News & Events

This Week in IDEA | January 6, 2011

Our eNewsletter, This Week in IDEA, keeps you informed with the latest news and education about IDEA, our solutions and services, and our customers and partners. IDEA’s knowledgeable staff and other contributing writers share insights, resources and special offers to help you Unleash the power of e. Subscribe now to receive This Week in IDEA in your email inbox every other Thursday and add our RSS feed to your reader.


Subscribe to This Week in IDEA

The Efficiency Effect - IDEA's Joint BIM Efforts Examined by Electrical Wholesaling

Nationwide, efforts to drive greater energy-efficiency through codes, alliances and improved design tools are shaping expanded opportunities for electrical product sales.

Electrical Wholesaling magazine examines developments in efforts to drive further efficiency into the way buildings are designed, constructed and operated in their December issue. These efforts include: commercial building codes, the push for zero-energy buildings, the U.S Green Building Council's LEED rating system and building information modeling (BIM).

BIM systems are a technology that holds the promise of bringing substantial improvements in efficiency throughout the whole lifecycle of a building. The electrical industry is playing a key role in shaping the next generation of BIM applications, with a focus on “Specifiers’ Properties information exchange” (SPie) standards designed to improve the information used by BIM systems in the design-specification procurement-construction process. NEMA and IDEA are working together to prepare the electrical industry’s data to meet the SPie standards for BIM compliance.

Go to Trade News to download the complete article from the December Electrical Wholesaling issue

Be the first to comment on this article.

Tags for this post: standards electrical wholesaling nema bim national institute of building sciences spie

Back To Top

Weigh Your Options Before Setting up an AS2 Connection

By: Barbara Prince, IDX Administrator and Data Quality Analyst, IDEA

EDI over the Internet via the AS2 direct-connect technology continues to grow as businesses with high volume EDI traffic urge their trading partners to implement a direct connection for their eCommerce needs. An AS2 request from a highly influential business partner may put extra pressure on a company to set up a direct connection in an effort to maintain that relationship, but it’s important to evaluate these considerations first:

An AS2 direct connection requires a dedicated EDI solution for your AS2-enabled trading partners, in addition to the method you use to exchange electronic documents with your non-AS2 partners. That infrastructure – software, hardware, firewalls, certificates, complex testing – and the expertise to manage it may or may not exist in your company. Managing two or more EDI systems can be time consuming. For example, you must monitor Message Disposition Notifications (MDNs) daily to ensure mission-critical documents are delivered, and AS2 certificates must be renewed periodically, lest they expire and document transmission halts. If you decide to set up a direct connect, an alert system should be employed to inform your tech support team if your AS2 connection goes down.

When moving EDI documents via an AS2 direct connection, you lose visibility to those transactions along with the ability to obtain and report traffic statistics. AS2 connections are similar to a pipeline – you open the spigot and data flows. A document received through an AS2 connection is pushed straight to your EDI sub-system, which could cause complications if a trading partner sends you a document type your translator is not set up to handle, or if it is a document you don’t wish to receive. The EDI documents that flow through the AS2 connection are separate from your other EDI traffic, so you won’t be able to gather, compare, and report on valuable EDI traffic statistics with your AS2-enabled trading partners using tools such as the IDX Tracker.

An alternative to setting up an AS2 direct connect is to use a hybrid solution such as Industry Data Exchange (IDX). IDX can be used for business-to-business managed services and to establish a direct connect for select high-volume trading partners. This B2B eCommerce solution enables you to comply with AS2 requests from your key trading partners without adding the infrastructure. IDEA will exchange set-up information with your trading partner, conduct testing, establish and maintain certificates, and ensure the AS2 connection is always online. Your AS2 and non-AS2 traffic will be visible through the IDX Tracker so you can continue to monitor your traffic flow and compile valuable traffic statistics on all your EDI documents in one location.

As with your B2B managed services, IDEA’s customer support team can answer your questions about AS2 set-up and maintenance. Please contact your account manager to learn more about outsourced AS2 services hosted by IDX.

Be the first to comment on this article.

Tags for this post: edi as2 idx barbara prince

Back To Top

Lynn Sheppard Joins the IDEA Team

Lynn Sheppard, formerly of Panduit Corporation, has joined the Data Synchronization Platform team as a Data Quality Analyst. Sheppard will monitor and manage activities and processes that impact the quality of data available to IDEA customers. She will work with manufacturers, distributors and software providers to help resolve data quality issues and define and execute strategies to improve data quality.

Sheppard has a variety of technical and business skills with proven expertise in:

  • Technical support and analysis for EDI systems
  • Designing, coding, testing and supporting application programs
  • Creation of system documentation and training materials
  • Participation in software acquisitions and installations
  • Project management

    During her 25 years at Panduit, she was involved with IDEA’s Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) from its inception and the implementation of the EDI transactions to communicate Panduit product information to IDW. She provided technical support for EDI systems and interfaces with Panduit’s ERP system and was responsible for upgrading EDI translation software and testing back-end interfaces. From her early involvement in the IDEA Industry Standards Committee (ISC) and with IDW, she understands the need for data accuracy across the electrical industry. She graduated with a B.S in Information Systems and Computer Programming from Purdue University (IN).

    Lynn can be reached at or at . Please join us in welcoming Lynn to the IDEA team!

    Be the first to comment on this article.

    Tags for this post: employees lynn sheppard

    Back To Top

    New B2B eCommerce and Synchronization Customers

    IDEA welcomes one new IDW customer and 10 new IRD CERICOMX customers. Read more about these companies and how you can begin trading with them electronically to expand your business.

    New IDW Customer

    Advanced Protection Technologies, Inc. (APT) of North, Clearwater, FL recently became an IDEA customer. Founded in 1985, APT manufactures, markets and services surge protective devices. They will utilize the IDW Data Synchronization Platform to synchronize product and pricing information with their demand partners. Find out more at

    New IRD CERICOMX® Customers

    As a 1SYNC Data Pool On-Board Solution (OBS) partner, IDEA implements suppliers that subscribe to the 1SYNC data pool using the IRD CERICOMX® Data Synchronization Platform. IDEA was recently assigned 10 suppliers:

    These companies will be trained to use IRD CERICOMX®, an online catalog that suppliers use to register product data with the GS1 Registry® and GDSN via the 1SYNC Data Pool. Suppliers also use this solution to publish product data to demand partners including retailers such as Lowe’s and Walmart.

    Be the first to comment on this article.

    Tags for this post: customers advanced protection technologies

    Back To Top

    Need more info?

    Customer Service:

    View Latest eBusiness education and news for the electrical supply chain. Become an eBiz expert today! subscribe >