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How do you identify and choose the right EDI solution ?

Idees EDI

Choose the EDI solution that enables you to implement Electronic Data Interchange with your trading partners. In this article, you’ll find a list of possible EDI solutions. You’ll also be able to identify the questions you need to ask yourself. This will help you make the right choice for your business. So there’s a solution for every need !



The different types of EDI solutions available




This is the simplest EDI solution to implement: the information to be transmitted is entered manually into a form accessible via the Internet.

It is then automatically converted into standardized EDI format and transmitted to your partner.

This EDI solution is often adopted by small and medium-sized businesses. It eliminates paper, reduces processing errors and lowers archiving costs.

However, Web EDI does not eliminate the risk of data entry errors, nor does it offer all the productivity gains offered by integrated EDI systems. When the volume of data to be processed increases. You need to opt for an integrated EDI solution.




Integrated EDI solutions


They enable complete automation of exchanges :


  • Integration or extraction of transactions in management software
  • Secure translation and transmission of EDI flows.


Business processes are simplified and exchanges are made more fluid. As a result, you avoid the risk of errors associated with manual data entry, while reducing administrative costs and boosting productivity.



There are two types of integrated EDI solution :


  • EDI OnPremise or EDI in situ : the solution is internalized, in your datacenters. You take charge of the EDI software and all the equipment and network connections in your IT infrastructure.
  • Hosted EDI or EDI SaaS: this is the outsourced solution. You entrust your system management and deployment to an EDI service provider.



Saas EDI can be shared or private – meaning that the EDI platform can host the EDI activity of several customers – or it can be totally dedicated to you.
The EDI world is following the dynamics of the Saas market, which is growing by an average of 16% per year in France (according to a study by IDC France).



TIP : consider the benefits of delegating the complete management of your EDI platform, from day-to-day monitoring to skills management, infrastructure and security. This is particularly true when it comes to dematerializing your invoices for tax purposes.



Which solution is right for you?


When choosing your type of EDI, here are a few questions to ask yourself beyond the question of implementation and operating budget.



Do I need to integrate my EDI solution into my information system ?


The first question to ask is whether the benefits of integrating EDI into your management system would cover the implementation costs.

The answer depends on the volume of exchanges envisaged (number of messages and quantity) and the complexity of your management flows.


  • If either is important, an integrated system will bring immediate benefits.
  • Otherwise, a WebEDI solution is more appropriate.




TIP : In your analysis, don’t forget to look beyond your trading partners’ current requirements. Evaluate all the partners who might be interested in EDI exchanges with your company. But also other EDI messages that could simplify your management system.



Can my information system communicate with an EDI system ?


This is the case with many ERP systems, but it’s a legitimate question to ask. In fact, integrated EDI assumes that the IT system has input (or output) points for receiving (or extracting) commercial documents automatically.

Exchanges between the ERP solution and the EDI system take the form of structured format files. In the case of SAP ERP software, for example, these files are IDocs.


TIP : If your management system doesn’t include integration or extraction programs as standard, consider developing your own. You can also consider alternative exchange solutions, such as Webservices.



WebEDI is the best solution when it’s impossible to communicate your information system.



Should I choose an internal or external EDI solution ?


The ultimate question is whether your company has the skills required to install and maintain an EDI system.

You may prefer to leave the management of the platform, its security and the maintenance of its interoperability over time completely to yourself.

The choice between EDI OnPremise and EDI Saas may also depend on your company’s investment policy.



TIP : if you opt for a SaaS EDI offer, check that you can benefit from the reversibility feature, which makes it easy to switch to OnPremise EDI mode.



To maximize the benefits of EDI, many companies prefer to automate as much as possible. But integration is not always possible or relevant. Similarly, cost alone is not enough to make the right choice. All of the above will help you choose the EDI solution best suited to your company and its context.



Tenor has been working with you for over 30 years on EDI-related issues. For more information on On Premise EDI, visit our dedicated page. You can also visit our WebEDI page for more information on SaaS EDI. Don’t hesitate to contact our experts for a first approach to your needs.