What’s the best EDI Software? – A decision-making guideOn December 6, 2022 by Shivam Rawat
Investing in the right EDI software is a crucial step toward becoming a fast-growing enterprise in the market. We need a system for EDI integration that is stable, accurate, and easy to manage. If you are looking to invest in your next EDI solution, you must first understand the different types of EDI solutions available before you narrow down on vendors.
There are three broad types of EDI solutions available in the market:
- Traditional EDI Managed Services
- Traditional EDI Softwares
- API-based EDI Software
In this decision-making guide, we will compare the three types of EDI solutions on 4 key criteria
- Nature of use
- Implementation time.
Understanding the differences between these EDI solutions will help you find what’s best for your organization. Here we go!
|Traditional EDI Services||Traditional EDI Softwares||API Based EDI|
|Nature of use||Fully managed|
No control over development
Limited ability to customize
Full control but hard to implement
Requires considerable EDI expertise
|Self serve mode|
No EDI expertise required
Use common API developer
|Support||Long waiting time||Needs a full-time support team or vendor||Exclusive delivery manager|
Unlimited developer support hours
24×7 support via phone
|Pricing||High cost||High integration cost||Lowest cost|
|Implementation time||Frustratingly slow – 3 to 5 months||Depends on the in-house team |
5 weeks to 3 months
|Fully managed – 3 weeks|
Self-serve – 3 to 5 weeks
Traditional EDI Services
Traditional EDI services are fully managed services for EDI integrations. They provide solutions to customers/businesses to establish EDI connections and take care of the entire implementation process. With the help of the EDI service provider, the business discusses compliance with its trading partner. Once the business and trading partner agree on EDI specs, the traditional EDI service provider intermediates EDI, it is the most prevalent form of EDI solution.
Nature of Use
Traditional EDI services offer customers limited freedom to customize EDI. They must communicate requirements with the traditional EDI service whenever they need a change or an update. Organizations that use a traditional EDI platform may sometimes force new partners into the same platform service. It can be limiting for new businesses looking for a fully-accessible and customizable EDI service.
Several major organizations are habitual in relying on traditional EDI services since they are a high priority to their service provider. However, new businesses may not get similar customer support from traditional service providers. Most customers face long waits to receive support from traditional EDI services. Since they have thousands of clients, they may fail to address your issues on time.
One of the reasons why traditional EDI services are expensive is because they manage the entire EDI process from end to end. Even though automation of data exchange made it faster, it was never cheap. Even today, the cost of traditional EDI services can be high for many SMEs if we consider the efficiency of these services.
Outsourcing EDI integration to a traditional EDI service can take 3 to 5 months. You cannot see a functioning EDI until the service provider delivers it. Accessing the functions and maintaining EDI can become difficult and time-consuming because of the constant need for communication with the service provider. It can slow down EDI implementation between you and your trading partner. It is the hard truth that traditional EDI services cannot keep up with the pace of fast-growing businesses.
Traditional EDI Software
EDI software provides solutions for EDI integrations as tools. It is an alternative for businesses that want an in-house team of EDI developers to manage EDI. In-house EDI developers work on EDI software to implement the EDI project end to end. In case a business doesn’t have an experienced in-house team, they can take the help of consultants. EDI software and in-house teams can offer businesses better flexibility and control than traditional EDI services.
Nature of Use
Traditional EDI software offers a self-serve mode to customers. It allows customers to perform EDI integrations with full access to all customizations. However, implementing EDI projects using traditional EDI software is pretty complex in nature and requires considerable EDI expertise. It is especially hard for beginners. New businesses can face constant hurdles due to their high expertise requirements.
The performance of your EDI depends on how well your in-house and software support teams work together. If the support team does not respond to your in-house team on time, it will increase your cost and effort for integrations. Many traditional EDI software services are known for cluttery interfaces and poor response time, requiring higher skill and larger financial investments.
EDI software can be affordable compared to traditional EDI services for large businesses. However, the integration cost of traditional EDI software can go out of budget if the developers are not time-efficient with EDI integrations. The consultants also charge a high fee. It can sometimes be unaccommodating for small businesses that need an easy-to-afford EDI solution that they can manage with minimum resources.
With EDI software, implementation time depends on your in-house team of EDI developers. If you have experienced developers, expect traditional EDI software to take 5 weeks to 3 months to complete establishing EDI. Traditional EDI software also requires constant communication with consultants/support teams until EDI integration is complete. Some developers feel it’s a daunting experience to manage EDI software altogether.
API-based EDI Software (API to EDI)
API-based EDI platform offers a SaaS (software as a service) solution for EDI integration. They provide an API interface to send and receive EDI. Developers can manage EDI integrations using JSON format without the need to access EDI servers and their complex designs. API converts JSON payloads into EDI’s standard file to send to the trading partner and vice versa.
Nature of use
API-based EDI platforms offer a developer-friendly API interface. Any modern-day developer can learn EDI faster on API, irrespective of their prior expertise. Moreover, API has more features to customize your entire business process. This results in easier management. Businesses that fear the liabilities of outsourcing or inexperienced in-house EDI team can use an API to configure EDI easily.
API-based EDI platforms make EDI integration smart and easy to implement, so modern developers don’t have to seek experts’ help, but that’s not convenient enough. Zenbridge takes customer support a step ahead with unlimited free developer support and 24×7 availability to solve any issues. You are always connected to an Exclusive Delivery Manager who manages your EDI with Zenbridge.
API-based EDI platforms charge less than traditional EDI services or EDI software. API is capable of reducing the EDI integration cost in many ways. It can rectify errors in real-time and save you from chargebacks due to bad EDIs. It can also save the cost required to find an experienced EDI developer. Let’s not forget that API developers are the most widely available developer resources.
API-based EDI platform Zenbridge offers two types of modes. In the self-serve mode, a developer will work on API for EDI integration while in touch with the support team for any queries. Since most of the EDI integration is pre-programmed, you can start using EDI in 3 to 5 weeks. The fully-managed mode enables the Zenbridge development team to manage your EDI integration from end to end while you specify EDI specs through a business analyst. The team of expert API EDI developers can implement EDI within three weeks, making API the most efficient option for your EDI integration.
With today’s fast pace demands, business owners stuck with traditional EDI methods face the following problems:
- Shortage of EDI expertise
- Longer integration time
- Lack of real-time validations
- Lack of flexibility to automate all business processes
Due to the pre-internet era design of traditional EDI services and software, developers today hesitate to work on an old EDI system. The problem lies in its complexity and steep learning curve, which consumes more time and money. Despite a successful run of traditional EDI over decades, companies must consider a more modern alternative.
An API-based EDI platform can overcome these issues by providing a cutting-edge EDI alternative. API programming is the most commonly available skill set in the developer market. To add to that, API toolsets are not only cutting-edge but also very mature and abundant. For these reasons, an increasing amount of organizations are investing in API-based EDI software.
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