools, organizations can digitally connect and communicate quickly and reliably. This can reduce the time that it takes to get new products and services to market and help companies achieve the nimbleness and agility they need to compete.

Read the IDC paper to learn how to realize B2B integration benefits
Key capabilities of B2B integration
Communications support

Never say no to an onboarding request. Supports security-rich internet communications protocols, including AS2, SFTP, MQ, HTTP, Connect:Direct® and others.

Application integration

Includes adapters to connect to back-end systems, including databases, SAP as well as cloud object storage with AWS S3 Client Adapter.

Translation engine

Powerful any-to-any transformation that converts documents from one format to another.

Data mapping

Enables the visualization of data fields and shows the relationships between documents.

Message tracking and reporting

Provides event management and reporting, auditing in centralized dashboards that can enable you to extend real-time activity and status information to your system administrators and your partners.


Encrypt data at rest or in motion. Robust certificate management including support of modern ciphers and algorithms.

Data validation

Applies business rules with graphical business process modeling to the information being sent to identify any errors.


Allows big files to be sent faster. Features include any-size file and message transfer.

B2B integration case studies

Supply chain company exceeds 29 million transactions in a day


Li & Fung needed to make sure that its supply chain management solution could scale to handle exponential spikes in transactions during China’s Singles’ Day sales event. The company worked with IBM Services® to test and tune its IBM Sterling® B2B Integrator solution, enabling it to process peak volumes of up to one million transactions per hour.

Related Solutions
B2B integration

Integrate complex B2B and EDI processes across your partner communities in a single gateway with this highly flexible platform.

Explore IBM Sterling B2B Integrator
Data transformation

Helps automate complex transformation and validation of data between a range of different formats and standards.

Explore IBM Sterling Transformation Extender
High-availability mailbox

Address demands for high-availability operations and redundancy with a robust and reliable data storage solution.

Explore IBM Sterling Global Mailbox
File gateway

Allows you to consolidate all internet-based file transfers on a single, scalable, security-rich and always-on-edge gateway.

Explore IBM Sterling File Gateway
Partner onboarding

Reduce the time and resources that are required to onboard new partners while managing and maintaining existing partners.

Explore IBM Partner Engagement Manager
Supply chain transparency

Streamline collaboration across your supply chain by digitizing and automating B2B transactions.

Explore IBM Supply Chain Business Network
Resources IDC Business Value Snapshot

See the results of IDC’s research, which demonstrates the significant business value that IBM clients are achieving with IBM Sterling B2B integration and managed file transfer solutions. (PDF)

IDC Business Value white paper

Learn how IBM clients are realizing business value with the IBM Sterling portfolio, a leader in the B2B data exchange space that enables efficient management of B2B platforms.

IBM Data Exchange Maturity Assessment

Take the IBM Data Exchange Maturity Assessment to see how your company can lower costs and improve efficiency.

Take the next step

Streamline collaboration across your supply chain by digitizing and automating B2B transactions with IBM Sterling B2B Integration SaaS, a cloud-based platform that helps businesses efficiently connect and exchange data with their customers, suppliers and distributors.

Explore B2B Integration SaaS Try free for 30 days