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The JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System

may be a right for you if you already have an EDI translator, EDI personnel, or do your own mapping and only need EDI VAN communication. The power of our global EDI network is available on your server, your cloud platform or your application.

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Take-over of Inovis by GXS

After a long investigation by the Department of Justice the take-over of Inovis by GXS has been approved. Over the years users of EDI networks have moved from GXS over to Inovis in search of a better service and more reliable network platform. Now what is going to happen? Will InvoisWorks close and users migrated onto GXS Trading Grid platform? What will this do to your business?

If you were unhappy with GXS previously, it won't be any better now. Costs could increase and during the implementation of the take-over both companies could well be less efficient as they merge data centers. Anybody remember the merger of the Penn-Central Railroad when the combined railroad actually lost hundreds of boxcars? What can be done about it? There is an alternative. Let JWH EDI Services provide an efficient, cost-effective, functional and extremely flexible Value-Added-Network that can replace existing technologies. Our platform provides a simple to use dashboard for administrative functions as well as an extensive Application Programming Interface (API) allowing EDI to be easily embedded within ERP and Accounting Systems. JWH EDI Services provides the alternative that you could be looking for. JWH EDI Services’s vast experience in the EDI market sector provides end-users with a knowledge that we know what we are talking about. Our support team are second to none, but we give you the tools to administer your mailbox when you want to. EDI Providers are offered the opportunity to create their own branded EDI network. Based on a proven technologically advanced infrastructure our product can all be branded in your corporate colors. Functions, such as issuing interconnects and tracking the status, can all be embedded into your EDI software, providing the end-users with one simple place to visit to maintain their mailbox. What to do next? Contact our sales team for more information

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com

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Does SCM need IT?

I have been involved with “Cloud-based” thinking over the past several months, plus I have seen the level of IT expertise among the (younger) workers in Supply Chain organizations. This has led me to a really radical thought: does the Supply Chain Business need the IT Department?

See the full article on Does SCM need IT?

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ec-bp.com The Forum for Supply Chain Integration

ec-bp was established in 2005 as the advocate for lowering the barriers to the adoption of EDI, and our email newsletter has been published every month since that time. Our focus has expanded beyond EDI to encompas the full gamut of supply chain practices and technologies. In addition, our readership has grown to become the largest of any similarly focused publication, and has expanded to include more than 90,000 professionals involved in nearly every aspect of the supply chain.

Today’s supply chain is more than simple transport of EDI documents. The complexity of maintaining compliance with trading partners, managing the ever increasing amount of data, and analyzing that data to drive constant improvement in processes and service take supply chain professionals far beyond the basics of mapping EDI documents.
EDI & Supply Chain Companies Bought/Sold in 2010

It is interesting to watch the number of mergers/acquisitions of EDI, Cloud and Supply Chain companies in 2010. EDI is NOT dead, it is now the darling of bigger, broader companies.
IBM acquired Sterling Commerce from AT&T for $1.4bn, and will assimilate its 2,500 employees in with its WebSphere middleware unit.
Accellos, Inc., a leading provider of logistics, warehouse, 3PL, transportation, and mobile resource management solutions, announced the acquisition of vSync, Inc., based in Columbus, Ohio.
Bentley Systems has acquired Enterprise Informatics. Enterprise Informatics’ flagship product, eB (enterprise Bridge), ensures that information assets are governed, secure, controlled and can be trusted – delivering relevant information in context to your business users – turning information into a corporate asset, not a liability.
Boomi AtomSphere® allows you to connect any combination of Cloud, SaaS, or On-Premise applications with no appliances, no software, and no coding. Dell announced it has agreed to acquire Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) integration leader Boomi to help businesses reap the full value of cloud computing.
DiCentral found a like-minded partner in BASE2, as they have already built a strong reputation for top-notch service and technology.
HighJump Software announced it has reached agreement to acquire TrueCommerce, a provider of business-to-business integration solutions.
What drew IBM to Cast Iron, a small integration vendor whose roots lie in the appliance market? It was the way Cast Iron offered three different, but interconnected, paths to SaaS integration.
IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Initiate Systems, a small purveyor of master data management (MDM) software.
Liaison Technologies, a global provider of business-to-business (B2B) integration and data management services, announced it has acquired integration service provider Advanced Data Exchange (ADX). Liaison Technologies' purchase of Advanced Data Exchange further strengthens its portfolio of business-to-business offerings.
Liaison Technologies also acquired privately-held Softshare, an innovative integration solutions provider.
In the never ending collection of data-related technologies through merger and acquisitions, Oracle acquired Silver Creek Systems.
Open EC Technologies, Inc., a Canada-based e-business software, services and solution provider, will acquire i-Plexus Solutions, Inc.
TIBCO Software Inc. has acquired privately-held Foresight Corporation, a leading provider of transaction automation solutions and EDI productivity tools.
Proginet Corporation, a world leader in multi-platform file transfer solution, announced its merger with TIBCO Software Inc, and Perseus Acquisition Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TIBCO.
[This is a cross-post from my blog at http://www.LD.com. Thank you for your indulgence. -=tg=-]

This industry needs your help. EDI should be frothy with new entrants providing a vast variety of innovations, options and technologies for all levels of players. What we find ourselves burdened with is a stagnant market controlled by leviathan that has the ability to choose who plays and who does not.

