Introduction

Updated: June 25, 2020
Contents

Welcome to CloudBlue Connect! This is a high-level introduction to the platform outlining key concepts like Portals, Accounts, and Users.

Actors

A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from a supplier to a customer. While similar in their nature, these systems and actors have different names and form different hierarchies across regions and industries.

In Connect, we use the following terminology to refer to different actors of a supply chain:

  1. Vendors are elements of the supply chain, where products and services are originating from.
  2. Providers are elements of the supply chain involved in the distribution of products and services downstream to Customers.
  3. Customers represent the “Last Mile” of the supply chain process when products and services are actually consumed.

Portals, Accounts, and Users

There are two primary types of Portals in Connect: for vendors (Vendor Portal) and providers (Provider Portal) as illustrated in the diagram below:

  • Portals are websites that implement a set of related business scenarios for vendors (Vendor Portal) and providers (Provider Portal).
  • Accounts are “container” objects consisting of users and other objects. Some of the real-world analogies to Accounts are Teams, Organizations, or Companies. An Account can be one of the following types:
    • Provider is an account type that enables its users to procure products either directly from vendors or other providers (through syndication) and lists those products in the provider’s marketplaces.
    • Vendor is an account type that publishes product definitions and manages fulfillment processes. Vendors can list their products in marketplaces of one or multiple providers.

Note

Connect Portals and related attributes like API URLs can be white-labeled and be accessible through different domain names and have different visual “themes” applied to them.

For simplicity, our diagrams often use single “Vendor” or “Provider” symbols to refer to the Account of the corresponding type and all its Users:

For example, the following diagram represents four Vendor accounts and four Provider accounts in the system:

Vendor accounts are named A..Z, while Provider accounts are assigned numeric names in the above diagram.

Business Flows

Connect implements four primary business supply chain flows (scenarios) between Vendors and Providers as schematically illustrated below:

  1. Contract Flow
    1. Providers define an overall framework of collaboration with Vendors and invite Vendors to work with them.
    2. Vendors accept terms of the Program Agreements and enroll in Distribution Agreements.
  2. Product Flow
    1. Vendors on-board Products and new versions and list products to the Marketplaces of Providers
    2. Providers review and accept new and updated listings, make products available for ordering to Customers
  3. Order Flow
    1. Upon customer order, Providers split items per Product and send a request for fulfillment to related Vendors
    2. Vendors process pending fulfillment requests in their fulfillment queue and either accept or reject them
  4. Usage Flow
    1. Vendors on-board Products and manage their versions and related product lifecycle processes
    2. Providers review and accept incoming usage files and use that information for customers billing

Next Steps

Please refer to Portals Overview for the high-level overview of the Connect Portal structures, navigation elements, and modules.

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