White Paper

Enabling E-Business

 Question: What Will Be Your Organizations
             Biggest E-B...
Answer: Managing E-business communications

The Promise and Peril of
E-Business                                         ...
Acme Metal must also address             The automotive industry is often          One of the primary touted benefits
The Acme Metals scenario does not                         but a blue print for building business       What are the reperc...
Figure Two: The 5A Framework

                       Actors                                            Associations

Figure Three: Maritime Supply Chain

StreamServe Solution for                   Figure Four: StreamServe Communication Platform

E-Business Communication      ...
rule rather than the exception. With            was to show how customers could        the PO to the vendor and listened
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Enabling E-Business Communication


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Enabling E-Business Communication

  1. 1. White Paper Enabling E-Business Communication Question: What Will Be Your Organizations Biggest E-Business Challenge?
  2. 2. Answer: Managing E-business communications The Promise and Peril of E-Business Figure One: An Organizations E-Business Challenge Along with the wheel, fire, and electricity, the Internet is one of the most innovative human inventions. The Internet offers an unrivaled vehicle for information exchange. Despite its promise of collaboration, lowered transaction costs, increased revenues, and mass customization, e-business also raises a completely new set of business and technology issues. The business challenges include new .com entrants into traditional markets, misguided e-business strategies, channel conflict, and numerous others. Companies are now in the midst of developing and redefining their e-business strategies. They realize e-business strategy does not mean abandoning all of the traditional business processes; e- business is a vehicle to improve existing processes. However, it is not business issues, which will derail most e-business projects; it is the technology issues. In the next eighteen months, companies will struggle with e-business The hypothetical Metal company Acme Metals also supplies cold rolled communication and integration. in the above graphic likely does steel to the Aerospace and Defense business with hundreds of industry, companies like Boeing and customers and suppliers. How Raytheon. Raytheon, an SAP shop, E-Business Exponentially do these companies exchange needs support for SAP’s IDOCs, Intensify A Company’s information? Each of these proprietary EDI documents or Communication Needs trading partners possesses its own Business Application Programming internal information systems and Interfaces (BAPIs). Boeing, which The primary technology hurdle will be business processes. standardized on BAAN and Corba, how companies exchange business needs support for Business Object documents and information over the The metal company supplies Interfaces (BOIs) and Object Request web. Figure One illustrates the e- rolled steel for auto body panels Brokers (ORBs). communication challenges a company to automotive manufacturers. The faces in the Net economy. two companies likely share standard The situation is intensified as we EDI documents to exchange shipping look at other potential customers’ schedules, purchase orders, invoices, needs. Delmonte and Dole, two and logistics information. General consumer packaged goods vendors, Motors or Ford will require Acme procure metal for canned goods. The Metal to support their existing companies may have settled on an EDI infrastructure. XML standard, such as cXML or xCBL to distribute request for proposals. 2 Enabling E-Business Communication White Paper
  3. 3. Acme Metal must also address The automotive industry is often One of the primary touted benefits communication issues with its called out as the example of an of the Internet has been inclusion. suppliers. Many mills procure raw early adopter of industry wide Small and medium size companies, materials from scrap consolidators for standardized document exchange who could not afford the major use in converting into new, shiny via EDI. Contrary to perception, services work of EDI or application steel rolls and bars. The required EDI was only utilized between the integration, would be able to mode of communication might be a automotive manufacturers and their participate in the new economy flat file transfer. Acme will also need Tier One or largest suppliers. EDI by simply opening Netscape or to submit shipping documents to its was too costly and complex for Microsoft Explorer. While the logistics providers using the old- small and medium size suppliers. Internet does provide a low cost fashioned, fax machine or email; Despite its shortcomings, EDI will communication channel, the hardly a high level of business remain a business communication document standards that need to process integration. vehicle many companies will need be supported are complex and to support. The important point is daunting. EDI/XML, XML, HTML, that companies have significant PDF, and email are the most common E-Business Communication: investments in EDI and will need documents transmitted over the One Size Won’t Fit All independent software vendors to Internet. Companies must support support that investment. It is naive each of these document types, Acme’s situation exemplifies what to believe organizations or value especially email. many organizations will be struggling chain partners are going to rip out with in the coming years: How to Email will play a dominant role in EDI systems. These systems represent support the communication and e-business communications. AMR multi-million dollar investments in integration needs of a diverse Research, a noted analyst firm in time, resources, and effort, but more e-business community? XML and Boston, Massachusetts believes email importantly, they work. For many the Internet will only comprise a will be the communication vehicle of organizations EDI still represents the small percentage