From fully managed EDI solutions to supply chain consulting.

Keeping Up with Changing E-Commerce Technology

Topics: Amazon, B2B integration, E-commerce EDI, Liaison Delta/ECS
Photo appears courtesy of Courtney Carmody.

The Amazons and the Walmarts of the world are growing so fast, their vendors can barely keep up.  Amazon has roughly a gazillion vendor types…FBA and FBM oh my!  Meanwhile Walmart has so many vendors you scarcely understand who you’re buying from when you “add to cart.”  One issue that continues to haunt these vendors is when technology requirements change.

I spoke to a new prospect today who is using an older product no longer being supported and does not include AES hash function or SHA-2 encryption.  In doing some testing with Amazon they discovered that they were not compliant with Amazon’s tight security requirements and suddenly had a deadline of five weeks to come up with an alternative.  Of course, we are presenting OpenText+Liaison’s ECS tool to help them meet Amazon’s requirement, but this got me thinking.  How many other organizations out there have run into this?

Even in 2019, it seems the general consensus is, as long as it’s working why change anything?  Except when it’s not and then you have five weeks to fix it.  We understand that every company has its priorities and its stakeholders to answer to – and not everyone sees the value in keeping up with technology – BUT THIS CAN BE WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR COMPETITION.

I have 3 key takeaways based on recent interactions with clients and prospects:

  1. Keep your software maintenance active.  Here’s the thing – if you don’t keep your software maintenance active, you will not have access to new releases and build updates.  The next release may have the next generation of required security.
  2. If your B2B software is no longer being supported (Gentran anyone?), replace it, like yesterday.  You are putting your entire operation at risk – your trading relationships, your profit margin, and your sanity – by continuing to sail along in a leaky boat.  When the boat sinks, a good B2B consultant can likely rescue you but at a hefty price tag.  Is it worth the risk?
  3. Your technology should be capable of evolving as you grow.  Don’t get dazzled by too good to be true pricingor remarkable statistics.  Remember – statistics can always be manipulated to fit the argument.  Just read the comments on Facebook and you’ll see what I mean.  Questions to ask should include, How often do build updates get released? Does the software vendor have experience with references to back it up, integrating with your ERP system?  How long does it take to get support if you have an issue? Does the software support recent server releases?

In case you’re wondering, yes, OpenText+Liaison’s ECS product supports AES and SHA-2 functionality, as well as built-in AS2 and secure FTP capability.  Other recent enhancements include a new certificate report available on the API and UI, providing details on all certificates installed to the ECS system.  Furthermore, ECS also now supports both inbound and outbound connections to Amazon S3 instances. ECS continues to evolve as a powerful communications vehicle capable of supporting today’s (and tomorrow’s) technology requirements.  When combined with Delta, the translation and map development tool, what unfolds is a dynamic B2B integration system scalable enough for the SMB, but robust enough for the enterprise-level organization.

Schedule a free consultation today to find out if Delta/ECS is a good fit for YOUR business.

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