left_the_buildingWell, at least some software has moved beyond the firewall. It seems like only last year the debates were raging about the safety and security of hosting data and applications on platforms that were not under the lock and key control of the enterprise. Today, that debate has substantially moderated.

portalMore and more, I’m hearing about Retailers or other buying organizations that either have, are in the process of implementing, or are looking at investing in a supplier portal service for electronic trading. Certainly there may be some need for something like this, however I would caution those organizations to truly look at the value that you as the Retailer or Sponsor of this technology are gaining with this investment. I’ve addressed this topic a few times in the past but wanted to make sure that those companies going down this path are making an informed decision. Below are reasons for thinking about Supplier portal –

At the 2010 VCF Conference in Phoenix, Dara O'Rourke talked about GoodGuide.com and how the platform collects data from all aspects of the supply chain to deliver information on consumer products. The application can deliver ratings instantly while consumers are shopping, letting them make purchase decisions on those aspects of the product that make the most difference to them.

cloud2Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtual resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure "in the cloud" that supports them.

Railroad-HandcarNo doubt, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is well entrenched in the hearts and minds of IT and business pros. It has been around, in various forms and mechanisms, for decades (in fact, according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) overseeing EDI’s standards, the first recorded EDI dates back to the 1850s when the railroads and Western Union used the telegraph to communicate business information).  So change is somewhat slower than other, newer information technologies.