Leapfrog your EDI into the cloud with intelligent B2B integration

With global public cloud spending predicted to hit $200 billion in 2019, chances are your company is moving more and more of its business computing infrastructure to the cloud. That’s a relatively straightforward task with modern enterprise applications, but what about the legacy apps that your organization still relies on—is it possible for them to be “reborn for the cloud?”

Modernizing EDI

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) provides a classic example of a legacy application that can. Introduced more than 30 years ago, EDI was the first technology to enable large-scale electronic document exchange between multiple companies. EDI encompasses a set of global standard and is a fixture in many of today’s enterprise IT organizations. However, this legacy technology imparts an extraordinary amount of technology debt that keeps EDI located on-premises, expensive, and stressful to maintain.

To achieve the transformative benefits of the cloud, companies must leapfrog their legacy EDI capabilities, past a simple “lift and shift” of standalone EDI functionality, to fully integrated functionality in enterprise hybrid and cloud environments. Only in this way can EDI be “reborn in the cloud,” freeing companies from EDI’s limitations while maintaining crucial connectivity.

A B2B connectivity checklist

An intelligent integration platform (IIP) is a self-service solution that gives companies a unified, cloud-based approach to achieve comprehensive B2B, application, and data integrations. By meeting the five requirements below, an IIP delivers the foundation for modern EDI.

  1. Consolidation: The IIP solution can eliminate multiple technologies and expensive consultants to manage EDI
  2. Cost savings: No more fees for EDI consultants or employees focused on maintaining EDI or custom-coded connectivity
  3. Time savings: Resources no longer need be exhausted to solve EDI problems and manage trading partners; instead, they can be allocated to higher-value tasks
  4. Greater insights: The IIP solution exposes valuable information previously hidden in EDI data and can connect with myriad enterprise-wide systems
  5. Self-service: Ease of use across audiences with varying skill sets; EDI is also integrated with the IIP solution for added convenience

The benefits of modern EDI

Because most enterprise EDI installations are composed of legacy on-premises technology, they cannot easily connect to multiple systems from partners, suppliers, and customers. As a result, an estimated one-third of Global 2000 companies have turned to custom code for connectivity. This strategy solves short-term challenges but builds new levels of technology debt: the overhead incurred every time a process changes or a new relationship is formed.

Optimally, an intelligent integration platform will eliminate the wait for B2B specialists to manage process workflows and maintain legacy EDI connection. This delivers: 

  • Cost and time savings from a reduction or elimination of dedicated consultants or full-time employees to EDI projects, resources to create and manage custom-coded connections, and the mysterious, complex EDI problems.
  • Greater insight from vastly improved connectivity; the right IIP solution can expose valuable information previously hidden in EDI data.
  • Self-service, by providing easy, unified experiences for all audiences, with no specialized skillsets required. Likewise, the full spectrum of IT experts and casual business users (“citizen integrators”) can gain additional productivity from intuitive, AI-powered integration assistance.

The SnapLogic Intelligent Integration Platform enables the transformative benefits of modern EDI capabilities, re-born for the cloud. With SnapLogic for B2B Integration, you can use a widely accepted, standard method to communicate and exchange information with suppliers, customers, and partners, while dramatically reducing the technology and consulting costs of traditional EDI. To learn more, download the white paper “Intelligent B2B integration: How modern EDI can leapfrog into the cloud.”

Dhananjay Bapat

Dhananjay is a Technical Product Marketing Manager at SnapLogic.

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