There’s no easier way to enjoy EDI than with Athena, Liaison’s low-cost web EDI solution. With no software to install and the gentlest of learning curves, you’ll be exchanging EDI documents with your trading partners in a matter of hours – in an environment that’s as familiar as e-mail.
You’ll have all the sophistication of a desktop application, without any of the complications. No installation procedure, no operating system conflicts – just a maintenance-free, user-friendly, accessible-from-anywhere web application that places no limits on the number of EDI trading partners or documents that you can manage from its interface.
There’s nothing clunky about Athena’s interface. As a rich Internet application (RIA), Athena provides a web experience that is light and flexible. Page refreshes are a thing of the past and so are invasive pop-up windows. In other words, Athena has all the convenience of a web application, without compromising the ease of movement that comes with a desktop application.
Athena supports an unlimited number of users and five user roles that range from administrator to read-only privileges.
Easy as E-mail
Athena makes the viewing, creation, and exchange of EDI documents as easy as e-mail. New messages arrive in the Inbox and sent messages live in the Sent folder. The commands will be familiar to you as well. For example, you’ll use the reply command to create an invoice in response to a purchase order.
Customizing the Interface
Many aspects of Athena’s interface are customizable on a peruser basis. For example, you can customize folder organization, message preview settings, and even interface language (Athena speaks Dutch, English, French, German, and Spanish).
Easy EDI Document Creation
For each trading partner that you exchange EDI documents with, Athena features a custom template, called a trading partner kit (TPK). TPKs are add-on modules for Athena that are based on your trading partners’ EDI implementation conventions. They determine which types of EDI documents you send to your trading partners and the information contained within those documents.
Attractive HTML Forms
When you create or reply to an EDI document in Athena, the appropriate TPK is invoked and an attractive form displays, prompting you for the exact information required by that trading partner for the type of document you are creating. Athena will auto-fill as many fields in the form as possible for you (using information from the document that you’re responding to) to reduce data entry.
In addition, you can create defaults for any field in the form. For example, if your company’s terms of sale never change, you can make those values into defaults that Athena will always use when bringing up the form.
Athena compares the data in your outgoing EDI document to your trading partner’s specifications. If data is missing or invalid, Athena requires you to correct the errors before it will send the document to your trading partner. This ensures that you always send compliant EDI documents and avoid the fees that many trading partners assess for non-compliance.
Automated Functional Acknowledgment Generation
When a document arrives in your Athena account, a functional acknowledgment is automatically returned, letting your trading partner know you received the document. Since most trading partners require functional acknowledgments, it’s a huge help to have them handled automatically.
Athena provides many features to help you stay on top of your EDI activities.
To ensure that you don’t accidentally process a duplicate transaction, Athena automatically assigns a status of duplicate to incoming EDI documents that have the same sender, receiver, date, time, and control number as a previously received document. In addition to the duplicate status, there are several other statuses that you can assign to documents such as pending or in process.
You can also create your own custom statuses.
You can quickly locate any type of message (e-mail or EDI) across your entire account using Athena’s broad keyword search field. Or, you can perform more advanced searches based on EDI-specific criteria such as control number or sender ID.
If you want to get your hands on the raw EDI data that is passing through your Athena account, you can export the EDI document or forward it as an attachment.
Athena’s report module lets you quickly summarize a variety of EDI activities such as EDI documents that have not yet been acknowledged by your trading partners, all sent or received EDI documents, or EDI documents that have been rejected by your trading partners. These reports can be run for all EDI documents or can be restricted to a particular document type, trading partner, or both.
You’ll always know if an important EDI document is – or isn’t – waiting for you when you take advantage of Athena’s mailbox messenger service. Using this service, you can configure Athena to alert you via e-mail to the arrival of a new EDI document. The mailbox messenger service also ties into Athena’s built-in calendar, which tracks important dates such as delivery dates in your arriving EDI documents.
If your trading partners require bar codes, you can create and print bar code labels right from Athena. The printed bar codes match the bar code numbers that are sent with your advance ship notices, allowing your trading partners to cross reference your shipments when they arrive.
All you need to access Athena is an internet connection and a web browser. Any internet connection is fine, but for your web browser you must use Microsoft Internet Explorer® (version 7.0 or later) or Mozilla Firefox® (version 2.0 or later).
Because Athena is a software application and network service rolled into one, pricing is subscription-based. Our low-cost subscriptions are tiered so that you only pay for the resources that you use.
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