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Existing EDI Users and the SAP Information Interchange

Many companies have been operating legacy EDI environments successfully for decades. What value then would SAP’s new SAP Information Interchange (SII) for EDI/B2B managed services offer them?

In my opinion, if you have hundreds and thousands of connected EDI trading partners running efficiently on a well managed EDI system today, then there is not a great deal of motivation to change. However, if any of the following exist, then it may be a good time to re-think your approach to EDI:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions – If an IT department must absorb, consolidate, downsize or transfer IT responsibilities, it would be a good time to look at new and more efficient ways of supporting these activities.
  • Annual support and maintenance renewals are required by your legacy EDI vendor – and the high cost forces you to reconsider your current EDI processes.
  • High upgrade costs are required by your legacy EDI vendor in order to support new processes.
  • There is a corporate mandate to reduce third party software applications and standardize on SAP whenever possible. Utilizing the SAP Information Interchange would enable the IT department to eliminate third party legacy EDI software systems and IT infrastructures and simply plug-in to the SII for EDI managed services.
  • Shared services centers are embraced by your company and EDI is an ideal shared service. It can be shared not just with internal departments, but with the entire SAP community to reduce costs and share trading partner connections.
  • Large trading partner implementation projects are being planned. EDI implementations are hard work that often involve multi-year efforts. This may not be the best use of internal IT resources. See the articles listed below for more details on EDI implementations.
  • SAP upgrades often disable existing EDI integration scripts. This often requires significant IT development efforts to rebuild and reconnect legacy EDI systems. This is a good time to ponder your costs and approach to EDI.

The following articles are on the subject of EDI implementations and resource requirements for legacy EDI.

Staffing Resources Required to Implement EDI

The Process of Implementing EDI and B2B

EDI Message Implementation Information for SAP Users

EDI & B2B Relationship Management for SAP Users

The Impact SAP Upgrades Have on EDI and B2B Operations

Challenges to EDI, B2B, Business Network Transformation and Supply Chain Collaborations

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