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Sterling Connect:Enterprise is going end of life, so whats the next step


The announced product retirement of Sterling Connect:Enterprise by IBM is not a trivial problem for organisations around the world whose critical business data run through the soon-to-be unsupported system. But this forced change does create an opportunity for users to make a switch to more advanced technology that provides better service, better scale to meet future requirements, and easier use and operation.

Evaluating alternatives and planning your migration should be top of mind now, since typical migrations to similar technology offered by vendors who emphasize consulting services can take three to 12 months or longer depending upon the number of trading partner connections and implementation complexity.

Replacing Connect:Enterprise

End of life for Connect:Enterprise is April 2016. That is when IBM will stop supporting the system that’s running your critical B2B processes. And the monetary and productivity costs of trying to maintain the current deployment past its end-of-life date could escalate dramatically.

As you look to be more agile and stay ahead of competition, and this product sunset presents an opportunity to deliver exponential value to a business. A more current secure B2B data integration solution should offer:

  • A fresh capability set that doesn’t just maintain current capabilities, but meets them with easier ongoing operation and enhances productivity.
  • An easy-to-use single-platform comprehensive solution, one that doesn’t require “add-ons” for basic functionality.
  • A product that doesn’t require an army of consultants to install and implement, and subsequently operate to support your current business processes and new B2B integration requirements.

Considerations for Replacing Connect:Enterprise

The migration of each and every communications process being used by this end-of-life product can be a daunting project. Here are a few questions to consider as the sunset date looms on such a key piece of business technology:

  • How much does the software cost, and how much time and money will the migration cost? What will the additional cost of consultants cost you in the short and long term?
  • Will you get a full set of capabilities that are available in your current secure data integration products?
  • Is the recommended replacement product marketed under one “product name” actually numerous separate technologies that are bolted-together? And have all of these technologies been kept up to date with contemporary enterprise connectivity, security, and scalability requirements?
  • Will the service-heavy transition make you potentially miss the migration date and lose support?
  • Will you have to rewrite all of your custom scripts or redo the processes in a whole new format? Will the resulting integration solution be fragile in its reliability?
  • When hundreds of hours of training are required for to achieve user “ease of use,” is the solution really easy to use?

Choose a next-generation data integration solution

An organisation making this change should implement a secure data integration platform that was built for the modern agile enterprise and powers some of the largest production operations environments in the world. With that said, businesses should:

  • Lever experience from a company with experience replacing Connect:Enterprise
  • Receive the built-in capabilities necessary to administer, monitor, route, and transform increasing volumes of inbound and outbound data
  • Support current scripts that they built specifically for Connect:Enterprise
  • Take advantage of more than 18 communication protocols to meet current and future needs
  • Create new processes with an easy-to-use configuration engine
  • Eliminate the army of consultants
  • Easily scale and process more than 1 million messages an hour

About Cleo

With nearly 40 years of experience and more than 100,000 proven and tested installations worldwide, Cleo offers enterprise data integration software solutions that are exceptionally easy to install and use. Cleo managed file transfer and enterprise-grade data integration solutions can help provide the adaptability you need to support current and future growth opportunities by enabling a long-term, sustainable infrastructure for both enterprise and multi-enterprise integration. Whether connecting to internal systems including ERP, legacy EDI, ESB, internal applications, or various external trading communities, this solution provides the management, security, visibility, and control required to ensure that your business is always ready and able to handle new requirements. For more information, visit www.cleo.com.

About the author

Joe Dupree leads marketing for Cleo, a leading provider of enterprise data integration and managed file transfer software solutions.

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