IRCE trade show floor chicago

Data Integration: What you may have missed in June


Wow its already mid July and once again time has flown.

June was a crazy month. We didn’t have many blog posts for a variety of reasons, the most important being we attended IRCE 2014 in Chicago in early June and that wiped us out in a major way. The other issue was we spent too much time watching world cup games. Hey it only happens every four years so allow us the indulgence.

We did publish one blog article. You can read our recap of May here.

IRCE 2014

This year IRCE was bigger and more impressive than ever. Over 10,000 attendees and close to 700 exhibitors. The range of technology was also overwhelming. Close to 80 ecommerce platforms were on display. This year at IRCE we did some thing totally different than past years. We partnered with BluelinkERP, Maps BI and Maple Logistics to provide vistors with a solution group. We had four booths in a row. The dynamic was interesting and we were able to share prospects and solution discussions amongst the group as people engaged us.

You can read Samantha Hornby’s recap of Bluelink’s IRCE 2014 experience here. Sam has some really good points in her blog article. APIs are critical components of a solid data strategy and it was clear this year that APIs are evolving and becoming more important.

I have included some pictures of IRCE 2014 and our group.


Bob Bradley from Maps BI and in the back Joe McLellan from Maple Logistics.


Mark Canes, Darren Myher and Samantha Horby from Bluelink ERP.


A view of IRCE show floor and our booths. This year there were 21 Canadian companies exhibiting. This is a huge increase over our first year (2012) when we were only 5 Canadian companies. E-commerce in Canada is booming just as it is else where in the world. One interesting take away from IRCE was that the international presence was huge. I spoke to people from Russia, Turkey, the UK and other European countries who were both exhibiting and visiting the show.

My take aways from IRCE

  1. Its even more critical than ever to have a strategic plan. Many companies I spoke to were fixated on tactical things, without thinking about the impact of individual decisions or solution choices on the wider picture.
  2. There are so many technological platforms on offer that do the exact same thing that it is imperative  the buyer have a functional plan laid out. Agility is key.
  3. APIs are increasingly critical and should be part of any solution evaluation. I am surprised at how APIs are paid lip service.
  4. Finally integration has become so important that one must seek out experts. I spoke to so many companies struggling with data integration issues, who lack knowledge of the supply chain. Often companies were trying to do things on the cheap and struggling with the results.

From Around the Web

Given the global reach of e-commerce, it is not surprising that North American etailers are focusing on Europe, the largest e-commerce market in the world. Some interesting stats in this article from Internet Retailer on US companies selling into Europe. There is a huge opportunity for Canadians here too.

An interesting take on the changes in retail from the President of Canadian Tire. Michael Medline is perhaps bucking a trend by stating that he doesn’t see bricks and mortar retail dying. I tend to agree that there will always be a place for certain types of bricks and mortar retailers, but as he says the retailers need to stay relevant to their communities. You can read the article here.

From Forbes magazine a great article in May that we missed, titled Why E-commerce still isn’t clicking with B2B Executives. The article highlights the need for B2B companies to get really serious about e-commerce and content. Most B2B companies do a terrible job of providing electronic content. What’s really interesting is the scenario Brain Walker is describing is exactly what I hear from one of the owners of my favorite men’s store in Oakville.  The electronic information they get from their suppliers is poor at best and doesn’t allow for easy manipulation in a B2C context.  You can read the article here.

As always we do look for your comments and suggestions so please forward them on.


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