In the past five years alone, the managed services' market has almost doubled in value from 2014, rising from £82 billion to £149 billion today, because organisations are more frequently looking towards partnering to meet their IT needs.
With many IT Channel partners capitalising on the trend and already offering cyber security and IT support services to their customers in automotive, retail, manufacturing, logistics, and the supply chain, they look towards other services where they can add value, customer loyalty and incremental recurring revenues.
Partners who know these sectors understand the immense operational challenges their customers face when trying to facilitate business processes between multiple customers and suppliers. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology allows them integrate business management process and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software enables the exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between participants.
Because of this they are in the enviable position of being able to offer extended services to their customers, while increasing customer loyalty.
EDI is an indispensable technology that delivers reduced operating expenses and improved value chain communications to all sizes and types of businesses around the world. Its founding principle is in increasing efficiency of the process and logistics' challenges that businesses face every day to free them up to innovate, build markets, and grow revenue.
This technology helps businesses to be more productive and efficient, facilitate efficient processes and eradicate the risk of manual errors by automating B2B communications. For organisations in the automotive, manufacturing, logistics, healthcare and retail supply chain sectors, EDI has become a critical tool for organisations that buy and sell goods across the world.
Despite the vast business benefits EDI can deliver, many companies have found that an in-house EDI programme is complex, labour intensive and expensive to run . Maintaining up-to-date trading partner EDI standards, the ability to train and retain suitably qualified technical resources, and the purchasing and maintaining of EDI software, can quickly become costly and unmanageable for many businesses. As a result, this runs the risk of nullifying the rich benefits EDI can offer.
However, while it is essential for companies on all stages of the maturity cycle to have EDI capabilities, it is becoming increasingly unnecessary to own the EDI software. Instead companies can focus on implementing, managing and maximising the advantages of EDI.
The importance and complexity of EDI to a modern business begs the question – should it be kept in-house at all? After all, crucial services such as accounting, telecommunications, auditing and so on are often outsourced, so why not EDI?
Although EDI technology has been around since the 1960’s – a decade that saw audio cassette, compact disc and computer mouse, all make their appearance – transacting digitally becomes a challenging environment for businesses without the resource, skills and budgets to navigate the complexities of EDI.
The combination of the next generation of cloud based EDI technology and a Value Added Network (VAN) offers the ability to deliver a well-implemented EDI solution with no need to manage direct connections to all of a company’s many individual business trading partners. Set up one connection to the B2B communications VAN and have instant access to their extensive trading partner network and interconnect agreements.
Instead, with cloud based EDI at the heart of every exchange that takes place, customers can use the connection method that makes most sense to their business, letting the complex data transformation and connections take place in the background. This ensures connections to customers and suppliers are using familiar protocols and messages that are delivered in the expected formats.
With existing connections to over ten thousand businesses globally, a well-established and reliable B2B communications Value Added Network can quickly and smoothly facilitate the fast and accurate exchange of business-critical data. With ready-to-go integration technologies to connect with your suppliers , partners, customers and other solution providers you need to exchange data with on a regular basis, even the most challenging B2B integrations can be seamlessly catered for.
In summary, EDI as a Service is extremely attractive to end user businesses that want to simplify their processes and logistics without the headache of having to resource and fund multiple systems, software licenses and processes. Whether or not Territory, Solution or Technology Partners are experienced in this area of the supply chain, this represents a real opportunity for those wishing to create additional revenue streams customers and prospects from services as well as increasing customer loyalty.
Couldn’t be simpler.
Data Interchange connects thousands of businesses and trading partners globally and facilitates the fast and accurate exchange of business-critical data, using the company’s own in-house B2B EDI integration technologies. The company pioneered some of the first EDI systems in the UK and Europe in the 1980’s and was active in the group who designed the ODETTE FTP protocol (OFTP). Today, the company employs over 100 EDI specialists across Europe and works with some of the biggest automotive brands in the UK.