EDI implementation and integration are popularly adopted as it brings business the efficiency and transparency it needs. Companies are relying on electronic data interchange to interact with trading partners, suppliers, 3PLs, and others while opening new opportunity doors and collaborating with large organizations.
In order to implement EDI solutions, it is important to understand the types of EDI services that fit your business.
Understanding EDI and its Types
EDI was designed to eliminate the manual process and implement electronic document exchange methods with business partners. Regardless of the benefits of fully managed EDI services, many companies are unaware and do not use EDI.
There can be multiple reasons, such as the complexity of setting up their EDI flows and processor or lack of necessary IT skills for EDI implementation. So, how can these struggles be overcome? This article is dedicated to underlying challenges and measures to resolve them in order to integrate EDI with internal systems seamlessly.
EDI can either be locally installed as on-premise or used as a cloud solution. The various types of EDI solutions are – EDI on-premises, Web EDI, and fully managed EDI. Let’s understand the difference between them.
Not every EDI solution is suitable for every company, hence based on the size of the company, the volume of messages, data integration needs, and the level of data sensitivity the right solution is chosen.
With the assistance of an experienced EDI provider, even the most crucial factors, such as the extent of IT equipment, specific performance requirements, and others, are efficiently addressed.
On-premise vs Cloud Solution
On-premise is usually software purchased by the companies in the form of a license. The software is timely updated & monitored for maintenance. The software is usually run by the commissioning company itself and the necessary resources are provided. The organization owning the on-premise software is responsible for the expense of upgrades, updates, patches, and bug fixing.
Cloud solution or private cloud, on the other hand, is a much more cost-effective and flexible solution. Cloud offers more robust protection for sensitive data and processes, which helps them meet individual performance metrics. Another advantage of the cloud solution is it does not require any license while it comes with integrated monitoring tools for a better overview of the processes and identifying optimization potential.
Now let’s move to the third type, fully managed services. Here again, you have two options: managed and full-service EDI. Both managed and full-service EDI are cloud solutions however, their functionalities are slightly different from each other.
Full-service Managed Service
An EDI managed services provider is responsible for developing and maintaining the core technology. EDI provider uses internal staffing for everyday customization, optimization, and operations of the technology.
A full-service EDI where the provider carries out a complete business function on behalf of the organization with the help of associated staffing resources that also customize, optimize, and operate the technology.
Any full-service EDI solutions have seven primary components –
- Trading Partner Expertise
- Design and Configuration
- Trading Partner Communication
- Testing and Launch
- Proactive Monitoring and Analysis
- Ongoing Resources Accessibility
Organizations do not have to worry about installing any software or hardware, an EDI provider is responsible for setup up and configuring the process flow, taking care of the data routing, and for the data format transformation and integration.
A fully managed EDI service is responsible for handling duties of that IT internal team and delivering a turnkey project when onboarding a client’s partners. For the execution of an EDI project, the provider performs the following activities –
- Analysis of the EDI Integration scope.
- Collaborate with the client to define connectivity points between both platforms.
- Test communications between EDI integration platform and trading partner.
- Configure EDI as per the trading partner’s requirements.
- Perform full-cycle and connectivity testing with a trading partner.
EDI Managed Services for B2B Integration
This service is ideal for those who have less time to put effort into implementing EDI and also do not have the necessary skills or aren’t EDI specialists. EDI service providers will take care of the configuration and integration of EDI into any on-premise or cloud-based ERP or CRM system. Further, let’s move to the benefits of EDI Fully Managed Services.
Benefits of Outsourcing Managed EDI Services
Outsourcing EDI implementation will free you from EDI transactions, as EDI providers will professionally handle electronic data interchange, so you can align your resources to critical tasks and shift your focus from connecting and transmitting documents to growing business. Additional benefits of EDI fully managed services are –
Highly Qualified EDI Experts – Companies do not have to be technical experts rather their outsourcing staff needs to be reliable and expert in their task. The benefit of dealing with an outsourced provider will deter you from additional training that you would have to give to your internal staff or hiring new internal resources.
Seamless Integration With Business Management System – Reliable & professional services providers have had the experience of implementing EDI with different systems. By integrating modern and advanced EDI solutions, companies can sync data with systems, such as eCommerce, CRM, ERP, CSM, and other third-party business systems without manually entering data as well as human intervention.
High Level of Security with Minimum User Devices – A reliable and proficient fully managed EDI services provider uses fewer resources, including user devices to integrate EDI solutions for B2B communications. With the state-of-the-art secured data center, the adroit provider ensures that your data transmission is secure and backed on a private cloud.
No client-side Installation – EDI integration undergoes deep analysis of the business needs and requirements and trading partners. A professional services provider won’t ask for overpayments for EDI integration, nor would they ask the end-users to download or install any system/software for data transmission. This is even more cost-effective than EDI on-premise.
Fully Managed Services Cost
Usually, Fully Managed Services Providers have fixed prices for their services. However, their cost can vary on factors, such as volume of data, number of trading partners requirements, size of the organization, and others.
Many service providers also offer packages that make it easy for the companies to hire them as per their requirements. Contacting professional EDI services providers will help you understand the cost of EDI integration so, you can have quotes from different EDI providers to compare and pick the best suited to your budget.
In A Nutshell –
Outsourcing EDI must undergo considerable aspects, such as experience, types, and levels of EDI outsourcing and support. A fully managed EDI outsourcing involves strategic decisions, and handing over this responsibility to an expert solution provider is always a better option instead of self-handling so that you can focus on core business and resources.
Moreover, EDI outsourcing is cost-effective instead of on-premise EDI integration, while ensuring access to the right level of skills delivered.
With a fully managed services provider, you can always –
- Access to the latest technology,
- Community enablement process,
- Value-added services for trading worldwide,
- Increased business agility,
- Quick entrance into new markets and territories,
- Increased business productivity.
Author’s Bio: Scarlett works with the editorial team of A3logics, a leading company offering professional EDI Services. Exploring the latest technologies, reading about them, and writing her views have always been her passion. She seeks new opportunities to express her opinions, explore technological advancements, and document the details. You can always find her enjoying books or articles about varied topics or jotting down her ideas in a notebook.