Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)


Paperless data communication between businesses

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Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Electronic data exchange (EDI) enables business partners to exchange documents such as orders, delivery notes, invoices and many more in standardized electronic formats from system to system fully automated. EDI as a general term exists for more than 30 years and can be formally defined as the transfer of structured data, by agreed message standards, from one to another without human intervention. After setting up the communication channels initially, businesses can use them for various purposes and benefits in many aspects.

The most important advantages of EDI are

  • Competitive advantage due to easier administration and reduced costs
  • Prevention of errors leading to higher data quality
  • Increased processing speed of data exchange, transfer of goods and payments
  • Fully automated data communication 24/7
  • Enabling and ensuring just-in-time logistics
  • Process safety, legal security and standardized data
  • And finally: a stronger, closer and smoother relationship between business partners

bis-connect EDI Service: a flexible and highly innovative partner

Atos B2B Integration Services (BIS) is a flexible service and makes it possible to use EDI for automating the conversion and transfer of all data from your inventory management, accounting, ordering system etc. – no matter which ERP platform your enterprise uses. Finding the right technologies for your individual needs, BIS proposes the best solution for your enterprise. For routing the EDI documents, both value-added networks (VAN) and classic direct transport protocols can be used.

Not only classic EDI is available but many more functionalities and systems can be involved, enabling the evolution from isolated systems to a digital business network. We define EDI 2.0 as bringing business process logics on both partners’ sides, while EDI 4.0 even allows real-time-collaboration and for example additional features for Industry 4.0 requirements or Smart Billing solutions and GPS Goods Tracking.

Because of its wide field of application, replacing paper, EDI is not bound to any industry and can be used in many ways. The industries where EDI is used the most are Manufacturing and Retail, Telecommunication, Media and Technology, Energy and Utilities, Financial Services and the Public Sector Health and Transportsome of our clients are for example Bank Austria, Member of Unicredit, Henkel CEE GesmbH and Melecs EWS GmbH.

Customer Statements

„Atos has been providing EDI services for Henkel CEE since years in a good quality. New business partners, also those with proprietary non standard formats, can be easily connected. That allows us, to concentrate on our core competencies. For us, Atos is a reliable outsourcing partner.”

Gerd Schiffermüller
Head of Process Consulting EIMEA “EDI, BI, Satellites”
Henkel Central Eastern Europe GmbH

Atos always executes processes for a new partner or regarding a new message connection in a professional and unbureaucratic way. For us customers, minimal effort and very little direct contact to our partner’s liaison is required. With Atos’ internal monitoring, problems are sent to the MELECS group at short notice so they can also react and resolve the problem quickly. 
This makes Atos a competent service partner in all areas of EDI and in case of new connections for partners
.

Christian Breisach
Group Leader SAP Consultant
MELECS EWS GmbH

That’s how an EDI-Transaction works

.

1) Business partners agree on the electronic data interchange format and determine the communication channels and legal liabilities

2) A message (e.g. purchase order) is created and now transferred via EDI, not via PDF-email or fax. The EDI-Service “translates” the message into the defined structure of the partners and starts the data transfer to the reciever.

3) Once received, the data is imported and processed immediately on the recipient’s side. Thereby, the message (order, confirmation, changes, delivery advices and finally also the invoice) are transferred electronically via EDI, which reduces manual typing activities and therefore costs.

Also other kinds of business documents like master data, delivery status, GPS tracking information, payment and customs data can be processed via EDI.

Why EDI as a service?

You can implement and run EDI within your company by your own staff.

But first ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you an IT company?
  • Is this EDI topic your core business?
  • Do you want to use your staff doing those operational tasks?
  • Are four of your employees free to handle a 24/7 operation conforming to the law?
  • Do you currently have special knowhow about various standards and formats?

If you cannot answer all of the questions above with „yes“, we would recommend a partner, operating this service for you 24/7, which the EDI Service already performs for more than 60 customers and connected more than 1.600 business partners in 43 countries. Costs are reduced immensely by NOT running it on your premises but as a service. For that the EDI Service hosted by Atos IT Solutions and Services is your ideal partner.

some additional service elements of bis-connect

beside classic standard EDI

by combining the “right” service elements, the customer gets the ideal solution

ZUGFeRD

Zentraler User Guide des Forums elektronische Rechnung Deutschland

Have you encountered the following challenges?

  • Both, human readable version of a document and structured format for automatic processing are needed
  • Frequent / formatting are time-consuming and tie up resources
  • Invoice data has to meet legal requirements

Our Solution

  • Invoice in ZUGFeRD format has 2 parts: one human readable in PDF/A3 and one xml-based structure for automatic process embedded into PDF
  • Exchange protocol is not defined by the standard and can be mutually defined between parties (e.g. eMail, download, etc.)
  • 3 levels are defined: basic, extended and comfort
  • Archiving is done in digitally in ZUGFeRD format

Highlights, Why ZUGFeRD

  • The goal is to exchange invoices without additional adjustments between partners
  • Faster processing of documents due to automatic exchange
  • Invoice data meets legal requirements

PDF2EDI

Have you encountered the following challenges?

