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Category: Technology

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You spent big bucks a few years ago on a translator, faithfully paid yearly maintenance fees, and applied upgrades. There's still something you need the software to do that it can’t. What’s there to do about it?

Looking at EDI translators from the early 90s through today, I’ve yet to one that didn’t require ‘tweaking’ of some sort. Sometimes it involved configuration or building business processes using the standard functionality of the package, but at other times it required something beyond that. I mentioned in an earlier blog that to extend your package’s functionality, your options might be to build, buy, or wait for the vendor to add the capability to a future release. Let’s talk about the first two alternatives.

Our technical team had a wide range of skills that allowed them to build sophisticated processes outside the translator, so we could often lean on that strength to do the work ourselves. We also used 3rd party software, like Kirix Strata, to build complex reporting processes. We evaluated other companies, like Adept Engineering, that offered pre-configured solutions to gaps in our software’s capabilities. Those approaches are all valid, but if you’re a small shop or one that has only used ‘vanilla’ packages in the past, you need a lot of information before you can select a direction. Where can you turn for help? Here are a few resources to utilize:

So, do your homework before you make a decision on whether to build or buy. The other option of having functionality added by the vendor will be addressed in my next blog.