B2B Deployments with IBM Sterling VAN

Scalable, robust and simple transactions with your business partners.

Using a VAN has many advantages, among which we find higher than average transaction speed and better communication between different business systems, in addition to the reliability of data transmission.

A VAN is a communication system for EDI or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). But before we talk about what it is and how a VAN works, let's take a look at data communication in general.

Data communication is a vital process in exchanging information with your business partners. In the EDI context, communications represent a separate system that is used to exchange EDI documents between your system and your business partners.

Let's see the example of a Purchase Order, one of the most used transactions for data transmission via EDI. Functionally speaking, the process, from the Purchase Order generation to the sending of the invoice, is as follows:

A reseller issues a Purchase Order to a certain supplier in a certain format that was previously agreed with the business partner, for example an X12 850.

The reseller uses its communication system to send the EDI Purchase Order to a mailbox where the supplier will be able to retrieve it.

The supplier starts a data communication process that checks in the mailbox for EDI Documents.

The document is located in the mailbox and stored in the provider's system, where it will be later processed.

The document is located in the mailbox and stored in the provider's system, where it will be later processed.

The document is located in the mailbox and stored in the provider's system, where it will be later processed.

The Purchase Order is processed on supplier's ERP, where it is interpreted to generate the corresponding order, shipping information and invoice.

The invoice is converted into an EDI format and later sent to be processed by the system.

The supplier using its communication system sends the EDI invoice, in this case an X12 810, to a secure mailbox where the reseller is able to retrieve it.

The following diagram represents this cycle:


As you could see, there is a harmonious interaction between the EDI System and the data communication system, but they are totally independent. The key advantage of such independence is that you can establish the same communication channel for multiple business partners, and use, as often happens, different types of EDI format for your transactions; You can also send the same type of format through multiple channels, or, which is the most common scenario in the industry, send multiple EDI formats through multiple communication channels, without hindering or having to modify your ERP system to carry out all of these communications.

Now that you know how the interaction between an EDI System and a Communications System works, let's take a look at the latter. Of all the available communication systems, a VAN (Value Added Network) is the most secure and reliable for exchanging messages with your business partners. In general terms, we talk about a typical P2P (Pier to Peer) connection with the difference that it guarantees three essential characteristics in business transactions: reliability, availability and integrity. At Tredicom we use and implement state of the art technology to connect you with your business partners in an efficient and reliable way with the IBM Sterling VAN.


Sterling VAN, part of IBM Sterling B2B Services, is an integration-as-a-service solution that provides connection and collaboration to transactions between you and your business partners. Cloud based services are established on the VAN and it's from this communications infrastructure that we have the certainty that any transaction between the company, clients and suppliers will always be reliable and secure.

If you want more information about this, do not hesitate to contact us.



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