This is a market is characterized by what is known as “The Network Effect” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect). The value of the market grows exponentially as more endpoints (trading partners) are accessible. By cornering a large share of these endpoints, a bad actor can control the growth and direction of the market. Even with the addition of direct connects through AS2, this market is still defined by VANs and Interconnects.

Interconnects are not just a feature of EDI, they define EDI. Had Interconnects not been introduced some 20 years ago, EDI would never have become as successful as it is today. The power of this network effect is why a technology that is 40-years old remains relevant today and why so many competing technologies, delivered by a single provider have failed.

Without Interconnects VANs would not be VANs at all, but would be isolated service providers, only able to service small communities that chose to be wholly dependent on a single system. However, Interconnects are not for the networks, they are for the trading partners. They allow each trading partner to pick the offering that is best suited to its needs and not be locked into a single provider solution.

The networks on both ends of the Interconnect benefit equally by having the other end to complete their respective trading partners’ relationships. It is equally beneficial to send an EDI document as it is to receive one, so by simple logic the VANs do not settle send/receive with each other, they are paid by their respective customers. This is why Interconnects are “free,” and the VANs to not charge each other for them.

Here lies the problem. There is a player in the industry that by acquisition has gained monopoly control over the market. Entrance to the EDI data routing market (a.k.a. VAN market) is being controlled by this single entity. If they do not give permission, one does not get to play. (Of course, they are more than willing to offer a degraded connection…for a fee.) Without a true Interconnect with GXS one cannot reach enough endpoints to be viable. Imagine trying to be a phone company and Verizon refuses to interconnect. (Fortunately, in that case this was settled in the early 80s with the landmark MCI v. AT&T antitrust case, which resulted in FCC oversight requiring competition.) If you doubt this is happening in our market, ask yourself how many new VANs have entered the market since 2001. The fact is we have fewer VANs now than 1996.

The elephant in the room that no one is willing to talk about is now on the march again. In their plans to eliminate the ex-IBM IE system, GXS is shutting down all the Interconnects to IE and routing them through TGMS. For every network save one, GXS has moved this to a comparable, reciprocal interconnect on TGMS; in several cases creating new TGMS interconnects where none existed before. GXS has singled out Loren Data, demanding Loren Data to move from a decade-old, reliable, reciprocal, and direct interconnect to a circuitous route through Inovis, and additionally requiring payment.

What they are telling their customers is that there is an “unresolved interconnect issue between GXS and LORMAIL.” You bet there is. As GXS has said on many occasions, they do not like our business model - one which enables service providers and developers such as SPS Commerce, CovalentWorks, Energy Services Group, Trubiquity, NetEDI and launched Covisint as a VAN.

Since 1999 Loren Data has been on a mission to reinvent the communications side of EDI. ECGrid was envisioned as an automated switch between networks. We bring to this market Directory Services (e.g. Qualifier/ID-based routing tables available to all networks), automated Trading Partner Interconnect Provisioning, Migration Management, Certificate Management, and a 100% programmable interface for all aspects of network and Interconnect management (see http://ecgridos.net). The illustrious William Kammerer has called ECGrid “The VAN of VANs.” No wonder GXS fears us. We celebrate and encourage Interconnects and a rich market of innovators, while GXS wishes to shut them down and create a single network system under their sole control. GXS’ former V.P. of Marketing, Bobby Patrick, told me directly that “Interconnects are a necessary evil.” It is these very Interconnects which allowed GXS to build its business and the industry, which it now is using to prevent others from entering.

GXS is now attempting to force Loren Data to accept a degraded (below industry standard for network to network communications) connection in lieu of the direct IE Interconnect; one that cannot handle our data with the accuracy and efficiency our clients and GXS’ own customers require, and which is crucial to Loren Data’s professional reputation.

No greater harm has been done to VAN Interconnects since GXS terminated its Interconnect with Internet Commerce Corporation (ICC) 2001. In many ways this is even more insidious. While ICC was itself a new competitor in EDI, ECGrid enables many more companies to compete with GXS…providing you with new technologies and more options.

Not only is this immoral, we also believe it to be illegal and are pursing the matter in court with a Sherman Act antitrust suit. Antitrust is the last great protection we have when a market becomes out of balance and no longer functions in a competitive manner. It is an expensive and slow process, but one that must be pursued when all else fails. There is much about this on my blog at http://www.ld.com/presidents-blog/.

