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Global Companies in Supply Chain Confirm Managed Services Add Value to Business Integration

A total of 96 percent of respondents felt managed services added significant value to their overall B2B integration programs, according to a new report from Stanford University’s Global Supply Chain Management Forum, “B2B Managed Services, Business Value and Adoption Trends.”

Sponsored by GXS, a provider of B2B integration services, the report analyzes the current state of B2B integration adoption and evaluates its potential growth. Respondents cited cost savings as a key benefit, as 74 percent indicated they received value from shifting up-front capital expenditures on software licenses to monthly operating expenditures for managed services. However, cost savings were not the most important benefit. Enhancing the customer experience to accelerate international expansion and improve business process efficiency was cited as one of the top reasons for choosing B2B managed services.

“Developments in B2B integration technology have ignited a growing interest in B2B Managed Services,” said Barchi Gillai, Lead Researcher for the study. “This research aims to gain insight on the latest trends and business value associated with these B2B initiatives. While it takes time to realize the benefits of B2B Managed Services, the survey results indicate the market has reached a level of maturity where companies are beginning to see a tremendous return on their investments.”

The survey also found that 96 percent of participants plan to increase the number of customers they trade with electronically; the number of suppliers they trade with electronically; and/or the number of business processes they support. And 59 percent of participants plan to expand their use of B2B e-commerce in all three areas. In fact, only four percent had no plans to increase B2B ecommerce in any of these areas.

“Companies both large and small continue to struggle to get return on investment from their B2B programs,” said Steve Keifer, Vice President of Marketing, GXS. “One of the key impediments has been the traditional licensed software model, which rewards the technology vendor regardless of whether the B2B projects are successful or not. This new research from Stanford provides further proof that the B2B Managed Services model not only offers lower cost but higher business value than traditional approaches to integration.”

Report findings are based on a survey of nearly 100 users in North America, Europe and Asia, representing different industries including manufacturing, retail, financial services and logistics.

A full copy of the report is available for download here.

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