Integration brokerages may have major challenges and gaps in their service offerings
Our industry saw the emergence of Integration Brokerages as a solution for companies, typically suppliers, who did not want to build and maintain their own 1:1 EDI integrations using an on-premises B2B middleware software or iPaaS. You can find a list of many of these integration brokerages on G2. However, while some of these integration brokerages have good references and what looks like established networks, they have major challenges and gaps in their service offerings that are often overlooked by suppliers when making their technology decision.
Gartner defines integration brokerages (IB) as a category of discrete IT outsourcing for integration projects, such as those involving cloud services integration and supply chain integration. IB is one of three primary cloud services brokerage (CSB) roles and combines cloud-based B2B integration infrastructures with people and processes to help companies for initial implementation and ongoing project management for a wide range of cloud and B2B integration projects.
The primary issue with integration brokerages is that they are backed by people and process that do the heavy lifting behind the scenes, as mentioned by Gartner, but lack a core technology product. A typical integration brokerage uses humans to build 1:1 mappings between enterprises and their trading partners, e.g. retailers. While this may not seem so bad because companies don’t have to do the work themselves, there are some significant downsides (e.g. long onboarding times, long issue resolution times) to this delivery model that companies have increasingly come to realize.
Here are some of the core challenges faced by suppliers when using an integration brokerage for their EDI integrations with trading partners: