Companies across all sectors are increasingly outsourcing their EDI requirements to a dedicated EDI managed service provider to overcome the constraints of managing an on-premise EDI solution.
Why move from on-premise EDI to an outsourced EDI managed service?
The problem with on-premise EDI solutions is that they can be notoriously difficult, expensive and time-consuming for in-house IT staff to manage. There are considerable complexities involved due to the vast array of standards used for exchanging data (such as Tradacoms, EDIFACT, EANCOM and XML). Multiple connectivity protocols such as AS2, FTP and SFTP, as well as ‘legacy’ protocols such as X25 and X400 create further complexities that need to be managed.
These complexities are intensified when trading partners make changes to their requirements, for example many retailers have moved from an EDI VAN to AS2 as their preferred connectivity preference and it is very common for trading partners to request new document types such as ASN’s. Even minor tweaks to documents, such as adding a new mandatory field, present challenges on an ongoing basis that makes maintaining EDI connections a time consuming process which can distract internal IT resource from more strategic tasks.
The same is true for the on-boarding of suppliers, which needs to be managed, both in terms of supplier adoption and supplier enablement. Poor supplier onboarding is the single biggest reason for the failure of electronic trading and EDI initiatives.
What is included in an EDI managed service?
An EDI Managed Service is a common approach that businesses use to outsource their EDI requirements. An EDI managed service overcomes the constraints of on-premise EDI by providing the necessary experience, skills and infrastructure, to allow companies to concentrate on their core competences.
Outsourcing to an EDI managed service provider removes the need for the customer to invest in EDI skills, processes, hardware, and software and therefore they no longer need to worry about technical EDI issues and maintenance costs. Instead, the EDI provider provides a scalable EDI platform and manages all of the customer’s electronic trading requirements, utilising the latest technology and expertise.
A secure, reliable infrastructure is the foundation for mission-critical B2B processes and is a key element of an EDI managed service, as is the continued maintenance of the platform and the provision of disaster recovery capabilities.
What sets an EDI managed service apart from a basic outsourced EDI solution is the management of day-to-day EDI activities on behalf of the client. With a basic outsourced EDI solution, the system is simply hosted for you but all other EDI requirements are your responsibility. Some companies have been caught out in the past, signing up to what they thought was a fully managed EDI service, when in fact it was simply an outsourced solution. We’ve created a checklist which outlines the top 10 factors to consider when choosing an EDI provider to ensure you don’t get missold.
A genuine fully managed EDI service includes the:
- Implementation and full configuration of your EDI solution
- Seamless on-boarding of all your trading partners
- Day-to-day running of EDI on your behalf, including the on-going maintenance of trading partner connectors, mailboxes and messages
- Pro-active monitoring of system availability, message delivery and message validation errors, resolving issues, in many cases without having to involve you
- 24/7 support for you your trading partners
The TrueCommerce EDI Managed Service
TrueCommerce provides a range of EDI solutions all delivered as a fully managed service — to meet the requirements of small, emerging, mid-market and enterprise businesses.
With 20+ years of experience in delivering a fully managed EDI service you will benefit from a first class platform and proven processes that are continually refined by our team of EDI experts.