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Why Modern Business Requires a Modern EDI System

Adam Hughes
EDI has evolved over the years, and it’s up to the enterprise to embrace a modern, flexible EDI system to meet the needs of its digital ecosystem.

The B2B challenges that organizations face today are far different than they were only a few years ago. The demands of customers are constantly evolving, and the impetus is on today’s enterprise to not only keep up with those demands but prepare your electronic data interchange (EDI) system for whatever comes next.

The companies that are equipped to best handle those challenges are the ones that not only embrace new technology, but use it to leverage secure data movement and data transformation capabilities that enable EDI integration. Having a modern EDI system in place allows businesses to meet the needs of their customers in a way that is efficient, secure, and reliable.

A central integration platform takes advantage of EDI in ways that drive true business value to your bottom line. Whether that means aggressively bringing on more trading partners, expanding into new geographic markets, or launching new revenue models like omnichannel or e-commerce, modern EDI integration throughout your digital ecosystem is critical.

The Difference Between Traditional EDI and Modern EDI

EDI is the standardized messaging format for all automated B2B data movement, which includes electronic file transfer (EFT) and any transactions tied to B2B communications. Organizations across the globe rely on EDI and its standard format to efficiently communicate with the various members of their digital ecosystem.

Previously, EDI was simply thought of as the exchange of standard electronic documents, which were defined by standards organizations, such as ANSI X12 and UN/EDIFACT. And while modern EDI systems still adhere to many of these standards, they also support non-standard, proprietary documents, such as flat file, XML, and spreadsheet syntaxes.

But EDI is more than just the EDI format; it's about the EDI processes as well. Modern EDI systems must evolve to keep pace with your ecosystems, which are now much more diversified to include wide-ranging customers, trading partners, protocols, and formats, as well as new applications and systems that must be integrated. In fact, new ways of doing business have emerged that put increased burden on organizations and their EDI systems to support various connections, applications, and business documents.

Flexibility is key, and a modern, centralized integration platform enables EDI integration with partners on their terms and enterprises to respond quickly to any requests. Organizations can then automate their interactions with partners and quicken the time it takes to onboard.

Business Scenarios Benefiting from Improved EDI

Improving how you accomplish EDI provides many benefits to your organization, including how you interact with your business partners. Purchase orders, invoices, and other B2B processes are the lifeblood of modern business, and enabling those processes ensures the reliable exchange of goods and services and ultimately dictates whether your business will make money. When you rely on legacy and disparate systems that are complex, expensive to manage, and complicated to use, those trading partner relationships – and revenue streams – are in jeopardy.

Here are a few benefits of modern EDI integration:

Speed and Time to Value

Enterprises with a central integration platform can considerably cut their processing time via automation, which speeds up order-to-cash cycles and improves business efficiency. Instead of taking days or weeks to onboard a new partner, for example, modern, integrated EDI systems leverage prebuilt connections to get you 80 percent of the way there.

Automation That Reduces Errors

Once you’ve made the decision to migrate from your legacy environment, you no longer have to spend valuable time and employee resources on manual data entry and integration tasks. Instead, automated EDI solutions, including an EDI translator, expedite those processes and reduce the number of human-generated errors. 

Cost Savings

Modern EDI systems reduce costs and overhead that companies previously were responsible for. If enterprises are still relying on custom-coded legacy systems, the resources required to manage and maintain your bulky and cumbersome equipment are going to run higher than if you were using a modern EDI integration platform.

Advantages of Using a Modern EDI System

Modernizing your EDI integration positions your company to take on new business and respond quickly to customer and trading partner requests. The last thing you need is to disrupt your data flow and business processes because your environment isn’t up to date. Here are a few ways a modernized EDI system can enable game-changing business advantages. 

Embrace Standards

EDI standards are in place to minimize any potential communication complications that can lead to lost data, missed SLAs, and costly chargebacks. Modern EDI systems can take most B2B documents and transform and orchestrate any data, regardless of format. These include ANSI X12, EDIFACT, and Tradacoms standards and support formats like EDI, XML, and JSON, among others.

Gain Real-Time Visibility

Your central integration platform should offer robust business and technical user dashboards for insight and intelligence into your data and the state of your business ecosystem. This allows you to have real-time visibility and data reporting and provides alert notifications for your important B2B relationships.

Accelerate Business Ecosystem Integration

A modernized platform improves EDI service by consolidating and automating data workflows seamlessly. It’s never been easier to connect with your ecosystem, improve partner onboarding, and integrate end-to-end data flows.

Modernize Your EDI with Cleo Integration Cloud

Despite reports of its premature death, moving EDI documents will remain a core part of global business going forward. Whether you take advantage of modern EDI, however, and all its benefits is up to you. 

Cleo Integration Cloud elevates your EDI integration processes and streamlines your B2B communications. Cleo Integration Cloud helps automate your EDI processes in order to connect, transform, and route your EDI and non-EDI transactions through your ecosystem without piling on the custom code.

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