There are many types of EDI and data integration software and many different options to manage them. You can run your EDI yourself, hire an external person to help you, or pay someone to do everything for you.

Running an EDI system yourself is generally referred to as self-service. The system may be on-premise or software-as-a-service (SAAS), but you have access to do your own mapping, testing, and new partner implementations. Self-service can sound daunting, but with a little training most companies find they can easily manage their day-to-day EDI operations. External resources like DCS can provide expertise and guidance as needed.

Managing an EDI system yourself with the help of additional external resources is referred to as blended-service. The external resources could come from an independent third-party like DCS, or from the software provider. The system can be on-premise or SAAS, and anyone with system access can do mapping, testing, and new partner implementations. Blended-service offers the most flexibility, with the option to do work yourself and also bring in additional resources as needed.

Paying someone to run your EDI for you is known as managed-service. The system is usually SAAS but can also be on-premise, and all work is done by external resources. Managed-service often sounds the most appealing, but be sure you understand all details of system access. If the software is 100% managed, meaning only the provider has access, your options may be limited. If you aren’t satisfied with the service for some reason, what is your recourse? It may be better to select a system that offers blended-service, and choose to have the provider or another resource run everything for you. That gives you the option to change or add resources as needed.

Not every system offers every option, so be sure you understand what access is available and analyze the pros and cons of each when making your decision.