Tuesday, August 18, 2009

SAP Users and EDI - A New Paradigm

The traditional approach to EDI is for every company to invest in and develop their own EDI infrastructure and then to individually contact each trading partner and begin a long, painful and expensive on-boarding effort. When SAP announced they had invested in and become a co-owner of Crossgate, an EDI and B2B exchange, they also introduced a new paradigm for EDI.

SAP users can now connect once into the Crossgate exchange using a NetWeaver PI-to-NetWeaver PI connection and connect to any other company that is on the exchange. What is special about this? There are 40,000 companies on the exchange and this number is growing very rapidly. Each time an SAP user adds a new trading partner to the exchange, that connection and EDI or B2B message can become available to every other member on the exchange. Here is an example:

A large national trucking company connects to the Crossgate exchange with 7 different EDI messages. Those EDI/B2B connections are now available to every SAP user on the planet. When you have 3,000 companies adding new trading partners to the Crossgate network monthly you can see how the "network" effect can grow quickly and dramatically.

Again, the traditional model of EDI is to do all the work yourself and make all the investment yourself and to not share the benefits with anyone. However, when your competition can connect once to the Crossgate exchange and start with 40,000 possible EDI and B2B connected trading partners already available and tested, you can recognize the advantages.

SAP is creating significant competitive advantages for their customers with the Crossgate network. In addition to simply providing a quick and cost effective way to connect with thousands of other companies, they have invested in sophisticated software tools to help companies quickly create ERP profiles, which are interfaces between the SAP user and the Crossgate network, that will cover all the data requirements for entire supply chains and trading partner communities with one interface.

The features described above are just a few of the many SAP community benefits that are being developed for SAP users through the Crossgate EDI/B2B exchange.

If you would like more information on SAP's investment and strategy for the Crossgate EDI/B2B exchange please email me or contact your SAP sales team.

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