Either you’re being asked to adopt EDI software by a potential new large retailer or distributor client, or you have internet EDI software which has become outdated, so you’re looking into Web EDI software. What do you need to know about Web EDI software?
What is Web EDI Software?
For starters what is Web EDI software? Well let’s start with EDI, it is electronic data interchange, which means sending electronic data between companies. This replaces the old way of exchanging data which may have included letters, faxes and emails. These communications would have included orders, invoices and receipts. The process may have taken several days to place an order, have it confirmed, send an invoice, and then have a remittance advice after receipt of payment. Meanwhile several people are entering data onto different systems, produce paperwork and then sending it via email, fax or post. EDI streamlines this whole process so the order and payments are all sent electronically, almost instantly.
You may currently have an old EDI system which is likely what is called an internet-based EDI system. This includes a piece of software you bought, sat on servers you own, in a server room on your premises. This system has worked perfectly well for many years, although you’ve had to upgrade hardware and add new servers at times to keep the system running efficiently. The software provider has continued to offer software updates to keep it integrated with other EDI systems. However, perhaps the software vendor went out of business or got bought out and your software is no longer supported. Or perhaps questions are being asked about the expense of having your own internal IT team with air conditioned server room and all necessary security systems.
This leads us to Web EDI. Web EDI is the new way of doing EDI. It is the SaaS version of EDI, you subscribe to a piece of software on a monthly basis, paying per user, and by the amount of data being sent. You don’t need your own servers or a copy of the software on your systems as it is web based, on a browser and also perhaps on apps which are on smartphones, tablets and laptops.
The obvious advantage of this is a reduced upfront cost. For companies getting into EDI for the first time, being able to pay monthly for software, rather than invest in servers, software and IT Managers can be a massive barrier to entry hurdled.
Another advantage of EDI is that the software is constantly updated, to be integrated to all other EDI systems, accounting and ERP systems. Not only will the software supplier do their best to ensure integration with all other possible systems, but they will also ensure up time and security. Their cloud server system hoss the software and interchanges your data so they want to ensure it is as secure as possible with back ups and disaster recovery centers on stand by.