CHOOSING THE RIGHT EDI VAN IS CRITICAL FOR RELIABLE B2B COMMUNICATION
A complete EDI system has many components. Two of the components that get the most attention are the EDI software that manages EDI messages and the EDI value-added network (VAN) that delivers EDI transactions.
While your choice of EDI software is certainly important, it mostly comes down to your preferences and which option you feel is the most user-friendly for you and your team. In most cases, EDI software is not going to make or break your EDI system.
On the other hand, your EDI VAN can dramatically impact your experience with EDI, which is why you should be selective when choosing which VAN your business uses.
1. A RELIABLE VAN IS CRUCIAL
Although some companies use other methods for EDI communication, most prefer a VAN, which means having an EDI VAN is required for EDI compliance with most trading partners. A VAN is a network you use to exchange data with your trading partners.
VANs deliver data across the world in seconds, even to areas with no internet connection, which requires a ton of resources to facilitate. That’s why you only want to use a VAN with documented reliability to ensure steady EDI communication. To put it in perspective, our VAN has a 99.998% uptime and is available 24/7.
You don’t want to run into problems when exchanging information over a VAN because poor communication can ruin business relationships and cost you money. On the other hand, choosing a lower quality EDI software suite probably won’t do any harm other than being a hassle to use.
2. SECURING YOUR DATA DURING TRANSIT
The security measures used in EDI software are fairly standardized from one product to another. However, the security of the many different methods for transporting EDI documents varies greatly.
Protecting your EDI data while in storage (with your EDI software) is one thing, but once you send your valuable information out into the world, it is hard to predict what could happen. This is one area where an EDI VAN shines.
VANs adhere to the highest security standards – high enough to be the preferred EDI transport for government agencies and HIPAA-compliant organizations. The good news is that all VANs are secure by design, which means you can’t go wrong with any VAN when it comes to security.
3. COMPATIBILITY WITH IN-HOUSE EDI SYSTEMS
Does your organization already have an in-house EDI system? You don’t have to use the EDI software offered by your EDI VAN provider – one of the great things about an EDI VAN is that it is compatible with any EDI system.
There are some long-term cost advantages to having an in-house EDI system, as well as enhanced control over everything. However, you still need a VAN to move your data or your in-house system is basically worthless.
All things considered, the biggest difference from one VAN to another is how cost-effective it is going to be for your business. EDI software typically has a fixed cost, so you can always predict what you are going to spend. However, the costs associated with an EDI VAN usually fluctuate.
Most VAN providers charge a price per kilocharacter, which means you pay a fee for every single little piece of data that you send or receive. As you can imagine, the costs can add up quickly.
BOLD VAN is unique in that we are the first and only EDI VAN that offers Trading Partner Pricing. Rather than charging you for every piece of data you send, we have set rates based on the number of active trading partners in your network each month.
You can send UNLIMITED EDI data for one low, predictable price! Plus, if you don’t already have EDI software, you can use our web-based software to manage your EDI messages from anywhere with an internet connection.