The BIG ISDN SWITCH-OFF: Are you ready and prepared?
B2B - Business Integration Cloud

Are you ready for the BIG ISDN SWITCH-OFF?

| | Corporate Information Security Officer (Co-CISO), SEEBURGER

Don’t panic, there is a way out: With professional support from SEEBURGER the ISDN switch-off can succeed seamlessly and you can breathe easy.

The ISDN switch-off mainly affects EDI transactions in the automotive industry, because of its common use of OFTP1 over ISDN. This blog explains how the change to OFTP2 over IP or AS2 can succeed with little effort.

Many companies are currently faced with dealing with Deutsche Telekom planning to shut down ISDN by latest December 31, 2018.

Mainly companies in the automotive industry have to replace hundreds of OFTP1 connections over ISDN to OFTP2 over IP. This requires contacting each partner in order to bilaterally coordinate new processes and technical parameters as well as agreeing upon a transition date.

In other industries EDI communication often takes place indirectly via VAN (Value Added Network). This is convenient, but often expensive and unsuitable for time-critical business processes. A change to IP-based AS2 communication can solve this problem.

From the IT department’s point of view both scenarios have similar challenges:

  • More qualified personnel is needed during the period of change, however, these may be hard to find.
  • Contacting many trading partners can be difficult because the email addresses and telephone numbers of the contacts are not always up-to-date. Badly maintained trading partner lists require “master data forensics”.
  • Many business partners simply do not react at all generating  lots heavy lifting
  • Individual trading partners are not (yet) technically equipped to switch to new communication protocols
  • Switching to certificate-based IP connections is not always trivial and requires connection testing

Consequently, the conversion takes longer than expected and before it is properly finished, the next conversion tasked upon you which is the nature of your business.

However, there is a way out: With professional support from SEEBURGER, conversions can succeed seamlessly through a roll-out campaign; a worthwhile solution while considering upgrading 100+ trading partners. Such a campaign consists of 2 parts for establishing the technical connection; first organizational on-boarding and a second technical on-boarding.

The key differentiator is a self-service campaign tool providing partners the ability to efficiently support all steps of the approach and the conversion thereof.

Successful Campaign starts with Organizational On-boarding

Organizational on-boarding is established through the creation of an on-boarding plan which includes follow-up with trading partners’. Depending on the scope of the roll-out campaign and the complexity of the associated processes, it may be useful to approach partners in several waves.

The first approach of the partners is initially through email taking the partners to the campaign tool, where a survey form collects all necessary data for the connection.

The campaign team combines email, telephone and (online) events to encourage reluctant or unresponsive trading partners to participate.

 Perfectly prepared for Technical On-boarding

The business partner independently establishes the required communication links on his side and can test his connection. The campaign team supports the trading partners, thus avoiding operating errors and helps with administrative or technical questions. After successful completion of all tests, the trading partner is activated for productive use.

The campaign team can monitor the progress and track trading partners who are not responding. This creates transparency for all stakeholders.

Benefit from SEEBURGER’s longtime experience in this field. Use our brochure “Community Management” to get an overview of the benefits, application areas and specific applications. If you want to get started, you can book your campaign directly in our Cloudshop.


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Frank Stegmueller

Written by:

Frank Stegmüller is one of the two corporate information security officers at SEEBURGER and has been with the company since 2008. He has over 25 years of experience in service, support and information security for Enterprise Application Integration, EDI, B2B, MFT, API, ITSM and digital transformation - both on in-house systems and from the cloud. He is involved in the ISO/IEC 27001, ISAE 3402 (SOC 1) Type 2 and TISAX certification for SEEBURGER Cloud Services and knows all about the intricacies of compliant data centre operations in international environments.