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EDI + APIs: 3 Ways to Create Greater Value Together

By Michael Cardillo | Wed, Sep 30, 2020

My colleague, Jim Cantin, recently wrote an excellent article on “Why APIs and EDI Are More Complementary Than Competitive.”

This is an interesting topic and we get many inquiries from clients who want to explore how they can integrate these two platforms and improve the synergy from both a business and IT perspective.   I would like to take this discussion to the next level and offer concrete steps that outline how you can look for opportunities in this space.

Let’s start with a simple view of where to look for synergies.   I’ll focus on three areas:

  • Where can you supplement your EDI with APIs and give your trading partners access to a suite of transactions and capabilities?
  • Where can you improve your EDI success rates by utilizing APIs to add supplemental data to inbound or outbound transactions?
  • Where can you combine support processes to both save money and improve the trading partner experience?

Now let’s look at how you can answer these questions to enhance your capabilities.

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Still Trending: APIs and EDI

By James Cantin | Wed, Sep 23, 2020

Why APIs and EDI Are More Complementary Than Competitive

One of our frequently viewed blog posts from a couple of years ago is “API vs EDI: Complementary, Not Competitive.” The article was a response to the question, “Can API’s replace EDI?”

In the years since we posted this, the interest and number of questions about the relationship between APIs and EDI have grown. The challenge has changed as companies look to modernize capabilities and derive greater value and insight from all types of B2B interactions.

The points made back then are still valid; the two complement each other more than they compete.  What has become more apparent is that business transformation projects need more flexible B2B integration solutions and faster results.

This requires rethinking of how managed file transfer and EDI capabilities are delivered and then merged with APIs and other enterprise integration capabilities.

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Lightwell Honored as IBM Sterling Business Partner of the Year at Think 2020

By Lori Angalich | Fri, May 08, 2020

With the prestigious IBM Excellence Award, Lightwell is being recognized for its exceptional performance, innovative solutions, and outstanding services around the IBM Sterling portfolio.

During the IBM Think 2020 digital conference this week, Lightwell was awarded the 2020 IBM Excellence Award for “IBM Sterling Business Partner of the Year.”

The IBM 2020 Excellence Awards recognize IBM Business Partners across the world who have exceeded expectations and delivered enhanced levels of business growth and innovation to clients.

This award recognizes Lightwell as the outstanding IBM Sterling Business Partner for delivering exceptional services, solutions, and support, along with superior performance and results in 2019. 

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Join IBM Think 2020 From Home

By Lori Angalich | Fri, Apr 24, 2020

If you haven't already, mark your calendars: Think 2020 is still happening! From May 5–6, 2020, everyone around the world can participate in this digital event experience from the comfort and safety of home.

What’s even better, it's absolutely free for you to join. 

While our team is truly going miss the excitement of the live event and connecting with our clients, partners, and friends in-person this time around, IBM is going a great job making the most of the event given the realities we're facing.

We hope you'll join us in participating in this event.  Here's the scoop.

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B2B Partner Onboarding: A Technical or Process Problem?

By John Hawkins | Wed, Sep 26, 2018

When I first joined Lightwell, I was struck by how everyone discusses "onboarding." What was this magical and mystical thing? Why was it discussed in such reverential tones? Having analyzed this further, I'm still a little mystified as to why the hush tones but I'll put a few words down here about what I consider onboarding to consist of and why it's as much a human process as a technical challenge.

It's clear that onboarding of partners is where much time is spent in a B2B system. That's why business people consider it a large factor in their projects. Not only that, but I've found that the more technical people discuss onboarding related to the technical aspect only. Whereas, in my opinion, a lot of the onboarding process is actually about human interaction.

In this post, I'll discuss what B2B trading partner onboarding is and then why I consider it to be as much a human process as a technical one.

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APIs vs EDI: Internal vs External Communications

By John Hawkins | Thu, Jun 07, 2018

In a previous post, APIs vs EDI: Complementary, Not Competitive, I shared my perspectives on the evolution of APIs along with EDI.  I'm going to expand on this topic with the idea that agile methodologies may have more to do with the current proliferation of API Management than the usurping of EDI. 

