Solution Brief Case Study: B2B Exchange Supercharges Zyme Solutions and Its Customers Date: March 2013 Author: Evan Quinn, Senior Principal Analyst Abstract: Here’s an example of how a SaaS B2B solution provider stepped up to meet partner/customer requirements for more customization, enterprise-class integration, and rapid yet flexible on-boarding. Overview Here in the cloud era, the suppliers of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and IT-enabled Services (ITES) that supplement outsourcing face a series of challenges, including: First-generation SaaS and ITES solutions were developed with largely fixed feature sets in mind, which served the first-mover customers who typically operated such solutions in business silos, but today SaaS/ITES customers and partners expect a fair degree of customization. Now that cloud applications no longer operate in silos, the need for integration has become tantamount, along with related data quality requirements, particularly in B2B settings. As SaaS and ITES solutions gain market momentum, slow on-boarding may frustrate customers and impinge on the suppliers’ business velocity—the goal is to offer rapid yet flexible on-boarding. What follows is a case study of a market leading B2B SaaS provider, Zyme Solutions (“Zyme”), and how, with the help of the Informatica B2B Exchange, Zyme has overcome the limitations of its original offering and now adroitly delivers the customization, integration, and on-boarding excellence demanded by its customers. Zyme Delivers Channel Insight for Its B2B Customers About 50 global customers, many from the high-tech industry, depend on Zyme Solutions (“Zyme”) every day to better understand their distribution channels, improve sales execution, optimize incentives and promotions, and improve supply planning. Zyme delivers a unique B2B SaaS application that aggregates, cleanses, and enriches sales and inventory data for the primary purpose of helping their customers achieve “smarter channel management”—the ability to make timely, informed decisions that optimize sales and inventory levels within the channel. Zyme’s customers include some of the largest North American technology vendors: A typical Zyme customer may have 900 data feeds from resellers and other partners in the value chain, collected from over 20 countries in over 20 languages, with only a few data feeds formatted identically. Today, Zyme depends on Informatica’s B2B Data Exchange and related Informatica products to deal with the vast amount of data and complexity it sifts through and aggregates on behalf of customers. The result is a sophisticated set of data solutions and technologies, such as: TrueData: A data acquisition solution that collects feeds in any format (both structured and unstructured); and scales to hundreds of high-volume partners worldwide, while also validating and enriching the data according to a rich and configurable set of rules. Global Channel Director (GCD): Zyme’s GCD contains over 500,000 verified resellers, retailers, and distributors in 180 countries, and serves as a partner master for tech vendors. It is kept up-to-date through millions of transactions every week. TrueID: Zyme’s partner identification solution uses proprietary algorithms for identifying reseller and end-customer names from point-of-sale data. TrueID supports country- and industry-specific rules and can be configured to the level of matching required by the business process. © 2013 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Solution Brief: Case Study: B2B Exchange Supercharges Zyme Solutions and Its Customers 2 Data Steward Services: Zyme’s own data analysts provide support for customers’ mission-critical business processes that rely on channel data, including quarter-end support. But it wasn’t always this way: About five years ago, Zyme used a combination of code, some of which was developed inhouse and some of which was open source, from which it created its own data hub solution, which served Zyme and its customers well—initially. The first nine customers used the Zyme-built data hub, but in those early days a customer might only have 50 data feeds requiring integration and aggregation. In mid-2008, it became clear to Zyme that it needed a more robust yet flexible platform in order to grow, and to support customers as they expanded. While Zyme looked at a variety of third-party solutions, it became clear quickly that Informatica and particularly its B2B Exchange was the solution that could best help Zyme seriously expand its horizon. Informatica B2B Exchange Adds Speed and Flexibility for Zyme’s Customers Zyme was looking for a solution that supported a wide range of partner data mapping, data translations, and delivery management to handle literally millions of translations daily. As Ted Dimbero, Senior VP of Global Field Operations for Zyme Solutions, who was involved in the original project with Informatica, stated, “We didn't look much beyond Informatica B2B Exchange (“B2B Exchange”). After a