Communicate with Walmart's EDIINT AS2 Server Using CLEO LexiCom, the Software Already Trusted By More Than 6,000 Walmart Suppliers.
A truly complete EDI communications strategy, CLEO LexiCom offers secure AS2 communications with Walmart, contingency connections to major Value Added Networks (VANs), and connections to many other major retail chains. The software's pre-loaded configurations, built-in integration to major EDI software packages, set-up wizards, and web-based self-help tools will have you communicating with Walmart in minutes.
In August 2002, CLEO Communications successfully certified CLEO LexiCom with Walmart's EDIINT (EDI over the Internet) AS2 server. Within several months, CLEO LexiCom was being used by a growing number of suppliers to meet Walmart's EDI over the Internet mandate. Many of these suppliers were among the first group of vendors to go into 'production' using AS2 for EDI before 2002 came to a close. Over 6,000 Walmart suppliers now use CLEO LexiCom as their "solution of choice" for securely exchanging files with Walmart.
Drummond Certified AS2 Solution
Drummond Certified for AS2, CLEO LexiCom is a robust communications tool designed to work with the major trading community networks. Walmart requires Drummond AS2 certification. The certification is conducted by The Drummond Group (in association with the Uniform Code Council) and verifies through an exhaustive series of tests that products can exchange data files with all other certified AS2 software products.
This list of certified products becomes Walmart's approved list as well. CLEO LexiCom has successfully participated in three rounds of testing over the last two years. CLEO LexiCom is also used by The Drummond Group as a "test" AS2 product for debugging products new to the interoperability testing.
What this means to Walmart and their suppliers is that certified products work! Much less time is wasted when software products are certified interoperable. However, certification comes at a cost. CLEO views this cost as an investment in its products and its customers. This investment pays off in both the short and long term. Other hubs, like UCC.net, interested in exchanging data securely, are using interoperability certification as a EDIINT software selection criteria. More public and private hubs will likely follow suit.
Bottom Line: Certification results in solutions that truly save companies time and money.
A Comprehensive AS2 Strategy
CLEO LexiCom is a complete solution designed to be both easy-to-use and fully scalable. A pre-loaded configuration for Walmart means the average user can set up in just 30 minutes. In addition to Walmart, CLEO LexiCom offers pre-configured profiles for over two-dozen public and privately hosted EDIINT hubs. They include major retailers such as Target, Meijer, Lowes, Food Lion, Dollar General, Michaels, Winn-Dixie and others. As new hubs move to Internet protocols, CLEO is quick to have a pre-configured host.
CLEO LexiCom also supports connections to major Value Added Networks (VANs) including Sterling, IBM, GXS, etc. When CLEO LexiCom is part of a comprehensive business communications strategy to extend implementation with multiple trading partners or networks, potential ROI is increased. Independent research indicates that strategies that include a mix of direct-connections and VAN relationships also allow businesses to achieve other objectives, such as reduced new product time-to-market, improved customer intimacy, lower inventory costs plus supply chain control and flexibility. Adding to ease-of-use, CLEO LexiCom features AS2 wizards that assist users during the set up process. Plus, CLEO LexiCom's on-screen context sensitive help allows users to link to more information directly from the user interface.
Perhaps most importantly, CLEO LexiCom is a complete EDIINT communications tool. One user interface provides trading partner management capability, integrated digital certificate generation, and certificate management plus multiple secure IP-based file transfer protocols including AS2, AS3, ebMS 2.0 (ebXML Messaging Service),fasp™, FTP, FTPs, SSH FTP, HTTP, HTTPs, IBM® WebSphere® MQ, MLLP, OFTP, OFTP2, RNIF, SMTP, SMTPs and Web Services. Unlike some competitive products, CLEO LexiCom combines all of this functionality in one package. This allows the user to easily manage their unique trading network.
Integration To Business Processes
When your EDI software and CLEO LexiCom are integrated, operator re-training is minimized and costs are controlled. CLEO LexiCom offers built-in integration to more than 11 major EDI translation products. This integration allows users to leverage their existing investment in EDI technology while providing a pathway to future developments. OEM EDI software integration are also available by an additional dozen EDI applications providers.
