Your EDI Resource

EDI Communications Using AS2 or VAN

Posted by David McAlister on Fri, May 18, 2018 @ 08:30 AM

5645175542_fa12ab159f_zPicture appears courtesy of frankieleon. How many times have we gotten frustrated because the software on the computer or our phone changed with an update or upgrade, causing us to have to search for a function that once was so simple to find like changing the display characteristics on the computer?  Seems like it never ends - just when we think we know what we are doing in our golden years, we have to learn something new….real golden!  

According to 100 million new red blood cells are created every minute and that the lifetime of these red blood cells is four months.  Thank God software does not have that kind of turnover!  That being said, every software package also has its own life cycle.  Those who have worked on myriad systems might run into a client that has carefully kept a system alive even when the current versions are far more advanced.  My intention is always to actively keep my clients’ software current while mitigating the risks that come with any change.  EDI software is the backbone of most companies’ customer base.  Knowing the old adage, the customer is always right, would lead one to believe keeping EDI software current would be their highest priority.  Never fails though, the penny pinching always seems to get in the way of making prudent decisions.

The largest value-add to my selling Liaison’s ECS (Electronic Commerce Server) as an EDI translator and communications package is the product’s ability to do AS2.  By its name it truly does so much more.  Commerce Suite by Liaison or Exchange CS is just one of those packages that has seen the end of its life.  Without further updates on the horizon, those needing to fulfill newer certificate requirements are no longer able to satisfy the requirements of their customers like SHA256.  The most convincing argument for me to a client prospect is the cost of using the Value-Added-Network (VAN) versus AS2 direct to their trading partners.  During the sales cycle we are able to show the client the payoff of Liaison’s ECS by the money they spend on VAN charges trading EDI.  In some cases the payoff is just a few years away. 

In these cases this is only icing on the cake due to so many features ECS offers to solve challenges within the enterprise integration environment.  A client never thinks they will use API integration until they decide to communicate with Amazon or UPS with these technologies.  Then the options are wide open for what they can do to satisfy future requirements.  For a techy like me, this kind of flexibility is exciting.  We have been doing installs now for more than 12 years in ECS and Delta and each implementation is as interesting and thrilling as it was that very first day.  Seeing all of the moving parts work together and knowing I am helping an organization reach its potential is its own reward.

As the news speaks of companies giving $5,000 down on a mortgage to come live in Grant County, Indiana, the news is real that unemployment is at an all time low.  Jobs are the last thing to come back in a down turn.  Is your software up-to-date and ready for the spike in the economy?  Are you sitting with your version of Commerce Suite waiting for the next customer to tell you to conform to their requirements in a short time? What will you do to be prepared and ready to satisfy your customers' requirements in short-order?  Give us a call so we can show you the real golden years!  McAna EDI has been in business for 22 years selling and supporting EDI and data integration solutions.

Click below to read our latest case study and see how Delta/ECS helped streamline their EDI operations.

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Tags: Integration, VAN Services, AS2, communication, data integration, EDI integration

Aurora Team Biography Series: Shandra Locken

Posted by Faith Lamprey on Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 01:36 PM

linkedin2.jpgUp next in the Aurora Team Biography Series is Aurora's Sales and Marketing Manager, Shandra Locken.  Shandra first arrived in the EDI world in the spring of 2008, not knowing how to spell EDI.  With the help of her colleagues, she was quoting VAN services and Liaison's Athena web-based EDI solution within a few weeks.  Had you asked her 20 years ago if she thought she would be selling EDI services someday, she would have said, "What is EDI?"  That is always the first question as you may have learned from our blog.  It's our most viewed blog article ever.

Shandra grew up in the central valley of California and moved to Southern California as a teenager.  After having a spent a few years attending college in Boston and working as a nanny, she returned to Southern California (back to warm weather) to finish school and earned her Bachelor's degree in child development from California State University, Fullerton.  While attending college in California, she worked in sales for an Anheuser-Busch distributor, where she formed lifelong friendships and gained valuable work experience.  Her intention was to continue her education and get her teaching credential and Master's in elementary education but as these stories go, life had other plans.  She met her future husband and wound up relocating with him to Reno, Nevada.

The next chapter of her life saw her managing school fundraisers for the American Heart Association.  Although it was a great cause and she loved working with children, having recently married and about to start a family, she ultimately decided that the required traveling was no longer feasible for her.  And it just so happened that a company called Aurora Technologies/EDI Support, Inc. in the suite upstairs was looking for a sales rep - that was almost 9 years ago.  Learning the EDI industry was at times very overwhelming and scary, but with the help of her manager and colleagues, she eventually settled in.

The following years saw another relocation, this time to Phoenix, Arizona, where she still telecommutes, the retirement of her manager, Aurora's former Director of Sales and a new title.  As the Sales and Marketing Manager, Shandra is primarily responsible for sales, managing our relationship with Liaison Technologies, as we are one of their biggest resellers, and maintaining our marketing content and automation including our website, blog, newsletters and social media.  All these years later, she notes that she cannot imagine doing anything else and feels fortunate to work with this incredible team of people.  

On a personal note, she is the mother of five year old twin girls and just celebrated nine years of marriage.  In her free time (which isn't much), she is active in her twin club, Paradise Valley Mothers of Multiples, sells jewelry on Etsy and writes emergency medical grant success stories for the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) website.  ISF's mission is to "...empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures."  A cause near and dear to her heart, since the grant program was launched in February of 2014, ISF has given grants to 581 agencies and has helped 1,236 animals in need of emergency medical care.  When asked how she wants to be remembered, she says, "A good mother, a good wife, a good person.  And somone who stood up for what was right and advocated for others when necessary."

Click below to read our eBook EDI 101.

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Tags: EDI provider, Web EDI, VAN Services