It’s fair to say that VANs were responsible for bringing EDI to current volume levels of transactions. It is also fair to say that interconnects between VANs were the path to their success. Traditional VANs and their interconnects built the market, now they are the market for newer technology (VAN2).
Yes, it’s possible that users could all migrate away from the use of VANs….someday. In April 2012, we wrote about “Do We Need VANs”. Many EDI specialists have done everything they could to eliminate the use of VANS. By doing so they saved tens of thousands of dollars in charges by moving to FTP and AS2 connections. But there were a few customers that required the use a VAN, and so they could not completely get rid of them.
In June 2013, we studied the subject of who regulates VAN interconnects: “EDI VANS are Undefined At Best”. The answer is… NOBODY.