of business choice in the Net economy. Email is lowest cost, secure transaction. communications. In addition, many inclusive; it is available on the industries are not abandoning Now, business process integration desktops of all employees within an traditional processes, such as EDI. is the promised land. Many organization. It provides a way to What communication format and independent software vendors claim deliver information directly to the channel will dominate? the ability to integrate organizations’ appropriate user. In addition, email is business processes. It is an elusive more compatible with wireless In the near future, no one data dream for the simple reason that technology. Bandwidth issues limit channel or format will encompass all many companies are unwilling or wireless technology. For personal of a business’ communication needs. unable to support business process digital assistants and mobile Businesses will need support for integration. With the exception of telephones, Email provides a user- traditional and new means of organizations like WalMart and friendly interface versus a scaled communication. Successful e- General Motors, both industry down browser. businesses will need flexible support giants, companies will not be able concerning document formats and to force data standards onto its channels. EDI, email, paper, HTML, trading partners. XML, fax, wireless and print will all play a significant role. Enabling E-Business Communication White Paper 3
  4. 4. The Acme Metals scenario does not but a blue print for building business What are the repercussions for your even take into account the advent of documents. However, XML while business? If your company is a wireless applications and devices. highly touted, is still very much in supplier to more than one industry, it Wireless is a technology in search of its infancy. may need to support more than one a business value, but soon it will add XML standard. If your company is a another communication channel A common saying is “The wonderful supplier to a larger organization, companies will need to support. thing about standards is that there expect a mandated XML standard for Companies will have to deliver are so many to choose from.” XML exchanging business documents. It business information remotely to provides a wonderful anecdote for will be important to have local employees, trading partners, this saying. XML is fragmenting repositories of appropriate schemas customers via short message across four groups: and documents type definitions service (SMS) or wireless application • Standard Bodies: The World Wide (DTDs), XML mapping tools, protocol (WAP). Web Consortium (W3C), the Open transformation tools, and a vehicle Application Group (OAG), and for ensuring guaranteed delivery of Finally, at least for the near future, XML documents. XML/EDI organization are three of traditional communication vehicles the open standards bodies each such as print media and fax will XML is not a passing fad. XML defining XML document type remain a staple of doing business. adoption will be rapid in some definitions and schemas. Everyone is familiar with the industries, like hi-technology, slower predictions of the paperless office • Application Vendors: Microsoft’s major in others, like the pharmaceutical when minicomputers and personal initiative is BizTalk, SAP is developing industry, but XML will become a computers exploded into the XSF, an XML document exchange component of document exchange in workplace. Analysts predicted paper standard, Commerce One and Ariba most supply chains. Nevertheless, it is mills worldwide would cease have developed their own XML important to note, that XML while operations. It never occurred, schemas, xCBL and cXML, respectively. promising, will only encompass a contrary to predictions the computers small percentage of business generated record paper usage. Again, • Industry consortiums: RosettaNet is communication and transactions. the same analysts are predicting the the defacto XML standard in the Organizations will still need to Internet will be the harbinger of the information technology and electronic support other document channels paperless workplace. They fail to component sector. EbXML is gaining and formats. realize it takes time for companies acceptance in the global retail sector. to reengineer old habits and It is only the beginning. The Importance of business processes. • Large Companies: Major companies, Document Based E-Business like WalMart and General Motors, who Early this year AMR Research The e-business challenge is clear. can force XML standards up and down identified the five components, How does a company support their value chains, will build their own which an organization must the various document formats XML standards. address in building a successful and channels? e-business. The five components Very simply XML does not provide are identified on the following page: one standard for building and XML – The Solution to E- exchanging documents; it only Business Communication? provides a blueprint. If twenty Extensible markup language (XML) is companies used XML to build a a technology that enables businesses purchase order, very rapidly twenty to exchange information. It has been different XML based purchase orders highly touted as the e-business would evolve reflecting the individual communication and integration needs of the respective businesses. panacea. It does not propose a definition for business documents, 4 Enabling E-Business Communication White Paper
