Connecting ERP Clouds through EDI

August 3, 2011
By Acumatica

Acumatica (a Cloud ERP software company) recently announced a partnership with Connect Global One (an EDI vendor with a cloud EDI solution). The press release includes the standard quotes, customer benefits of EDI and ERP software, and company value propositions, but there were two things of interest that can be inferred from the release.

Microsoft Windows Azure Meets Amazon EC2

Acumatica’s SaaS offering runs on Microsoft Windows Azure while Connect Global One runs its Mond Cloudware (EDI solution) on Amazon EC2. Through the application layer the two clouds are connected. This doesn’t mean that you can share computing resources between Amazon and Azure, but it does mean that you can conduct business between clouds. To take it one step further, a company running a solution that uses industry formats such as SAP IDoc, xCBL, etc. can connect with cloud systems through the application layer – provided the connection only requires exchange of standard business documents.

The scalability and efficiency of this type of technique should be acceptable for a large volume of transactions. Since cloud computing can rapidly scale, the only limiting factor would be the bandwidth to the cloud. Since EDI is intended to minimize bandwidth to facilitate rapid transaction processing, the solution should handle a large volume of transactions .

Time to Integrate

Cloud ERP and EDI

Connect different Clouds

According to the press release, the integration between Acumatica and Mond Cloudware includes business documents such as purchase orders, sales orders, and shipping receipts. The integration was accomplished in a few days. If this is the case, then a company can connect and exchange business documents with a wide variety of partners within a few days … at least that is the dream.

The challenge comes if the standard format does not support a transaction that you want to perform. Let’s say that you have a special status for your orders called “transforming from car to machine” that is part of your standard shipping process or a critical field in your documents that is not part of the standard data set. In this case, you will have to customize your deployment or wait for all of the different standard to adopt your particular type of transaction.

Summary

A cloud-based electronic data interchange (EDI) service can help companies connect different cloud applications. This is especially true if you have standard business processes and ERP systems that map to standard business document exchange standards.

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