Monday, August 17, 2009

Consolidating SAP EDI B2B Connectivity Through Crossgate

SAP is the co-owner of an EDI / B2B exchange called Crossgate. Crossgate operates the exchange using SAP's technology stack including NetWeaver PI, and offers a SAP-centric option to maintaining an expensive internal EDI infrastructure. The use of NetWeaver PI on the exchange enables SAP users to connect to the Crossgate exchange using a NetWeaver-to-NetWeaver integration or the traditional IDoc or tRFC connections. You can learn more by talking with your SAP sales teams.

All of the above is interesting, but one of the features that make this exchange completely different is the ability to provide SAP users with tens of thousands of pre-integrated B2B connections with other SAP and other non-SAP users. You cannot get that operating your own EDI department and expensive internal EDI system. The only connections you can get are one at a time and by your own hard work and effort.

Let's compare:
  1. Companies can invest in an expensive EDI infrastructure and team. Spend months getting everything ready, hardware in place, people trained and you still have no B2B connections with your trading partner community. Once you have completed a multi-year trading partner on-boarding project your costs do not go down, rather they often go up as the burden of operating, supporting, maintaining and on-boarding new partners continues to grow.
  2. In contrast - An SAP user connects to the Crossgate EDI/B2B exchange using a NetWeaver PI-to-NetWeaver PI connection and instantly has access to over 40,000 other SAP and non-SAP users already connected. Once your trading partner community is activated through the exchange, your costs drop dramatically to a low monthly service fee.

Many SAP users are in the process of consolidating both their instances of SAP ERP and their multiple EDI/B2B departments around the company. They want to simplify, reduce costs and standardize processes. SAP's investment in and joint development work with the Crossgate EDI/B2B exchange is designed to help all SAP users simplify and reduce the costs of EDI and B2B development, implementation, operations, support and maintenance.

If you have any requirements for EDI or B2B on-boarding projects, or you want to reconsider the traditional and expensive way EDI and B2B is operated and maintained internally today, please send me an email and we can brainstorm.


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