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May 14, 2014
Integration Point covers the basics of cloud computing and how the technology can be used in global trade management
© 2014 Integration Point www.IntegrationPoint.com
Understanding Cloud Computing & How Global
Trade Management Solutions Work in the Cloud
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• Business applications in the cloud are moving us all into
the next phase of computing and data sharing, especially
in the area of global trade
• We’ll examine the basics of what cloud computing is, its
characteristics and deployment methods, among other
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What is Cloud Computing?
The storing and accessing of applications and computer
data often through a web browser rather than running
installed software on your personal computer or office
server. It is internet-based computing whereby information,
IT resources, and software applications are provided to
computers and mobile devices on demand. It is the using of
the internet to access web-based applications, web
services and IT infrastructure as a service.
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Is Cloud Computing New?
• Some documented history shows that the first cloud
computing concept was introduced in the late 1950s
when universities and large corporations set up
mainframe computers that could be used to
communicate between parties but not handle any form of
workflows or computations.
• The next version of cloud computing came in the 1990s,
in the telecommunications industry’s development of
virtual private networks, or VPNs.
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Why Choose the Cloud?
The cloud is becoming more of an acceptable option
among companies looking for ways to grow and expand
without having to invest additional resources (time and
money) into technology infrastructure,
solutions, services, etc.
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Characteristics of Cloud Computing
The cloud can be defined by its characteristics as well:
• Maintenance – Cloud applications do not have to be stored on a server or
client desk top, thus reducing the need for constant updates or installs to
access the most up-to-date resources
• Flexibility – Companies have the flexibility of being able to access
infrastructure resources as needed in the manner that best works for their
business without requiring human interaction with each service provider
• Cost – Depending on the type of cloud used, cost is shared across many
versus one having to should the cost of set up, storage, memory, network
• Accessibility – Users can access it from any location around the globe
• Scalability – Companies scale their use of the cloud as their business
grows to provide resources and infrastructure in real-time, without having to
decipher usage times, balance loads or invest in additional IT resources
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The Rise of the Cloud
The National Institute of Standards & Technology
(NIST) has broken down the delivery models into
three that are most commonly accepted today:
– Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
– Platform as a Service (PaaS)
– Software as a Service (SaaS)
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Software as a Service (SaaS)
• SaaS is the most commonly known and most widely
used delivery model
• It eliminates the need to install and run an application on
– This means less costs and a more simplified process for maintenance
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Saas in Global Trade Management
SaaS models are also how we see many Global
Trade Management (GTM) providers such as
Integration Point deploying software to clients
around the world to assist with the management of
compliance in their import/export processes
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Security in the Cloud
• Generally, the SaaS model, through a private or hybrid cloud method, provides the
most integrated functionality built directly into the offering, and a high level of
integrated security where the provider bears the responsibility for the security
• To help make sure data security is not compromised, it is important to have security
protocols for your company as well as ensure the service provider has fully vetted
security on their platform
• There should also be a protocol for monitoring the service of the platform as well as
monitoring for any attacks or failures
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Business Applications & the Cloud
• Companies need applications that help them do everything from
manage payroll to invoice customers to pay suppliers and more
• Companies should look to access solutions through a public cloud
as much as possible, but use a private cloud to protect vulnerable
– That is where the hybrid model works best -- The hybrid approach allows
companies to share infrastructure between companies with common needs,
while providing the confidentiality needed to protect company specific data
Integration Point offers a Denied Party Screening solution that places over 250
different global restricted party lists in a public cloud that can be accessed by all
customers. When our customers upload their customer list to be scanned before
export, that list is shared across only their company in a private cloud. Users are
able to benefit from both the public and private clouds without sacrificing data
quality or security.
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GTM in the Cloud
• Global Trade Management (GTM) in the cloud means having access to a solution
that not only provides up-to-date information in a secure environment, but also allows
companies to add compliance areas as their needs grow
• It is a single source of truth that is accessible to all parties in the supply chain, while
maintaining the integrity of that data in a secure environment
• According to a study done by the
AberdeenGroup, 78% of respondents plan to
centralize the trade compliance function and
establish shared data access/exchange across
the global enterprise in the next 12 months
Enhancing trade compliance and global shared access emerged
as one of the key themes for GTM improvement initiatives from this study
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Why move your GTM to the cloud?
Being able to gain visibility into the entire supply chain through one
platform allows a company to bring other areas or locations on board in
a seamless fashion. Benefits include:
• Increase productivity without increasing costs
• Reduce expenses related to IT infrastructure
• Streamline processes and provide access to data to your global workforce
• Add on services and solutions as your compliance needs grow
• Improve collaboration between teams and reduce time wasted on emailing
• Connect directly to supply chain partners and government agency systems
to share data
• Access regulatory information that is updated and maintained by a service
• Create internal data repositories to share company specific data across the
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Let’s look at an example of a company using a shared global trade
management platform and the benefits they are experiencing.
The company has now automated the following manual processes using the centralized cloud-based
GTM software from Integration Point:
• Classification management for all of its production parts globally
• Tracking current and historical exchange rates with multiple countries
• Free Trade Agreement certification tracking and filing based on information within the system
• Manifest automation with multi-party, shared access
• Inventory level detail of imports and exports in multiple locations
• Export Management including data filing with government agencies
• Supplier risk assessment and compliance
This resulted in millions of dollars saved and improved efficiency in global trade
management and compliance. The new platform allows for the online exchange of and
access to data for any department within the company and to external groups.
A Fortune 200 Automobile company with global operations realized they were expending many
man-hours to ensure accurate trade communication and compliance – all of which included enormous
amounts of data entry, manual document creation, and event tracking. The company automated all of
these processes, plus others, using Integration Point’s Global Trade Management solution.
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Finding the Right Cloud-Based GTM Vendor
• Find a system that meets your business needs
now and in the future
– A benefit of having a GTM platform in the cloud is that
you can start off buying access to the solutions you
need at that time
– As your company grows and your needs expand, you
can easily add on other solutions that are part of the
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How Do I Know What’s Right?
When looking for the right technology, what
questions should you be asking?
Divided into four areas – cloud computing, tools,
software functionality and software
implementation – Integration Point presents
some vital questions that should be asked when
searching for a cloud-based GTM provider.
View the questions in the White Paper here.
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In the Cloud – Is It That Easy?
There is a lot to think about when considering business applications in the cloud.
However, leveraging software in the cloud has many advantages, especially when
managing and automating your import/export compliance processes.
The right Cloud provider is out there – are you ready to make the move?
To learn more, download the Cloud Computing White Paper here.
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About Integration Point
A leading provider of global trade management solutions, Integration Point
provides import and export capabilities, up-to-date regulatory information for
160+ countries and connectivity to supply chain partners and government
agencies across the world.
The Integration Point Global Trade Management platform is the most
comprehensive global compliance platform with the greatest customer adoption
in every industry segment, having the deepest and broadest functionality
available from a single global trade platform. Integration Point built its products
with a global perspective, recognizing that every customer would differ
depending on whether they import, export, or both.
Contact Integration Point at info@IntegrationPoint.com
Visit the website at IntegrationPoint.com