Speed is key in a migration. Here are three ways to help make the transition painless for the entire business.
By Nick Belenky
EDI Software often sticks around for years.
Once EDI is married to your ERP, there is a migration to overcome if you wish to use other software. Switching is usually justified by business drivers such as excessive transactional costs, end of software life (sunset), or a lack of modern capabilities (such as a data dashboard).
If your organization is moving forward with an EDI software migration, a few well planned steps can smooth and speed up the transition.
1. Divide and conquer your trading partner list. Full “go-live” cut-over events are risky affairs and whenever they can be avoided, opt to bring up one or a few partners at a time. The first group will be the most critical, likely resulting in opportunities to streamline the next phases of your rollout. Select your first partners based on their risk profile, with a relatively low volume partner being a common initial choice as any hiccups can be corrected quickly.
2. Engaging all of your partners (especially retail partners with extensive testing regimes) with the news of your new EDI platform carries business risk. You may be placed in a testing queue, subjected to newer testing protocols you did not need to pass in the past, or simply ignored until something like a new AS2 certificate breaks communications in production.
However, you can avoid many of these problems by maintaining your communications during the transition and doing extensive end to end comparison testing within your own environment.
Make sure your inbound EDI is creating the files or data sets you were with your legacy EDI software. On the outbound side, compare EDI to EDI and make sure your files match byte for byte with a simple file comparison tool.
3. EDI visibility platforms like IntelligentXchange from 1 EDI Source can help bridge the gap between EDI software packages during your migration process. These tools provide visibility into transactions from both EDI solutions at once, making it easy to train customer service reps, accounting and IT staff to search and identify typical EDI issues without the need of the native interface to the legacy or incumbent software. You can continue to use an enhanced EDI visibility platform after the transition to capture the benefits your cross-functional business units get used to and they will never have to be re-trained on the new EDI software—an added time savings.
If you’re facing a migration, contact our EDI experts to see how we can help you do it quickly and effectively. Call 1.877.944.4018 or send us an email.