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If you do a lot of document sharing with external parties, and hard copy exchange makes up the bulk of that, then electronic data interchange (EDI) software can be of significant help to you. The software will help you reduce errors and improve processing speed, ultimately enhancing relationships with the parties you deal with.
This buyers guide touches upon some important aspects you need to know and consider while evaluating options available on the market.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
EDI software is software that facilitates the secure exchange of documents and other information between two or more parties. It allows users to share trade or business documents in specific, standardized digital formats.
There are two deployment options for EDI software. We’ve listed the characteristics of each option below:
Cloud-based: You use the software for a monthly/annual subscription fee, typically priced per user. Software security, feature updates, and data backup are the vendor's responsibility; since the vendor manages the software, your data will be accessible to them.
On-premise: You purchase the software license for a one-time fee (some vendors might charge a recurring fee). You own the software, so you have exclusive control over your data, however, you will also have to take care of software maintenance and data backup.
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy:
Considering all the costs—such as one-time set-up fee and data migration costs—what is your product’s total cost of ownership (TCO)?
Does your EDI software integrate with IT management solutions?
The next step is to learn about the common features of EDI software. This information will help you shortlist systems based on your business needs.
EDI translation: Translate formatted EDI data into English or any other supported language so that recipients can read it.
EDI translation configurator in iR*EDI
EDI mapping: Format all transactions and share data across different business areas, such as your accounting or IT departments.
EDI mapping in Babelway
Data encryption: Conceal data using algorithms to ensure that intended information is securely transmitted between the involved parties.
Data encryption in EDI/HQ
Automatic notifications: Receive automated alerts regarding the status of your shared documents.
Critical alerts in Vantage Point EDI
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They’re obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.