Let's be clear…EDI is most certainly here to stay for a long time to come. I've read many articles and debates on this subject but, for me, what it comes down to are those well-known business interchanges. 

We can't just ignore the fact that EDI has evolved to where it is today because business needs well-known formats so that they can communicate with each other in a standardized manner. APIs, at the moment, simply don't have those standardized formats. When a company creates an externally-facing API they are, today, writing their own business interchange format (i.e. trying to reproduce an EDI interchange).

Now, that's fine, however, if each company is going to create its own format then communication between companies is going to revert back to being a spaghetti mess of protocols. This is exactly what EDI was meant to overcome, and why EDI has been so successful for so many years.

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7 Great Outcomes of Optimizing Partner Onboarding and Management

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Jun 05, 2018

How Simplifying Trading Partner Onboarding Generates Many Surprising Competitive Advantages

The average enterprise’s B2B trading community includes hundreds of trading partners and requires IT support for managing a wide variety of connections, protocols, and formats. Unfortunately, when it comes to setting up and managing trading partners, many companies are still hobbling along with cumbersome, error-prone manual processes.

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5 Ways Cognitive Technologies can Optimize Your B2B Network

By Lori Angalich | Thu, May 31, 2018

If you aren’t already leveraging cognitive technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) in your business network, you may be missing out on critical supply chain improvements.

Cognitive and AI systems use natural language processing and machine learning to understand, reason, learn about and analyze all types of data. Also, they can interact with users in a more natural, conversational manner.

For B2B networks and supply chains, these capabilities can be leveraged for a wide variety of improvements including:

  • Providing greater visibility and insight—from high level to granular detail
  • Enabling split-second decision making based on the best data available
  • Increasing awareness of critical issues
  • Suggesting the best courses of action 
  • Fostering collaboration among departments and partners

With these capabilities like these, you can plan for (or avoid) disruptions, proactively handle potential issues with suppliers, and ensure you can meet or exceed customer expectations (among many other benefits). Let’s take a closer look at some of the AI and cognitive capabilities available for B2B operations and supply chains today.

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Unleashing 3 Key Benefits of Greater Supply Chain Visibility

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Feb 27, 2018

 It’s 11:00 p.m. Do you know where that critical shipment is?

When an important shipment containing parts essential to your flagship product is delayed in transit, the delay can resonate throughout your manufacturing process and impact orders. If you don’t know the problem exists in your supply chain, you’re left scrambling to fulfill orders and maintain production levels. Lack of supply chain visibility puts your business at risk, affecting not only your bottom line but also your company’s reputation.

According to research firm Gartner, supply chain visibility is a top priority among supply chain leaders and Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) across a wide range of industries and geographies. And for good reasons: visibility into your supply chain not only lets you mitigate late shipment scenarios but also helps you proactively mitigate these problems. Supply chain visibility can also help you identify risks and potential savings.

When visibility is combined with business intelligence, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI)—organizations can gain unprecedented supply chain insights that can transform their operations.

While there are too many benefits to cover in a single blog post, let’s explore three benefits of supply chain visibility that are top-of-mind. 

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8 Great Reasons to Attend IBM Think 2018

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Feb 15, 2018

Did you know that IBM merged a number of their top conferences—Interconnect, Amplify, World of Watson, Edge, and Connect—into one in 2018?  If you haven’t already heard about it, IBM Think is IBM’s new flagship business and technology conference, taking place March 19–22, 2018 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

It’s a global event where over 40,000 business and technology innovators, leaders, and thinkers will gather in one place to share ideas, discuss topics like Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Supply Chain, Blockchain, Omnichannel Commerce, Data Analytics, Integration, Security, IoT, and more—and enjoy some exceptional networking, entertainment, and fun along the way.  

While there are many reasons to attendincluding a few mentioned in the video belowyou may be most interested in reading the highlights so that you can make plans quickly (the event is just weeks away). So, as someone who has attended quite a few conferences over the years, I’ll share in this post what I believe are some of the best reasons to attend. These are in no particular order.

 

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