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Gartner Magic Quadrant EDI Integration Services PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rob Guerriere   
Nov 30, 2009 at 04:59 AM

EDI Service Providers

This report came out last week right before Thanksgiving.  There are no big surprises here too different from Forrester's report that came out last month.  A few things did stand out to me had to do with the industry leader, GXS.


I had the opportunity to join GXS at their annual customer conference this year and visit with their executive team and many large customers.  The conference was a first class event and provided a conducive venue for key GXS personnel to get to know and listen to their customer's needs and wants.  Many of the presentations covered the strategic direction of the company which I am sworn to secrecy here to mention.  But what I can mentioned, which the Gartner article touches on, is that the industry leader is investing a lot of time and money addressing SOCIAL supply chain issues.

Social supply chain issues has to do with being able to find, connect and collaborate with your business partners, vendors and customers in an efficient means and often referred to as Web 2.0.  At the conference they announced the launch of two new tools that addresses social supply chain networks.  One is a system called TeamBook that is a Microsoft Sharepoint tool which GXS built to better serve their clients.  The functionality includes user groups, threaded discussions with support personal and other GXS customers, as well as the ability to chat and post support tickets.  The second is a partnership with RollStream which I covered in a previous article here.

Social Business Networks (SBNs)  is the hottest area, along with virtualization and business intelligence,  that major corporations and government agency CIOs are looking into today.  In a recent book just out this week by Andrew McAfee of Harvard University, titled, Enterprise 2.0, Dr. McAfee states that {Social Business Networks} offers significant improvements, not just incremental ones, in areas such as generating, capturing, and sharing knowledge; letting people find helpful colleagues, tapping into new sources of innovation and expertise and harnessing the "wisdom of crowds."   He goes on to convince the reader that these new Internet tools justify a new version of the web, Web 2.0.

In my humble opinion, these are critical activities whose adoption will define the difference between industry winners and losers over the next five to ten years.  And this industry will feel a lot of growing pain.  As the industry leaders have already evolved through the dot bomb era into an open Internet network cloud computing generation, with a lot of baggage to tote around.  A couple of frightening points that the Gartner report outlines includes huge debt loads, year over year declining revenue, and companies that are still running on old legacy systems.  That's not a great sign for the industry when the leader has more debt then revenue and the revenue is declining.  Online business collaboration tools seem to be a necessity for survival. 


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