Category Archives: Executive Perspective

End to End File Governance

When thinking about data movement, security, traceability and the industries that need these capabilities, I immediately am drawn to the financial and health-care sectors.  However, that is changing.

Having the ability to govern your data from the time it crosses your “corporate border” through its lifecycle and ultimate delivery to an external consumer is becoming a critical business function.  No longer the domain of expensive infrastructure, it is now possible to implement architectures that ensure guaranteed delivery of data in a secure manner.

But what about monitoring and tracking the data while it is within your borders?  Important questions that need to be answered include “Has the data been accessed and by whom?”, “Has the data been modified while at rest?”, and most importantly, “Where has the data been after it arrived?” This is mission-critical because we consume data in many ways while it is under our control.

End-to-End File Governance can address these very questions in a platform-independent way by monitoring data in motion and at rest.  Think of it as offering a GPS tracker for your data; monitoring everywhere the file has been and who has interacted with it.  

How to Grow a Business through Integration

Going for Growth

You’re ready to take your company to the next level, and know that in order to do this, you’ll need to change the way you do business. How do you better serve your customers, become more competitive, and take on new customers faster without breaking the bank, or over-extending staff and resources?

Processes Ease the Pressure

When it comes to IT, most small to mid-sized businesses face the same challenges: lack of budget and lack of staff. These departments struggle to maintain day-to-day operations, let alone have time to think about long-term strategies to help grow the business. In order to ease the pressure off IT, you’ll need to focus on creating more efficient processes that you can then automate.

Automation Starts with Integration

Before you look at what current processes can be condensed and automated, you need to make sure that all of your systems are, or can be, properly integrated. With a true integrator at the center of your data, you will be able to quickly increase the number of automated connections between applications, data and partner interfaces – without any custom code.

One Integrator to Connect Them All

A true integrator will connect to and exchange data with your existing internal systems, and the systems of your customers, vendors and suppliers. It will give you complete control over your data, and allow you to automate the processes that enable you to easily communicate with all parties, make faster business decisions, and take on new customers in far less time. A true integrator is designed with business “rules of engagement” in mind – meaning, no matter what your IT infrastructure looks like today or in 5 years, you will always comply with new and existing customer requirements. See how EXTOL integrates > 

 

Strategy to Modernize Your EDI Solution

It’s a new year. This is the year you’re finally gonna do something about your aging EDI solution. It’s likely this decision came down from above. “They” want to gain a competitive advantage, which could mean anything from decreasing partner on-boarding time to scrapping the whole ERP/platform/EDI suite in favor of something that’s better suited to your enterprise.

So… where do you go from here? Depending on your situation, your options could be anything from “Do nothing for now” to “Full replacement ASAP”. Carefully enumerating the options (like on a whiteboard) is a really useful exercise and will help you make a sound business case for your decision. But, in order to arrive at viable options (which management loves), you have to first know what this is going to impact. Continue reading

The End of Mapping is Here… Almost

A recent blog post by Steve Keifer, titled “The End of Mapping (in B2B Integration)”, asks why B2B translators can’t automatically identify and map source-to-target fields. Well, the answer is they can – at least EXTOL’s translators can. Our customers have been saving countless hours on mapping activities using EXTOL’s design-time automation technology for more than a decade!

With the Advanced Automapper feature in our EXTOL EDI Integrator for IBM i (EEI), our customers simply select a reference map, and the Advanced AutoMapper will compare it with other maps using the same files, generating a new map with the appropriate data fields. It is a very effective tool for the majority of customers, who have multiple trading partners, but trade the same or similar documents. Each new trading partner can be on-boarded much more quickly, eliminating most of the manual and repetitive mapping tasks. Continue reading

Charting Your EDI Modernization Strategy

EDI as we know it today is very different from what it was 10 or 15 years ago, when many companies made their last EDI technology investments.  Today’s businesses face a broader range of EDI requirements, including the ability to support proprietary document interchanges, near real-time transaction response, and web services.

When we talk with prospective customers about how they cope with new EDI integration requirements, the answers boil down to these five approaches: Continue reading