Reaching Your Small to Medium Size Enterprise Partners
Reaching the Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) partner continues to be a problem for large EDI Shops. Below is a discussion on how to reach the SMEs using Internet Mail.
Even with the wide spread use of the Internet companies are still taking a "Rip N' Tear" approach to EDI data transmissions.
Requiring your SMEs to use specific hardware and software platforms may be a cost and resource burden on their budgets.
By receiving EDI documents using Internet mail you will provide your SMEs clients and vendors the ability to download/upload business transactions directly into each others machines or view it with a simple data viewer. Even if you and the SME are running software on different machines and platforms you can effectively and inexpensively communicate.
Oracle's Sun Microsystems has developed the language Java as the programming language of the Internet. Using Java machines on different platforms can share data by direct communications using the Internet. By providing your SMEs with applications written in Java you and they can continue to do business with each other but without the hassles of requiring proprietary communication and hardware platforms.
Steps to follow:
- Continue to publish your EDI Documents in the same format X12, EDIFACT or others such as EDI/XML.
- Deliver the documents via the Internet. Use your existing Internet access facilities or gain access through an Internet Service Provider.
- Send the documents using either IMAP or SMTP, just as most Internet mail is sent today.
- Wrap the document in a MIME x12 application indicator.
- The receiver of the document will need to register a X12 application program with their mail program or operating system. This is similar to registering a program with the Window's operating system. The registered program will allow the receiving party to view or even process your EDI message. Java provides the programming tools to build such an application program.
- What if they don't have an application to format the message. Then their mail program should display the message as a text message. Thereby allowing them to print the message. This is a process similar to Rip and Tear.
- To guarantee that the message was delivered send the document with a MIME Message Delivery Notification field.
- To protect the data encrypt the document prior to sending.
Links Of Interest:
So all you need is
- An application such as OBOE
- Access to the Internet to reach your SME clients and vendors.
If you have comments or suggestions, email
Publish or Perish