The earliest forms of EDI outsourcing, going back twenty years or so, can be seen as the provision of software and services by an external company for the implementation and operation of systems and processes for creating, transmitting, and receiving EDI documents. The Value Added Network is core to the earliest forms of EDI Outsourcing. EDI has long been the most effective technology for creating transaction efficiencies among business partners. However, as the global trading environment grows more complex, the need for EDI technologies including the VAN has evolved into the need for business-to-business (B2B) collaboration capabilities.
The focus has moved away from the provision of pure EDI to B2B Integration supporting supply chain and trading partner activities by enabling more effective collaboration with business partners. As a result, EDI outsourcing has evolved into B2B managed services which uses the B2B Integration Cloud as its technology platform. As cloud adoption continues to evolve, companies will face a new integration challenge: How do you integrate on premise systems with those consumed from the cloud and how do you then do B2B integration with trading partners also consuming systems in the cloud? Cloud Integration Brokerage is the answer, and expect to see B2B managed services vendors at the forefront of delivering these services.