Birchwood Casey is a sporting goods manufacturer based in Eden Prairie, MN.  They wanted to move their EDI system onto the cloud.  Birchwood Casey reached out to Data Communication Solutions (DCS), as we had experience with their old, legacy system.   DCS could contain costs by not having to learn an old system or working with another contractor who knew it.

The Cloud Explained

A cloud server is a server that is built and maintained by someone offsite and can be accessed through the internet.  This provides an alternative to storing your data on your own servers.  The functions of the cloud server, also known as an instance, are invisible for the user, as if they’re being obscured by a cloud, thus the term cloud computing.  There are several cloud providers to choose from.  These include Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, RackSpace’s OpenStack, and Google’s Cloud Platform.

To learn more about the cloud, including a list of pros and cons, check out our blog post Moving Your EDI to the Cloud.

The Birchwood-Casey Environment

Birchwood-Casey’s BizLink system is equipped with a local transaction mailbox for outbound FRP and an FTP server for inbound FTP.  Their trading partners can be divided into two categories: FRP partners and AS2 partners.  The chart below illustrates this environment.

BC Environment.jpg

Setting up the cloud server

Birchwood’s system was set up on Amazon ECS.  This platform has the ability to use VPC or Direct Connect to do transfers, but the cost is based upon the amount of data used.

For the Amazon DCS setup, the specialist created instance ID with needed disk space, installed SQL Manager from App Manager, and set up security group and firewall rules.  DCS used regular install for the Biz Install.  DCS created two databases and set SQL to 2008 compatibility.  DCS also added BizLink SFTP Server File Transfer between the clients’ backend systems.

Lessons Learned

One noteworthy success in DCS’ work with Birchwood-Casey was the ability to set up an FTP server between Biz and Tli.  Tli does “Program Calls” to send into its system within Biz.  DCS was able to utilize the FTP program to pick up the AS400 files.

This project made it clear that our DCS EDI specialists are very flexible and responsive to our customers’ needs.  Second, it served as a reminder of the importance of allowing extra time for go-live and practicing if possible.  Finally, it makes it clear that Biz in the Cloud does work.

Is your company considering moving to the cloud?  Contact DCS for a FREE assessment on how you can take advantage of the benefits of moving to a cloud environment.