Why does this take place?
While new projects often get the most visibility, you also know that maintaining what is already in place is as essential as the new projects. Delays in responding to customer changes or adapting to new versions of software can be a serious impact to your business. ERP cut-overs, changing customer/vendor document formats and industry-mandated document changes (e.g. HIPAA) cause changes to our stable integrations. These changes can cause business disruption or penalties if they cannot be dealt with effectively and efficiently.
How has it been dealt with in the past?
The brute-force way to deal with changing document requirements is to clone your maps and make the (hopefully) minor adjustments. This approach works, but does not scale. Consider a company with 10 trading partners. Occasionally, a partner will upgrade their EDI maps to a new version. This rate of change can be incorporated into the work schedule with relatively little impact. Now, consider the company with 1000 or 5000 trading partners and an industry-wide mandate (such as HIPAA) is coming to bear. Very quickly, the company could be faced with updating thousands of maps. This effort would be measured in multiples of person-months. Continue reading