In-House EDI Solutions involve investments and costs for the user to maintain their EDI B2B infrastructure.
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The deployment of an In-House EDI Solution involves the allocation of space in companies in which to install the physical and logical architecture required to put a company's EDI B2B infrastructure into operation.
These installations involve the implementation of servers and machines to process the components of a complete EDI platform. These may include message translation tools, specific data integration solutions, and communications services to manage the protocols for sending and receiving EDI transactions exchanged with the business partner community.
These can be very complex installations, especially if we are talking about companies with high EDI B2B exchange volumes. If necessary, they can have specific compliance capabilities to align the transactions managed with the tax requirements of the tax authorities in terms of e-Invoicing.
Moreover, since these transactions are critical for the company, this generally implies allocating a significant volume of resources and professionals to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the entire EDI infrastructure within the company.
All these reasons justify the growing trend to approach EDI B2B projects in SaaS mode. This model usually involves outsourcing all the necessary technical infrastructure to a service provider and the developments and maintenance to be implemented on the different applications involved in the customer's EDI solution. In addition to these solutions in SaaS mode, it is also possible to implement management services generally known as EDI Outsourcing, which involves delegating the configuration, administration, and monitoring tasks of the EDI Solution to the service provider. Consequently, the company is relieved of tracking incidents, communication failures, protocol configuration, or GLNs (Global Location Number).
What do I need to implement an In-House EDI Solution?
The technical requirements for an In-House EDI installation will differ depending on the complexity and the volume of documents to be managed. In any case, to a greater or lesser extent, at least the following components must be present:
Database and Application Servers
The physical architecture of this type of installation involves the management of high volumes of data and systems for archiving and retrieving the electronic documents exchanged.
We must not forget that we are talking about critical transactions in the business relationship between EDI business partners. For this reason, the hardware infrastructure must be adequately sized to provide the necessary data processing, storage, and buck-up capacities associated with the electronic exchange of documents.
It will be necessary to have specific applications to manage the entire solution. This usually involves an investment in licenses developed by a third party and the maintenance of these licenses to access the support and upgrade services necessary to keep the infrastructure from becoming obsolete. The pieces of software that embed an integrated EDI Solution will typically include:
EDI B2B messaging client: Specific solution to monitor the status of sent and received documents and parameterize all aspects involved in the maintenance of the EDI Solution. These can be operational points, e-Signatures, communications, rules, alerts, etc.
Application integrator: The electronic exchange of documents implies the integration of management applications with each other, so some specific services must converge in the installation to orchestrate the procedures to be followed to achieve these integrations.
Translation and data structure transformation tools: Management systems have to interpret messages exchanged between EDI business partners. Corporate finance, accounts payable, administration, or business development have to process all these transactions from their internal IT systems. Thus, the installation requires the participation of specific tools that enable the transformation of data structures into EDI standards and the translation of these standards into formats capable of being interpreted by the ERP.
Sent and received messages must be routed through specific EDI B2B communications protocols. Communications with the Value Added Network contracted, or the implementation of direct communications through systems such as AS, SFTP, OFTP, etc., require the installation, management, and maintenance of specific services dedicated to communications.