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Where Will EDI Users Go - If VANs No Longer Interconnect?
Recently we wrote about Interconnects Are the Market . We showed a very simplified view of how VANS Work, and what happens when they do not work. We pointed out that the whole VAN industry was based on the assumption that no connection would be refused by any of the parties. But there is no law or policy that makes this assumption enforceable.The upcoming disconnection between GXS and Loren Data could turn out to be like a huge traffic jam (about as catastrophic as the recent snow-related one in Atlanta). Yes there are usually ways to get around a traffic jam, but you end up losing time and are inconvenienced in the process.
There is not a lot written on what to do if the digital supply chain suddenly “blows up”. Nobody ever thought it would happen. There is a little on EDI-VAN blogspot and a little on EDI discussion groups. So what are most people going to do? One member of the online group has a few customers on SPS Commerce and he is on GXS. Since he is a vendor, he has no control to ask his customer to migrate to GXS. He sees his options as: (1) Open a mailbox with any other VAN except GXS for Loren Data Trading Partners; (2) Open a mailbox on Loren Data; (3) Start an AS/2 connection with SPS. Another reader pointed out that he was missing an option which could save money in the long run: (4) Migrate yourself off a VAN who has refused to interconnect to another VAN.
One company that must have had the vision to see the “pitfall” of the VAN structure and opted for AS/2 is Walmart. AS/2 is the ultimate path around our traffic jam. But before we send hundreds of people down that road, look at Improved AS2. In the end, the future of EDI is all about Stabilizing The Supply Chain
In response to a previous article on “Recommended Next Actions For OpenText”, we received an interesting comment: “I couldn't agree more. We must never forget that what's best for our vendors and consultants is whatever is best for their end-users. This legal action by GXS is a ruthless attempt to steal end-users, and therefore market share, from Loren Data at the expense of the stolen end-users. The only way to remove the pain from the end-users is to make the GXS-Loren Data relationship whole again so these end-users can resume their mutual business activities between each other. Only then can OpenText begin to think about a way to *improve* the business relationships between these end-users rather than destroying those relationships.” Last modified on Friday, 31 January 2014