A Smooth and Impactful Upgrade to IBM Sterling B2B Integrator


Founded in Seattle in 1918, this food manufacturing company is one of the nation’s top beef jerky producers and snack food brands.

For more than 90 years, three generations of the company’s family have been making fine quality meat snacks which are now available online and in convenience, grocery, and mass market retailers nationwide.

The Challenge:

When this company launched a nationwide campaign to accelerate growth and solidify its position as an industry brand leader, B2B systems were put on high alert. The company processes 90 percent of all sales order transactions via EDI.

The company was running IBM Sterling Gentran Server for UNIX, and an older AS2 version of Sterling B2B Integrator that was out of support. It was urgent to upgrade both. Bisync communications also needed to be upgraded to AS2.

EDI is vital to the company’s success and a critical part of its competitive advantages. So, with the prospect of onboarding several hundred new trading partners, the company developed a long-term strategy to move to IBM Sterling B2B Integrator for communications and translation.

A comprehensive IBM Sterling B2B Integrator upgrade was planned, but time constraints and project costs posed major obstacles and subsequently had delayed the project.

The Solution:

On Eliassen Group’s recommendation, the company included the implementation of B2B Framework for IBM Sterling B2B Integrator in their upgrade project. B2B Framework dramatically reduced business process development and streamlined the setup and management of trading partners.

Now implemented, B2B Framework also allows for the efficient management of all B2B documents. At the time of implementation, with 46 trading partners, the company was sending and receiving 15 different document types spanning multiple EDI versions from 4010 to 5010 UCS, amounting to over 1,700 documents monthly.

With the inclusion of B2B Framework, the company was able to relaunch its migration effort with a much smaller budget and time frame.

The Process:

The Eliassen Group team worked on-site with the company for a week to configure Sterling B2B Integrator and install B2B Framework. During that time, they quickly created company-specific Framework rules, identities, code lists, etc. via a Microsoft Excel import.

By week’s end, the company was running Sterling B2B Integrator in parallel with B2B Framework. Eliassen Group had provided documentation and instructions tailored to the company’s installation.

Then, after two weeks of carbon-copying to test the new AS2 mailslot, all production communications were switched over to the Framework-supported Sterling B2B Integrator system.

It took only two days to convert 84 maps for the company’s existing trading partners from Sterling Gentran Server for UNIX to Sterling B2B Integrator. New trading partners are onboarded directly into the new Sterling B2B Integrator system.

The Results:

The company needed to keep costs to a minimum and Eliassen Group helped them achieve that. The company had a 50 percent savings in implementation costs thanks to B2B Framework.

Document management and onboarding trading partners is now faster and easier. B2B Framework enables complete visibility at every step a document goes through in the EDI process.

About B2B Framework

Eliassen Group’s B2B Framework®is a powerful toolset designed for helping companies achieve faster time-to-benefit, greater efficiency and control, and enhanced visibility as they communicate with their partners, suppliers, and customers. It enhances the value and capabilities of IBM Sterling B2B Integrator and related IBM solutions.

Designed for both new and existing IBM Sterling B2B
Integrator clients, B2B Framework provides:

  • Over 300 pre-built components and standardized, rules-based processes, maps, style sheets and services
  • Simplified communications management across all protocols
  • End-to-end document visibility for improving ongoing management and business partner responsiveness

By standardizing all aspects of design through implementation, B2B Framework reduces development and deployment by as much as 70 percent.