You’ve probably heard some version of the “golden rule” of business (not the one we grew up with) – “S/he who owns the gold makes the rules.” In the world of business-to-business (B2B) integration, it’s easy to see the golden rule at work. In general, it’s the payer – the customer in a B2B relationship – that sets the rules for partner interactions, including implementation details like document types, versions, and syntaxes, document size and content constraints, communication and security protocols, and quality of service requirements.
The term “channel master” has long been used to describe the role of a dominant company in a value chain, exemplified by mega-retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, or Sears. Companies that supply products and services to such channel masters understand that compliance with their integration requirements is a price of doing business. Continue reading