I remember a few years back hearing that XML was going to replace EDI. I didn’t think much of this rumor, considering the amount of money companies invested in their EDI systems. I was confident then that EDI was here to stay.
Since then, my prediction seems accurate. We have seen a lot of consolidation and changes in communications over the years, but EDI has not changed very much. Each year, new documents are added and new standards are published, but EDI standards remain solid.
I do find that trading partners continue to ask for more. It began with the Purchase Order, it moved to the Invoice and then to the ASN. Now, there seem to be many dot.coms wanting Inventory positions and PO acknowledgments.
I have witnessed a large increase in the MAPADOC installed base over the last two years. I have found that many MAS90/200/500 customers are growing their businesses by taking on new customers, such as Wal-Mart and Target. SWK is seeing a lot of new business because companies realize the benefits of having a fully integrated EDI system. Existing customers are constantly adding new EDI customers to their portfolio. I have also seen many companies expand their business due to the fact that they are EDI capable. Once you go through it the first time, it gets easier and faster when adding new trading partners.
Last week I attended the first EC-Vendor Forum and had the opportunity to network with many companies in the EDI market place. Among attendees, there seems to be a general consensus that EDI is here to stay. I was happy to find out that Integration was the number one Product Focus for EDI vendors in our marketplace. Based on that fact, I feel very confident that MAPADOC is a superior product in the MAS90/200/500 community when it comes to integration.