Infocon Systems: Connecting the Dots

CIO VendorDeepak Nijhawan, President Any Industry, Any Trading Partner, and Any Integration.” This is the core value on which Deepak Nijhawan, President at Infocon Systems and his team have steered the company with through the years. Today when the President looks back, there is a hint of well-deserved pride when he informs that it is that principle that has directly helped address all challenges in the EDI market place for Infocon Systems.

Nijhawan also informs about the reason for Infocon’s inception and the balanced work culture forming the base foundation of his company that today connects businesses with “their trading partner, integrating with any system, in any industry.” “Initially Infocon focused on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. However, in 2004, with the maturing of internet and cloud, we transformed our company on to the SAS model, helping a quicker implementation and significant price reduction in installing Electronic Data Integration (EDI) solutions,” recalls Nijhawan. Today Infocon is a value leader in the EDI marketplace. “This is a combination of price, support, and length and breadth of services,” he smiles. “Think of us as an ensemble to order EDI solution provider firm.”

Infocon assists supply chain retailers to upgrade their legacy EDI systems to adapt to the current technological advancements. The big question here though for Nijhawan is, “How fast can the EDI providers make the transition to the API world, which we live in?” To trounce the blockade, Infocon offers customized solutions helping customers in retail, supply chain logistics, manufacturing, automotive, transportation, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and defense industries. “Infocon provides real-time customized software solutions based on user requirements. These include front-end, workflow, and back-end integration with a multitude of solutions that allow businesses to function according to their requirements. We have always been concerned with providing the best value to our customers and be a partner in providing solutions to help their bottom line,” explains Nijhawan.

However, the key challenge with customization is the cost—anything that is exclusive is mostly expensive. In any case, if the cost gets too high, then most of the customers cannot afford it. “To overcome the hurdle, Infocon has developed a proprietary EDI framework. This framework allows us to assemble relevant components for both our front-end and back-end developers to provide the solution. Our massive library includes details of scores of trading partners, their transactions, and integration into various CRMS, ERPs, and 3PLs. We just assemble them to provide cost-effective and real-time customized solutions,” he delineates.

Infocon has developed a proprietary EDI framework. This framework allows us to assemble relevant components for both our Front-end and Back-end developers to provide the final solution

Infocon also aligns their solutions with the current technological trends, which requires EDI solutions to be cloud based resulting in a significant reduction of transaction costs and an increased ability for interoperability with a wide variety of systems.

Understanding the Work Flow

In the logistics landscape, it is not an easy task to identify the client’s key obstacles and then, implement the appropriate solution. So how does Infocon do it? “Our solutions experts understand the client’s flow of orders. This may require multiple third-party logistics providers and connectivity to various cloud providers and ERP solutions. Once we identify the client’s business flow, we develop the solution accordingly,” states Nijhawan. Often, supply chain companies spend a lot of time in entering the data multiple times on various platforms. Infocon makes it easy by designing an algorithm to get rid of the unwanted steps. “We don't want our clients to do steps that are unnecessary, making the entire process inefficient,” he adds. The approach and solutions of the firm resolves transaction flow issues with trading partners to maintain high compliance level, avoid chargebacks, and maintain customer performance.

Another key factor is the array of security issues during data exchange that has become the primary concern for various enterprises. Infocon’s multiple layers of security applications and expert security professionals offer full emergency backup restoration and disaster recovery plans that span multiple locations across various regions, minimizing the risks.“In addition, we follow Microsoft’s methodology of ‘Assumed Breach’ and have designed our security structure with partners like Microsoft on their Azure platform. We monitor intrusion 24/7/365 with various intrusion detection methods including manual detection on top of automated detection,” states Nijhawan.

To top it off, Infocon also has a layer of their own security protocols to monitor risks; they have recently launched an AS2 Engine to securely transact business data over the internet. The partnership offers Infocon an opportunity to practice server-less PASS (Platform as a Service Solutions), making the code as infrastructure. “Azure’s elastic cloud platform will allow us to automatically scale up from millions to billions of transactions per day. It provides us unlimited scalability. We can now provide faster service for an essentially infinite number of transactions at a lesser cost,” elaborates Nijhawan.

Other drives in their innovation labs include leveraging Google’s open source technology and Twitter’s responsive boot fair to support multiple browsers and devices.

Infocon’s assignment with a leading pharmaceutical company perfectly reflects the prowess of their solution. The pharma firm was looking forward to a massive integration process to handle their requirement as they had close to 50 trading partners. “Now, the issue is that the details of these trading partners had to be fed into Microsoft Great Plains dynamic software in order to exchange the shipping information. Since they are in the pharmaceutical industry, they came under the scrutiny of DSCSA (Drug Supply Chain Security Act). This required advanced shipping notices with information to be integrated with Tracelink, Rxcel, and Track-Trace,” describes Nijhawan. Infocon successfully integrated EDI with a cloud provider with I-contracts.

Inside Infocon and Beyond

A stroll into Infocon’s office premises gives a clear picture of their focus on human interactions. “When you call us, you talk to human beings; no messaging service, no dialing for the directory, you will get a live representative ready to answer questions or provide support. Additionally, we are trained in understanding our customer’s requirements, resolving their issues, and providing great value in designing and implementing their solutions,” prides Nijhawan. However, he also adds that the current EDI space has a huge inadequacy of skills. “The current college system provides absolutely no training on utilizing or mastering EDI. The only way to learn is to opt for a private schooling or to be trained on the job. This makes the task of a budding entrepreneur difficult in learning, hiring, and devising solutions.”

"When you call us, you talk to human beings—No messaging service, no dialing for the directory, you will get a live representative ready to answer questions or provide support"

Going ahead, the company will continue its focus in offering better integration with new cloud platforms and with a wide variety of REST-APIs. On the geographical front, Infocon has a strong presence in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. “We are planning to expand into Asia, Australia, and Europe. A lot of the markets in these regions have extremely overpriced solutions and we are in talks with major supply chain companies for possible partnerships,” he extols.

Pertaining to Infocon’s balanced work culture, Nijhawan credits the success of his thought leadership to his excessive interest in understanding various spiritual traditions across the globe—providing the wisdom to differentiate the right and wrong.