By Bruce Tierney
IT modernization is a front-and-center initiative for many companies. Modernization means replacing legacy applications and infrastructure with newer, more efficient solutions that take advantage of today’s modern technologies, including cloud architectures, REST APIs, low-code development, and composable architectures. More often than not, these new solutions run in the cloud.
But simply migrating a legacy application to the cloud isn’t enough to realize the full benefits of IT modernization. It’s one thing to run in the cloud; it’s another thing to be built for it. Cloud-native platforms and applications leverage modern, scalable architectures to provide agility and scalability that older applications simply can’t match, even when they’re running on AWS instead of in an on-premises data center.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) remains a vital technology supporting B2B ecommerce. But many EDI applications are decades old. With these manual processes and complex UIs, they force companies to move at the speed of business in 2002, not 2022. They require weeks for onboarding new partners, slowing the pace of business and exacerbating delays caused by disrupted supply chains. They don’t integrate easily with ERP applications or other B2B services. And they fail to provide the end-to-end visibility into transactions that financial teams and EDI engineers need.
Fortunately, companies have a choice. Increasingly, CIOs and EDI teams are recognizing the benefits of adopting the Boomi AtomSphere Platform for B2B/EDI Management. The Boomi platform is a modern, cloud-native platform with a low-code development interface that makes integrating with other applications fast and easy. It also supports workflow automation, freeing EDI teams to set up self-service onboarding portals for partners. And the Boomi EDI solution works with other Boomi platform capabilities, including integration, API lifecycle management, workflow automation, master data management, and data cataloging and preparation.
Here are the stories of three Boomi customers who adopted the Boomi AtomSphere Platform as part of their EDI modernization strategies. By switching to Boomi, all three companies realized their goals for:
- Faster onboarding
- Improved visibility into transactions and status
- Improved connectivity with ERP systems and other key business applications that had been siloed before
- Increased scalability and efficiency from cloud migration
- Future-proofing their EDI and B2B networks
AMMEX, a supplier of disposable gloves, has been helping its wide range of distributors and retailers sell its protective gear for more than 30 years. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, its products became more important than ever. The company had been growing at 10 percent annually, but realized that improved connectivity and automation could spur even more dramatic growth while improving customer experiences.
AMMEX wanted to improve the experience of its wholesale customers by modernizing its technology platforms to:
- Provide more ecommerce options for placing orders
- Support 24/7 self-service access to order status and order history
- Give its customer services team access to accurate, up-to-date customer records across multiple systems
These goals would benefit AMMEX customers as well as AMMEX itself.
Over two years, AMMEX had overhauled much of its IT infrastructure. It replaced its Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It also launched an internal ecommerce platform to facilitate order entry by its customer service team and by customers themselves.
But connectivity and visibility challenges remained. Point-to-point integration between Salesforce Sales Cloud and AMMEX’s Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) enterprise resource planning (ERP) system required manually synchronizing data for every order, regardless of the order entry channel. Because data could be changed in the CRM or ERP, reconciling records was error prone and tedious. Meanwhile, customers didn’t have visibility into order status.
AMMEX evaluated Boomi, MuleSoft, Talend, eOne Solutions SmartConnect, and TIBCO Scribe. Ultimately, it selected Boomi, convinced that the Boomi team best understood AMMEX’s integration challenges.
Boomi now orchestrates the entire customer experience by integrating Sales Cloud, Dynamics GP, and several external ecommerce, supply chain, and currency exchange applications. When a customer is added to Sales Cloud, Boomi facilitates account creation in the ERP and ecommerce application within minutes.
When an ecommerce order is placed, Boomi instantly passes the order into the ERP system, checks availability, and sends the order to the warehouse. Boomi then passes the tracking number from the warehouse to the ecommerce and ERP application, giving both AMMEX customers and internal teams 100 percent visibility into order status. Boomi also integrates with the company’s Banks Lockbox service to process payments for orders.
In its first year with Boomi, AMMEX achieved a 4X growth in the number of orders processed, something the company believes it couldn’t have accomplished without Boomi.
“Boomi has enabled AMMEX to scale self-service and deliveries 10X by transforming our manual business process with a consistent and reliable automation solution.” — Chad Ghosn, CTO, AMMEX
AMMEX also sped up the time to process each order by automating repetitive tasks and identifying which customers are best suited to leverage ecommerce for self-service, which is available 24/7 for both customers and the AMMEX customer services team. Through Boomi-powered integration, all customers have accurate price lists, account addresses from the ERP system, and up-to-date credit information. Self-service has allowed the customer services team to reallocate at least three full- time employees to higher productivity roles.
