Axway B2B Integration Cloud Adoption

6 signs your EDI provider might be overselling their capabilities

Imagine dedicating an entire year, a ten-person team, and some $1.6 million to migrate to a new cloud product, only to have to switch providers again because you’ve gotten nowhere.

I’ve had some very interesting conversations recently with Adrian Avram Catanici, Director of our Technical Customer Support at Axway, who tells me he often hears stories like this one. A common thread is that many EDI providers promise extraordinary results… but struggle to execute.

I wanted to share some of his “horror stories from the Support desk” and highlight six signs your EDI provider might be overselling their capabilities – and why you need a true enterprise software solution to modernize your B2B ecosystem.

1. The demo blew you away, but you’re not getting much help to implement the solution

Marketing is a powerful machine, but if a software provider won’t help you execute what they’ve demonstrated in a POC, you have a serious problem on your hands.

In the story Adrian shared above, things got more complicated when another regional team was brought into the migration internally.

“They were incredibly frustrated with the vendor and felt they didn’t understand their own product or how to implement it the way the enterprise was using it. Most importantly, it wasn’t doing what they needed for their business.”

Oversimplifying requirements and overselling a product can be a recipe for disaster.

When you embark on a cloud migration with Axway, we’re with you for the long haul. Thanks to hard-earned experience working with multinational enterprises, we know how to handle complex migrations. You’re backed up by Support, R&D, PSO, and all the assistance you need to make a big jump to another product and make it compatible with your actual business.

Software needs to ultimately adapt and deliver a solution from start to the end for enterprises.

2. You were promised cloud flexibility, but deployment is proving a challenge

There are very few software providers in business today that really offer all the options to deploy.  Most are steering their customers to SaaS, and even when they do offer on-premises, it’s not a first-class citizen.

With Axway, you can deploy with maximum flexibility – as well as especially strong capabilities around Cloud Managed Services.

We work with you to create a consumption model that delivers the best ROI.

3. APIs aren’t well integrated with your B2B/EDI flows

API integration is hardly unique nowadays. Virtually every EDI vendor at least offers some APIs on top of their integration gateways. And some are very vocal in the market about their “modern technologies.”

But how usable are those APIs? Are they really helping you be more efficient, or does it require a months-long course and several skilled experts just to use their APIs to onboard data exchange jobs?

The real key to API-EDI integration is API First.

In the world of APIs, this mentality essentially means you’re building applications with APIs top-of-mind to ensure the application and its data becomes more accessible and reusable. Axway’s products are also built in this manner: we understand that it’s not just your files or flows that are important – it’s the data itself they contain that has value, and it needs to be accessible.

Explore three examples of EDI and APIs working together to deliver ROI.

You can go the extra mile with APIs. Axway’s B2B API Service provides governance capabilities to manage, secure, and monitor API access and usage. And Amplify Enterprise Marketplace enables you expose APIs from our other product lines in a way that you don’t need to go to Axway University to use them.

This creates greater adoption of the product by enabling the lines of business to consume integration services and integrate to their own products and iTSMs without Axway PSO or skilled expertise getting involved.

API First helps our customers create better self-service consumption models.

4. Additional value-added capabilities aren’t supported

Compliance with emerging regulations is driving a need for additional capabilities. Consider for example Import Control System 2 (ICS2), and AS4-driven EU-wide mandate for air, maritime, road, and rail cargo  businesses. Demand for e-invoicing and PEPPOL are rising as EU countries and others around the world mandate reporting of B2G and B2B transactions using AS4 and REST APIs.

What’s more, enterprises today need tight API integration between B2B processes and SAP S/4HANA and other cloud-ERPs. Moving to cloud-enabled ERP requires careful consideration of B2B integrations to ensure seamless connectivity and harness the full potential of the cloud.

Even “older” technologies like Value-Added Networks (VAN) continue to play important roles in B2B communication; the way companies use and mix both point-to-point EDI and VANs varies with different business objectives and use cases.

This growing complexity is why it’s important to partner with a vendor who can truly help modernize your B2B infrastructure.

Axway B2B Integration helps effectively manage your partner network with a platform that supports major EDI and API standards, while bringing higher levels of software flexibility, operational resiliency, cloud scalability, and performance.

5. Each vendor has its own focus

There are many EDI vendors on the market today (such as Cleo, Seeburger, Boomi, Axway, OpenText, IBM…). Each has its own vision and product to execute its goals. It’s important to ensure that these are fully aligned with your scope of activity, communication needs, and enterprise-level scalability.

An EDI vendor may indeed have a good product, and they might not be overselling their product functionality. But it’s also easy to oversell the support and engagements you’ll be getting.

Because B2B integrations are so complex, it’s essential to also consider the implementation plan. Do you have the in-house expertise on hand? Will you have dedicated vendor teams to help you move to the cloud? Is the price you’ve been quoted what it will take to achieve the full scope of your project?

For example: every EDI vendor offers some type of monitoring tools. But Axway can truly achieve end-to-end visibility thanks to an open framework that makes it easy for non-Axway applications and infrastructure to publish events into our data model.

With enterprise software, it always goes beyond the point of sale – you need a vendor who will support you for the long haul. Thanks to capabilities around looking for abnormal trends and significant experience with operational monitoring and self-service, Axway’s EDI experts can help implement best monitoring practices and support a change in traditional ways of thinking.

6. You were quoted one price, but the real costs are adding up

Some EDI providers may be able to quote lower initial pricing, but that proposal doesn’t always project the full cost.

Adrien tells us he’s had many conversations with customers switching from a competitor because they saw expenses start to soar once implementation had begun. As they started to add in the necessary additional mapping and other expenses, they found themselves far from the original quote – and they were in too deep to easily switch routes.

Axway offers enterprise-level B2B integration software, with a transparent approach for flexible subscription models.

How Axway’s B2B Integration solution stacks up to other EDI vendors

With growing regulatory pressures, cloud migrations, and a greater-than-ever need for resiliency in your supply chain, prepare for the future with a B2B integration platform that can support an evolving business ecosystem — today and tomorrow.

Axway B2B Integration Platform delivers the agility and resiliency that businesses need to power innovation, stay competitive, and accelerate digital and cloud-based transformation. With Axway, you get:

  • Strong cloud managed services (single-tenant, multi-tenant, containers)
  • API-enabled B2B integration
  • Rich added-value capabilities (eInvoicing, VAN, healthcare solutions, etc.)
  • Global reach and a first-class citizen EDI product
  • Predictable pricing

Don’t wait to modernize your B2B infrastructure. Let’s talk.

Download our whitepaper, New age of transformation: The current and future state of B2B integration.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure your EDI provider offers comprehensive implementation support and assistance throughout the migration process.
  • Look for a provider that offers flexible deployment options, including strong capabilities for cloud managed services.
  • Prioritize API-EDI integration that is seamless, efficient, and accessible, with a focus on API-first development.
  • Choose a vendor that supports additional value-added capabilities, such as compliance with emerging regulations and integration with cloud-enabled ERPs.
  • Consider the alignment of the vendor's vision and product with your specific communication needs and scalability requirements.
  • Be aware of the full costs associated with your EDI implementation, including any additional expenses that may arise during the process.
  • Axway's B2B Integration Platform offers cloud flexibility, API-enabled integration, rich added-value capabilities, global reach, and predictable pricing.