What apps mean to an open platform

Apps drive value for customers and developers alike

The introduction of Tradeshift’s new app site marks the latest development in a five-year initiative. After half a decade, it’s worth noting why apps are so key to the Tradeshift platform.

Suites are never as comprehensive as they promise. They’re expensive, disconnected, slow to change, and you have to use what they offer, or source a new application (that’s nearly impossible to integrate). Apps unify all your suppliers, your users’ experiences, your data, your processes, and your back-end integrations.

Jean Barmash, VP of Apps and Ecosystem at Tradeshift, put it nicely at Tradeshift’s recent Innovation Day in New York, “From the very beginning we started thinking in terms of network and apps. We’re five years into this vision and we’re really seeing results.”

What’s unique about the Tradeshift customer experience with apps is Tradeshift completely supports new development on platform. Because Tradeshift is an open network, there is constant third-party and internal content additions resulting in an expanded app experience.

Tradeshift app store

If a customer prefers to build a unique app for a particular function, they’re not locked into what comes out of the box–quite rare in the world of enterprise software. But Tradeshift goes beyond flexibility, to actively enabling third-party developers.

Barmash summed up his team’s mission as, “We create the infrastructure to make it very easy for third-party developers to create apps on the platform. And we’re very, very passionate about that mission.”

The guidelines for app development are highly customer centric. Guidelines for developers and designers begin with emphasizing responsive design. Because of the focus on empowering users anywhere and anytime, all UI components are mobile optimized.

Examples of this include Quyntess’ Supply Chain Collaboration apps, which help optimize complex supply chain processes by providing real-time visibility, communication and collaboration on a single platform.

From the time a buyer publishes forecasted demand, to the time goods are delivered and invoiced, Quyntess apps work within Tradeshift’s platform to streamline business. Buyers interact with all their suppliers, no matter what size, and communicate with them directly through EDI or through the Tradeshift platform.

Other notable app partners, such as EcoVadis and C2FO, cover everything from supplier sustainability ratings to dynamic discounting.

And the results are in the product. At Tradeshift’s recent Innovation Day, CEO Christian Lanng asked, “What platform can you think of that can switch between all these logistic processes–direct and indirect–in the cloud and tie it all together? No one is even close.”

Without an open platform and the capabilities offered by internal and partner apps, it simply wouldn’t be possible.

About the Author

Tradeshift connects buyers, suppliers, and all their processes in one global network. We help you transform the way you work with suppliers today – and adapt to whatever the future brings.

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