The world has changed tremendously in the last decades, enabling machine-to-machine communication, a feat never before seen that is constantly evolving to carry out increasingly complex tasks.

Most of us take these technological marvels for granted, without wondering how they work. However, this communication between computers, be it internal or via the Internet, requires a software that respects specific communication protocols. If you aim to communicate directly with your partner, your computers need to speak the same language and this can only happen if both of you are using the same communications protocol.

You will need to carefully choose an Internet protocol for your company while taking into consideration the following factors:

  1. Security above all

Living in this day and time and operating on the Internet means protecting yourself from anyone trying to intercept and read the data you exchange with your business partners. Communication protocols are built to deal with security issues, but there are different approaches that each of them uses: they can either encrypt the actual data or they can encrypt everything in the transmission. So it is advisable to research everything there is to know about channel encryption or payload encryption, to make an informed decision that is right for your company’s needs.

  1. Document receipt confirmation – efficiency booster

In order for your business to operate at full efficiency, it is not enough to just send your business partner essential documents – you will also need a confirmation stating that they received and decrypted the documents successfully. You will only get paid if your customer received the invoice and you can successfully plan a shipment arrival on your end if you receive a shipment notice.

  1. Non-repudiation is key

This is basically an assurance that the receiver gets from the sender, confirming that the document was sent in accordance with the information within the exchanged file. This also helps whenever disputes need to be solved, such as in the case when a business partner denies they ever sent you a specific document.

  1. Straightforward protocols

Depending on your company’s resources, you will be able to choose the level of setup difficulty that your protocol will have. Apart from that, you will also need to pay attention to how straightforward it will be to operate and monitor afterwards.

  1. Pay attention to compatibility

Long gone are the days when the protocol selection process was simple and unequivocal. Nowadays, they have been reproduced by different software vendors, each offering its own version. So, when choosing a protocol, you need to make sure that it works well with other versions so you don’t hit a wall with your business partner.

Making protocol decisions is serious business, whether you are a supplier or a customer. We recommend taking into consideration the factors listed above, that were compiled from what companies have experienced throughout time.