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Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) vendors and their value-added networks (VANs) have thrived for the past 20 years. But with the Internet threatening to overtake their services, many of these vendors have begun reworking their strategies.
Analysts predict that in the next five years only a few large companies will continue using VANs for EDI -- and those VANs will need to provide Internet connectivity in order to survive.
"Companies will eventually move onto the Internet [for EDI]," says Tim Sloane, an analyst at Aberdeen Group Inc., in Boston. "The issue is not if, but when."
Two of the largest EDI vendors, GE Information Services Inc. and Harbinger Corp., …