Tools to thrive: SAP invests in Crossgate to simplify business network integration
Banking on the importance of business networks as a growth accelerator across industries, SAP is investing in Crossgate AG , a provider of hosted B2B integration services, underscoring market demand for out-of-the-box business network enablement as companies transform their business networks to enable collaboration and direct interaction with partners.
The importance of IT solutions that enable partner collaboration is supported by a recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study sponsored by SAP, titled The collaboration advantage—customer-focused partnerships in a global market .
Many companies are embracing collaboration both to reduce costs and to enhance revenue growth, with 69 percent of survey respondents agreeing that the adoption of new technologies has benefited their most important business relationships.
Services such as those jointly provided by Crossgate and SAP can be key components in facilitating interaction and data sharing between business partners.
In addition to the investment, SAP and Crossgate are expanding their joint service-oriented architecture (SOA) development. Currently, more than 40,000 companies exchange documents and data via the Crossgate Business-Ready Network, which includes services powered by the SAP NetWeaver platform.
Crossgate’s growing customer base spans 10 vertical industries and includes such leading companies as Brown-Forman, Continental, Mahle, Neckermann, and Olivetti.
“As a global company with 28 manufacturing operations in 13 countries and more than 100 business partners across the world, we needed to derive maximum value from our extensive business network to remain competitive,” says Christian Fischer, CIO Europe and Asia for high-tech components maker Nemak. “By eliminating legacy B2B systems and repositioning staff focusing on SAP core functionality, we migrated various in-house EDI converters to Crossgate’s B2B 360 Services, improving our overall auditing capability and ability to interface with our global business network. As a result, we can now utilize a Business-Ready Network that is both faster and more agile, allowing us to provide greater value to our partners, customers, and suppliers.”
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.