  5. 5. Figure Two: The 5A Framework Actors Associations Articles Activities Accounts Source: AMR Research • Actors – Well defined roles of Of the five components, articles sit An excellent example is the marine internal and external users between at the center of the 5A Framework. shipping industry. Information and trading partners How organizations exchange articles documents drive the maritime or documents is at the heart of any shipping industry. Documents, which • Activities – The business process e-commerce project. The importance originate with the shipper will span E-commerce automates, such of strong document support for the entire value chain and touch each as procurement e-business communications cannot participant along the way. The below • Accounts - Integration of the accounts be understated. However, the figure outlines the Marine Shipping within the Enterprise Resource Planning document support cannot be tied Industry Value Chain. and Supply Chain Management, such to one standard such as XML or EDI. as accounts payable, inventory Effective e-business supports management, etc. information exchange through a myriad of document vehicles, paper, • Associations – An organized flow of XML, EDI, XML/EDI, email, fax, print information between constituents or wireless. A purchase order relayed • Articles – The ability to emulate the in any of the preceding formats is still exchange of business documents, such a purchase order; the only difference as purchase orders, engineering is the level of integration enabled by documents, etc. each document. Enabling E-Business Communication White Paper 5
  6. 6. Figure Three: Maritime Supply Chain It must leverage existing business applications and legacy applications. “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain. The quote is certainly appropriate in light of analyst and trade publications recent view of the ERP industry. Businesses spent billions of dollars Within the industry, during the past Building An E-Business in the past ten years implementing ten years a small percentage of the ERP systems. These companies are Communication documents have been migrated to not going to walk away from multi- EDI, but paper, email, fax, and now Infrastructure million dollar investments. They the Internet and wireless also enable Based on the early example of are now tasked with extending the business document exchange. Acme Metal and the real life capabilities outside the organizations example of the Maritime Shipping four walls. An E-business Communication Again, documents drive the Maritime Infrastructure must offer strong back shipping value chain. The below Industry it is evident that business communications is a complex end integration into these systems. documents are the result of two documents initially prepared by the business and technology problem. The following five points detail the It must be flexible and inclusive shipper – the commercial invoice and packing list. major factors needed to consider To standardize customer and supplier in building an e-business relationships on hard coded • Booking request communication infrastructure. application integration or one data • Advanced Shipping Notice standard is not fair or a strategic It must support existing business decision. As usual, the • Booking Confirmation business processes organizations that will feel the The task of e-business is monumental greatest growing pains will be small • Shipment Document in its own right without another round to medium size companies. Inclusion • Certificate of Origin of business process reengineering. means understanding some valuable The business communication suppliers may not be able to rapidly • Bill of Lading framework must be able to support adopt new standards. Think of the • Customs Documentation the existing relationships and workflow impact of forcing business partners intra- and inter-enterprise. At the to standardize on XML tomorrow; • Materials Safety and Data Sheets same time, the framework should it would be counterproductive allow for innovative processes, such and unrealistic. The documents evolve into other as wireless communication. documents as they travel down the It must support personalization value chain with the physical product. It must provide business Business to business personalization The Maritime Shipping Industry process integration presents a real world scenario. It is a involves delivering information in highly fragmented and geographically Larger organizations doing business the format needed by the intended dispersed industry, which must take are actively moving towards recipient, at the correct time, whether into consideration each of the application-to-application integration. it be real time or publish and subscribe, players’ communication capabilities. SAP-to-SAP, I2 to Oracle, and and in through the desired channel. Companies across industries must Commerce One to SAP are only a Personalization is built upon strong put an effective e-business platform few examples. A strong business integration, transformation, and in place to deal with the diverse communication platform will offer publishing capabilities. document requirements of each support for application programming trading partner. interfaces (APIs), remote procedure calls (RPCs) and electronic documents. 6 Enabling E-Business Communication White Paper
  7. 7. StreamServe Solution for Figure Four: StreamServe Communication Platform E-Business Communication StreamServe Communication Platform The StreamServe solution supports ness Collaboration three distinct levels of business eBusi communication: Data Transactions/ • Personalized Document Delivery Trading Partners Networks Transformation Message Queuing Business & Presentation Directory Services Process Management tion gra • eBusiness Enablement nte B2B Protocols nI tio –ftp Print lica -http • eBusiness Collaboration. App Business Application/ eMarketplace Each of the three levels encompass Mobile eBusine Fax n ati o the preceding five points. Figure Four eCatalog n io gr ntat provides a roadmap for deploying ss E n te n nI e XML ti o and supporting a flexible res a bl (EDI) A p p li c a PDF &P em communication framework. The ry en ve t arrow depicts an evolving level of HTML eli On-line Services Archive Output tD Customization Email en business process enables. c um Do At the center of diagram is the business application or e-marketplace. Pervasive Communication Most organizations have a uniform Automated Output set of operating information, such Distribution B2C as production schedules, material masters, customer masters, financial typically static documents, such as capabilities to quickly and efficiently information, and distribution. The bills and invoices. Our solution can handle