B2B adoption is getting a shot-in-the-arm from Wal-mart’s mandate to suppliers.
While the financial markets continue to hammer the stocks of B2B companies, some recent events are pointing to better prospects for B2B adoption, contrary to what I wrote
on July 2. Specifically, Wal-mart (Walmart) is now mandating to its suppliers that they must only use EDI software that is UCC-certified for interoperability to connect to Wal-mart’s supplier network, one of the largest in the world. Wal-mart, of course, is doing this out of its own self-interest. But the positive implications for B2B in general are clear. Wal-mart drives thousands of suppliers to use compliant connection software or trading exchanges, which brings critical mass to vendors of such systems or operators of such exchanges, which makes such offerings more attractive to other retailers. As a result, B2B adoption rates increase as wider use of standards makes the cost of participation lower and the value greater for all buyers and sellers. Vendors that should immediately benefit from this trend include any that are working closely with the Uniform Code Council (UCC) and the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards (VICS) Association initiative for Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR), such as iSoft (Wal-mart's partner), i2, IPNet, JDA, Logility, Manugistics, SAP, and Syncra. Other vendors will benefit, including those that have been certified for the EDI Internet (EDIINT AS2) part of the standards, such as HP/Compaq, bTrade.com, Cyclone Commerce, GE GlobaleXchange Services, Harbinger, Netfish, Microsoft, SeeBeyond, Sterling Commerce, TrailBlazer, and webMethods. AMR has more details