give-and-takeEver hear about how people are described as givers or takers? Givers give without strings. Esteem for givers rises over time. Takers expect more than they give. Eventually, times catches up to the takers. The same applies to businesses. The world of EDI is plagued with a taker.

In the book, Give and Take: A revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant, Grant points out that while the Good Guy finishes last has its truth, it also turns out that the Good Guy also finishes first. Takers might show short term wins, but end up middle of the road in the end. 


Steve Scala, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, for GXS recently sent a letter to an unknown number of customers, addressing a communication from SPS Commerce regarding the termination of the GXS-Loren Data interconnect. SPS aparently believes that the problem is real, and is contacting trading partners to create a real solution. In his letter, Scala attempts to assure GXS customers that they will be taken care of, and to disregard SPS. 


The genesis of this bruhaha is GXS' termination of its various network relationships with Loren Data, which could possibly create a supply chain crises for as many as 10,000 trading partnerships. This was not done for the benefit of the industry, and certainly not for the benefit of its own customers. This can be seen as retribution for being called out on its interconnect policies particularly as they affect Loren Data and its customers. Taking care of the customers would require the contiunation of its current functional interconnects. 

The good news for OpenText, who is currently acquiring GXS, is that there is much room for improvement. If OpenText enters the market as a good steward we could see huge growth and improvement in this sector. On the other hand, if OpenText does not take quick action, it will own a train wreck. The ultimate winner in this sector will likely be a group of companies focused on creating a winning industry, not taking its customers for a ride.

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