There is another, even more powerful route, but it takes the industry saying enough is enough. If you want a market with competition and innovation, help us stop this right here and right now. Please, for the sake of the industry and yourself, please write Bob Segert of GXS (bob.segert@gxs.com) and let him know that interconnects are the backbone of EDI. Let him know that it is essential that all viable networks freely interconnect with each other to create the infrastructure the industry needs to thrive. Also drop a note to David Swanlaw, Sr. Vice President of Operations (david.swanlaw@gxs.com). It is telling that Interconnects at GXS are actually owned by the Sr. Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development rather than by Operations. If you would like the GXS strategic perspective on Interconnects you can write Steve Scala (steven.scala@gxs.com). If you would also like to write the Department of Justice or the FCC, drop me a line and I will provide you with some contacts. (Please send me a copy of any letter you send; I would greatly appreciate it.)

You might think this does not affect you - don’t be so sure. We need diversity. We need innovation. ECGrid and other innovators should be allowed to operate on a level playing field in this market and not solely at the discretion of GXS. If GXS is allowed to choose which innovators are allowed into EDI, the market as a whole will stagnate, suffer and ultimately die.

This market belongs to all of us, the trading partners, the software developers, the service providers and the networks. Without industry level resolve, as time passes, GXS will become ever more emboldened to wield the power of Interconnects as a weapon against its competitors. Do not let that happen. Maintaining a healthy counter balance within the EDI Communications Industry means fostering competition and innovations from many diverse parties.

I am requesting you to actively add your voice to the discussion. If you agree with GXS, that’s fine. But if you don’t, let everyone know that GXS’ actions are NOT OK with you!


Todd Gould

Loren Data, GXS and Daisychaining

Written by Scott Koegler
In the early 1970s MCI filed an antitrust suit against AT&T alleging that AT&T held a monopoly position in the telecommunications industry. A part of its claim was that MCI was unable to compete fairly against AT&T because of pricing and access control AT&T held. Consumers at that time had few choices in long distance carriers because AT&T restricted the ways that MCI was able to offer its services. All that changed in 1980 when MCI won $1.8 billion in damages from AT&T and the Department of Justice led the breakup of the Bell System. But what does that have to do with today's supply chain? In December 2010 Loren Data Corp filed an antitrust suit against GXS, Inc. alleging that GXS used its market position by denying Loren Data Corp competitive access to its network, while granting similar access to other competitors.
Read more about Loren Data, GXS and Daisychaining

What is EDI? - A Definition and a History

Your first thought might be: “I know already or I wouldn't be reading this publication”. Yes, we will give you the “schoolbook” definition. We will even tell you a brief history of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), but our real purpose is to give you the Year 2013 definition of EDI; and back it up with an expert opinion.Developed in the United States in the mid-1960s, the idea of what became known as EDI today originated with a group of railroad companies.
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EDI VANs Are Undefined At Best

VAN (Value Added Network) has history but no formal defining document. It isn't part of the X12 and isn't anywhere required. There is a lack of an existing generally accepted definition of what a VAN is. We will tie this in with the notion that they exist for the purpose of promoting and enabling transfer of data between trading partners, but that they are not a requirement of the process or infrastructure. Earlier this year, I wrote on "What Is EDI? - A Definition and History". I concentrated more on the standardization of DOCUMENTS, not how to exchange them. I covered how the Transportation Data Coordinating Committee (TDCC) morphed into the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and became the ANSI X12 Committee and how on the other side of the ocean, standards for documents used in international trade, called Tradacoms , were developed. These bodies adequately took care of controls for individual documents and multiple documents (mailbags, etc.), but nary a word about actual delivery to the trading partner. It was left up to the user, but the vendors jumped into the drivers seat.
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Supply Chain Control Tower

Supply Chain Management Control Towers

Control towers are used in many industries for different purposes: airports and railroads use them for traffic control; power plants have control rooms to monitor operations; and third party logistics providers use them to track transportation activities. These are places where operations run well. Why not a


in order to monitor and assure your supply? Talk to us, we build them!

So just what is an SCM Control Tower? What are the functions of a Supply Chain Control Tower? Who staffs your Supply Chain Management Control Tower?

If you use an EDI VAN for your business, this message is for you. Move past the ancient VAN technology. JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System will bring your EDI operation into the 21st Century. The power of our global EDI network is available on your server, your cloud platform or your application. AND you cannot beat our prices.
You can connect and communicate with all your customers and trading partners through the JWH EDI Services Electronic Commerce Messaging System - Connect with trading partners around the world on a single Network-as-a-Service platform, get real-time transaction visibility and eliminate those manual network processes. It is a pay as you need model. We track all interchanges from the moment they enter the system, along every step across the network, and through the delivery confirmation.

How can we help you? Contact us: Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com

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