Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has become an indispensable tool for many companies, allowing them to transmit documents and data electronically from one system to another, and to exchange documents electronically across geographical borders. While similar to fax or email, it requires standard message formats between trading partners, thus does not require human interaction and is acceptable to applications. However, how can a company maximize security when using EDI?
Enter EDI VAN
A Value Added Network (VAN) is a secure EDI network provider enabling two parties to exchange documents and data. Companies utilize an EDI VAN to ensure the security of communications, along with providing many other valuable services that are beneficial to businesses.
How EDI VAN Works
Documents are sent and received via a mailbox, and each trading partner has their electronic mailbox. You can check the mailbox for documents, or you can be alerted that a new document has arrived by way of a message. Often, the system can be configured informing the sender that their document sent successfully. Business partners retrieve messages by connecting to the VAN, which validates the message and verifies the recipient’s identity. It then provides a full audit trail, and all messages are tracked and accurately recorded.
Also, an EDI VAN offers many additional services that include: EDI data translation, secure email, encryption, and management reporting. Ancillary services include document mapping and compliance, and data backup and recovery. EDI VANs may also allow back-office integration, accurate recording/retrieval of management information, and business partner enablement.
EDI VAN Security
Security is the most common anxiety for companies new to electronic data interchange. However, EDI establishes layers of security unavailable to manually managing documents and data.
Here are some standard safeguards EDI VANs provide:
- Username and Password Protected: Most VANs are setup similar to email requiring users to register a username and password.
- Authorization Verification: Incoming data are screened ensuring trading partner authorization and identification. Authorization eliminates errors by not allowing incoming data from companies not registered on your VAN. Authentication requires the sending party’s digital certificate. Verification confirms the identity of the sender.
- Cryptography: EDI data is encrypted securing confidentiality. It does so by scrambling data so that only the intended recipient’s VAN may decipher the data when received.
- Data Integrity: A sending trading partner utilizes a sophisticated algorithm that the receiving trading partner confirms through an identical algorithm establishing data integrity.
- Nonrepudiation: Electronic signatures and digital certificates provide the ability to prove the indicated sender indeed sent the EDI data. Nonrepudiation is the inability to deny the validity of something.
Additional Benefits of Adopting EDI
EDI also allows paperless trading, fast and efficient business transactions, and instant communication across long distances. It improves electronic trade, accuracy, and it streamlines processes.
Businesses experience significant cost-savings compared to the cost of handling and processing paper documents. Customers will benefit from reduced and more efficient order cycle times, and the result will be increased trust and improve relationships between trading partners.
EDI VANs report how much traffic comes to their clients. Transmission status reports clarify the status of transactions, and VANs provide an audit trail of all transactions.
Is an EDI VAN Right For You?
If your organization is considering EDI, an EDI VAN is a secure and convenient solution. Businesses will need an EDI VAN to accept EDI data from business partners. Additionally, if looking for a quick and easy EDI system without the expense of EDI hardware and software, many VANs operate from the cloud providing unparalleled portability and convenience.
The benefits EDI provide make EDI VANs optimal for a broad range of companies, from small businesses using EDI for the first time, to enterprises exchanging data on a large scale.
BOLD VAN operates on a cutting-edge network boasting robust security and uptime speeds. Speak to an EDI specialist regarding our secure cloud solutions. Call today (844) 265 3777