Automotive solutions provider partners with Cleo to meet GM ebXML mandate
Dealer Information Systems Ltd. (DIS) is a Canadian-based dealer management solutions (DMS) provider, delivering software, hardware, and IT solutions to the independent and franchise vehicle dealership market in Canada. These systems integrate sales, parts and service, billing, and warranty information for General Motors (GM), Honda, Nissan, Kia, and wholesale dealers, among other entities, totaling more than 3,000 dealers in six countries.
Hundreds of files a day transfer through DIS systems for business transactions involving vehicle invoices, daily parts orders, repair orders and audit information, warranty claims, and acknowledgments, mostly through Web Services and secure FTP. DIS had no problem facilitating these transactions for its 20-plus connections. In fact, the company already had an older, unsupported Cleo solution in place for many of its critical file transfers with GM. But a new communication standard mandated by the automotive giant required DIS to consider its options and upgrade its managed file transfer solution.
While most of DIS’s trading partners required Web Services and SFTP connections, GM issued a notice that all its communications must be done via ebXML and use TLS 2.0, moving away from TLS 1.0. DIS knew immediately that it had a problem, since it didn’t have a client that could support ebXML 2.0.
Also, when GM sent down warranty applications, these included a number of labor operation and warranty classification codes. Some codes were meant for specific dealers, while some were generic and could go to any of DIS’s contracted dealers. DIS required technology that could interpret which were dealer codes and which were generic codes to route them to the proper folders. This would keep a file from going to the wrong dealer and slowing down the transaction.
DIS began to explore technology options that would support the ebXML protocol and also deliver the control and visibility it sought to ensure business continuity with a trading partner of GM’s reputation.
To accommodate the GM ebXML mandate, DIS’s IT teams considered writing their own scripts and also just purchasing a new solution. When DIS discovered GM was using the Cleo VLTrader solution for ebXML, it further explored that option since Cleo had been effortlessly running its GM communications for years.
But DIS had been running an older Cleo product on a 32-bit 2003 server and couldn’t support TLS 2.0 to communicate with GM on that version. After renegotiating a license for a better-sized and better-fitting solution, DIS did an in-place upgrade of the Cleo VLTrader system that was installed, imported, and running in about three hours.
It was later discovered that a previous IT regime at DIS terminated support on their Cleo solution in 2012, largely because it always just worked and never required an upgrade. With the latest Cleo VLTrader solution in place, however, DIS was able meet the GM ebXML mandate and also offer future customers additional methods of connectivity. DIS could rest assured knowing its technology could deliver the stability and customer service its clients know and love.