We just completed a painstaking process of assisting a multitude of clients update their communications software to a version that supports TLS 1.2, due to an impending deadline. We were hit smack in the face by the reality that most companies don’t continue to invest in IT as a core business philosophy, rather they wait until they’re forced to make a change.
Photo appears courtesy of brownpau. This blog was written by Kim Zajehowski, Aurora's Manager of EDI Hosting. How many times have you scheduled to do an EDI application upgrade only to find out you have not met all of the requirements the day of the upgrade or that users were not informed that the system would be unavailable during upgrade time? The objective is to eliminate surprises during the upgrade process and reduce stress when you have to shut down your EDI functionality while you are upgrading your EDI system. Your EDI system is probably one of the most critical applications in your environment.
Reprinted with permission from Liaison Technolgies. Written by Hmong Vang, Chief Trust Officer for Liaison Technologes. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. And while it was enacted primarily to ensure portability and continuity of health insurance coverage and improving the exchange of health information electronically, it also was intended to protect a patient’s protected health information (PHI) which includes health status or condition, medical history, insurance coverage, payment for health care, and other data that a healthcare provider or other covered entities collect in order to provide the proper care.
Photo appears courtesy of F Delventhal. This week's blog was written by Aurora Manager of EDI Hosting, Kim Zajehowski. Many of you probably know about the new requirements coming regarding SHA2 digital certificates. Before we discuss that, let's first look at SHA-1. What is SHA-1? According to Wikipedia, in cryptography, SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) is a cryptographic hash function designed by the United States National Security Agency and is a U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard published by the United States NIST. SHA-1 produces a 160-bit (20-byte) hash value known as a message digest. A SHA-1 hash value is typically rendered as a hexadecimal number, 40 digits long.
Photo appears courtesy of Colored Pencil Magazine. A painful, almost disastrous lesson learned...don't let this happen to you!
Photo appears courtesy of Liz West. Guest blogging for the Aurora EDI Alliance is Nathan Camp of Liaison Technologies. I was intent on making this last holiday season a time of reflection and peace. I would not succumb to witty advertising campaigns inducing me to spend money on needless gifts. But then those brilliant marketers at a sky-rocketing start-up called Corkcicle overcame my ability to say no. I had bought Corkcicle’s products during the summer so I knew how well their products converted my garage-warmed bottles into delightfully consumable beverages within a few minutes. This was a vast improvement over ice-in-a-glass. I knew my friends would love these products too. So when I received the offer email on Black Friday talking about the pending Cyber Monday deal, I knew I would be ordering.
Photo appears courtesy of Upendra Kanda. As a CEO, why should I care about data integration? Glad you asked. A CEO’s job first and foremost is establishing and implementing a vision and direction for the organization that they lead. In larger companies, they usually report to a Board of Directors and are accountable to them for the profitability of the organization. A good CEO must assess the external and internal business landscape to ensure that the organization’s goals are both appropriate and achievable. A disconnect sometimes happens when it’s not always apparent how technology can help achieve those goals.
There has always been confusion as to how technology and business interconnect. The goal is to use technology to further your business goals and data integration is a critical piece of that equation. In looking up "data integration" on Wikipedia, the first paragraph states, "Data integration appears with increasing frequency as the volume and the need to share existing data explodes." In the past, data integration was for big companies with deep pockets. This is no longer true as more technology companies are now offering affordable solutions, making data integration accessible to the SMB sector. Read on as I offer three compelling reasons you should consider data integration.
Reason number one – data integration allows business processes to be automated. In an integrated environment, B2B transactions happen almost instantaneously, yet you can build in process controls for approval and/or exception handling for errors. Integration helps uphold the integrity of your data since you are reducing the possibility of human error. Also, such integration possibilities include the ability to streamline your supply chain planning and scheduling. For example, forecast planners would be able to establish effective inventory levels and accurately drive production activities to satisfy the needs of your customer. This kind of automation leads to reduced inventory through a faster and more efficient procure-to-pay cycle (P2P). A quicker P2P cycle means more cash on hand which is good news for a CEO.
Reason number two – with so much out there regarding data, Big Data, Data Mining, Dark Data, I have seen relatively little written about Data Security. First of all, integration protects you and your customers to a certain extent against employee theft and external hacking threats. Furthermore, today’s data integration tools allow you to dictate who, when and how users can view and use data, which is especially important in industries like healthcare where the HIPAA police are watching. Data management from a security standpoint gets more difficult as you add variables. Lorraine Lawson of ITBusinessEdge.com writes in her blog, “At one time, identities were easily segregated into ‘employee,’ ‘vendor,’ ‘partner’ and ‘customer.’ Which data you accessed, which applications you used were based on these hard identities, but no more as companies see the value in exposing some of the same information or applications to customers, employees and partners.” As CEOs and business owners begin to see the value in tools like marketing automation, Webstores, PunchOuts, as well as EDI, integrating all these processes will be necessary to maintain data security.
This leads me to reason number three – integration keeps you competitive in the marketplace which should be top of mind for a CEO. It’s not enough anymore to be EDI compliant and have a Webstore. It's not uncommon today to find a small company selling artisan toffee to the big retailers using EDI, all while also selling direct to consumers using an e-commerce site AND successfully marketing using social media. The difference between them and those on the cutting edge is that the latter has all of these processes integrated. Kevin Jordan of Tibco writes in his blog, “With an integrated platform, it becomes possible to predict what a customer or client will do with accuracy, and allow for a decision based on a customer’s historical data correlated with real-time events. Imagine this: A customer is wandering around a store trying samples and suddenly receives an email or text offer for that product. Upon opening the message, it can also display some of the customer’s regular purchases and favorite products as an added offer. With well-integrated systems, the company has the opportunity to exceed shopping expectations.” And this, my friends, is how you go from good to great.