If you’ve been around the Sage 100 scene for any length of time, there’s a good chance you’ve heard EDI Advantage or “Kissinger EDI” mentioned when the topic of Sage 100 EDI integration comes up. As an early entrant in the channel, EDI Advantage was introduced in the 1990’s and the solution set a new standard for electronic data interchange integration capabilities.
Many Sage 100 users discover a need for EDI Advantage when they begin selling to retailer(s) that require the use of EDI. (Or when their existing customers begin to require EDI.) In other cases, they are already using EDI but their processing isn’t integrated—or is only lightly integrated—and they want to eliminate the hours and hours of data entry they’re doing on a daily basis.
As you know, there are a number of EDI solutions available. So why is EDI Advantage still going strong and powering the EDI operations of Sage 100 users across the country? What accounts for the attraction and staying power of EDI Advantage? We think the longevity boils down to five key reasons:
1. You can set it and forget it.
EDI Advantage is unique among EDI solutions in that users can just count on it to run, performing the tasks it is asked to perform, without requiring much (or any!) interaction from a human. This is due to two main factors: the amazing comprehensiveness of the available setup options and the sophistication of the EDI Advantage integration processing. As a result, EDI Advantage users enjoy the ability to simply manage their EDI activities by exception, rather than needing to dedicate resources to actively work with EDI data and operate the system. In fact, EDI Advantage is known for this “does more, asks less” sophistication; it’s long been considered one of the most powerful and complete EDI solutions available for Sage 100.
2. Free transactions make people happy.
It turns out people really enjoy learning that EDI Advantage helps them avoid paying per-transaction fees, which can become quite costly for companies, especially those with higher EDI transaction volumes. Some competing solutions require customers to use their proprietary EDI network, locking them in to the provider’s fee schedule, even when trading partners permit the use of direct communications methods like AS2 or FTP, which can bypass the need for a traditional Value-Added Network (VAN). And if EDI Advantage users still prefer to use a VAN, they are pleased to know that they have the ability to shop around for the best VAN deal they can find, since EDI Advantage doesn’t require a particular network.
3. It’s built for Sage 100 by Sage 100 experts.
EDI Advantage is decidedly different from a number of competing products because it isn’t a “general” EDI integration solution. What does that mean? It means that EDI Advantage is designed specifically for Sage 100 systems, so the processing options and all aspects of the solutions’ functionality are optimized for the Sage 100 environment. Also, it is written, maintained, and enhanced by Sage 100 product experts with many, many years of experience working with Sage 100. If you’ve read other pieces here on the Kissinger blog, you might be thinking, “Hey, I think I’ve heard this before.” And you’d be right. This is an idea we write about from time to time (most recently in this piece about website integration): as integrators of complex systems, it seems like a very good idea to be experts in both systems being integrated (the EDI system and the business management system), rather than just one. Our customers, especially those who have switched to EDI Advantage from other solutions, tend to agree. Customers have told us they feel much more comfortable selecting an EDI provider with deep expertise in both EDI and Sage 100. Our in-depth knowledge of Sage 100 actually translates to real benefits for their business in the form of efficiency, operational control, and cost-savings.
4. Our policies and values keep ‘em coming back.
Wait—is this a real thing? Talking about “policies” and “values” seems like something marketing types like to do. It’s often more about finding words that give people warm fuzzy feelings about a company rather than describing anything of substance. But if you visited our offices and talked to our people, I think you’d find some refreshing ideas. Or, better yet, talk to some of the resellers who recommend Kissinger solutions and let them speak for us. (Contact us for references.) When we partner with Sage 100 resellers to bring our EDI Advantage solutions to users across the US, we recognize the need to respect the importance of the reseller’s connection with their client. We follow our core values and work hard to protect each reseller’s relationship. Sage resellers trust us because we don’t just talk about it, we do it.
5. It’s all in Sage 100.
This is a biggie, so we put it at the end. Our big finish. There are a number of solid benefits for EDI Advantage users that come out of this one fact. To start with, EDI Advantage is super convenient: all EDI processing–including communications and translation–can happen totally within your Sage 100 software. I think it’s safe to say this makes for the ultimate in convenience and usability, and we find that it makes Sage 100 users feel right at home from the start. Happy users adopt the system more easily and enjoy using it because it looks, feels, and works like Sage 100. Users also benefit from having easy access to EDI info (assuming their security privileges allow it) right inside Sage 100 so everything they need is at their fingertips. And customers who have been outsourcing EDI or using an EDI system that requires importing and exporting find that the EDI experience is seriously streamlined, with no need to maintain scripts or external databases, or to install, operate and maintain software outside of Sage 100.
Selecting an integrated EDI solution is a big deal.
Shopping for an integrated EDI solution can seem overwhelming for many customers. Figuring out what’s needed, what software is available, and which solution is best, can be challenging. For many people, purchasing an EDI solution is a huge decision on par with selecting a business management system, as the EDI software will handle mission critical day-to-day transactions with some of the company’s most important business partners. Here’s what we think matters most.