Tag Archives: Managed Services

A Collaborative Partner is Key

This blog post is the sixth and final part of a series highlighting the best practices for planning and evaluation EDI-as-a-Service.

When utilizing EDI-as-a-Service, offerings vary widely in capability, flexibility and quantity – meaning it’s important to find a partner who has a track record of meeting needs like yours.

EDI is a time-tested service and runs largely in the background. Its invisibility, however, can often obscure its value and importance to business. In fact, it can encourage the false impression that EDI solutions, including EDI-as-a-Service, are commoditized and interchangeable.

If you aren’t meticulous in choosing the EDI-as-a-Service best for your business, the penalty can be severe. If a provider responds poorly or too slowly to application, network, system outages or other out-of-band exceptions, consequences can include transaction loss, case flow disruption and potential loss of future business. Continue reading

Work to Predict Future Needs and Lifecycle Framework

This blog post is the second part of a series highlighting the best practices for EDI-as-a-Service in planning and evaluation.

As we discussed in the first post of this series, there are more deployment options to consider to most effectively and efficiently manage your EDI. It’s important to fully understand these alternatives before making a decision.

Take Inventory of Current and Future Needs
If you’ve decided that EDI-as-a-Service is best for your business needs, it’s important to think about what your current needs are and future needs will be in order to most accurately assess what services you require.
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EDI-as-a-Service and If It’s Right for Your Business

This blog post is the first part of a series highlighting the best practices for EDI-as-a-Service in planning and evaluation.

EDI-as-a-ServiceWith more and more options than before for EDI, it’s important to know options come with positives and negatives in order to evaluate before making a decision.

One offering on the market is called EDI-as-a-Service, also known as EDI outsourcing or EDI managed services. What this service does is enable delegation of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to an outside service provider for provisioning, implementation and management activities. By utilizing a third party, businesses are able to focus on other activities while the provider can produce results rapidly while avoiding common errors. Continue reading

Networked vs. Hosted Managed Services – What’s Your Religion?

Having just returned from a 2-week vacation, I’ve had plenty of time to think about things that my work schedule normally pushes to the background – music, hobbies, investments (don’t ask), and our surreal national political scene. After listening to some of the bizarre preconceptions and arguments about health care reform and US economic policy (throws shoe at TV), it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that many of our beliefs are so ingrained that they approach the status of “religious” tenets.

As business and IT professionals, we like to think that we operate in a reality-based world, where facts and good sense dominate. But the same factors that muddy public policy decisions – incomplete and inaccurate information, the lack of a contextual model that can assist in predicting outcomes, and inherent biases toward or away from certain solution approaches – are just as influential in the decisions we make, every day.

One example that’s top-of-mind, for me, is the debate over managed services delivery models.  EXTOL and other companies in the B2B integration space have offered managed services for years, but cost-cutting measures and our shrinking economy have pushed managed services to the fore, of late.  We are still seeing greater demand in the market for self-managed B2B integration than for 3rd party managed services, but battered budgets, scarce IT resources, and shifting business priorities make managed services more attractive than ever.

Deciding between self-managed B2B integration and managed services integration usually comes down to financial and budgetary factors (capex vs. operating budgeting, front-loaded vs. ongoing expenses, etc.). While “religion” can come into play here, decisions at this level are usually based on clear-cut business priorities. Continue reading