The Onboarding is aimed at all companies that want to provide or consume data via the Catena-X network. The target is to inform you and prepare you for active participation. For Catena-X, successful onboarding of its partners is an important success factor.
Thus, we accompany partner companies in this process on the journey from the first expression of interest to active data exchange in the network with business partners, and the participation in specific use cases for value generation. Specific support in and accompaniment during the process will be offered by an operating company, as required in collaboration with potential onboarding partners. To equip you and your internal stakeholders with initial information and assistance, we have provided some guiding materials here. With this, we are still in a development process and will continuously enhance the information offered.
We welcome your feedback on the material provided which you can address to our contact persons in the development consortium. If you would also like to actively participate and get a deeper understanding of the process better, please feel free to contact our Customer Panel with the reference "Onboarding" or an Operating Company.
In the following, we provide a number of means at this point in order to make onboarding as smooth as possible for our partners. With these you can inform yourself in advance or use them as an accompaniment during the onboarding process.
First, we outline several steps that provide orientation for a comfortable entry into the world of Catena-X. In addition, we have created a series of initial onboarding guides on different focus topics to assist you with the most important questions. This consists of a framework document with general information, which is supplemented by two further documents with good practice examples.
In the following figure, we have listed the most important steps for you. In summary, the four phases are implementation guidelines, business value determination, technical connection and organizational implementation, which are explained in more detail below.
The first step on the way to participating in Catena-X is to define the framework conditions for your individual introduction process. At first, you should determine what you want to achieve with Catena-X and how much support you need along the way. The subsequent introduction of Catena-X can be realized in different ways: from full support to assistance with selected topics to introduction on your own. You are free to choose. We have a selection of suitable onboarding partners ready for you. For example, they can offer you support in drawing up initial cost-benefit plans - through assistance with technical onboarding to further training for your employees. You retain control at all times, whether you want to do everything yourself or be guided. Let us put together your individual onboarding menu together!
In the second step, we work with you to determine the business value of joining Catena-X based on possible use cases. If desired, our onboarding partners will estimate the associated costs and identify potentials for possible public funding. They also assess the value generation opportunities offered by the network and guide you to the right projects, topics and partners. Detailed descriptions of the possible use cases can be found here on the Catena-X website.
The third step involves the technical connection to the network. First, you register your company and your internal Catena-X users via the portal. Alternatively, if you are already using other business networks that are collaborating with Catena-X you can use your existing account to activate yourself for Catena-X. This saves you double registration and user administration. Afterwards you select the required applications in the Catena-X marketplace to be able to implement the use cases you have chosen.
The basic idea of Catena-X is the sovereign sharing of data according to shared principles. Each use case has different data requirements, each of which is precisely specified. You decide how you want to provide this data and which degree of automation you want. For example, it is possible to upload the data manually as a CSV file into the applications of the use case or to set up an automated data pipeline.
Throughout the process, you retain control over your data and the conditions under which it is exchanged with others. Not sure if you have the data you need? Our onboarding partners are happy to guide you through every aspect of technical connectivity.
Finally, successful implementation also includes the organizational anchoring of Catena-X in your organization. Our onboarding partners help you empower your employees. From data literacy training to coaching on the topic of organizational culture, our onboarding partners provide your employees with the necessary skills and mindsets to deal with data, use data and identify innovative business models, as well as optimize internal and cross-company process flows.
The Onboarding Guides comprise four documents. A framework document “Initial Information for Large Enterprises” that prepares relevant information tailored to the three roles of general manager, IT specialist and business specialist. In addition, there are supplementary guides on the topics of data integration and data governance as well as a checklist which can support your company to further detail your individual onboarding steps and track of their progress.
These documents can be used for advance information as well as on the way to active participation. They help to understand what is necessary from a technical, organizational as well as legal point of view. They should always be interpreted in the context of your company.
Initial Onboarding Information
Contact Person and Co-Author: Dr. Katja Mallmann, Business Owner Onboarding Large Enterprises.
The Initial Onboarding Guide has been created as a general frame document to provide an overview of the most relevant topics to be considered in preparation of and during the Catena-X Onboarding Process.
It is meant to provide guidance and trigger questions for you to make strategic and operative decisions on how to plan and execute your company’s efficient and successful onboarding. Moreover, it helps to understand prerequisites to actively participate in Catena-X technically, organizationally and under the right legal conditions. The information has been structured and tailored to address the needs of three main stakeholder roles of General Manager, IT Specialist or Business Specialist and covers the following chapters:
- Main Stakeholder Groups for Catena-X Onboarding
- General Manager
- IT Specialist
- Business Specialist
- Overview of Key Onboarding Steps
Mainly intended for and tailored towards large enterprises which want to become part of the Catena-X Network, this guide may provide in large parts important aspects for small or medium-sized enterprises as well. This frame document is complemented by a set of further onboarding guides further detailing topics like, for example, Data Integration Patterns and Data Governance.
Data Integration Patterns Guide
Contact Person and Co-Author: Felix Gerbig, Business Domain Architect Onboarding Small and Medium/ Large Enterprises.
This guide is meant to provide an overview over the different patterns for company internal data integration in the context of data exchange within Catena-X. It is intended for enterprise architects and executives in the context of data integration. Creating an understanding on the different options that companies must connect backend applications with a data space to provide and receive data, this guide further provides general & Catena-X use case specific advantages and challenges that need to be considered before choosing the pattern that fits best.
Data Governance Guide
Contact Person and Co-Author: Dr. Frank Bodendorf, Data Governance.
