How to Explain the Difference Between A2A and B2B Integration

Typing on computer with cloud graphics overlaid

What is business-to-business integration? What’s application-to-application integration? Are they related? How different are they?  

Let’s explore: 

Integration platform as a service 

To understand business-to-business (B2B) or application-to-application (A2A) integration, let’s back up a little. 

Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is a cloud-based software that takes data from several sources and integrates it all on a single platform. Integration platforms enable sharing, exchanging, or transforming and translating information between systems. This process is called Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). What’s more, iPaaS providers can automate EDI, transactions with trading partners, business workflows, or translate information between systems.  

The basics of A2A vs. B2B integration 

Application-to-Application (A2A) refers to integration that happens within your existing environment. You need an iPaaS for A2A integration to share internal applications, SaaS connectors, protocols, and formats. A2A integration is also extremely helpful in extracting data from legacy systems to the on-premise ERP and Cloud applications. While having outdated systems used to make it harder (or impossible) to share documents or implement newer applications, A2A integration completely circumvents this issue.  

A2A integration infographic

Business-to-Business (B2B) integration is sharing data with and automating transactions between your company and other businesses. Even if the other business is an online application, any interactions between it and your company are considered B2B. Streamlining B2B and EDI transactions with iPaaS means more efficient data exchange, transactions, and business processes. 

B2B integration is here to stay, and it’s becoming more valuable every day! More companies are reporting that they absolutely need B2B integration for their company to function, let alone succeed.  

B2B integration infographic

A practical illustration

Let’s take a hypothetical look at how this all works in the real world: 

A local chain of supermarkets in your area needs an integration platform. Why? 

Every month, there are dozens of trucks that deliver to their store from hundreds of vendors. When inventory is low, it needs to be re-ordered…but not more stock than customers will buy!  

The market is also implementing pickup orders on their website. Customers can pay online with a card, PayPal, or Venmo.  

Additionally, the manager is needing to update their employee database. Currently it is stored in an older system, but now the store uses a completely new program for payroll and new formats for employee information. 

By bringing on an iPaaS provider, the market can easily take care of all these overwhelming tasks!  

A2A capabilities

As for all HR protocols, A2A integration is the key. Not only can A2A integration connect older systems to newer systems seamlessly, but it can also automate workflows for payroll, scheduling, training…and anything else the human resources department needs! 

On top of every other benefit and capability, iPaaS would allow this market to continue to scale! No matter how slowly or quickly the market grew, its internal data streams and external EDI transactions would keep pace. 

B2B capabilities

The market needs an integration platform for secure EDI to all vendors and transportation partners. This form of B2B integration ensures that all parties are aware of orders, shipments, and deliveries in real-time (with all documents formatted specifically to each particular system). 

(And as a bonus, CINTAP Cloud can also track and display interactive UI dashboards and reports that help decision-makers stay on top of demand and required inventory 

B2B integration would also help when accepting payment from third-party systems such as PayPal and Venmo. 

What this means for your company

Whether your company is looking to expand, cut costs, or optimize efficiency, iPaaS is the tool you need. CINTAP Cloud is a fully customizable option for both A2A and B2B integration. 

You designate which data and stats are displayed on your interactive dashboard, so you always have the information you need at your fingertips. Set up tailored transactions with all your partners. Choose which processes should be automated.  

And then CINTAP Cloud does the rest. 

Next steps?

We want your solutions to stay simple at every size. 

Reach out to a member of our team today to learn more about what CINTAP Cloud can do for you!

Typing on computer with cloud graphics overlaid

Author – Carissa Getscher

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