Tag Archives: EDI modernization

EDI Modernization Strategy: Five Decision Factors (Part 1)

Introduction: blog post is the first part of a series highlighting the five decision factors needed for EDI modernization strategy.

Understanding EDI Modernization

EDI (electronic data interchange) has been a data transfer method used to standardize message formatting by businesses for several years. One of the newer considerations coming into play, however, is EDI modernization, which extends B2B integration and automation capabilities beyond classic EDI to support modern business requirements.

Companies are changing the way they connect, automate business processes and exchange data, all which are evident in modern B2B integration. Its value is in expanding integration capabilities while reducing cost and complexity of partner onboarding and operations. On the other hand, classic EDI still remains essential, but is unable to fully provide modern B2B integration needs.

For this reason, there are some points to consider if EDI remains right for your business, or if you need additional functionality EDI modernization provides. Some key questions to ask whether it’s time for EDI modernization are:

  • How do a business’s value network and role drive B2B integration priorities?
  • What additional requirements apply to businesses that are large, fast-growing, or complex?
  • How can integration capabilities and assets be leveraged to increase value?
  • What factors apply when deciding whether to outsource infrastructure, trading partner onboarding, operations, and / or other services, or source them in house?
  • What strategies and trade-offs apply when adopting a new B2B integration solution?

In answering the above questions, understanding and prioritizing modernization objectives will enable businesses to create a strategy then execute it.

The figure below explains how features from traditional EDI differ from EDI modernization.

Figure 1

Modern B2B integration adds capabilities (black/dark text) that extend Classic EDI (red/light text).

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Automate Reuse to Maximize Migration and Onboarding Cost Savings

This blog post is the final part of a series highlighting the three keys to rapid EDI modernization for JD Edwards users.

Because standard EDI integrations provide predictable patterns, reuse is especially effective in reducing EDI migration costs. While true that some reuse actions require manual development due to individual trading partner requirements, for example, automation still plays a big role in cost savings. In fact, automation can account for the highest project cost and time savings.

Custom mapping to meet the needs of each trading partner typically requires manual intervention and takes time. But configuring acknowledgements, creating new projects from templates, configuring routing, etc. are not only well-suited for automation from a cost-savings perspective but also eliminate many forms of manual errors that can lengthen testing time and contribute to runtime exceptions as well. Continue reading

Apply Large-grained Reuse for Common Transaction Sets

This blog post is the second part of a series highlighting the three keys to rapid EDI modernization for JD Edwards users.

Despite some lingering reservations around migration costs, EDI modernization, either driven by internal platform migration or external trading partner requirements, has become a strong consideration for JD Edwards users. The secret to success is all about selecting the right strategy.

While certainly true that reuse is one of the most significant cost saving strategies in migrating to a new EDI solution, not all reuse strategies yield similar results. The numbers show that deploying a large-grained approach to reuse can save significantly more than looking at smaller units.

Figure 1

Figure 1

As exhibited in Figure 1, the degree of time and cost reduction that is attainable varies. If you are working on a customer-wide integration, it is easier to accomplish with a large-scale integration because inbound and outbound processes only have slight differences for maps, adapters, business processes and other integrations. By reusing the integration level, more time is saved and cost associated with the EDI modernization is minimized. Continue reading

Modernizing EDI: The Difference Between Classic EDI and Modern EDI

Today’s EDI is very different from what it was 10 or 15 years ago. When many companies made their last EDI technology investments, they were not facing the challenges they face today as they fill a supplier or intermediary role in the B2B value chain. They must support new shared processes, transactions, document types, and communication methods, all while meeting more stringent service levels.

Partner-driven and IT-driven integration changes are also propelling a wave of modernization. “Classic EDI” translators are being replaced by “Modern EDI” integration solutions, due to radical changes in internal business processes, on-premise and cloud (SaaS) applications, and new platforms.

Classic EDI refers to the exchange of standard electronic document types, with syntax and semantics defined by standards organizations, principally X12 and EDIFACT. Like Classic EDI, Modern EDI also embraces standard EDI document interchanges, but in addition, supports the interchange of non-standard, proprietary documents, mostly based on flat file, XML, and spreadsheet syntaxes.

But the differences between Classic and Modern EDI go beyond support for new document types:

Classic EDI Versus Modern EDI

Classic EDI Versus Modern EDI

Modern EDI reflects the increased diversity of partner, application, and service interfaces present in business environments today. That diversity imposes new requirements on EDI systems, including support for connections that combine applications, services, and data resources in powerful end-to-end business processes. Continue reading

Justifying EDI Change in Your Business

If there’s one thing IT leaders understand, it’s change.  Business changes are a given, and almost no one in IT is working with the same set of technologies they were using five years ago, much less ten or fifteen years ago.  Managing change is a core IT skill.

Even changes that are essential to business operations must compete for budget dollars, however.  And the vast majority of IT spending goes to maintaining existing systems.  That means investments in new IT capabilities and improvements must compete for a small slice of the IT budget.  And spending money in one area means not spending it in another. Continue reading