In our battle to preserve the integrity of the IE-ECGrid interconnect (ex-IBM) by having it route through TGMS as every other VAN has done as their IE interconnect has been decommissioned; we finally gave into GXS demand.
In a nutshell, they are forcing data from the IE system to now route from IE through TGMS through Inovis to ECGrid. A circuitous route that has already proven unable to route some types of data and in that GXS was unable to properly identify the cause, blaming it on Loren Data.
All we every requested from GXS was that they route the data through TGMS under the same terms and conditions that the IE-Loren Data (LORMAIL) connection ran for over a decade; and the same way they did for every other VAN that was migrated off of their IE interconnect.
GXS and Loren Data fought this up to the point that GXS was simply willing to interrupt their customers’ traffic rather than route it through a TGMS-ECGrid interconnect. Ultimately, my conscience won out and I capitulated by allowing the sub par connection through TGMS through Inovis to be used. The two companies are now working together to migrate to this strange connection.
Not one to give up without making a point, here is the text of the surrender letter sent to GXS. I can only hope that someone besides me sees the insanity of this situation and the disservice it is to the EDI community.
April 19, 2012
Mr. Steven Scala
GXS Senior Vice President Corporate Strategy and Development
9711 Washingtonian Blvd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
It is under extreme duress that I surrender to your company’s demand that GXS move our mutually beneficial IE LORMAIL interconnect into a one-sided Inovis Transit Agreement that disproportionately benefits GXS and is of a grave disservice not only to Loren Data’s business and customers, but also to GXS’ customers and their trading partners.
I continue to contend that the best and most prudent action for all parties, particularly the trading partners who use this connection every day, would be to move all this traffic to a direct interconnect on TGMS under the same terms and conditions as the LORMAIL interconnect, and as GXS has done with every other single IE interconnect that has been decommissioned.
I want to take this opportunity to state that I just don’t get it. This routing, which you are demanding, is going to be a tremendous burden to your own staff and detrimental to your own customers. It would be infinitely better for everyone (your customers, my customers, your network operations and my network operations) that a direct ECGrid-TGMS Interconnect be established, for this and all TGMS traffic. This routing through all your networks is itself exactly the type of “daisy-chaining” which you accuse us to be creating, and one that your system poorly supports.
I can only conclude that GXS is on a mission to devalue the entire Interconnected VAN market for some other purpose. The only possible threat that ECGrid could be to GXS is that we make the entire market more viable, more robust, and more relevant; and GXS wishes to make the market irrelevant. What other conclusion could one draw that after so much attrition after the IBM acquisition that GXS would do it again with Inovis, driving so much of the market to direct AS2 connections? What possible reason could GXS have against a company 1/500th of its size, which only raises the quality of this small piece in the middle? What should GXS care about a niche player in a market which GXS states is shrinking, except when one realizes that GXS is focusing elsewhere with MFT and other managed services, a single vender solution, in a non-interconnected market. The only thing I can conclude is that GXS simply does not want this networked market to survive, and has bought up a majority of it to make sure no one else can control its fate.
With all that said, since I cannot in good conscience fail on my duty of bailment to which my customers have contracted for, I have the following requests in order to minimize the disruption to our mutual customers and in consideration of the extreme burden this migration places on Loren Data and its staff:
1a) We migrate the entire connection at one time.
This will reduce the costs to both GXS and Loren Data as our teams will only have to manage a single migration. I know this request to be entirely reasonable, as GXS was able to successfully migrate substantially more than 50-100 IDs in one day when moving our 55,000 trading partnerships from a TGMS mailbox to an Inovis Interconnect several years ago.
1b) Optionally, that the migration be based on TGMS IDs (as opposed to by ECGrid IDs) and their associated Trading Partnerships moving from LORMAIL to Inovis.
Please provide up front the entire list of IDs and which date/time they will move. This will allow us to queue this all up in our system at one time, and let it automatically make the switch at the date/time you request.
2) That GXS work with Loren Data to formulate a contingency plan for data that cannot pass from IE through TGMS through Inovis to ECGrid.
We already have a situation with Northern Trust and Nitto Denko where the route between the two trading partners was changed by GXS and the data could not transit through Inovis at all due to the Inovis’ system’s inability to handle a particular file format. This was EDI data wrapped in an X12 envelope and had been passed from IE to ECGrid for years without a problem. The data would have passed from TGMS to ECGrid without a problem, as both systems are able to handle that mode of configuration. It seems, however, that Inovis has validation routines in place that prevent this way of moving non-EDI data between mailboxes and networks.
Unfortunately, your staff falsely blamed this on Loren Data, which caused substantial and unnecessary confusion. The final result was that our mutual customers decided to route the data directly between each other, bypassing both our services.
I can provide you with full documentation so you can help you staff identify this problem if it occurs again during the migration.
Loren Data’s good name and reputation have been damaged by GXS’ insistence that traffic over the LORMAIL interconnect be rerouted in a manner unlike any other traffic affected by your process to decommission IE. Loren Data has had its relationship with its customers (and their trading partners) damaged and has experienced a loss of existing and future business; all of this the direct result of actions and communications by GXS. My acquiescence to this unilaterally-demanded transit agreement does not mean, and should not in any way be interpreted to suggest, that Loren Data relinquishes, waives, or will forgo any legal remedies due to it for the damages caused by GXS by this and any future actions.
Please have your operations staff contact mine at their earliest possible convenience to proceed with your migration from Interconnect to Transit Agreement in a manner that is least damaging to the industry.
David H. Evans
Now that GXS is getting its way, they are most cooperative. Funny how that works.
Loren Data Corp.