compact cars


by Joshua Whitney Allen

IBM deploys B2B cloud-based network to transform Indian auto industry

Published March 05, 2014


Vast and populous, India is crossed by millions of cars—more and more each year.

Indians bought 17 million vehicles over 2011 and 2012. The demand has inspired a robust economic sector, growing and prolific; the industry produced 20 million cars in total that same period, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manfacturers (SIAM).

Yet across the country, the Indian auto sector has struggled with inconsistent technology and communication standards. Businesses have relied on manual processes to exchange transactional data, including tens of thousands of invoices, purchase orders and shipping notices created daily.

In response, two integral communities in the industry—the manufacturers and the suppliers—are now joined to use cloud technology to share information and speed operations.

IBM today announced it has deployed a B2B cloud-based network that will help transform the Indian automotive industry by accelerating the movement of data and reducing transaction costs by up to 80 percent. According to a release, the new exchange—AutoDX—was developed in partnership with SIAM and the Automotive Components Manufacturers Association (ACMA), the two leading actors in the Indian automotive industry.

“The industry was very siloed, with manual processes and connectivity fragmented, so the entities had the idea of a private auto exchange,” says Terrence Curley, Director of Products for B2B and Commerce for IBM. “They needed to connect the ordering systems of the manufacturers into the ERP systems of the suppliers. Some of these suppliers are very small, so they need very easy, web-based Internet access to their orders and invoices.”

Aware of the need for stronger interaction, Indian auto leaders approached IBM roughly two years ago.

Big Blue based the solution on the IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration Network, a cloud-based network of connectivity that focuses on system-to-system connections between participating entities. 

The new exchange standardizes, automates and accelerates the exchange of transactional data through the cloud.

“They could exchange purchase orders, shipping notices—any aspect of communication that would need to take place between the auto manufacturers and suppliers. This applies to tires, dashboards, you name it,” says Curley.

“Our B2B network is a global network that connects several hundred thousand training partners,” says Curley. “The training partner connects to us, and we are the middle man, so to speak, between that partner and whatever entities they need to do business with over the network.”

According to Curley, the aim for the next 18 months to two years is for 100 percent of the suppliers and manufacturers in India to be communicating with each other on this exchange.



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