Home - Blog - What is an EDI partner ?

What is an EDI partner ?

Partenaire EDI

To find out what an EDI partner is, let’s start by reminding you what EDI is.


EDI, Electronic Data Interchange, is defined as follows :

  • A computer-to-computer exchange of business documents. These documents may include invoices, purchase orders, contracts or any other type of commercial document.
  • The exchange takes place in a standard electronic format;
  • Between business partners (for example, a company and its suppliers).


This mailing format offers many advantages. It is increasingly used by tax authorities, and a growing number of companies are using it for their invoicing. Thanks to this computerized exchange, the entire invoicing cycle, from issuing to processing, is completely dematerialized. The paper format disappears, and no manual intervention is required. Documents are exchanged directly from one computer to another.



The EDI partner : definition


An EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) partner is a company that provides services to organizations wishing to dematerialize their data exchanges. A firm of chartered accountants, for example, could call on a service provider offering an EDI solution. Accountants frequently use EDI to send VAT, CFE, CVAE, IS and tax returns. The EDI partner’s business expertise guarantees effective use of EDI. In particular, it will be responsible for ensuring compliance with EDI standards, as well as commercial and tax regulations governing electronic data interchange.


In this article, we’ll look at the roles of EDI partners, the EDI solutions they offer, and the 5 reasons why you should work with an EDI partner to ensure secure, reliable exchanges with your business partners and government agencies.



The EDI partner : a key player in the EDI process


The EDI partner has the technical, IT and business skills required for EDI. In other words, they are experts at exchanging information via EDI messages. It also means they have the ability to understand and analyze companies’ business needs, so they can integrate EDI into their information systems. He will be able to enable business applications such as ERP, Accounting, Production Management, TMS, WMS, etc. to automate their data exchanges with third-party applications.


EDI partner roles


The EDI partner is mandated by the company to transmit EDI messages. It manages the entire process of sending and receiving electronic data. It will convert and adapt the data to facilitate management of the company’s EDI transactions.


The EDI partner will be responsible for :

– Implementing EDI specifications ;
– Information dematerialization ;
– Syntax conformity of EDI messages ;
– Transmission of EDI messages ;
– EDI message reception ;
– Translation of EDI messages received ;
– Implementation of follow-up procedures for messages sent ;
– Inform sender of rejects.



EDI partner obligations


The implementation of EDI exchanges is strictly regulated by law. EDI partners are subject to a number of data protection obligations.


Data privacy


The data transmitted by the EDI partner is sensitive. It mainly concerns commercial and financial data, but also tax and social data when sending declarations to the authorities. The EDI partner undertakes to respect the confidentiality of the information it processes.


Data retention


The EDI partner is required to retain the data of its principals for the time necessary for transmission and final reception. Data must not be retained beyond the time required for the correct transmission of the EDI message.




When EDI partners subcontract, they must inform their principals.



Who can become an EDI partner ?


  • It may be an EDI service provider who offers the services of its EDI platform directly to the company, via various EDI solutions that will enable it to exchange data with its trading partners.
  • It can also be an intermediary, such as a chartered accountant or a certified management organization, which will then call on the subcontracting services of an EDI service provider.
  • Finally, it may be the company itself, via its IT department, which takes direct responsibility for implementing the EDI specifications of its business partners and government agencies. It may then decide to subcontract the transmission of EDI messages to an EDI supplier.



What EDI solutions are offered by EDI partners ?


EDI partners offer a range of EDI solutions covering all types of data exchange. These range from simple, occasional use for sending tax and social security declarations to administrations such as the DGFiP, to integration of EDI into an ERP system.

The diversity of EDI solutions on offer means that every company can find an EDI access solution to suit its needs and budget.

The EDI partner will recommend the EDI solution best suited to each situation. He will take into account a number of parameters:

The number of trading partners to be connected,

  • Volume (number of messages sent and received),
  • The desired level of integration with the company’s Information System,
  • in-house IT skills.

Here’s an overview of the different EDI solutions available :

On Premise EDI


With On Premise EDI, the company has its own EDI platform, installed on its own site. The solution is therefore internalized within the customer’s IT department. The EDI partner is only involved in installing and putting EDI into production. Companies can also choose to outsource the operation of their EDI platform to an EDI partner. This solution is particularly suitable for high-volume exchanges, or when EDI is of strategic importance to the company. In both cases, don’t overlook the importance of EDI platform testing.




With EDI in SaaS mode, EDI is a service to which the company subscribes. By relying on shared, semi-standardized tools, it becomes possible to implement an EDI project at lower cost. Costs are directly linked to transaction volumes. The advantages of SaaS EDI are the absence of IT investment, since only implementation and training costs are required. SaaS EDI also allows you to adapt the resources required to your business needs. It’s the ideal solution for getting started with EDI, and gradually building up your business.




WEBEDI is an EDI service offered via an Internet portal. A WEBEDI allows you to create EDI messages online, and also to receive messages in an “inbox”. This solution gives all companies EDI access via a simple Internet connection.






5 reasons to call on a partner for your EDI


Used for commercial exchanges and subcontracting operations, EDI connects information systems and coordinates them so that they can work together electronically. By automating transactions, companies save time and considerably reduce the errors associated with manual processing. EDI transactions must be smooth, reliable and secure. Working with an EDI partner ensures that these prerequisites are met. The EDI partner provides :





EDI is a standardized data exchange solution. To implement EDI reliably, it is imperative to comply with EDI standards such as EDIFACT.

The EDI partner, meeting this compliance requirement, will enable the various EDI standards and EDI networks to be interoperable with each other. The partner is registered with organizations such as GS1 or Galia. EDI partners offering services for tax and social security declarations are approved by the relevant authorities.



Business expertise


An EDI partner needs to know the business rules and commercial and financial regulations. They are the prime contractors for the deployment of an EDI project within a company.

Some EDI service providers also specialize in specific business sectors, such as automotive, transport and logistics. They bring their expertise and experience to the table.




In business practices, new data regularly needs to be exchanged between trading partners. As a result, EDI messages need to be adapted. Regulations can also evolve, and new regulatory obligations need to be applied. This was the case, for example, with the switch to electronic invoicing for all.


The EDI partner takes care of all the required evolutions during evolutionary updates. This means that companies can continue to exchange EDI messages in line with current standards, regulations and business practices, without any disruption to service.




The EDI service provider enables the company to adapt quickly to the needs of its trading partners: new trading partner, new message or message modification. It sets up all new EDI interchanges and carries out functional tests.


The EDI service provider offers a range of technical solutions, with the option of migrating from one to another as the company’s needs evolve. For example, if a company’s message volume increases, it can switch from WEBEDI to SaaS or On Premise EDI, by integrating EDI into the company’s ERP system.





Last but not least, the advantages of working with an EDI partner include the quality of service to which the partner is contractually committed. Every contract signed with an EDI partner must include an SLA (Service Level Agreement).

With an EDI partner, the company will be able to opt for a level of support corresponding to its business activity, and to contractualize it. The different service levels are, for example :

  • Support access hours: up to 7 days / 7 and 24 hours / 24 for night-time or international operations. This is common in the transport and logistics sectors.
  • EDI platform availability rate, i.e. the percentage of time the infrastructure is operational.
  • Maximum incident resolution time.

Tenor has been an expert in data flow exchanges for over 30 years, and can support you in your EDI, EAI and e-invoicing projects. Contact our experts and launch your project.