Below is a guest editorial from our friend Mike Martz
As a supply chain professional, you’re probably scratching your head about the whole Big Data thing, that is unless you’re an early adopter and have already reaped its benefits or suffered through start-up issues. I bet you’re questioning how and when you should stick your toe into the water.
In a previous article (read it HERE), I referenced ideas GXS’s Mark Morley expressed about leveraging Big Data for visibility, auto-replenishment, and preventive maintenance, but those are high level objectives that could require lots of planning and investment. What you should be asking at this point is whether Big Data is even needed to reach your goals.
With its massive datasets and the need to utilize special tools for analytic purposes, Big Data may well be overkill for much or all of your needs. But one real outcome of all the Big Data hype is the increasing expectation that solid information is the foundation of the best business decisions. The fact that Big Data is being so heavily discussed is in itself focusing attention on what’s required to turn data into usable information. You should think about your business needs and how to identify and obtain the data that can provide them.
Read more about what Mike has to say on Big Data:
See a great message from Todd Gould at Loren Data
Since I entered in the EDI industry in 1996, I have not seen a more promising time to be in this market. The GXS era was an unfortunate disruption to the natural growth of a networked market; however, under the new management of OpenText opportunity is back.
Now that we avoided the apocalypse, it is time for us, the leaders of the industry, to deliver the next generation of B2B automation.
In the coming months Loren Data will begin rolling out the next evolution of the EDI VAN, one that is more user and developer friendly, more extensible and a better fit for the third decade of Internet possibilities. Stay tuned for many announcements…you will be amazed.
OpenText has agreed to continue exchanging data with Loren Data and has rescinded the disconnection.
The ability to set up new partnerships will resume immediately and data will continue to flow uninterrupted.
Industry and Customer First – Always
President & CEO
What Is OpenText Doing with the ECGrid-GXS Interconnect?
Light at the End of the Tunnel?
The situation is evolving rapidly. Almost immediately after my last post, OpenText began sending out notices to its customers announcing that they are ready to roll out a “network level solution with Loren Data” and that “the migration schedule will depend on coordination with Loren Data.”
We are cautiously optimistic.
ECGrid Network Operations has confirmed that OpenText did successfully complete a test on the 29th of January through our OpenText-ICC interconnect — without our knowledge that this was a test. However, so far no one from OpenText has contacted us, or has answered our inquiries, to let us know about these plans or coordinate a migration schedule.
In the meantime, sit tight and let’s all be hopeful that OpenText is ushering in a new era of EDI VAN cooperation and advancement. This could be a huge win for everyone.
President & CEO
Loren Data Corp.
Recently we wrote about Interconnects Are the Market . We showed a very simplified view of how VANS Work, and what happens when they do not work. We pointed out that the whole VAN industry was based on the assumption that no connection would be refused by any of the parties. But there is no law or policy that makes this assumption enforceable.The upcoming disconnection between GXS and Loren Data could turn out to be like a huge traffic jam (about as catastrophic as the recent snow-related one in Atlanta). Yes there are usually ways to get around a traffic jam, but you end up losing time and are inconvenienced in the process.
As OpenText acquires GXS there are some opportunities available to the now combined company to pursue its mission. We reported a couple weeks ago about the acquisition (here).
The company would appear to be positioned to bring the EDI/VAN industry well into the 21st Century in the same way its other acquisitions have proven to be assets. GXS fits naturally into OpenText’s EIM (Enterprise Information Management) theme. It would be a shame to miss an opportunity to prevent an impending “EDI train wreck” that could destroy existing relationships with the EDI industry and the company’s stated desire to “be trusted in our relationships”.
GXS is acting on its plan to terminate all connectivity with Loren Data’s ECGrid on March 4, 2014. An action that will affect more than 2,000 GXS customers and their 10,000 trading partnerships. GXS made good on refusing any new partnerships with companies on ECGrid after 1/1/2014.
