IT TRENDS THAT AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS
In 2012 Kodak went bankrupt. A company that was once totally revolutionising the world of photography ended up shutting down its operations.
With most business-to-business transactions taking place electronically, from banking and other financial services to credit vetting, travel and procurement, you’re constantly connecting to a range of service providers.
Making these connections over separate links adds to your costs and puts strain on your network, with no guarantee that you won’t lose connectivity at a critical time. Using an Internet connection is not ideal, as it’s not always secure or reliable.
InfoConnect is a business data solution that provides a single, secure link from your network to multiple service providers, connecting you seamlessly to the companies you do business with.
One link, multiple service providers
Electronic data interchange (EDI) refers to businesses using electronic, extranet networks to communicate information that was traditionally communicated on paper (for example, purchase orders and invoices). As more and more business and service providers use EDI solutions to complete transactions, the need for a single, reliable and efficient inter-business network becomes critical.
As a leading EDI solution, InfoConnect has a large corporate community made up of many of South Africa’s leading organisations. Some of the services currently linked to our network include:
Once you have InfoConnect installed, you will benefit from being able to connect instantly to new service providers as they join the data sharing service. We can bring on board companies from any industry, with any service or application.
When it comes to business-to-business transactions, every interrupted connection can lead to a frustrated customer who will take their purchasing power elsewhere. InfoConnect delivers fast and secure connectivity to the organisations whose services are essential to what you do, making sure you don’t fall behind on business-critical transactions.
It also helps you optimise your corporate network – not only is the service more cost-effective than running multiple links, and more secure than transacting over the Internet, it also helps to improve bandwidth use between you and the companies you do business with.
More productivity, less complexity
Delivered over our MPLS VPN, a virtual private network on a stable multiprotocol label switching backbone, InfoConnect connects you to a growing number of service providers over a single connectivity link.
Both your organisation and a wide range of service providers you do business with are linked to InfoConnect. Because the service is set up and runs on our network, it offers much better performance than you would get by linking to these companies over the Internet. You can therefore complete your business transactions quickly, and avoid the delays and possible penalties that would result from missing payments or other deadlines because your Internet service is down.
InfoConnect also reduces the costs and complexity of having multiple telco circuits for multiple service providers. Each service provider decides on the class of service they will offer over the InfoConnect network. You then buy bandwidth in that class for that service provider.
Shared communication opens a world of possibilities, but also brings with it a new world of risks. As you connect with more service providers and the number of transactions increases, so does the threat of cyber-crime. Hackers and opportunistic cyber criminals are always on the lookout to expose weak spots in a busy transaction environment.
In addition to enabling fast connectivity to providers of business services, InfoConnect offers greater security for your business transactions. Our MPLS VPN complies with international security standards, making it a much safer network to use for sensitive business transactions than a public Internet connection. We also have firewall solutions for securing your internal networks from the third party connectivity to the service providers you transact with.
Even more extranet collaboration benefits
Once InfoConnect is installed, you’re ready to do business. Links to service providers can be activated instantly and our ongoing service and support offers additional value-added benefits:
With InfoConnect, you don’t have the challenge – and associated costs – of managing numerous telco circuits to different service providers. Instead, you deal with us directly, freeing up your valuable IT resources to focus on other strategic business objectives.
You’re charged a fixed monthly fee for each service provider you’re linked to, and a monthly fee for the bandwidth you use over the InfoConnect network (the class of bandwidth required is determined by the service providers themselves). To help you manage the service and control your bandwidth budget, you can log in to our self-service portal to download usage and trend reports, log service requests and validate services.
The beauty of InfoConnect lies in its simplicity. Managing separate service provider connections while dealing with unreliable connectivity and unforeseen strain on your organisation’s network can be very taxing. InfoConnect’s single-link service offers simplified processes together with expert engineers who are available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide any support you might need.