customer inquiries based on information is contained in ERP also archive these documents for past billing statements. systems or legacy systems. Streamserve future reference; an ideal capability extends this information through ERP for customer service representatives. connectivity or application integration; E-Business Enablement two different enabling capabilities. Oklahoma Gas and Electricity, (OG&E) ERP connectivity allows Streamserve provides an excellent case study for This level of business communication to pull information out of back end our personalized document delivery utilizes Internet technologies to systems for one-way communication. and presentation capabilities. OG&E broaden a company's communication Application integration provides bi- is a midwestern utility company that capabilities. It supports FTP, HTTP, directional information capabilities. supplies energy to over 700,000 HTTPS, and SSL. Streamserve leverages Streamserve offers integration and customers. The utility was looking for these innovative technologies to connectivity for most of the major a way to offer a higher value to its expand an organization's document business applications, such as SAP, customers through personalized bills delivery capabilities. Business documents Intentia, Oracle, BAAN, Ariba, QAD, and invoices. Streamserve offered can be emailed, displayed in an and others. the solution to OG&E’s business Internet browser, sent in EDI over problem. The StreamServe application the net, or distributed via XML. seamlessly integrates into OG&E’s It also supports the major wireless Personalized Document SAP R/3 back end system, pulling standards, such as SMS, WAP, and Delivery & Presentation the information out, then WML. Goteborg Energi AB, which personalizes the customer’s billing supplies power to 240,000 customers Streamserve’s traditional functionality information based on energy usage, in Gothenburg, Sweden's second utilizes strong ERP connectivity to geographic location, and customer largest city, utilizes StreamServe’s extract information and deliver the type. StreamServe automates and e-Business Enablement technologies information across traditional channels: personalizes 35,000 billing statements to expand its level of communication fax, print, and pdf. Streamserve helps a week. OG&E customer service capabilities. Due to sweeping companies personalize what were representatives are also able to deregulation of the Swedish power leverage StreamServe’s archiving industry, change has become the Enabling E-Business Communication White Paper 7
  8. 8. rule rather than the exception. With was to show how customers could the PO to the vendor and listened Goteborg Energi sending out over a operate more efficiently using for the vendor’s acknowledgement million invoices a year, the energy vendor-implemented BODs for B2B response, advance shipment notice company needed to define a more transactions. StreamServe succeeded and invoice from the vendor. The efficient and user-friendly process for in supporting the required data OAG example demonstrates how its invoice distribution. StreamServe's exchange for such transactions. StreamServe can help companies ePayment capability enables the collaborate across their value chain. delivery of electronic invoices and StreamServe played the role of the payment information directly to customer in Lockheed Martin’s Goteborg Energi customers' individual purchasing scenario. It successfully Conclusion Internet banks. StreamServe's demonstrated its ability to support ePayment options not only custom- interoperability between internal Acme Metal and the Marine tailors billing information, but also systems, Product Data Management Shipping industry demonstrate the allows the payee to receive and make (PDM) and Enterprise Resource communication hurdles companies payments through their Internet Planning (ERP), as well as with the face in the Net economy. Effective banking services. vendor’s external system. e-business communication needs to encompass a diverse set of channels StreamServe began with the and formats. EDI failed to deliver an E-Business Collaboration customer’s PDM system to pick up inclusive data exchange standard purchase orders, (POs), containing but is still the document standard With third level of e-business a fixed price for the known product for many companies. XML is too communication, Streamserve delivers and a not-to-exceed, (NTE), price early in development to offer one strong e-business collaboration. for the newly modified unit. encompassing document standard, StreamServe’s recent participation in StreamServe transformed the PDM and wireless looms on the horizon as the Open Application Group’s (OAG) POs from the original OAGI BOD a new data channel and format to B2B Vendor Challenge demonstrates format to the ERP system’s required support. Application integration will our e-business collaboration capabilities. SAP IDOC (Intermediate Documents) likely only address the needs of larger The OAG Vendor Challenge consisted message format by mapping it to corporations. In addition, companies of three different scenarios for B2B SAP XML. From the customer’s ERP will still utilize print, fax, and email. transactions using OAG’s open system, StreamServe prepared a Streamserve builds a communication standards-based XML Business Object “complex” purchase order (PO) to infrastructure that helps them meet Documents (BODs). Lockheed Martin, include both the standard and new the communication challenges of Lucent Technologies and Ford Motor items. It mapped the document back an e-business world and position Company presented real life scenarios. into OAGI BOD format for the vendor themselves for the changing market The B2B Vendor Challenge’s objective to process. StreamServe then passed demands down the road. For more information about StreamServe, contact us at 1-800-338-3676 European Headquarters U.S. Headquarters StreamServe, Inc. StreamServe, Inc. 104 51 Stockholm 57 Bedford Street Tel: 08-686 85 00 Lexington, MA 02420 Fax: 08-686 85 10 Tel: 781-863-1510 Fax: 781-863-1509 www.streamserve.com © 2001 StreamServe, Inc. All rights reserved. 01-01