When an EDI solution is approaching its end-of-life, there are a few key decisions an IT manager must make. The first is determining how long their company can sufficiently last on its existing solution without damaging performance. Next, and even more important, companies have to find the right software and EDI providers to migrate to based on their specific needs. This can be challenging as each solution has its own unique features, strengths, and weaknesses.
And while the idea of an EDI modernization project might be overwhelming at first, the benefits gained from modernizing EDI are invaluable. Modern EDI solutions greatly improve a business’s visibility and efficiency compared to legacy EDI software—due to cutting-edge capabilities and technologies such as process automation, AI in the supply chain, real-time status updates, accelerators, pre-made integration templates, and more.
Why The Time to Modernize EDI is Now
When an incumbent EDI provider starts to put less into an EDI solution, security risks rise drastically. Data breaches and hacks can injure a company’s brand for years, while exorbitant fines and fees simultaneously plague their revenue. According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, the average global cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million, a 15% increase over the last three years. What’s more, in our 2023 Global Supply Chain Trend Executive Report, we asked executives what their companies’ biggest external threats would be in 2023—the top answer was cybersecurity with 44%.
Trading Partners SLA Compliance
A vendor investing less in their EDI solution can also quickly lead to trading partner compliance risks and missed SLAs. For example, as soon as a trading partner enforces a new requirement or mandate, enterprises are much more likely to incur costly fines. This is because the EDI solution will likely not receive the updates needed to support the new requirements. And what is an organization supposed to do when something goes wrong with its legacy EDI solution? When a product or solution is approaching end-of-life, often vendors stop offering support for the product. This means customers have no one to contact when issues arise, leaving them with no one to help resolve the problem(s).
Additionally, with legacy EDI software, onboarding becomes more complex. This is because each trading partner that needs to be onboarded will have different requirements for integration methods and formats. Legacy EDI software simply cannot handle the growing number of protocols. Meanwhile, modern EDI software has evolved to a point where no matter the standard or protocol that’s mandated, companies will have the capabilities needed to support any new protocol requirements.
EDI formats are also changing. Inconsistent messaging formats result in higher error rates and greater confusion. Without the proper EDI capabilities that modern EDI offers, business communication quickly suffers and trading partners become unsatisfied—equating to less future business.
Picking Your EDI Modernization Partner
Finding the best EDI provider is more manageable if you break it down into steps. When the time comes to start researching EDI providers for an EDI modernization project, consider the following steps:
- Determine your company’s goals for an EDI modernization project
- Decide which features and capabilities are “must-haves” in your next solution and provider, and which are “nice-to-haves”
- Research vendors by scouring their websites, software review sites like G2, as well as trade publications and third-party media outlets Identify contenders based on your research
- Create a list of questions to ask potential vendors on discovery calls
- Setup discovery and subsequent calls
- Create a short-list of potential EDI providers based on your conversations
- Make selection
As always, selecting a vendor will depend on your unique business needs. The best option for one company is not always going to be the best option for another company. That is why it is vital to outline your project goals and do the necessary research to make sure you find the best provider for your specific needs.
Benefits of EDI Modernization with Cleo
Cleo is not just an EDI integration vendor. Our customers look to us as a strategic partner to help guide them through their modernization projects and beyond. We are invested in our customers’ success and are committed to providing innovative products and services that not only optimize business processes and operations but also help companies grow.
With Cleo as your EDI vendor and modernization partner, your business will gain access to:
- API, EDI, and other non-EDI capabilities
- 20+ protocol support for all Managed File Transfers including AS2, HTTP/S, and OFTP
- Business process automation (e.g. Order to Cash, Procure to Pay, Load Tender to Invoice)
- Pre-made templates and maps, as well as accelerators that speed onboarding and time-to-revenue
- A variety of service options—self-service, managed services, and a blended approach
- Real-time data and updates, as well as customizable dashboards for each user
- Any-to-any integration between backend and internal systems, as well as external platforms—TMS, WMS, ERP, trading partners, eCommerce marketplaces, etc.
Future-Proof Your Business, with Future-Proofed EDI
While EDI has been around for decades, it has evolved. And in order for supply chain companies to succeed, they need strategic, innovative partnerships with the right EDI company to grow along with it.
Companies can future-proof their business processes, communication, and EDI, by migrating to a modern, cutting-edge ecosystem EDI solution. Not only does EDI modernization bring companies up-to-speed in today’s business landscape, but the solutions will advance as the terrain and market demands change—propelling your business ahead of the competition.
Need more reasons why now is the best time to modernize your EDI? Check out our whitepaper on 10 Reasons Why You Must Modernize Your EDI. If you have questions about what was covered in this blog, EDI, or Cleo’s products and services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.815.282.7695. Or explore some of our educational resources through our content hub.