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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dynamics AX Users Changing Course in How They Manage EDI Requirements

With most any Microsoft Dynamics AX project, a focus around EDI needs for such projects is always a hot topic. In the past, there have been a slew of ways to solve the challenges that EDI represents for customers. Like most things, the entire drive is towards value and the act of reducing time to value for customers.

With this in mind, I thought it was time we visited back with Data Mason's own Glenn McPeak, to get their feedback on the trends they are seeing in the market place. Being the leader for EDI within the Dynamics Ecosystem, it would make sense that they have the most to share around this topic. With that, the following is the information Glenn sent me on the matter.

Glenn McPeak - Principal of Data Mason's

We’ve been seeing a rapidly growing trend in the Dynamics community when it comes to how companies want to manage EDI. Up until now, it seemed that companies were selecting one of numerous options to meet their EDI mandates, but now we’re seeing a shift in what they are looking for when it comes to EDI for Dynamics AX.

Here’s What’s Trending:

#1 – End to end automation
Pushing a button to integrate a transaction used to be great as it saved time over manual entry. But now users are asking, “Why do I have to push a button and who is going to do it at 2am?” They want automation of key EDI process that gives them the flexibility and security they’re looking for.

#2 – Manage EDI by exception
Dynamics users don’t want to deal with every transaction, only the issues that need attention. Managing by exception lets the transactions without discrepancies continue without interruption and eliminates unnecessary manual touch points.

#3 – Leverage standard Microsoft integration framework
Writing directly to tables and bypassing business logic is not best practice. By leveraging integration tools such as Microsoft’s e-Connect, Application Integration Framework(AIF) and XMLports/Web Services, users can avoid custom routines that populate data and bypass standard business logic.

#4 – Deeper and broader integrations
Users need more advanced logic, such as touching specific values in a sales order or handling advanced three-way matching logic. They also need broader document integrations so they can get new documents integrated quickly and easily to avoid jeopardizing trading partners relationships.

#5 – Avoid transaction fees
EDI data is a lot like email – would you pay to send an email? Right, then why pay for transactions when you don’t need to, especially when your trading partners support direct connect?

#6 – Audit the transactions
Too many companies complain about the lack of tools available that can identify issues before they become problems. They wonder why they can’t find out that an invoice was not transmitted and/or received by a partner before it is overdue. They would rather receive an email alerting them when a document has failed.

#7 – Guaranteed support turn-around times
In the world of EDI where delays and errors in transacting data can result in unnecessary and costly expense, organizations don’t have the flexibility of waiting for support responses.

Answering the Trends Responding to these trends is an innovative EDI technology model that Dynamics users are rapidly adopting. Users are looking to an EDI solution that is based on leveraging the native integration framework of the ERP platform while providing all of the EDI transaction functionality outside the application¸ not inside like other EDI technologies. With this approach, companies can:

• Implement a plug-and-play, truly integrated solution that doesn’t utilize 3rd party translator tools;
• Leverage a fully-automated EDI solution with predictable ownership costs; and
• Benefit from a non-embedded design and XML data storage within SQL that avoids ERP requirements and customizations, simplifying daily use and providing flexibility when managing ERP update/upgrade projects.

The Next Step with EDI Learn more about this growing trend in Dynamics EDI and what your EDI solution should deliver. Read how other companies have successfully implemented a new strategy to increase the impact EDI has on their business and how they have exceeded their expectations in simplifying EDI integration and compliance.

I would like to thank Glenn, and the Data Mason's team for being sponsor's of this blog and for always helping add great value added information, content & solutions around EDI to the Dynamics Ecosystem at Large.

That's all I have for this post, make sure and check back soon as we continue our dive into the Dynamics filled world, and further drive towards value! Till Next Time!

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