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Buyer's Guide
Business-to-Business Middleware
September 2022
Get our free report covering SAP, IBM, MuleSoft, and other competitors of IBM Sterling B2B Integration Services. Updated: September 2022.
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Tasso Tsonis - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Site Reliability Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
It's highly stable, with good redundancy, so it never goes down
Pros and Cons
  • "It's highly stable, and the redundancy is amazing. B2B Integrator also has a high availability option to work in a cluster environment. You rarely have issues operating it because of the HA."
  • "Patching or upgrading the product is a bit of a nightmare. It would be nice if they removed the installation manager port. We find it complicates upgrading and patching a great deal."

What is our primary use case?

I work for a bank, and we've used IBM B2B for internal and external transfers at all levels. In the past 10 years, we've used it in every way imaginable. It transfers files from point A to point B.

How has it helped my organization?

B2B Integrator has made us more secure. People who used to transfer confidential data through emails can now set up file transfers within 48 hours through an automated system using this product without any security risks.

What is most valuable?

IBM B2B is user-friendly. The most valuable features are the most basic, like the logs and the security features. It can monitor and communicate issues directly to us before they become more significant problems. It's a great product.

What needs improvement?

Patching or upgrading the product is a bit of a nightmare. It would be nice if they removed the installation manager port. We find it complicates upgrading and patching a great deal. The installation manager is supposed to make things easier, but it actually makes it a lot worse.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using IBM B2B since 2011.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

B2B Integrator's stability is rock-solid. It never goes down. It's one of the bank's most prized uptime software products.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is a bit tricky because we're limited on file sizes. We're exploring ways to integrate into PCI DSS, a security requirement for the credit cards system. So it might be a little challenging to scale above what we have now. I'd say it's a moderate level of difficulty. We can do some things, but some aspects are more complex because of security. We plan to increase our usage to cover anything that goes in and out of the bank. Eventually, everything will pass through the product, so it's the only gateway to transfer anything in and out of the bank.

How are customer service and support?

IBM support was horrible.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The previous product was an in-house solution built on a Windows NT. We needed something with more security features and maturity.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up B2B Integrator was complex. Right off the bat, we set it up on a HADR.  It's high availability and active on two different sites. Getting all the rules set and the firewalls open was challenging. It was complicated to get it to work in the mesh design. Total deployment time took about two years. It took that long to get everything fully working. We had a project team that included the integrators from Sterling and a group of three people from the bank. In addition to that, we had another five people handling network security, configuring the firewall, and setting up the database. So there were eight in total on our end. 

What about the implementation team?

We had help from a consulting firm called ComResource. I believe that's what they were called at the time. It was Sterling Commerce's consultant firm. They were really hands-on and helped deliver the product the way we needed it, with custom features. 

What was our ROI?

I can't give a precise figure, but we get our money's worth.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay an annual fee based on the number of VPUs. It's fairly reasonable. We're in the middle of analyzing other products, and they're all pretty much in the same range. When we have problems and the support is inadequate, we pay outside consultants. We've had this issue twice, so sometimes there are additional costs when we need consultants to fix problems support can't handle, and we need help fast.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before selecting IBM B2B Integrator, the bank looked at Axway and another IBM product called MQ Transfers. These were the three that our integrator Sterling Commerce suggested at the time. Now we're looking into BMC B2B MFT. We've got the training and the license, but we haven't started using it. One of the advantages of BMC is that upgrades take only 15 minutes.  We installed it, but we found BMC lacks the maturity of the current product, so we won't be deploying it at the bank any time soon. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate IBM B2B Integrator a nine out of 10. It's a great product. It's highly stable, and the redundancy is amazing. B2B Integrator also has a high availability option to work in a cluster environment. You rarely have issues operating it because of the HA. The only problem is support. When something goes wrong, you sometimes have to find the answers yourself on the internet. But overall, after working with it for 10 years, I can say it's been great to work with and learn to use

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Business-to-Business Middleware
September 2022
Get our free report covering SAP, IBM, MuleSoft, and other competitors of IBM Sterling B2B Integration Services. Updated: September 2022.
634,550 professionals have used our research since 2012.