In the latest blog, we have already briefly touched on how those challenges could be resolved simply by adapting to a handling EDIs with the help of a modern cloud-based integration platform. In this post, we continue to dig deeper in the topic to help you decide whether cloud EDI solution is right for you.
A cloud EDI solution is more than an EDI solution
When you are using traditional EDI solutions (such as Value Added Network (VAN)), you have purchased an in-house software that can turn the information of your ERPs and databases into a specific EDI format. However, this EDI software can handle most of your business-to-business integrations, but modern cloud-based integration platforms offer better solutions for building connectivity with all your value chain, sharing information, or translate the data to other formats, or check the quality of the data and enrich it if necessary.
When you are using cloud EDI, it can do a lot more for you than just fetch the information of your systems, transform it into EDI and forward it to your partners (who may need to change the format of it and most probably your IT team has built the connectivity between you and your partner), but a cloud solution can also build out the connectivity for you with your entire ecosystem whether your connection needs to be on-premise to on-premise, cloud-to-cloud, or on-premise to cloud connection, or perhaps you need to utilize APIs.
Data format translation
A cloud solution can also translate the data into any other program and can utilize any protocols for forwarding your information.
Cloud EDI solutions can work with any data formats and any data protocols, thus you can make sure that you always receive data in your preferred format.
Scalability of the solution
Traditional EDI solutions are inflexible and costly to update and they require specific know-how.
At some point, you will most likely need to make some changes in your solutions, as your network is growing, and you need to add more integrations or your systems should be able to handle or understand formats that you haven’t worked with before.
These changes can be rapidly made when you are partnering with a vendor providing you with business-to-business integration solutions in the cloud.
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You don’t need to have a dedicated IT system to update your EDI solutions and build integrations – this is typically handled by the vendor providing you with a cloud EDI solution. They also help you with implementing changes in the solution. Traditionally, implementing changes has been risky and it was time-consuming, however, when you are doing B2B integrations in the cloud, these changes can be executed within a few days.
You can receive pro-active support from your partner that will ensure that your solution works 24/7 without flaws and keeps you up-to-date if any errors would arise.
We help you with data governance to ensure availability, usability, integrity, and security. It is crucial that all the data transfers would happen in real-time and that the data quality is excellent. You don’t have to do manual error detection and fixes anymore. With cloud-based integration solutions, you can validate your data and it can be automatically forwarded back to the sender for modification.
For obvious reasons, security is a concern of many, not only when starting to use cloud-based solutions, but also when you need to share business-critical information with your stakeholders.
Conducting EDI transactions in the cloud is completely secure and you only share information with the partners you want to. During the entire process, you have full ownership over your data and you can monitor your data flows if you wish.
B2B Integrations with iPaaS are cost-effective
Compared to traditional EDI solutions, cloud EDI is a lot more affordable. When you are using the cloud, there is no need for investment in software or hardware. An initial setup fee and you are good to go.
Therefore, doing business-to-business integrations and data transfer in the cloud is also suitable for small enterprises – no heavy investments mean that anyone can start using it.
Verdict: Better collaboration, better data sharing, more transparency, and decreased costs
Starting to use a cloud EDI can be a turning point in your business. You will be able to manage relationships with your partners better, share data in real-time, make changes rapidly in your solutions, improve operational transparency, and cut costs.
However, the best thing about it probably is that you can start out small: you don’t need to dump your EDI software right now. You can start with one connection with one partner and you’ll see it yourself whether the solution is working for you.
Once you’ve liked what you’ve just tested, you may want to plan how to move forward and whether adding another few connections could have a positive impact on your business.