What is No Longer Beyond the Grasp of the EDI Comms Sector ?..

In my tiny professional niche, the most important macro issue remains the economic health of the B2B Communications Sector. The viability of the EDI comms sector is in question, causing dismay among the most apathetic supply chain executives. These professionals are  uncomfortable with a rising tide of vocal protestations welling up from   suppliers who are at odds over the recent GXS promulgation.

In November of 2014,GXS will terminate its transit agreement with ECGrid. However, for the past decade, GXS has refused non-settlement layer 7 peering with ECGrid – so?

The market is commencing a ground up revolt, a grass-roots movement of suppliers with bitter complaints, telling their hubs (GXS Clients) that they simply are wroth with GXS’  interconnection abuses.  The suppliers  are becoming more vocal, because this threat now has a date. The GXS response has been astroturfing, via blogs,  their sales channel, and the  massive megaphone of their support organization. GXS, throws around “interconnect advisory notices”, that are fallacious and synthetic term-of-art constructs, tailored to deceive customers, regulators, and the media.

Why are trading partners complaining so vociferously to anyone who will listen, most notably their hubs ? please, I implore that you imagine I am wearing Farmer Brown overalls as I hook thumbs under ripe armpits, exclaiming:

“..Well, let me tell you“!!!

Where will the tens of thousands of trading partners go?,These suppliers to the Fortune 2000 Brand Marque Retailers, Manufacturers, OEMs, and logistics service providers. Where will they go when GXS brings the hammer down on Loren Data ECGrid? I understand that there are other VANs, but where will the largest service providers go? How much disruption will the market bear? Does anyone believe in the justifications provided by GXS regarding “daisy chaining”? Oh, please, No! Loren Data ECGrid has long passed muster by retaining key Service PRovider accounts for over thirteen years – SPS Commerce has remained with Loren Data Corp for as long as the ECGrid VAN has been lit up.  Even in the midst of this controversy, SPS Commerce’s Mercurial Leader, Archie Black, has made very few alternative accommodations - besides the spooling up of a few mailbox accounts on alternative VANs, which is a completely normal defensive posture. However, most SPS VAN ID’s on ECGrid that were active one year ago, remain on ECGrid. The tailoring of ECGrid’s functions and the evolution of its code base evolved hand-in-hand with SPS Commerce’s climb to market dominance. Whoa! What’s that you say? ECGrid’s legendary uptime, whip fast support resolution, and elastic scalability were independently evolved by Todd Gould as he and his VAN Operations specialists rode the SPS Roller Coaster.

This real-world laboratory of running back-end messaging for the largest and fastest growing service provider has hardened ECGrid, and indirectly led to the development of the ECGridOS API Platform, all under Todd Gould’s immense software engineering acumen - all of this hyper growth and innovation occurred roughly in step with (while commercially decoupled from)  the growth of SPS Commerce, and the growing cohort of  service providers and virtual VANs, all clients of Loren Data Corp. Like I said, this is a real-world R&D laboratory with results to show.

Question: How many thousands of VAN ID’s does Loren Data Corp manage for SPS Commerce and other providers, B2B SAAS Operators, Virtual VANs (NetEDI), and integration VARs  that build VAN functions into Sage ERP Software using the ECGridOS API? How many client ID’s is Loren Data Managing? In a later paragraph, I state there are 20,000+ ECGrid VAN ID’s.  Maybe there are far more…….Ask Todd.

Some of those ID’s belong to major suppliers, national brand marques. Yes. How many are in touch with the USDOJ, now that GXS is  testing their “dumb luck” found in the 5th Circuit ? There is more to come at FCC, which is my bailiwick, there are new briefings going to USDOJ (not the merger division,  this time I will be briefing the enforcers, and calling GXS Executives by name and title).

 The groundswell is rising against GXS, and they don’t have a friendly client to hold their coat.  Terminating transit, by refusing to reciprocally interconnect as a peer (ECGrid has 20,000+ ID’s under management), means that GXS is essentially cutting off SPS Commerce and the other service providers that use ECGrid – the VAN that was designed to manage “utility Scale”  Service Provider size traffic, and provides the management interfaces (only VAN with a 160+ Function Web Services API) needed to tailor a cloud B2B service solution to a VANs backend message handling infrastructure.

The problems of dealing with End Users are completely differentiated from the challenges of providing message routing to multiple service providers, each with thousands of subscribers – managing the churn alone would crash many systems, of which most in the market perhaps handle a few hundred accounts.

GXS is set on eliminating the service provider model from the market – hence the interconnect advisories and a late appearing “black paper”, explaining the newly created GXS term of art, “daisy chaining”. It does  not take a messaging system architect to comprehend that GXS has nothing to stand on, as far as technical credibility is concerned.  Daisy Chaining is the normative practice of networks, even used by GXS themselves, and GXS clients, when dropping a file into an ERP system ingress folder for ingestion into the hub’s massive integrated infrastructure. You can take my word for it, files coming delivered by the  GXS VANs, as bad as they are reported to be (by direct client survey, no less), are relayed around the client company’s WAN, they are replicated and archived, they are parsed and sent out of the DMZ to trading partners….etc ad nauseum.

So, when you hear “daisy chaining” (Daisy was the name of my still beloved ex- 2nd wife, damn you, Evil Scala), do not be confused or concerned. The best VAN architecture was designed, and is currently operated by Todd Gould, the EDI Sector’s leading communications platform architect for EDI applications, the sole designer of the only API for creating your own virtual VAN, and the best multi tenant subscriber management system of all current EDI networks at scale.

Fear: There is no other reason besides fear, that has caused GXS to flaunt the antitrust laws, our timid Judiciary notwithstanding. Fear of Todd Gould, the man who can code and create more innovative and robust systems than the entire GXS cadre of engineers, at home and abroad, with zero capital to start the company in 1987, he captured the business, and then kept the business of SPS Commerce and other marquee service providers. He created the ECGridOS API that allows creative and competent B2B integration specialists, like Microliance, and NetEDI, to create fantastic Sage  Accounting and ERP systems with the EDI Communications built seamlessly into the User Interface  -

That’s what GXS fears…..to compete with Todd and the ECGridOS army of developers – and all they have to combat this in the market is the interconnections they acquired with the Private and Sovereign equity of Francisco Partners of the Bay area –  otherwise, a decent PE fund, whose reputation is being dragged by GXS through the DOJ’s enforcement bureaus, as well as  the FCC ‘s common carrier dept, and etc. Was it worth it?

GXS,Funded with a billion dollars of equity and debt, and all they can do to compete with Loren Data is to exploit interconnections. What a weak bunch of executives, all to a man  without a clue nor a plan.

I’m getting ready to brief the two enforcement bureaus at DOJ covering networked markets and telecommunications. I will be mentioning Steve Scala, Exec VP at GXS, by name.