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Data Masons Blog

5 min read

The 10 Most Common Myths Around EDI for Microsoft Dynamics: DEBUNKED

July 19, 2011 @ 20:07 PM

Myth #1: A third-party EDI solution requires extensive customizations to the Dynamics ERP platform.

Not true: Built on Microsoft SQL Server using .NET development tools, Vantage Point EDI is a scalable, multi-user solution that handles enterprise-level EDI requirements. It's designed to do all of the "heavy lifting" that most ERP products perform only when working with legacy translators such as TrustedLink® and Gentran Integration Server. Vantage Point EDI creates a true data warehouse for EDI and ERP-related transaction data inside a SQL database that provides limitless options for ERP integration and partner compliance without modifications to the Dynamics ERP.

Vantage Point EDI lets you run the Dynamics platform the way you want without requiring you to follow specific procedures to achieve EDI integration and compliance. Legacy solutions invariably require extra procedures and steps to make EDI work, while Data Masons engineered a technology platform that makes this concept obsolete.

Myth #2: I need more than one integration solution to handle non-EDI files.

Not true: Data Masons designed a solution that can read and write virtually any data format, including ASC X12, EDIFACT, ASCII delimited or fixed position, and XML.

Myth #3: To successfully do EDI, we have to have EDI experts on staff.

Not true: With Microsoft’s emphasis on product virtualization, you’ll find more and more Dynamics partners and add-on solution providers are also leveraging both their Dynamics and industry expertise. This strategy is a win for both partners and end users.

Engaging an ISV partner like Data Masons that focuses on EDI for Dynamics, and has industry expertise guarantees that you have a trusted expert to assist you in meeting EDI integration requirements, from analysis through to solution implementation. And Vantage Point EDI’s flexibility gives organizations the option to be as hands-on or as hands-off as they would like, offering completely outsourced EDI management services or providing end users with the same mapping technology that Data Masons uses. With this expertise and flexibility, you can alleviate the resource and costs constraints associated with having in-house EDI expertise or do it all yourself!

Myth #4: I’m changing my ERP to Microsoft Dynamics and the current EDI solution works, so it’s the right choice.

Not true: Although your solution-of-choice may be handling your EDI requirements today, that doesn’t mean it will work easily, or even at all, with the Dynamics ERP solution. It’s easy to assume that all an EDI system does is translate files, but there is much more to it.

Data Masons’ experts can help you identify the true scope of your integration project before diluting your resources during an ERP migration, potentially delaying and even jeopardizing your project. Data Masons can provide a gap analysis over the current platform and explain what is truly involved prior to building or purchasing a custom solution.

Myth #5: My Trading Partner allows for a direct connect, but I will still pay transactional and document fees.

Not true: Data Masons’ Vantage Point EDI solution supports the option to connect directly to your trading partner (e.g. Walmart) and transfer EDI documents without any additional transactional fees. These unpredictable costs can add up very quickly as you conduct more business with your customer. You need to be cautious of providers with low upfront fees as they are often transaction fee-based and you may pay much more in the long run.

Myth #6: We have to enter data into web-forms and websites to make EDI work end-to-end.

Not true: Data Masons’ primary mission is to eliminate human involvement in the EDI process flow by automating and providing the means to avoid unnecessary transaction failures. If a data element is required by a partner, Vantage Point EDI can process a series of business rules to search for the data in multiple places before the document fails. Vantage Point EDI can even fix the transaction after it fails by providing a workflow system that cures the issue. And the best part is that user intervention is not required unless it is absolutely necessary. True automation of business transactions cannot be achieved without strong error detection and correction – a hallmark of the Vantage Point EDI solution.

Myth #7: I have to manage ongoing compliance to keep up with my trading partner requirements.

Not true: Data Masons can handle all ongoing mapping and compliance changes for a nominal annual fee. If you don’t want to worry about anything – EDI, EDI labeling or EDI specifications – map changes can be effected instantly without updates or complicated installations. And with a fixed annual fee, the number of changes requested by your partners does not impact your budget – they are provided at no additional charge. Vantage Point EDI trading partner kits can also be purchased and installed in a matter of minutes so your company can immediately start transacting with new trading partners. On the other hand, if you prefer to create your own EDI maps and partners, Vantage Point EDI’s powerful data transformation and mapping tool allows you to manage your compliance in-house.

Myth #8: All EDI solutions are the same.

Not true: Data Masons has taken a different approach to EDI, focusing on providing clients with a complete solution rather than the more traditional tool sets offered by other providers, which are usually coupled with custom code inside Dynamics. With Vantage Point EDI the Dynamics ERP solution is not forced to manage all of the EDI elements, especially when they are not needed to run your business, but are needed for communicating back and forth with trading partners.

Myth #9: I am a reseller of multiple Dynamics ERP platforms and versions, so I need multiple EDI solutions.

Not true: An EDI technology model such as Vantage Point EDI's, offers a single solution to support multiple Microsoft Dynamics ERP platforms, including AX, GP and NAV. Not only does one solution integrate with these platforms, but the solution's flexibility also allows it to support the various versions of these ERPs, alleviating EDI complications when it comes to Service Pack updates, version upgrades and new platform installations.

How can this be the case? The only difference for Data Masons in supporting different ERP platforms is the gateway used for inbound Dynamics platforms - the AIF for Dynamics AX, eConnect to Dynamics GP or Web Services and XML Ports for Dynamics NAV. And because a single solution can seamlessly integrate with multiple versions, users can utilize the solution today to meet their immediate EDI requirements and rely on the same solution when upgrading to the latest version of their Dynamics ERP, taking EDI-related complications out of the mix.

Myth #10: Data Masons doesn’t have desirable SaaS or Cloud pricing models.

Not true: An EDI solution does not have to exist solely as either an on-premise or web-based model. An alternative solution such as Data Masons’ Vantage Point EDI can support a SaaS or Cloud model, or the traditional on-premise solution. While most organizations opt for an on-premise solution, it’s good to know that you have options and that your EDI solution is flexible as your business evolves and/or upgrades to the latest Dynamics ERP platforms.

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