Aurora EDI Alliance Press ~ Volume 5 Issue 2 ~ August 31, 2016

Welcome Note

Welcome to the summer newsletter of 2016. In case this is your first newsletter, if you'd like to read previous issues, you can find them on our website here.  The Aurora EDI Alliance Press is a quarterly newsletter dedicated to current issues, events, education and newsworthy items surrounding both EDI technology and the Aurora EDI Alliance. We would welcome any feedback from our readers on how to improve it. The Aurora EDI Alliance is a tightly knit group of U.S. companies specializing in the implementation and maintenance of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in a variety of industries.  We are recognized experts in EDI, and can provide consulting, system analysis, design, development and training services as well as software implementation services.

New Support Procedures

In the event that you need support, please e-mail or call us using the contact information below based on the nature of your problem.  In your e-mail or phone message, provide us with your name and contact information, the Severity Level, and a brief description of the problem,  Provided you use the proper communication channels as provided below we will respond as follows during our normal support hours:

Severity Level One (production down) issues will be responded to within one hour
Severity Level Two (critical) issues will be responded to within 4 hours
Severity Level Three (minor) issues will be responded to within one business day

We will determine if support is billable or non-billable in accordance with your Software Maintenance Agreement, if applicable.

Support Hours:

Monday through Friday

8 am eastern to 5 pm pacific

Contacts:

Software deltaecs@auroratechedi.com 800-404-9182 x41

VAN van@auroratechedi.com 800-404-9182 x40

Athena etsupport@edisupport.com 800-404-9182 x40

Easy Trade etsupport@edisupport.com 800-404-9182 x40

Customer Spotlight

Rhinomed Limited believes that one of the answers to better sleep is improving the way people breathe. Compromised breathing affects millions of people - 64% of American households contain a snorer. Whether from nasal congestion, obstruction or chronic or episodic disease, compromised breathing impacts the ability to live every day to the fullest.

Rhinomed’s nasal breathing device, Mute™ is easy to use, drug-free, discrete and comes in three sizes: small, medium and large – each designed to fit the anatomy of the nose and to gently expand the nasal passage allowing more air in. This assists with nasal breathing which may help reduce snoring, a critical factor in improving sleep quality.  

Mute™ is now available in a starter trial pack and also in sized three pack (30 night supply) refills. To learn more, please visit their website at www.mutesnoring.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mutesnoringus.   

Michael Barnhouse Joins McAna EDI

After a 15-year career as CFO in international construction, Michael Barnhouse was approached by a Chicago based consultancy to lead a new practice area focused around Business Process Management.  As this was 1996, working with organization in all areas of Supply Chain Management quickly became the primary focus for the better part of the next 15 years.  During this period Michael helped both public and private clients in the areas of Banking, Governmental, Insurance, Medical, Logistics, Manufacturing and Retail achieve demonstrable ROI from improvements to their respective operations and delivery channels. EDI and business process automation were a key focus for the majority of the many engagements.  Michael quickly earned the confidence of his clients and established a niche for providing a proven big picture perspective that helped him lead his clients in developing the Strategic and Tactical plans necessary to achieve their goals.  Michael also enjoyed engaging in the technical aspects of the projects.  With no formal IT education, Michael learned the tools and technologies that his clients would and did deploy, becoming a highly respected domain expert with software vendors like IBM, Microsoft, Mercator and others.  He has always believed that you cannot ensure success on any project if you do not know what or whom you are working with intimately.  In 2010 Michael left consulting to take on a new challenge as COO for a late stage start-up.  Over the next 4 years the goals for growth and probability were achieved resulting in the sale of the organization to a larger industry player.  Michael is excited to return to consulting and has joined David McAlister at McAna EDI, focused again toward assisting organizations in achieving measurable ROI within their EDI and business process automation channels.  While Michael is new to Delta/ECS technologies, he has quickly come up to speed and likes the mapping language, the business process flow control, the flexibility, and the bundling of virtually everything you need in one package.  We couldn't agree more!  We want to give Michael a very warm welcome and are looking forward to working with him!

Who is the Aurora EDI Alliance?

For next few newsletters, we will be doing short bios on each Aurora EDI Alliance team member. For this one, we are featuring Kevin Klimek, one of Aurora's awesome tech support gurus.