three month evaluation it was clear Informatica would be a good partner for us. Besides ETL and B2B Data Exchange, Informatica offered data validation and data quality tools, all of which we realized our customers would need either near or long-term.” Zyme’s next step with Informatica involved a successful proof-of-concept with two live customers lasting four months, which in turn motivated Zyme to commence the migration of its customers to the Informatica-based solution. All migrations were completed by mid-2009. Today Zyme now uses the Informatica B2B Exchange and related products for all customers. Now, not even four years later, Zyme has over five times the number of customers. For a typical customer, Zyme receives a daily EDI or B2B feed from each partner, another set of primarily European feeds from RosettaNet, and another 20 or 30 EDI feeds from around the globe. But the data feeds don’t stop with “standards-based” formats; they also receive, process, and integrate flat files, Excel files, PDF files, and XML files. Inventory data, particularly, comes in a variety of flavors and formats. For a typical customer, half the feeds arrive daily, the other half weekly, and they might arrive through all kinds of delivery mechanisms, such as EDI VANs, e-mail, or even FTP Servers. Dimbero shared a recent example of how well Zyme, using B2B Exchange, is working, “In October we brought on a customer with 600 feeds in just eight weeks—from understanding requirements, to building templates, to testing the feeds, to moving the customer in production.” He also cited how B2B Exchange’s ability to help Zyme deal with unforeseen changes is critically important, “For a single customer you are dealing with hundreds of feeds every day, and inevitably somebody changes their feed without notification. It is important to quickly correct, remap, and reload—in most cases we put in the fix within 24 hours. Such unanticipated changes impact nearly 5% of the feeds we process for customers.” Ted summarized how B2B Exchange benefits Zyme and its customers as follows: Partner on-boarding takes a far shorter period of time than previously. Customers are less dependent on engineering—business analysts now handle the majority of on-boarding. Country-specific issues are now easily handled on behalf of global customers (EDI formats often vary from country to country). Dimbero also shared some observations and advice for others considering Informatica’s B2B Exchange: “Plan to leverage Informatica professional services in early stages and do not skimp on training for your team—there is a learning curve. Today we rarely use Informatica’s professional services, but they really helped us get over the initial hump. Start small, don't try to figure it out on your own.” “We want Informatica to keep us informed about their products as they enhance them, and also as they have acquired related products; we are looking to Informatica to tell us when to use what in order to better support our customers. We also suggest that Infomatica continue in its commitment to further abstracting and simplifying some of its tools to help reduce our dependency on technical resources.” © 2013 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Solution Brief: Case Study: B2B Exchange Supercharges Zyme Solutions and Its Customers 3 “You can develop your own custom touches on top of Informatica—for example we built our own custom EDI template for translation, and our own on-boarding tool for business analysts.” Zyme’s journey with Informatica technology has not nearly ended. For example, Zyme plans to augment data quality in the near future by using some Informatica tools not yet implemented, particularly focusing on master data cleansing. The Bigger Truth In ESG’s recently completed 2013 IT Spending Intentions Survey, 60% of respondents indicated that their spending on cloud computing services would increase in 2013, placing it at the top of the list of technologies in terms of planned increased spending by IT departments.1 Barriers to cloud adoption included areas such as security, data protection, and integration. If you are a cloud-application provider, SaaS, or ITES, those barriers and the requirements for features to overcome such barriers are magnified. Providers need a platform approach that delivers enterprise-class features and flexibility for partners and customers. For B2B solutions in particular, where a network of participants are involved, each with their unique brand, data formats, and compliance requirements, the platform requirements are ratcheted up even further. Informatica’s B2B Exchange platform offers SaaS and ITES providers like Zyme Solutions the breadth and dependability of features needed to meet the requirements of the new generation of B2B cloud application customers. All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at 508.482.0188. 1 Source: ESG Research Report, 2013 IT Spending Intentions Survey, January 2013. © 2013 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.