B2B Integration

Explore Self-Service Capabilities for SCBN with Configuration Hub

By Jim Luneke posted Thu February 20, 2020 10:29 AM

  

Do you face a constant barrage of changing business requirements to keep your supply chain running smoothly and efficiently? Do your trading partners send urgent requests to modify how data will flow between you – changes that need to go into production quickly to avoid disruptions?

We recognize that for IBM Supply Chain Business Network customers business is dynamic, and time is of the essence when responding to partner needs. To address this, you told us you wanted choice – the opportunity to manage some, or all, of your day-to-day trading partner operations.

We are listening and developing capabilities that provide you with access to select the configuration areas you are most interested in managing, and make changes to  data yourself if you choose.

Introducing Configuration Hub  

The newest member of our Sterling SCBN family, Configuration Hub provides initial capabilities for you to manage the flow of data through Sterling SCBN. You can react quickly and self-sufficiently to address changes from your supply chain trading partners – or even changes driven by your own back-end application teams.

One of the most common types of changes to interactions in a supply chain relates to data for use by different parties.  Frequently, this requires making modifications to the cross-reference tables of data that are used in substitution logic when transforming data as it flows from one system to another.

We refer to these cross-reference tables as “code lists,” and the initial capability of Configuration Hub specifically addresses this use case. What makes this so critical? An incorrect value in a code list – or perhaps missing a value that is expected by a trading partner’s back-end system – can bring a business flow to a halt, which can quickly cost profits. 

For example, when processing orders, if you have multiple bill-to or ship-to addresses and specific edits need to be made, the code list is where this data is maintained.  Code lists are typically dynamic in nature, meaning that they can be updated on a daily basis, or in some use cases, multiple times a day. Imagine the benefit to your business by having the ability to control those modifications in house.


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With code list editing capabilities in Configuration Hub, you are empowered to easily respond on the fly to:

  • Make changes, test and deploy to production
  • Experience the power of choice: Take a self-service approach or work with IBM to manage your deployment
  • Empower business users: Move configuration changes upstream to business users who are closer to the changing requirements and reduce dependency on your IT teams

What’s the future for Configuration Hub?
To date, we have focused on providing a modern solution that offers direct access to code list editing capabilities. Continuing the current path, we intend to release the capability to edit translation maps which provides more control over how data gets transformed as it flows between you and your trading partners.

Beyond translation map edit capabilities, the strategy for Configuration Hub is to surface functionalities that provide customers a direct, self-service entry point into their data for tasks such as creating configurations. Future capabilities will be guided by customer feedback, so we encourage your input.

To find out more about Configuration Hub, you can:

  • Register and meet with Sterling SCBN experts at Think 2020
  • Reach out to your IBM Project Executive, or through IBM Support
  • Read more in the IBM Knowledge Center here

Authors:

  • Jim Luneke, Sr. Offering Manager, IBM Sterling Supply Chain (jluneke@us.ibm.com)
  • Keri-Anne Lounsbury, Business Solution Architect, IBM Sterling Supply Chain (kerianne@ca.ibm.com)

**
Please note: IBM’s statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and at IBM’s sole discretion. 
Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision.
The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract.
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Performance is based on measurements and projections using standard IBM benchmarks in a controlled environment. The actual throughput or performance that any user will experience will vary depending upon many factors, including considerations such as the amount of multiprogramming in the user’s job stream, the I/O configuration, the storage configuration, and the workload processed. Therefore, no assurance can be given that an individual user will achieve results similar to those stated here.


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