Exchange data worldwide via eXite
How the EDI platform eXite works
As of today, more than 20,000 companies worldwide use eXite. And yet, for many people, this clearing house for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) still has a slightly mystical touch: Do the data actually run via the Internet? To start using it, do I need hardware, a different operating system, or even a special firewall? What monitoring functions does eXite offer? Read this EDI Blog post to find answers to these and other questions.
Numerous industries run their electronic orders, despatch advices, invoices, and other business documents via the platform eXite. Whether an Austrian automotive supplier provides parts to a German carmaker on a just-in-time basis or a produce manufacturer from Burgenland provides fresh merchandise to a large retail chain on a daily basis, eXite always works like clockwork in the background. Many sophisticated features make this happen. But why is that so? Let’s start at the beginning with a few simple questions and answers.
Will my employees need new hardware for my company to get connected to eXite?
No, this is usually not necessary. For our so-called integrated solutions, we use interfaces to connect the company’s ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning) to eXite. As a result, orders no longer have to be recorded manually, but will go into the ERP system, which saves time and eliminates mistakes. Also, despatch advices, invoices, and other documents can be sent directly from the ERP system to the business partners’ systems. Via the connection to eXite, these data are subsequently automatically exchanged with the predefined business partners.
What is done to ensure that the data are transferred to the correct business partners?
To ensure that, standardized numbers are assigned to every company in the world that takes part in Electronic Data Interchange. In the consumer goods industry, the so-called GLNs (Global Location Numbers) are widely used. In Austria, GS1 Austria is in charge of assigning these numbers. In the automotive industry, the ODETTE ID is one of the commonly used numbers. Ultimately, it all comes down to the unequivocal identification of companies. These identification numbers are comparable to the IP addresses that are assigned to all devices that connect to the Internet.
What happens if the Internet is down? Or might there be a blackout?
eXite itself runs in a secure data processing center that has backup power supply, which is why eXite will even continue to work during a large-scale power outage. If the Internet happens to be down, eXite will still be “on the air” and will transfer data as soon as the business partner is back online.
More than 20,000 companies use eXite. Does that mean that I can engage in Electronic Data Interchange with more than 20,000 companies?
It is even better than that! With eXite, you are connected to all EDI users worldwide, which means that there are no geographic or virtual limits to data exchange. In practice, eXite can exchange data with any company in the world that is equipped to use EDI.
What happens if I do not use any (ERP) system?
In that case, a so-called Web EDI solution is a great alternative. If you choose this option, all electronic documents such as orders (ORDERS), invoices (INVOIC), despatch advices (DESADV), and other business documents will be processed via an online form. eXite works in the background to ensure the reliable transmission of your data to your business partner. Small companies tend to choose this alternative because they have limited subject-matter expertise.
How do you keep track of all those transactions?
This is not an issue because all eXite online tools ensure full transparency. eXite meticulously logs each and every data transfer process. Via our eXite online services, you will always have a full overview of the documents you have sent and received. You have the option of searching for specific documents and transactions for any period of time. You can even link individual transactions via document references to see if any data are missing. For instance, you can check if there is a matching despatch advice for a specific order and if there is an invoice for every order. In addition, we have e-mail reports about the delivery status of your messages, which will give you an even better overview. Users have a smart dashboard that is comparable to the cockpit in an airline which allows them to monitor their activities on a daily basis.
Do individual eXite users need additional firewalls or Internet security solutions?
There is usually no need to purchase any other solutions in addition to those you already have. But it goes without saying that EDI does require a connection to the outside world. Therefore, before you start using EDI, we will explain exactly what steps you need to take regarding your existing firewall and how communication will be established. eXite itself has a multi-level firewall concept for maximum security. All data transmissions are encrypted, transmission logs are digitally signed, and servers are monitored on a permanent basis. In addition, we have periodic audits and penetration tests for the entire infrastructure. eXite is available 24/7.
Do you have technical support that is available 24/7?
Yes, of course we do! If you need immediate technical assistance outside our business hours, you can call our technical helpdesk 24/7.
As a matter of course, my colleagues and I are always happy to answer any other questions you may have. Please use the contact box on the right to send your inquiry.
About the author
CIO at EDITEL Austria
EDITEL, an EDI service provider, is the internationally leading provider of EDI solutions (EDI = Electronic Data Interchange). The company specializes in the optimization of supply chain processes for companies of all sizes and in all industries.
Portrait photo copyright Editel/Petra Spiola
Symbolic image copyright iStockphoto, NicoEINico