Supplier Network Interoperability is Key to B2B ePayment (Forrester)

by Erin McCune on August 6, 2009

in B2B Payments, Erin McCune, Payables, Research Round Up, Treasury & Cash Management

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A new report from Forrester underscores a theme that my partner Carol Coye Benson and I have been championing for months now. Widespread adoption of B2B electronic payments is dependent upon an open directory that allows business buyers that want to pay electronically find out which of their myriad of suppliers accept electronic payment and simultaneously allow suppliers to securely publish their payment preferences and remittance requirements. Expecting suppliers to log in to separate portals or supplier networks for each of their key customers is unrealistic – and only encourages continued reliance on paper payments.

Executive Summary (emphasis mine)
Enterprises Should Push Supplier Networks To Deliver Interoperability

Enterprises use supplier networks to trade electronically with their suppliers, but they find that insufficient cooperation between rivals limits potential progress. Chief purchasing officers (CPOs) and their ePurchasing program managers struggle to get full adoption because suppliers are reluctant to use all the multiple networks and single-buyer portals that their various customers specify. Network interoperability is technologically straightforward, but real barriers exist, such as the lack of a commercial model and large vendors’ reluctance to help smaller competitors. Once consolidation starts, the natural imperative of scale in the technology business will transform the market into one in which a few large, successful, interoperating networks enable buyers to reach all their suppliers, however small or physically remote. CPOs can support and encourage this process by ditching their buyer-centric approach, providing suppliers with choices, and insisting their network providers interoperate with their peers.

Learn more about the recent Forrester report here.

Read more from Glenbrook on B2B payments here.

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