While evaluating top EDI solutions, it is important to understand some crucial factors about the solution, such as cost, standards offered, connectors, benefits, and timelines for implementation to make an informed decision. EDI contracts can range anywhere between 1-3 years while some offer a pay-as-you-go service, but you don’t want to be evaluating EDI solutions every few months or even once a year as that can be quite cumbersome.
While speaking to our prospects over the years, we often get asked the same questions. Therefore, we have put together this blog with responses from our Business Integration Solutions experts with the top 5 frequently asked questions and their answers. We hope this blog will help our prospects gauge whether To-Increase’s EDI solution - EDI Studio for Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management is a good fit for their organization or not.
Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About EDI Studio
Q1. What are the benefits of your EDI solution compared to other solutions?
Embedded within Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP
While most EDI solutions are built EDI platform-agnostic or must be integrated with the ERP, EDI Studio is built within Microsoft Dynamic 365 and that is what differentiates us from the competition. This means you do not have to log out of your ERP to log in to EDI, you just click on the EDI button and you are ready to start messaging your trading partners; it’s that easy!
Additionally, our solution is bundled with Connectivity Studio, an application integration, data mapping, and data migration platform. The solution simplifies the setup and management of integrations between Microsoft Dynamics, EDI Studio, and other business systems and ensures that data synchronization between EDI Studio and D365 is in real-time.
EDI Studio enables users to manage the EDI set up themselves
EDI Studio has been designed as a DIY solution to empower users to manage EDI themselves. Post some training and assistance from our experts, your team will be ready to get started. Our solution is easy to use and has been built within the Microsoft Dynamics environment. Everything is based on configuration, so if you need to set up trading partners or easily manage exceptions, you can do so without any coding skills or IT experience as our solution has been designed keeping business users in mind.
You can set up configurations to meet your specific needs without any involvement from developers. We have table and field mapping for messages on our platform. You can configure different tables, do conversions, transformations, and more. Once the configuration is complete, you can assign a message to a trading partner.
Ease of use
The platform is very easy to use and has in-built tutorials. To watch a demo explaining how to access these tutorials, please watch the video below. The management of EDI messages can easily be done by business users without IT involvement. So, for example, if a sales admin needs to validate price or deal with exception handling, they can do it with ease as our EDI solution is built inside Microsoft Dynamics 365 - an environment they are already familiar with.
Related reading: Managing exceptions and errors is easy with our EDI Studio solution.
Multiple EDI formats supported
Support electronic document formats like EDIFACT (Europe), ANSI X12 (United States), fixed text, and XML.
Our EDI solution is built upon our widely adopted Business Integration Solution Platform – Connectivity Studio. A solution with a broker/VAN that is not integrated into D365 will result in the need to copy validations and master data from ERP into their platform, whereas our EDI and master data management solutions (MDM Studio, Data Quality Studio, and Data Entry Workflow) are built inside Microsoft Dynamics, so our application integration platform draws the information directly from the ERP without the need to copy any data.
Q2. Does your solution support specific EDI standards?
EDI Studio supports electronic document formats like EDIFACT (Europe), ANSI X12 (United States), fixed text, and XML.
Next to the EDI options, you will also be able to create integrations to other systems within the company or export data to Excel, CSV, etc.
EDI Studio provides the flexibility to connect to any third-party VAN/brokers. This means if there is a reason to switch between providers, this is supported by EDI Studio.
EDI Studio can support EDI standards in 3 typical scenarios:
- Direct EDI communication i.e., EDIFACT or X12
- Indirect – we can send back the document in whatever format is preferred by an EDI broker or trading partner. And they can translate this message to the format required by the sender or receiver
- Hybrid – both direct and indirect can be applied to specific documents to be exchanged
Q3. What connectors do you have with D365 F&SCM?
EDI studio is a versatile system integration software solution that helps you to connect your ERP with other business systems. Using Connectivity Studio, our customers can now also send and receive synchronous and asynchronous messages.
We support business integrations with a variety of systems, including:
- Warehouse management
- Enterprise application integration
- Product lifecycle management
- Enterprise resource management
- Customer relationship management
Technically integrations can be implemented by using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for operations database, file system (folders), web services, email, or data connection with ODBC.
Q4. What are the SaaS costs of your solution?
For EDI Studio, we follow a tiered pricing model that changes depending on the number of companies in which it is being implemented. The higher the number of companies, the price per company decreases accordingly.
The cost for one company is about €16,320* for Connectivity Studio and EDI Studio per year. The more companies you add, the better the discounting gets. For example, if you have five companies, the cost for the second-fifth company would just be an additional €3,540 per year per company.
Additionally, training costs depending on the number of hours could cost €3,200* for roughly 20 hours. However, if you are looking at a complex integration and implementation support as well, you might need more hours of training plus implementation support.
We offer a FREE Standard plan for all our cloud customers for EDI Studio. But if you are looking at specific maintenance and full-time support post-implementation of the solution, then we offer 3 additional packages for support, which are: Fundamental, Essential, and Premium plans. You can write to our team with any questions related to support.
Besides the costs of our solution, please also consider additional costs based on your choice of EDI integration.
*Please note: We can also provide USD pricing upon request. While the cost for training and implementation is roughly €160 per hour, this cost can vary based on the region and requirement.
Q5. What are the timelines and cost to implement your EDI solutions?
The timeline and costs associated with implementing an EDI solution are determined by factors such as:
- Scope of applications to be integrated – supply chain, financial institutions, banks, and even authorities.
- Size of company
- Number of trading partners
The duration of the implementation process and the complexity of the procedure will determine the cost of your EDI implementation. It goes without saying that if you have a simple setup with limited applications that need to be integrated and a limited number of trading partners with just a few companies, your implementation will go quickly and you might not need any support from the To-Increase specialists.
However, if you have a complex setup with several trading partners, applications, and number of companies, you need to factor in more time for this process and the cost will be about €160 per hour.
Implementing EDI requires the right tools, following the right processes for your organization, and developing a plan that works best for you. With the right support and guidance, you will be able to handle EDI implementation challenges effortlessly.
Will the EDI Studio & Connectivity Studio bundle help you streamline your business communications?
EDI is a powerful business transformational tool when fully integrated. It allows employees to focus on strategic initiatives as opposed to mundane and time-consuming efforts in managing daily transactions. Investing in an integrated EDI solution has several advantages, such as improved accuracy and speed, streamlined processes, and more cost-effectiveness. Instead of having to manage isolated islands of technology, integrated EDI allows you to connect systems and data and witness improvements in all your business functions, including supply chain processes, logistics processes, vendor relationships, and customer relations.
At To-Increase, our EDI solution is not just easily integrated with Microsoft Dynamics using Connectivity Studio but both our solutions are embedded and built in the same environment, which means no need to log out of your ERP, and no change in user experience. It upgrades with Microsoft updates without any lags and there will be a quicker learning curve for users of Dynamics 365.
If you think our solution would be a good fit for your organization, reach out to our experts after you have decided on the EDI scenario that would work for your organization. We also recommend downloading our EDI Studio for D365 factsheet and reading our honest reviews on EDI Studio and Connectivity Studio for D365 that share not just the benefits but also the limitations of our solutions.