Ever hear about how people are described as givers or takers? Givers give without strings. Esteem for givers rises over time. Takers expect more than they give. Eventually, times catches up to the takers. The same applies to businesses. The world of EDI is plagued with a taker.
In the book, Give and Take: A revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant, Grant points out that while the Good Guy finishes last has its truth, it also turns out that the Good Guy also finishes first. Takers might show short term wins, but end up middle of the road in the end.
Steve Scala, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, for GXS recently sent a letter to an unknown number of customers, addressing a communication from SPS Commerce regarding the termination of the GXS-Loren Data interconnect. SPS aparently believes that the problem is real, and is contacting trading partners to create a real solution. In his letter, Scala attempts to assure GXS customers that they will be taken care of, and to disregard SPS.
A comment to us from a large supply chain “hub”: “The GXS mess shows how fragile everything is in the supply chain. Stakeholders (suppliers, manufacturers, distributors) do not control their own destiny if they are using an EDI Provider”.
There is an imbalance of power: end users should have control over the supply chain. Is it time for them to move to their own inside system which they control? What can stakeholders do? They don’t want to support everything (re-invent the Internet or something counter-productive like that). Yes, they have an alternative to run everything over an AS2 setup. They just don’t want outsourcers making the rules.
One view of the current state of affairs is that interconnects are too “black box,” and that VANs “grudgingly cooperate” instead of proactively advancing the science.
Some of the possible steps to correct this mess include:
OpenText Enters Into Agreement to Acquire GXS. Transaction Expected to Expand Information Exchange and Cloud Service Offerings.
Now for the rest of the story. If you have been following my series on David and Goliath, you know how giant GXS has been trying to bury Todd Gould’s Loren Data.
Goliath is in a tight predicament. If he swings his might weapon at David, he risks falling off the cliff he is on. In other words, cutting Loren Data out of the fragile INTERCONNECT game COULD send the whole EDI World into a tailspin. It could spell the end of the 20+ year old “traditional” EDI VAN. Wonder if Open Text is aware of this? I sure would not want to buy a company that had this “baggage” hanging on their back.
Supply Chains depend on EDI. When they send a transaction to be routed to a supplier or customer, there is an “Expectation of Services” from all service providers involved. If a service provider intentionally blocks transactions for any reason, are they not are guilty of obstructing commerce (much of it is interstate commerce…..listen up Federal Courts).
You will enjoy this…got a call today from a consultant with a handful of spokes on GXS that trade with SPS customers. He said he read everything out there, stuff we put out, GXS put out, independent, legal. Said, “Seems we need to cut a link out of the ‘daisy-chain’ so I’m going to have my customers sign up with Loren Data and cut GXS out of the loop.”
Signing up is simple and painless, just go to www.ld.com
Now for the “official” GXS Announcement:
GXS to Stop New Loren Data Partnership Setups Effective January 1, 2014
GXS previously announced the agreement governing the connection between Loren Data and GXS will expire at the conclusion of its term on March 4, 2014; and that
GXS would enter into a static environment andno longer enable new relationships via the Loren Data Interconnect starting November1, 2013. The date to enter a static environment and no longer enable new Loren Data relationships has now been extended to January 1, 2014. GXS will be using the period from January 1, 2014, to March 4, 2014, to monitorthe static environment in order to ensure that all clients have been notified and migrated.
GXS clients who are still sending or receiving transactions via Loren Data are encouraged to seek alternative connectivity options immediately, in order to provide sufficient time for both them and their trading partners to establish and test new routing options.
Contractual terms with Loren Data for the Interconnect Service will expire on
March 4, 2014, and at that time GXS will have no way of receiving or sending data to Loren Data.
GXS clients with any questions regarding this service change should contact their GXS support team or send an email for assistance to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
This announcement was presented as a public service by Daisy Chainers Anonymous.
Let us know how you feel about what is going on.