EDI has a long history as a standard platform to simplify B2B communication in order to speed up and secure the process of information exchange. It is critical for businesses, acting as the cornerstone for any business information exchange system. However, the traditional in-house EDI model has become outdated in terms of flexibility, scalability, and pricing. Facing a harsh and competitive market, many businesses have shifted to EDI service providers that offer modern cloud-based solutions to gain a competitive advantage.
What is cloud EDI?
Cloud computing is the use of computing resources that are delivered as a service over a network. It is a combination of EDI and cloud computing technologies which offer the next level of flexibility to access data and business collaboration while eliminating the need to invest in unnecessary components such as software, hardware, and expensive EDI specialist otherwise required in the traditional in-house EDI solution.
But that is not the only reason prompting savvy organizations to move toward cloud EDI. Businesses that implement traditional EDI solutions also face other roadblocks in the long term, including:
Integrating legacy EDI systems with modern applications and systems are difficult
On-boarding new trading partners can be time-consuming
Scalability is limited due to the complexity of the EDI network
Traditional EDI solutions still offer benefits to fit your goals and requirements. Before deciding to move toward the modern cloud EDI approach vs the traditional in-house model, it is crucial for businesses to understand the benefits and how it can help you to overcome some of the most common EDI challenges outlined above.
Why move to cloud EDI
No upfront expenses
One of the most significant advantages of moving to cloud EDI is that businesses do not have to purchase EDI software and hardware to keep the system running. Businesses without EDI capabilities now can exchange EDI documents and information with their trading partners without the upfront investment in software and hardware.
Cloud EDI solutions also substantially reduce costs with a pricing model based on usage. Thus, businesses only have to pay up an affordable monthly subscription and upscale or downscale depending on their business capabilities and customer demand.
Reduce operation & maintenance cost
Cost is one of the most important metrics when considering an EDI solution. It is crucial to identify any hidden costs that could be overlooked. In the case of traditional solutions, these can be divided into 2 different groups: operational costs and maintaining costs. Operating an EDI system requires a large IT staff or extensive EDI knowledge to monitor and update changes - even on holidays.
Conversely, cloud EDI eliminates these costs, since a specialized team from the provider will handle operations and maintenance for your EDI system.
To stay competitive in today’s dynamic global market, businesses need to have full control over their operations, with 100% visibility into the supply chain. With cloud EDI, accessing and tracking your EDI data can be done at any time and from anywhere in the world in an internet connection. This enables multiple users in multiple locations throughout the globe to access the service without hardware and software like the in-house setup. Hence, businesses can overcome the challenge of obtaining real-time information, while avoiding inconsistent data and connectivity issues.
Optimal performance. Always-on availability. Fast deployment. Cloud EDI is the optimal solution to help promote collaboration and foster your networking.
Being able to scale when necessary is critical to enterprise success. As companies grow and expand, they also have to take on more customers and handle a higher volume of transactions. As a result, the task becomes increasingly difficult. Compared to the traditional EDI approach (e.g., on-premise hardware, point-to-point connections, EDI VAN) which have limitations that slow partner onboarding and result in longer deployment time, a cloud EDI solution is preferred by many businesses due to the level of scalability it provides.
Onboarding new partners with a traditional EDI managed services provider can be costly due to hidden costs such as operations, as well as software and hardware upgrades. This can be easily avoided with a cloud EDI service such as DiWeb where you only pay based on what you use and still get access to powerful features, including:
Seamlessly onboarding of new EDI customers with no operational cost added
Easily handle seasonal spikes in business volume
Eliminate any potential disruptions with quick deployment
Traditional EDI solutions do not have the ability to automate certain EDI processes, as they are designed to perform specific tasks. When integrating with new systems, businesses will have to manually make custom changes and upgrades according to the requirements of these systems. In addition, traditional EDI providers often subcontract ERP integration to third-party vendors, which can lead to delayed projects.
Powered with cloud computing technology, cloud EDI can streamline and automate the data exchange process, enabling businesses to tackle any integration challenges easily without the need to deploy and manage additional software and hardware. If you need to integrate with any legacy on-premise processes, systems, software or applications, cloud EDI makes it all possible. For example, DiCentral’s DiWeb is ready to integrate with more than 100 ERP, WMS and accounting systems, ensuring the project is up and running quickly, on time and under budget.
While EDI’s future seems bright, the traditional in-house method simply is not practical for every organization. In order to seamlessly exchange EDI data with partners, cloud EDI solutions have become the preferred way to automate workflows at an affordable price.