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Below are mentioned some questions with their answers that will help a business to understand EDI and the its various aspect fitting to his business environment.

What a person understand with EDI?

It is an abbreviated form of Electronic Data Interchange. Under EDI business documents like purchase orders and invoices are exchanged between between business partners from one computer to another computer in a prescribed format.

Who are the most common users of EDI?

Businesses, primarily, in sectors like retail, finance, automotive, aerospace, medicine, infrastructure use EDI to change documents, electronically, from one computer to another computer under a standard format.

What is meant by a business partner in an ecosystem used under EDI?

In an EDI, business partner is another company with documents are being exchanged. Most OEMs operates within a large network of business partners that are often termed as ‘Trading Communities’.

Is it necessary for a business to use an exact EDI solution that its business partner has advised him to do so?

No, it is not necessary to use the exact solution that a business partner have asked for. EDI solutions are governed by standard codes and parameters universally accepted. It is discretion of a business to use the exact EDI solution that fits to its business requirement.

How complicated is the implementation of EDI?

The EDI is very easy to install and configure. It can be implemented depending upon the type of EDI solution is selected. For a web based EDI solution what a business requires is logging into a web portal and filling up the required forms before sending the documents. However, for complex business processes it can be integrated into a company’s network and can be attached to its back office systems.

What is a difference between EDI on a VAN from the one that is on the Internet?

VAN also known as a ‘Value Added Network’ is a privately held network used for exchange of EDI communication between different trading partners. Business partners require to have an account with EDI VAN platforms like MAP MY EDI to ensure the smooth transaction of data between them. Apart from sending documents through VAN, it is also possible to to share documents between VAN under EDI communication. EDI Van being a conventional method of EDI exchange for about 30 years, the Internet has emerged as an alternate method to the same. The business benefits offered by VAN and the Internet are the same, it most probably depends upon the method being mentioned on the partner agreement.

What are the most popular types of EDI solutions available in the market?

On the basis of implementation and services provided, EDI solutions are categorized in three divisions:-
• EDI Application/Software
• Web Based EDI
• EDI Services Bureau
EDI software locates in a computer within the premise of a company. It offers maximum level of flexibility and control to a business using EDI exchange. EDI software can easily be integrated with back office systems of an organization. Under EDI software, documents are exchanged between EDI software of two trading partners.
The Web Based EDIs are deployed using the internet and stays on the Internet environment. Web based EDIs is an interactive process and hence requires data to be fetched manually.

EDI service bureaus is an EDI contractor performing EDI tasks on a client’s behalf. Under EDI bureau there least control is offered to a business partner to intervene in day-to-day activities of the business.

Which type of EDI solution is better, software, web-based or service bureau?

The Web Based EDI software is comparatively is far better than the other instances of EDI available in the market. First of all, a business is not required to install and configure EDI software. In a Web-based EDI, there is only requirement of filling a web-from through a login. The web application takes care of all manual udpates of the EDI software components. The advantages offered by MME EDI solution include reduced costs, mobility, cloud possibilities and flexibility.

Does an enterprise require to have a prior experience in implementing EDI?

A business is not required to have any specific experience, while, implementing an EDI solution. It case, if it has opted for an internet based EDI solution then the solution is hotsed by a company and is accessed through a web browser. The EDI software implementation is usually done by a vendor and requires some basic training for employees to go through.

Is it possible to outsource EDI services?

Like any other IT enabled services EDI can also be outsourced to a third party vendor. It can be hired to a third party vendor that fulfills an organization’s entire EDI requirements. MME managed services are integrated with immense EDI outsourcing capabilities and look after an organization’ s EDI requirement, completely.

There are many industry related EDI associations and data standards, how important are they?

The importance of industry associations is of an optimum value. They help a business to understand what other companies are doing in their specific industry with respect to EDI usage. The industry associations in the field of EDI also works upon developing codes for document exchange. Therefore, it is necessary for a business to firmly understand the different types of standard and codes in EDI documents types to properly implement them.