Modern EDI is EDI, B2B, EAI and MFT

Back in the good old days when I first stated in the world of EDI, EDI was just EDI.  The world has changed, so has technology, business and the software and tools available.   EDI morphed from supporting your standard transaction sets onto XML, CSV, Application files, API’s via Web Services,  Cloud services / SaaS, and eventually on to application to application integration within the organization. When you look for software and services today you have to consider a solid B2B middleware that will support all of your integration needs.  Modern integration suites support everything such as FTP, FTPS, SFTP, AS2 via MFT  (managed file transfer) as well as Web Services (Rest and SOAP), Cloud service integration, and File system monitoring (folders). In addition, if not obvious, Any-To-Any translation and having the ability to build business processes with complex business logic support are absolutely essential.

Long story short EDI is not just EDI and it hasn’t been for some time.

Over the next few months we hope to dive into a few options, some of the industry leaders (depending on time & company participation) such as:

  • Extol Business Integrator – EBI
  • IBM Sterling B2B Integrator – SI / SBI
  • Liaison’s Delta and Contivo with ECS
  • OpenText TrustedLink (Inovis)
  • OpenText BizManager (GXS)
  • Informatica B2B Data Exchange and Data Transformation

What are you using for your modern EDI / B2B Integration Software and what is your strategy? (Tools / Software / Managed Services)

IBM to buy AT&T’s Sterling unit for $1.4B

More Info And Full Story Here , Here, and Here.

NEW YORK (AP) — IBM Corp. said Monday that it is buying AT&T Inc.’s Sterling Commerce unit, which makes software that helps businesses buy and sell to each other, for $1.4 billion.

The deal would be IBM Corp.’s largest acquisition since it bought business software maker Cognos in 2008.

Sterling runs “collaboration networks” where companies can interact with vendors. It has 18,000 clients worldwide and enables more than 1 billion deals per year, IBM and AT&T said. Customers include H.J. Heinz Co., Motorola Inc., Boise Cascade LLC and Boston Market Corp. The parties would not provide a figure for the unit’s annual revenue.

This should be interesting to follow…

FYI – Sterling Commerce makes Gentran, Gentran Integration Suite and Sterling Integrator.

Breaking News: GXS and Inovis Sign Definitive Merger Agreement

GAITHERSBURG, MD and ATLANTA, GA — 12/08/09 — GXS and Inovis, leading providers of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce services and software solutions, today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to merge. Inovis brings with it approximately 16,000 customers from a range of industries including retail and consumer products, financial services, transportation/logistics and automotive. The combined company creates a leading global provider of B2B e-commerce services and gives the company an even greater global presence.The merger of GXS and Inovis will further streamline customers’ global B2B deployments and provide them with a comprehensive range of B2B integration software and services-based solutions. GXS is a leading B2B e-commerce services provider with a strong focus on helping customers optimize their global supply chains through its software-as-a-service (SaaS) and software-based portfolio that includes B2B messaging services, supply chain visibility, product master data management and B2B Gateway software. Inovis is a leader among B2B Gateway software providers and has a strong portfolio of complementary software and services including managed file transfer, supply chain visibility, product catalog, B2B Gateway and multi-enterprise master data management software.

“Today’s merger announcement marks a turning-point in the B2B e-commerce industry,” said Bob Segert, president and CEO of GXS. “GXS sees strong potential for further growth in B2B managed services and B2B integration software. This demand must be met by a company with a diversified portfolio and global scalability. The combined company will bring together a leading provider of B2B services, GXS, and a leading provider of B2B software, Inovis, into one, giving customers an invaluable portfolio for all of their global B2B e-commerce needs. Over the next few months, we will be focused on supporting our customers, reviewing our broad portfolio and providing the most reliable and scalable B2B platform available.”

GXS and Inovis expect to close the merger in early 2010, subject to regulatory review. During the merger closing process, all services and solutions will continue to be supported and sold. The goal of any integration activity will be to provide customers with a well-informed, seamless, managed transition with no business interruption. The company’s goal is to give customers capable, reliable, high-performance solutions for all their B2B e-commerce needs.

