In an article from last week, I made the following statement, “SAP is making a bold move now to eliminate the need for third party EDI and B2B service providers in favor of a simplified SAP supported environment.” What does that mean?
Historically, companies would need to purchase an expensive EDI system from some third party specialized EDI vendor. It was a completely different technology platform unrelated to SAP, required in-depth training, specialized EDI knowledge, integration projects, servers, security and 24/7 helpdesk support (related article on EDI costs). This is just to get started. Once the EDI system and resources were in place, long, hard and expensive multi-year trading partner implementation projects would be initiated. For more information read the article, The Process of Implementing EDI and B2B here.
Today this scenario has completely changed. SAP customers can now simply activate the SAP Information Interchange and pay a small set-up fee and then subscribe to the monthly EDI/B2B service from SAP. There is no longer the requirement for servers, specialized training, helpdesk, EDI systems, multi-year implementation projects, etc. For companies wanting to simplify their IT environment, reduce third party applications whenever possible and standardize on SAP this is a big step in that direction. Simplifying IT environments and reducing non-SAP applications is a growing trend. Even in the emerging mobile computing categories companies are choosing vendors like Sky Technologies because they have embedded SAP mobility solutions rather than external third party middleware.
This new methodology for supporting EDI requirements is similar to connecting to the electrical grid that is run by your local electric utility. You do not need to operate the electric power generation plant, the utility manages and operates it. You just need to activate your account with the electrical utility. SAP now has this service available and it is sold through their field sales teams.
You can get more details and pricing from SAP’s sales team.