Collaborating with partners in data ecosystems enables companies to mutually benefit from the potentials of Data & Analytics. However, there are also risks concerning the loss of control over data, unsecured access to data or low-quality information. To solve these problems and support the goals of a shared ecosystem, cross-organizational data governance mechanisms must be set up that focus on providing and consuming data products with regard to third parties. In this context, this guide addresses persons and their roles in the organization as well as the processes required to manage and control a data and analytics ecosystem that includes functions, departments, and partners.
Internal Company Onboarding Tracker
Contact Person and Co-Author: Heiko Musa, Business Analyst Onboarding Large Enterprises.
As an addition to the Onboarding Guides, this document is intended to further detail the company-individual steps along the onboarding process and may support in particular large companies in the planning, execution and tracking of the relevant process steps. The document is intended to be used as a working document to make your company's onboarding process easier and more efficient.
The relevance of the individual onboarding steps depends on the selected onboarding scenario, which can be seen in the chart below.
Companies that want to become part of the Catena-X network and plan to participate in use cases can do so with the help of a provided application or a Catena-X managed service. In addition, bilateral exchange without using an application or Catena-X provided service is also possible. The document showcases for which scenario the steps are relevant, which internal role may be responsibile and includes references to further useful information. This breakdown will help large enterprise orchestrate the necessary steps to join the Catena-X network as data provider or data consumer.
Listed below is a high-level overview of the aforementioned onboarding steps and their requirements. Details can be found in the attached document.
Step 1 | Onboarding Preparation
Initial Information and Set-up
- Receive all relevant information on the onboarding journey via the onboarding package
- Clarification of the main onboarding-related questions
- Assure core stakeholders required for onboarding are mobilized and informed to Assure a smooth onboarding journey
- As required, an operating company as well as consulting, implementation, and/or backend integration partner can support your company during onboarding
- Utilize standard software packages or consulting services to leverage existing expertise and skills, and to reduce onboarding and integration efforts
Step 2 | Pre-Assessment
- Analyze internal business value of joining Catena-X network e.g., using a business value framework
- Catena-X offers your organization a wide range of business opportunities such as new data-driven business models and room for innovation
- Derive arguments to convince sponsors and decision makers within the joining company
- For the success of the Catena-X network and each individual partner it is crucial to know the legal and contractual requirements for the participating companies which are needed to execute data exchange between the Catena-X participants
- Assess Catena-X legal framework and frame contract
- Unternehmens vor dem Beitritt zu Catena-X.
- Beantworten Sie die Fragen in der Bewertung, um später im Onboarding-Prozess Entscheidungen über die Einsatzszenarien, Make-or-Buy-Optionen, den Betrieb und mehr zu treffen.
Step 3 | Registration
- Conduct the scenario questionnaire based on the graphic shown above to determine your companies technical onboarding scenario
- The onboarding journey will vary based on your type of participation in the network: If and in which use cases you participate and if you use managed services or business apps will determine scope and specific actions during onboarding
Registration Form & Contract
- To get enabled to access Catena-X ecosystem and offered service registration must be completed
- The registration process takes place using Catena-X registration form (currently link received via email)
Step 4 | Technical Enablement
Backend Preparation and Data Transformation
- A review of the current technical environment will be necessary to ensure tech scope
- To efficiently exchange data and enable consumption of value-added services, an agreed data contract and standardized data format is needed
- The standardized data models will require efforts regarding the transformation of data within your company to the Catena-X standard
Enabling Data Exchange
- In this step the EDC is set up and enabled for data exchange
- As the data demands by partners will often not be known upfront, it is important to be able to react to change requests quickly and design and build data pipelines that are configurable and can be adapted to the specific needs of partners
Data Discovery and Access
- Depending on the use case, different mechanisms for data discovery and access might be used. For most use cases the AAS / Digital twin approach is used
- The Digital Twin Registry provides a source of information ("phone book")
- All digital twins within the data ecosystem, need to be registered so that they can be found by data consumers
End-to-end Integration and Testing
- Testing the set-up system for its functionality and stability as well as performing conformance test to check if pre-defined standards are adhered to
Monitoring & Operations
- Just as any other system the Catena-X components, including data pipelines from source systems, EDC and asset registration at the digital twin registry must be monitored.
- Furthermore, IT operations for the components need to be ensured, including incident response / ticketing processes for requests from outside the company.
Step 5 | Organization Enablement
- It is necessary to assess the impact of joining the Catena-X network on your data governance framework; it is a prerequisite for sharing data between partners in the Catena-X network
- Integrate Catena-X in your Data Governance Framework (strategy, organization, processes & standards, technology & solutions) incl. contract agreement, data release processes, data provisioning and consumption scenarios
- Depending on the use cases and the goals your company wants to achieve with Catena-X, people, processes, and technology may be significantly impacted.
- The training and certification of the teams involved in each case is one of the basic prerequisites for implementing the solution.
- For a successful transformation, a comprehensive impact analysis of the affected organizational parts is necessary and should be followed by supporting transformation activities.
Step 6 | Internal Go-Live
- Der Go-Live ist der letzte Schritt des Onboardings, nach dem ein regulärer IT-Betrieb für den Datenaustausch möglich ist.
Business Owner Onboarding Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-Lead of the Working Group "Advisory System"
Dr. Katja Mallmann
Business Owner Onboarding Large Enterprises
With focus on your personal role within your company, use the dedicated chapters of this initial information on Catena-X to familiarize yourself with the concepts of Catena-X and prerequisites for an efficient and successful onboarding to the network.
You want to get an in depth view on the different data integration patterns? Read the complete guide here.
If you want to get deeper insights into inter-organizational governance artifacts for building data driven use cases follow the guide here.
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This Checklist can support your company, jointly with different internal stakeholders, to detail your individual Onboarding Steps and keep track of their progress.
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