Photo appears courtesy of theilr. Are you one of the many companies finding yourself without support for your Gentran product? You’re not alone. McAna EDI, Inc., an EDI solutions provider since 1995, recognizes the need for Gentran customers to look for alternative solutions to their currently unsupported Gentran products. Last year, many Gentran customers using older versions were notified they would no longer receive support for their software as of May 1, 2015. Now, a year later, those companies are feeling the effects and looking for help.
Long term Gentran users likely remember Mercator, which like Gentran, was another IBM acquisition. However, Mercator folks were a bit more fortunate since Mercator is still supported today. At the time of the Mercator acquisition back in 2004, McAna EDI, Inc. was a reseller for that package. We integrated companies like Odom’s Tennessee Pride, Alpha International (Big Wheel) and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania to name a few. The stumbling block was that IBM put a 6-figure price tag on Mercator, making the solution cost prohibitive for most mid-size companies.
Flashback to 1995 – when I first chose Mercator, it was object oriented – a very powerful integration tool. Their translator, Trading Partner PC, was the first Windows translator to be written for Windows. Mercator, wanting to appeal to larger companies, wrote Commerce Manager to satisfy an enterprise server environment. Trading Partner was then handed off to Emanio, who in turn sold it to DiCentral, who then renamed it DiTranslator. My task was to find another product that stood the test of time like Mercator, but with a more cost-friendly price tag.
After researching various translators and integration tools in 2005, I found Softshare’s ECS and Delta package, now owned by Liaison Technologies. Delta/ECS (E-Commerce Server) is a mapping and communications package as well as a glorified router that satisfies all the requirements of an EDI translator, while the whole of the product is an enterprise integration tool that does much more. This package provides AS2, FTP, SFTP, HTTP and SMTP communication. The customer can create as many AS2 connections as necessary saving thousands of dollars in VAN charges. Most clients that we engage have reported that the software pays for itself within 1 year of implementation. That is an amazing savings - a savings that will continue far into the future.
ECS is capable of far more than EDI. The product is an enterprise level integration solution much like Mercator but with more bells and whistles as well as a lower price tag. This is exactly what we’d been looking for! Today we not only assist customers by remotely implementing EDI solutions but also other integrations to their websites and disparate systems. For Incline Village General Improvement District in eastern Nevada, we are assisting them in integrating their ERP system as well as their (POS) point of sales systems via web services thru HTTP. For Precious Moments, we integrated their web orders into their Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP) accounting software. With a powerful tool like Delta/ECS, the architecture is limitless.
Don’t wait to find out what’s available to you on a modest budget. Imagine having your EDI solution on a virtual Windows 2012 Server with 64bit technology for Windows, SQL, ECS and Delta. Those of you on Unix Platforms, as you may know, today’s Windows platforms are scalable when needed. So whether you are running Gentran on Unix using Hewlett-Packard, IBM or Sun Microsystems OR running Gentran on Windows NT, 2000, 2003 or 2008, consider making that move to save on VAN (value-added-network) charges AND make your enterprise ready to streamline and automate your business processes.
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