The Sky Republic Perspective
Since the 80s, enterprises transact using technologies providing one-to-one consensus through acknowledgements such as EDI, MFT, email, fax. APIs have recently emerged to provide new B2B experiences for Cloud, Mobile and Social.
EDI is a powerful and stable system with a developed support network – in fact, EDI systems and transaction volumes continue to grow. According to a recent study by Forrester, the annual volume of global EDI transactions exceeds 20 billion per year and is still growing.
One major reason enterprises will continue using EDI – and will invest in its further development – is that too much has been spent building properly working EDI systems worldwide. It took literally years, and in many cases tens of millions of dollars, for any large enterprise to implement what has become a reliable and cost-efficient transactional system.
However, EDI and one-to-one technologies continues to pose several challenges and limitations that enterprises must contend with. A growing number of CIOs and enterprise architects are looking at blockchain technologies to prepare their infrastructure for a modern B2B world created by N-to-N consensus.
It’s important to note that not all blockchain platforms are alike, however. Enterprises have already changed focus from public blockchains, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, to private blockchains (aka distributed ledger technologies).
A private blockchain is engineered to be used at the edge of the enterprise, where it can process and record B2B transactions and their related events or documents. It shares an enforceable ledger in real-time among parties to establish N-to-N consensus. This way, it can improve distributed workflow automation and visibility, data quality and auditability, real-time transaction settlement and compliance, or manage digital assets.
But key distinctions exist also among private blockchain platforms in terms of scalability, resilience, community management, or smart contract capabilities as they don’t target the same use cases.
We leveraged our decades of experience building B2B products and implementing projects for the largest enterprises to design the right platform from the ground up. We used a unique approach that leverages similar design principles found in B2B/API middleware, while also exploiting the advantages of emerging technologies like blockchain as well as the cloud.
We spent two years refining our technology to bring to market a private blockchain platform that can step up to the technical and functional challenges of the modern B2B world.
First, we designed our platform using a pure peer-to-peer model capable of supporting many-to-many interactions within large communities while securing sensitive, high-volume transactions. This is a key difference versus other blockchain platforms like Ethereum, Hyperledger and Corda.
Second, we engineered it to run in the Cloud or on premise. We focused on parallel processing of transactions, scalability, high availability and resilience – because these capabilities shape the foundation of an architecture and cannot be added as evolutions.
Third, we took the concept of smart contracts to another level to automate the complex and dynamic distributed processes at stake within business ecosystems. The core challenge in real-world use cases is to implement, securely, the shared business logic among a multitude of entities having different roles, and visibility rights.
Fourth, we created the concept of Sky apps to power the private business logic of a party and integrate it with the back-end applications. Sky apps can be packaged with smart contracts and downloaded by parties. As parties run the same code to transact and verify the ledger, interoperability is guaranteed, and onboarding time can be significantly reduced. This could also be a pragmatic way to further standardize industry processes as process modeling standards like ebXml, RosettaNet or BPMN failed by introducing too much complexity.
Finally, we designed our platform to serve any kind of customer (business network, peer-to-peer or blockchain service provider), as well as any type of project (creation, replacement and augmentation), as most enterprises have already invested millions of dollars and years of effort into their current B2B infrastructure.
We invite you to learn more about how our unique platform can help you augment your existing infrastructure, create new B2B services and be prepared for modern B2B.