“Both GXS and Inovis are industry pioneers with proven abilities to serve world-class customers,” said Sean Feeney, president and CEO of Inovis. “The complementary products of these two companies create significant value for customers that are seeking a single global provider for B2B e-commerce. Both companies share a passion for raising the bar on innovation and operational excellence and have the specific industry knowledge needed to help our customers achieve true, seamless integration with business partners located anywhere in the world. This merger is a big step forward in the evolution of the B2B e-commerce industry.”

GXS was advised by Barclays Capital and Citibank on the transaction. Inovis was advised by Kirkland & Ellis and BofA Merrill Lynch on the transaction. Further details on the merger of GXS and Inovis can be found here: www.gxs.com/inovis and www.inovis.com/gxs.

About Inovis

Inovis offers software and services that enable companies to do business electronically across their entire trading community. Each day, over 16,000 companies across the globe rely on the Inovis platform to reliably send and receive purchase orders, synchronize data and manage exceptions in order to lower supply chain costs and get products to customers faster. Founded in 1983, the company is based in Alpharetta, Georgia and has offices around the globe. For more information, please visit www.inovis.com, read our blog at http://blogs.inovis.com, send an email to info@inovis.com, or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/inovis.

About GXS

GXS is a leading global provider of B2B e-commerce solutions that simplify and enhance business process integration and collaboration among trading partners. Organizations worldwide, including more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500, leverage the on-demand services on GXS Trading Grid® to extend supply chain networks, optimize product launches, automate warehouse receiving, manage electronic payments and gain supply chain visibility. GXS Managed Services, GXS’ B2B outsourcing solution, empowers customers with the expertise, technical infrastructure and program support to conduct B2B e-commerce with trading partners globally.

Based in Gaithersburg, Md., GXS has an extensive global network and has local offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. GXS can be found on the Web at www.gxs.com, http://blogs.gxs.com/ and http://twitter.com/gxs.

All products and services mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies.


Holiday EDI Volume

Author: Joey Adami
EDI OPTIONS, Inc.
55 Herricks Rd
Garden City Park, NY 11404

After spending some time with our client support technicians, it seems that
in the rush of the holiday season, our clients not only face shorter

deadlines and shipping volume but unique EDI issues as well.At holiday time, clients ship a much higher volume of goods, which can
complicate every aspect of shipping logistics. From packing a much higher
number of boxes and labeling to creating multiple invoices for stores or
distribution centers. Holiday logistics can become exponentially more
complex.

“During the holiday season many issues for support are easily fixed with
features that are already built into their EDI systems”-Tech Support

With a variety of EDI capabilities & customization, each client has the
ability to attain an automated EDI operation. Within software systems, there
are tools for everyday business and tools that might only be used during
this season when business traffic is high.

For example clients found themselves learning how to easily edit or even
delete items off an ASN.  Others discovered new reports to track
invoices, ASNs or any transaction inbound and outbound that was sent or
received from any given time frame even though these activities were easily
performed manually during periods of low activity they would be impossible
to perform during the holiday season without high level tools.

For business, especially in the wake of current economic challenges, it is
imperative to manage every order to insure compete and timely fulfillment.
The strength of an EDI system must mimic these goals allowing your EDI
operation to be, productive & robust.

An EDI solution that is flexible & powerful is one part of managing holiday
volume. Combine that power with knowledgeable staff, backed up by on call
support & the result is a solution with all of the necessary tools to tackle
a tough holiday season!


Back to Basics with EDI 101

Check out Craigs “Back to Basics with EDI 101″ post at the Invois blog here: http://blogs.inovis.com/2008/09/11/back-to-basics-with-edi-101/

Craig covers the basics of EDI, why it exists, communications, and standards.  Its a great read for those new to the EDI world.

Basically, at the core, EDI is a way of sending data back and forth between two entities. It can be two companies, two universities, or two hospitals; even two divisions of the same big company or corporation. EDI is used in a large number of industries – from retail sales and automotive manufacturing, to banks, hospitals, insurance and so many other industries and uses…