From an end-user perspective, integration is further aided by Quick Start Guides for all available EDI integrations. These guides provide step-by step instructions along with EDI screen shots. An integration wizard within CLEO LexiCom allows users to choose their translator from 11 EDI applications. Integration files can then be created for any active trading partners.
CLEO LexiCom is designed so that it can be easily integrated with most any system. Command-line functionality and a complete Application Programmer interface (API) offer complete flexibility. Written in Java, CLEO LexiCom supports Windows, Linux, Unix and AS/400 operating platforms.
Future-Proof EDI-INT Scalability
CLEO LexiCom is a solution designed to grow with your business. You can start by using CLEO LexiCom to communicate with Walmart or a small handful of trading partners. As you develop your comprehensive communications strategy, you can easily add new trading partners that may require different protocols (AS2, AS3, ebMS, HTTP, FTPs, etc). The traditional "EDI hub & spoke" scenario is quickly being replaced by a model that places companies in the center of an integrated supply chain-- both upstream and downstream.
The ability to be part of an extended supply chain enterprise can deliver powerful electronic control and flexibility to company, regardless of size. Increased control and flexibility can result in significant improvements in new product time-to-market, trading partner collaboration and inventory-control costs. Many companies are able to improve their competitive position while delivering impressive returns on technology investment.
From a slightly different perspective, LexiCom also provides the ability to add redundancy and contingency into your comprehensive strategy. Internet reliability still remains a concern when it comes to transferring business-critical documents. Worms and viruses can be devastating to Internet Service Providers (ISPs). With CLEO LexiCom, alternative connections can be established using less susceptible protocols--dial-up FTP, for example--to provide fail-over communication with no significant delay.
CLEO will ensure that your investment in CLEO LexiCom will continue to add value into the future. CLEO continually invests in its products. As Walmart EDI communications evolve, you can continue to count on CLEO for a current solution.
The Real Bottom Line
Cost savings with EDIINT are achieved by going directly to trading partners using the Internet rather than VANs. A simple Return on Investment (ROI) calculation for CLEO LexiCom involves comparing the total cost of CLEO LexiCom ownership with the reduction in VAN charges. The reduction in VAN charges quickly exceeds the cost of purchasing and implementing CLEO LexiCom. According to one user, “CLEO's LexiCom solution is the best in the market today considering its ease of implementation, ease of use, value and ROI. Our return on investment was less than 3 months. We have never had a software product with such quick ROI.”
Return on investment doesn't stop when the investment costs are simply recovered. Order processing improvements result in increased efficiency and profitability. P.O.s are received more quickly, processing costs are reduced, goods are shipped faster, and inventory forecasting is improved. The same CLEO LexiCom user quoted above went on to say, ”Using CLEO LexiCom, our EDI documents, such as Purchase Orders, are confirmed with in an hour of their creation resulting in huge efficiencies. Previously the wait time was more than 12 to 16 hours.”
There are other, more intangible, yet equally important, business considerations that are affected by direct trading partner communications. Faster, more accurate direct communications between business partners often improves business relationships. The assurance of continued business is immeasurable.
AS2 Service and Support
Obtaining the right software is only the beginning in the development of a comprehensive business communications strategy. CLEO has LexiCom support plans that are tailored to meet your technical as well as budget requirements. Silver, gold and platinum programs all utilize the same highly respected CLEO technical support team. Response time to support requests varies between programs. Technically advanced CLEO LexiCom users may be very happy with silver support while users new to EDIINT communications or those companies with high up-time requirements may opt for Gold or Platinum (guaranteed response times).
CLEO support also expands the notion of what is "usual and customary" to include CLEO-hosted connectivity testing. Use this free service to test your software set-up and firewall configuration before you test with Walmart. In addition, CLEO LexiCom features a built-in link that allows users to download and install software updates including new pre-configured hosts (trading partners).
CLEO is your best partner for connecting to Walmart as well as the rest of your trading partner community. For over 20 years CLEO has been a part of thousands of companies' EDI communications plan. Now with CLEO LexiCom it is possible to leverage EDI communications and messaging as part of a comprehensive business strategy and begin to experience real ROI from your technology investment.
For more information, contact CLEO Sales today.