5 Reasons for SEEBURGER direct EDI connections instead of an EDI
B2B - Business Integration

5 Reasons To Ban the EDI VAN

| | Business Development Director, SEEBURGER UK
5 Reasons To Ban the EDI VAN

Provoking as the headline may be, if you’re still operating on an EDI VAN service, you will no doubt be familiar with the frustrations that a forty-year-old solution presents in modern IT times. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and API/IoT/Industry 4.0 technologies are converging to take communication between business partners to the next level.

The frustrations of trying to use a VAN to participate in this new world order of convergence can easily be overcome by switching to a robust, agile and modern platform from SEEBURGER. Not only does this provide full flexibility for on-premise, hybrid or cloud deployment options, but it also has a strong focus on direct and efficient connections to your trading partners, thus allowing you to ‘ban the EDI VAN’.

Rid Your EDI VAN Frustrations – 5 Reasons Why You Should Switch:

  1. Higher Quality of Service. Communication speed means a lot in today’s hyper-connected world. With Industry 4.0 on the rise, direct Internet Protocol (IP) connections using readily available open protocols prevail. Synchronous AS2 and OFTP2 data transfer is much faster than asynchronous VAN communication, not to mention VAN interconnects or the overheads of having to frequently poll VAN mailboxes. This is particularly important for business transactions where a minute makes a BIG difference. Consider real-time processes like JIT/JIS in the automotive industry, ASNs under a SLA, or perishable food delivery in retail. Direct Internet Protocol (IP) connections for EDI avoid the inconsistent quality problems of VAN communication. SEEBURGER solutions provide feedback on the status of the delivery through extensive end-to-end monitoring and message tracking.
  1. Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Internet Protocol (IP) based connections for communication are significantly less costly when larger numbers of transactions are involved. SEEBURGER provides Communication Service tools to handle the on-boarding and certificate complexity of AS2 and OFTP2 with ease. Avoid the complexities of numerous direct connections with one simple and central connection to SEEBURGER’s Communication Service.
  1. Comprehensive ERP and Application integration capabilities: Modern middleware solutions integrate with any backend systems: ERP, CRM, and accounting tools. Errors and delay with manual data entry processes are mitigated against with SEEBURGER’s template approach to on-boarding systems such as these expediently- unlike with a VAN.
  1. Ready for API integration: State-of-the-art EDI is often complemented through API integration and management. SEEBURGER’s Business Integration Suite (BIS) is the comprehensive Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) built on a unified codebase. Besides B2B/EDI, SEEBURGER’s BIS also provides API integration and management, MFT, E-Invoicing and integrates all type of EAI, ESB and Internet of Things scenarios. VANs are simply not multifaceted like this.
  1. Fast On-boarding of new trading partners SEEBURGER has over 30 years of experience in B2B/EDI and supports all relevant formats and communication standards of protocols. Our standard solutions provide more than 10,000 partner profiles covering all different types of industries. In the rare case that a trading partner is not available in our extensive library, we will undertake the necessary mapping and on-boarding work to make it available. Changes to the communication structure may make sense to reduce cost by replacing VAN (e.g. X400) connections through AS2 or OFTP2 and to start with a few high volume trading partners. A roll-out campaign approach makes sense when ~100 or more trading partner connections are to be changed at a time.

New freedom with SEEBURGER – Flexibility of Deployment

Flexible deployment models exist for SEEBURGER EDI/B2B integration: cloud, on-premises or in a mixed model (hybrid). For all three scenarios there is flexibility of communication – sometimes in projects the rollout campaign can’t persuade all trading partners to move at a certain point in time for practical reasons. The SEEBURGER Communication Service offers a handover point if trading partners still insist on communicating via a VAN mailbox.

Option 1: SEEBURGER EDI Cloud with Direct Internet Protocol (IP) Connections

It is a good option, to think about a full managed EDI Cloud Service – but make sure, that this Cloud Service is focusing on direct connections to your trading partners. Avoid ending up in a situation where a VAN is just providing additional conversion services.

SEEBURGER iPaaS EDI Cloud Service
Figure 1 – SEEBURGER iPaaS EDI Cloud Service with Direct Internet Protocol (IP) Connections

SEEBURGER´s EDI Cloud Services focus on IP-based direct connections. And with a deeper level of visibility and control, you can quickly adapt to market changes as they appear. SEEBURGER offer extensive end-to-end 24/7 monitoring so that the line-of -business is well informed as to what is happening at any given moment in time. The SEEBURGER EDI Cloud Service is also available on an IPaaS model for those customers wishing to control mappings in-house.

Option 2: SEEBURGER EDI BIS on-premises with Direct Internet Protocol (IP) Connections

There can be specific reasons to deploy or keep the EDI solution on-premise. In such a case direct Internet Protocol (IP) connections need to be maintained by the operating team.

Figure 2 – SEEBURGER EDI BIS On-Premises with Direct Internet Protocol (IP) Connections

SEEBURGER offers tools like the Community Management Application for faster on-boarding and trading partner self-service.

SEEBURGER Trading Partner Services provides a full service for handling all on-boarding and service desk enquiries from customers and suppliers. This way the on-boarding of trading partners to the integration platform and support for them during the operating phase can be delegated, whilst still controlling the on-premises setup.

Option 3: Mixed Model SEEBURGER EDI BIS On-Premises with Communication Cloud Direct Internet Protocol (IP) Connections

As your organization expands, you may require more expansive support through a hybrid model of SEEBURGER BIS, and the SEEBURGER Communication Service as shown in Figure 3:

Mixed model SEEBURGER EDI BIS On-Premises
Figure 3 – Mixed model SEEBURGER EDI BIS On-Premises with Communication Cloud for Direct Internet Protocol (IP) Connections

The SEEBURGER Communication Service handles all the connections to trading partners via their supported protocols – regardless of business partners’ technological capability or geographic location. This removes the need to wait for responses and enables direct connections for today’s hyper connected world.


SEEBURGER’s Business Integration Suite (BIS) is prime time ready for the future. BIS is a comprehensive Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) which besides B2B/EDI also provides API integration and management, EAI, MFT, E-Invoicing and Internet of Things capability.

The SEEBURGER B2B/EDI solution provides a robust communication platform as it is based upon an organically grown unified code base – enabling the easy on-boarding, orchestration, and optimization of trading partners quickly, flexibly, and reliably.  There is no software patchwork.

SEEBURGER offers full flexibility regarding deployment options. No matter which option you choose – you are then on the way to “ban the EDI VAN”.

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Ian Goldsmith

Written by:

Ian Goldsmith is Business Development Director at SEEBURGER, a global market leader in business integration software. With ~25 years integration experience spanning development, consultancy management, pre-sales, solutions management, account management and marketing, he is well versed in understanding integration requirements of today (and tomorrow) from all angles. Ian, has utilised his industry and technical knowledge to brief Industry Analysts and ‘C’ level execs on numerous occasions, and has won awards along the way for outstanding work with clients.