  • Orders, invoices or delivery notes are sent via email attached as PDF, are overlooked or delayed
  • Manual capturing of data can cause mistakes
  • The content must be archived manually, which causes time, effort and possibly storage space costs if archived as printouts

Our Solution

  • An email with a PDF attachment is sent to our mailbox for automatic processing (multiple attachments per email possible)
  • The data is automatically read out from the data-layer of the PDF. No optical character recognition (OCR), that means no mechanical or electronic conversion of images of text into machine-encoded text necessary because the information is transferred automatically
  • This output is sent to the converter
  • There the data is converted into the required target format (XML, IDOC, EDIFACT, INHOUSE, …)

Highlights, Why PDF2EDI

  • Available at short notice as realized e.g. via mail transfer (email forwarding)
  • No manual entry needed (but possible in exceptional cases)
  • Electronic processing
  • Reduced processing time
  • Proof of message delivery
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Automatic processes 24 hours, 7 days a week

WEBconnEDI

Have you encountered the following challenges?

  • Content (orders, invoices, delivery notes, etc.) is requested manually via a web interface
  • Disadvantages: care and administration of accounts, user administration
  • Manual extraction or capturing of data can cause mistakes
  • The content must be archived manually, which causes time, effort and possibly storage space costs if archived as printouts
  • Further manual processing and use of data

Our Solution

  • WEBconnEDI connects with the web application
  • Automatic parsing of WebPages and automatic reading out of data
  • This output is sent to the converter
  • There it is converted into the required target format (XML, IDOC, EDIFACT, INHOUSE, …)

Highlights, Why WEBconnEDI

  • Available at short notice
  • No manual entry needed (but possible in exceptional cases)
  • Electronic processing
  • Reduced processing time
  • Proof of message delivery
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Automatic processes 24 hours, 7 days a week

ANY2EDI

Have you encountered the following challenges?

  • You need to communicate with various formats with your business partners
  • Individual formats beside the standards are required
  • Your (maybe) existing software is only able to process standards like EDIFACT
  • There is no possibility or too much effort for implementing proprietary formats

Our Solution

  • Processing of all kind of structured formats possible
  • Converting from partner defined individual format to a standard format or to another individual format
  • Taking special care of rules for standard formats (e.g. EDIFACT counters and release characters)
  • All kind of transfer protocols like openFT, FTP, SMTP, OFTP, OFTP2, AS2, http, https, SFTP, SOAP, X.400, as well as via VAN providers like eXite, GXS openText, IBM Sterling Commerce, Swisscom and many more

Highlights, Why ANY2EDI

  • No limitation to any standard
  • Every structured format is possible
  • Combination with other services possible
  • Electronic processing
  • Reduced processing time
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Automatic processes 24 hours, 7 days a week

Reference

Henkel CEE GesmbH

Looking back on nearly 140 years of success, Henkel’s vision is to become a global leader in brands and technologies. Henkel holds globally leading market positions both in the consumer and industrial sector today and is well known for brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite. The company is organized into three globally operating business units: Laundry & Home Care, Beauty Care and Adhesive Technologies. The Dax-30 company is headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, and proud of its about 50,000
employees from more than 120 nations worldwide. Henkel is globally active and has as strong presence in emerging markets.

Business Challenge:

  • Just in time data exchange of the EDI transactions
  • Support of various communication protocols
  • Support of various standard- and non-standard data formats

Solution:

  • 7 x 24 Application Management of the electronic data interchange
  • High availibility solution for an uninterrupted datatransfer with the business partners

Benefits:

  • Efficient service by outsourcing to Atos
  • Business partners without EDI subsystem can be connected easily
  • Henkel can concentrate on their core competencies
  • Atos is a reliable outsourcing partner

Melecs EWS GmbH

With 900 employees, Melecs EWS is the largest electronics manufacturing service provider (EMS) with Austrian roots. Melecs develops and produces high-tech products in the automotive, white goods, industry, communications and lighting/LED sector. In addition to its Austrian locations in Siegendorf, Lenzing and Vienna, Melecs has plants in Györ/Hungary and (starting in 2016) Wuxi/China.

Business Challenge:

  • Quick data exchange of the EDI transactions
  • Support of various communication protocols
  • Support of various standard- and non-standard data formats

Solution:

  • 7 x 24 Application Management of the electronic data interchange
  • High availability
  • Innovations like PDF2EDI (automat. capturing of PDFs)

Benefits:

  • Efficient service by outsourcing to Atos
  • Wide range of support possibilities and quick start of delivery also in new topics by approx. 95.000 Business Technologists