EDI plays an important role in the current business environment. It adds a layer of efficiency to operations by streamlining trading partner communications. Even though EDI is a highly established B2B strategy used for information exchange and transfer, the value created by conventional tools is highly debatable.
Let us see why conventional EDI software solutions have turned outdated, what major challenges they pose, and how cloud-based EDI integration can help companies overcome these challenges and ultimately drive business forward.
Challenges of Conventional EDI Integration Solutions
Old age EDI software solutions pose many limitations on business users especially in terms of the way organizations exchange data across myriad business ecosystems. These platforms slow down the data onboarding process. Meaning that they take a lot of time to onboard complex customer data feeds, making it slower than 80%. This impacts customer experiences (CXs), slowing revenue and productivity. Additionally, users may also experience hiccups while managing B2B connections and establishing communication and transparency. When companies employ these solutions, they have to invest a lot of money and effort in maintaining these platforms. More so, they need the support of well-trained personnel and maintain these solutions that again add up the cost.
Many organizations still use EDI Value Added Network (VAN) to establish and simplify communication with B2B partners, manufacturers, customers, and suppliers. They can leverage them to transfer and translate data in a secure way, however, they lack capabilities that can inhibit multiple EDI transaction processes, turning organizations difficult to do business with.
In many business scenarios, point-to-point integration platforms provide an alternative for EDI VAN. With this alternative approach, business users can establish connections with their B2B trading partners. But this approach proves extremely difficult once users connect to multiple applications or systems. They find it difficult to handle different protocols such as AS2, SFTP, FTP, and different messaging formats, turning processes more time-consuming and resource-intensive.
Organizations need an added IT intervention, meaning that IT teams are required to focus on the process with ease and precision. They need excessive IT intervention, which means IT teams are required to actively focus on these processes. This compels them to stray away from high-value tasks, reducing the rate of innovation and growth. Moreover, since teams need to make notifications without proper documentation, EDI integration becomes risky and complex. And as soon as something goes wrong with integration, for example, one of the connectors stop working, the influence will be seen in other connections too.
Modern EDI Integration Solutions Overcome These Challenges
EDI integration challenges using a next-gen approach. Modern EDI integration software can transform the way organizations do business with their customers or trading partner network. These solutions empower business users maintain and manage large streams of data without complexity. Business users can manage connectivity with partners by onboarding data faster by up to 80%.
A lot of these solutions enable business users to integrate and exchange data without excessively relying on IT. By empowering every business user in a company integrates data, companies can speed up the process. Also, IT need not actively participate in the integration and exchange processes, and they can simply become free to focus on more strategic tasks.
These solutions have some pertinent in-built functionalities such as shared templates, application connectors, AI-powered data mapping, dashboards, etc. They enable business users (even non-technical ones) can onboard customer data faster than they were employing EDI VAN or create point-to-point integrations. In addition, integration happens in a highly secure way as modern EDI solutions proffer an end-to-end encrypted environment that enables only authenticated users to work with partner data.
It won’t matter what formats partners are leveraging during information exchange, they can convert the data into a preferred format and validate it as per business rules, and send it back for correction if required. They can always be tailored as per requirements, and they can also be upgraded over time.
The best aspect of having such a solution in place is that organizations do not have to pay for any version upgrades and just a one-time investment can do suffice. Hence, companies can start with EDI integration software and realize the benefits including ROI and ultimately become easier to do business with.