More than half (60 percent) of companies are considering changing B2B vendors over the next year, according to recently released research from Sterling Commerce.
And while that finding is not particularly surprising in light of increasing business optimism and slightly relaxed budgets, this instability and uncertainty could pose a significant business risk as companies work to navigate the new, rocky B2B integration vendor landscape.
The 2010 Vanson Bourne OmniBoss survey polled 600 senior IT decision-makers at large organizations across the financial services, manufacturing, distribution, transportation and other commercial sectors in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany and found that:
A majority (78 percent) believe the recession is at least half or completely over.
85 percent say they will invest about the same amount or more than last year in B2B integration software or services.
41 percent of those polled are aware of the uncertainty and instability in the B2B integration vendor landscape. Members of this group say this instability could affect their business by: having a direct impact on their trading partner integration (53 percent) and disrupting their supply chains and impacting costs (43 percent).
But, what are companies looking for in a new B2B vendor? Sterling Commerce discovered that the most important capabilities cited were:
Financial stability (38 percent). Interestingly, financial stability is a bigger concern in the U.S. than Europe, with 46 percent of companies in the U.S. actively looking for a more financially-stable B2B vendor versus 18 percent in Germany and the U.K. and only nine percent in France.
the ability to deliver a solution both on premise and as a service (including managed service) (28 percent).
"Major destabilizing activity, such as mergers between B2B integration vendors, is having an impact on companies who are concerned about the financial stability of their B2B partner and realize they need a new approach to B2B integration to insulate their business from risk," says Josh Hardy, director, Product Marketing, at Sterling Commerce.