With the Boomi AtomSphere Platform and Boomi B2B/EDI Management, Kenco Logistics, a leading third-party logistics company, cut customer onboarding times in half and dramatically scaled to handle holiday surges.
The 70-year-old firm had become expert at handling logistics for companies in North America. But Kenco wanted to be even more agile and flexible, capable of pivoting in new directions when opportunities arose. It also wanted to onboard customers more quickly and efficiently to recognize revenue more quickly. And it wanted to shift expenses from CapEx to OpEx, moving from on-premises IT procurement to flexible, scalable cloud services.
Kenco’s legacy EDI system didn’t scale, leading to high software and hardware costs during holiday rushes. Another problem: Kenco realized that the first step in accelerating onboarding and migrating to cloud services would be modernizing its integration capabilities. Integration had been time-consuming and error-prone. Setting up a new customer with the company’s legacy EDI software usually took 40 to 60 staff hours over several weeks. And if the company was going to migrate applications to AWS, it would need to build many new integrations.
To realize its strategic vision, Kenco replaced its legacy integration software and on-premises EDI system with the Boomi AtomSphere Platform. This gave the company a single, low-code development platform for EDI through Boomi B2B/EDI Management and for all forms of integration with Boomi Integration.
Using the Boomi platform, Kenco:
- Built new EDI connections for customers
- Integrated custom application data with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
- Created a faster way to onboard customers
Thanks to Boomi, Kenco achieved its strategic goals. The company was able to:
- Cut customer onboarding work in half, enabling faster revenue recognition.
- Consolidate EDI and integration tools in a single, low-code development platform. Boomi reduced training times and maintenance costs.
- Scale services quickly and affordably when needed. Now Kenco can handle holiday surges without procuring new hardware and software.
- Gain better insights into system usage and customer trends for forecasting.
- Quickly build an integration with its shipping partner UPS
“Boomi is a Swiss Army knife. It does a bunch of different things very well, including integration, EDI, and working with AWS.” — Don Johnson, Manager of System Architects, Kenco Logistics
When it comes to logistics, speed is king. So leading UK logistics provider Eddie Stobart teamed with Boomi to bring far greater speed, efficiency and agility to its supply chain and partner network.
Eddie Stobart is a 24/7/365, end-to-end supply chain operation. Offering around-the-clock support is a vital part of its business. But the company’s expanding and increasingly complex EDI network was a barrier to delivering fast, high-quality service.
The company needed to:
- Support customer preferences and constraints for integrating and communicating with its systems
- Provide cost-effective, always-on availability
- Minimize time lost to scheduled and unscheduled system maintenance
In logistics, margins are notoriously thin, and information is the lifeblood of business.
Eddie Stobart had been working with several traditional EDI providers, but downtime, long project timelines and a lack of innovation prevented the organization from quickly onboarding customers and building on the relationships Eddie Stobart had worked so hard to establish.
Boomi allowed Eddie Stobart to move faster and further improve how it helped customers, putting more distance between the company and its competitors. Following a proof-of-concept project, Eddie Stobart deployed the Boomi AtomSphere Platform, using a range of Boomi capabilities including B2B/EDI management, integration, and API management.
The Boomi platform now underpins many business-critical processes, improving workflows for customer orders, logistics management, enterprise operations, warehouse management, and port transport systems.
“We’ve only scratched the surface of what Boomi can do. We see our relationship with Boomi deepening as we fully explore the range of possibilities the platform offers.” —John Court, CIO, Eddie Stobart
Boomi has dramatically increased Eddie Stobart’s speed and agility in responding to business needs that support company growth. Thanks to Boomi, Eddie Stobart has:
- Slashed integration time in half
- Increased its rate of customer acquisition
- Cut costs by eliminating fees tied to data volumes
- Improved its ability to integrate directly with customer manufacturing applications
From artificial intelligence to the internet of things, Eddie Stobart is considering a host of advanced technologies that Boomi supports through its low-code, cloud-native integrations.
Powered by Boomi B2B/EDI Management and the Boomi AtomSphere Platform, Eddie Stobart has created agile IT processes, reducing integration time by 50 percent.
Legacy EDI just doesn’t provide all the strategic and operational advantages businesses need today. Download our EDI Modernization Success Strategies executive brief to discover strategies for modernization success.