EDI in the Sky: Continuing the Conversation

Our latest webinar, EDI in the Sky: The Future of Document is in the Cloud, was held June 30, 2020. We received many great questions from the audience and our speaker didn't get a chance to answer them all live. That is why we’re continuing the conversation and providing answers to some of these questions below.

If you didn’t get a chance to view the webinar, it’s not too late! It’s available on-demand here, and if you have additional questions that are not answered below, please feel free to reach out to our expert, Tomasz Spłuszka.

Q: How do costs differ between On-premise and Cloud-based EDI?

A: Well, there are several differences. On-premise solutions require the following costs: license, installation, set-up, and maintenance. Additionally, companies interested in On-premise solutions have to cover the cost of the IT infrastructure (both hardware and software) that is required to deploy the EDI system. Plus, a company will have to secure highly skilled resources that will be responsible for the system operations including: trading partner onboarding, tests, and mapping development. So, a company will be responsible for both the direct costs of purchasing an On-premise system and the indirect costs related to maintaining that system.

When it comes to Cloud-based EDI systems, companies, who are the end-users, do not pay for system deployment - in most cases a public cloud is utilized. Nor do they pay for system maintenance - the EDI system is maintained by the Service Provider. Additionally, EDI system operations, like onboarding, tests, and mapping development are also managed by the Service Provider utilizing the Service Provider’s resources. So, in general, we are talking about lower set up costs because there is no need to deploy an EDI system, only the link between the Client and the EDI Service Provider has to be established in order to enable EDI message exchange. Also, the maintenance costs are lower because the client is only paying for system utilization - either for the number of EDI messages exchanged or the data size that is exchanged via Cloud EDI.

Q: What companies would benefit from having Cloud-based EDI vs On-premise EDI?

A: As I mentioned above, when choosing Cloud-based EDI, companies can focus on their core business and leave EDI projects to the EDI experts. These experts will offer speedy implementation, continually updated EDI technology, support and onboarding services, and high Service Level Agreements. All of this is provided without the significant initial investment that is required when you decide to use an On-premise solution.

Q: What is the difference in implementation time between a phased approach and a ‘Big Bang’ approach?

A: So, a ‘Big Bang’ approach is mainly used in projects where we’re dealing with a limited number of EDI flows or partners that need to be connected to the EDI system.

On the other hand, when we have complex projects with a significant number of EDI flows or partners, a phased approach is more suitable to mitigate the risk of project delay and to ensure an even resource load when engaging in the project.

A ‘Big Bang’ approach by nature means a faster deployment of the EDI system (limited scope) while a phased approach is associated with longer, more demanding projects (project complexity is high).

Q: What if a partner does not implement the changes necessary for a new EDI system?

A: This is a pretty common issue during the EDI onboarding process and results in project schedule adjustments. To mitigate the risk of project delay, we can offer alternative, temporary solutions for such partners. For example, we offer Web EDI, which can be used by the partners until they are ready with all the necessary changes on their side.

Q: What are the tools you suggest for Med-Big enterprises which are currently doing well with respect to modernization?

A: If you are currently doing well with your existing EDI solution, then of course there is no need to move to modern Cloud-based EDI platforms. In such cases, change for the sake of change does not make sense.

However, if your current solution is unable to fulfill your current or future needs (outdated technology with high upgrade costs, limited IT/EDI resources, new business requirements) then this is the right time to initiate a modernization project, as a lack of action may lead to a situation where your company will fall behind the competition.

About Comarch EDI

Comarch EDI is a cloud-based B2B platform that enables dynamic and reliable data exchange between you and your trading partners. Designed to help your company significantly improve its business efficiency, our product is fully compliant with the latest global standards & regulations. Allowing you to send and receive dozens of electronic message types converted to many different formats, the platform has frequently been recognized for being both a highly practical and cost-effective IT product. It can be easily integrated with your internal IT systems (Classic/Integrated EDI) or used as a Web-EDI solution. No matter which form you choose, it will facilitate the entire trade life cycle - from placing an order, through the shipment, to the actual payment. Plus, thanks to the implementation of the blockchain, traceability, and machine learning technology, Comarch EDI guarantees that your supply chain processes will always be perfectly optimized for achieving greater business results.


Tomasz Spłuszka

Consulting Director, Comarch EDI

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