Kevin grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Bridgeport, seven blocks from U.S. Cellular Field (home of the Chicago Whitesox).  Having relocated from Chicago to Reno, NV in 1998 to help his disabled mother, he was hired on at EDI Support, Inc. some years later.  In 2007, after having gotten married, Kevin relocated to Florida, where today he still provides tech support for Aurora's clients.  Although the software has evolved and EDI Support, Inc. eventually became Aurora Technologies/EDI Support, Inc., the one thing that has never changed is Kevin's knack for troubleshooting.  Most clients would agree that he easily locates, isolates, and solves most EDI issues in a timely manner, especially when it's a VAN issue.  Kevin is known as the "VAN King" in some circles due to his knack for dealing with the Liaison Exchange Network and setting up the necessary interconnects.

Considering himself to be on the quiet side, it's no surprise to learn that he is a gamer. In fact one of his interests is creating modules for the games he plays, including models, textures and animations.  In addition to gaming, Kevin is also an avid bowler with an impressive 180 average.  He plays on a local league on Tuesdays and plans to join a couple of summer leagues as well.  Kevin's hobby has allowed him to support a local charity by bowling in an annual tournament benefitting the Homeless Coalition.  He also enjoys fishing and going to the beach.  Although he enjoys the beaches and sunny weather, he does think about going back home to Chicago someday.

New Delta/ECS Sites for 2016

2016 is shaping up to be a great year for the Aurora EDI Alliance in new software sales! Below is a list of our newest clients who are enjoying the flexibility and sophistication that Liaison's Delta/ECS brings to the table.

Acero Prime

Kumho Tire

Sarnova

Telebrands

United States Cold Storage

Blog Highlight:  Planning for Disaster - Is Your EDI Department Prepared?

In March of 2012, I wrote a blog titled "No Purge Routine?  Are You Becoming an e-Hoarder?"  Now, in June of 2016 I find myself dealing with that topic and also with a pet peeve of mine, documentation of procedures and process steps.  Let me explain why all of this popped up suddenly.

As you probably know if you follow our blogs, we assist companies with their EDI mapping.  When their EDI software is installed on their servers, we stress the importance of a regular purging process to keep their files at a reasonable size.  We point out that the system will run faster with smaller files.  While people understand that, the task... Read more

SHA-1 vs. SHA-2 Digital Certificates

Many of you probably know about the new requirements coming regarding SHA-2 digital certificates.  SHA-1 is no longer considered secure against well-funded opponents.  In 2005, cryptanalysts found attacks on SHA-1 suggesting that the algorithm might not be secure enough for ongoing use, and since 2010 many organizations have recommended its replacement by SHA-2 or SHA-3.  MicrosoftGoogle and Mozilla have all announced that their respective browsers will stop accepting SHA-1 SSL certificates by 2017.

What is SHA-2?  According to Wikipedia, SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm 2) is a set of cryptographic hash functions designed by the National Security Agency.  SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. Cryptographic hash functions are mathematical operations run on digital data; by comparing the computed "hash" (the output from execution of the algorithm) to a known and expected hash value, a person can determine the data's integrity.  For example, computing the hash of a downloaded file and comparing the result to a previously published hash result can show whether the download has been modified or tampered with.  A key aspect of cryptographic hash functions is their collision resistance: nobody should be able to find two different input values that result in the same hash output.

What does this mean for all of us?  If you communicate via SSL and AS2 communications utilizing SHA-1 digital certificates, it is in your best interest to make sure your communications applications can accommodate your organization to not only load and use SHA-2 certificates for your connections, but also allow to you create your own SHA-2 certificates and use them as well. It is always best to check with your application vendors to ensure that your software applications support this transition, or there is a chance that your EDI communications will experience some downtime related to this. You are going to start to see e-mail notifications from some of your customers notifying you to make this change relatively soon if you have not already.

Technical Terminology Time

EDI Version - EDI standards are always changing and developing.  When changes are made to the standards by the ASC (Accredited Standards Committee), a new "version" emerges and eventually businesses migrate to that new version.  Each industry has a sub-committee who is responsible for the standards for that industry.  The changes may be subtle or obvious and new versions emerge at different times depending on the industry.  Right now 6030 is the most recent version in X12.  That said, most organizations in the supply chain industry are currently using 5010 at this time. 

Fall Fun Facts

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Photo appears courtesy of Sarah Buckley.

  • Over 37,000 people gather at Stonehenge in England each year for the summer solstice.
  • Cherry is the number 1 popsicle flavor in the US.
  • The last day of summer this year is September 20th.
  • The very first swimming school opened in Boston in July of 1827.