Look at PEPPOL now!

PEPPOL is taking off

By Anders Kingstedt, CEO, Mjukvarukraft

Warning. This post might end up being the most lengthy post thus far since we launched our new site. It’s also the first post in English. Preemptive apologies for misusing the English language are in order.

PEPPOL is taking off. In leaps and bounds. This post has two main objectives:

1 – To explain why your organization should consider jumping on to the PEPPOL bandwagon

and

2 – To tell you why Mjukvarukraft is unexpectedly well positioned to help organizations who want to start using the PEPPOL network.

PEPPOL’s history

PEPPOL started as a ”large scale pilot”, initiated and run by the European Commission. The objective of the pilot (a k a ”project”) was to explore various technologies and come up with ways to improve cross border e-Business and, in particular, support for an efficient public e-Procurement. Additional goals were e.g. to find a better mechanism for an easy set up between trading partners, faciliating an improved mechanism for enabling trading partners to start making business. Getting rid of the complicated and costly bi-lateral agreement way of doing e-Business was thus one of the goals. I won’t go into the ins and outs of PEPPOL – go to www.peppol.eu and read up. There’s a plethora of information to be had at the site.

After the end of the pilot back in 2010, it was concluded that the pilot had indeed been a success and that the results of the pilot should be made publicly available. Enter OpenPEPPOL, a non-for-profit organization based in Brussels. OpenPEPPOL took on the task to lifecycle manage and govern the PEPPOL platform. Early adopters of PEPPOL were Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Austria and Denmark (sort of).

PEPPOL continued to grow and more and more countries have successively opted to join the PEPPOL network. Today, PEPPOL is used in 10 EU member states. And not only ”countries”, representing the public sector part of PEPPOL, but also individual service providers, many of which operate on an international arena.

PEPPOL incentives

From the getgo, PEPPOL was architected to support a secure exchange of business messages, between trading partners, in the private and public sector alike, within member states and regions as well as across borders. PEPPOL is based on standards and openly available resources that makes it possible for service providers to quickly set up and offer services for and based on the PEPPOL technology stack. Furthermore, given the ongoing involvement and interests of EU level agencies, PEPPOL is well aligned with developments on an EU level. The latest example of this is the new PEPPOL BIS for Billing. PEPPOL BIS constitutes the implementation guidelines that describes the various business messages that are exchanged in the PEPPOL network, their respective context (business process), rules, restrictions and how to bind the semantic model to a syntax that will carry the actual information entity. Implementation guidelines simply put tell the systems and service providers how to implement support for PEPPOL in terms of how to structure the information elements to be created, exchanged and received in the PEPPOL network. As new regulations are created in the EU public sector, OpenPEPPOL ensures that the PEPPOL information elements adhere to the new regulation. PEPPOL BIS Billing 3.0 supports the European Norm (EN) 16931 that dictates the mandatory use of e-Invoicing in the EU. PEPPOL BIS Billing 3.0 links the EN 16931 to the ISO/IEC 19845 UBL 2.1 syntax.

In summary, among the incentives for using PEPPOL you’ll find:

  • A great number of resources that kick starts the adoption of PEPPOL
  • A business model that facilitates easy set up and detection of trading partners using a ”four corner model”
  • A secure and standards based infrastructure, currently based on the AS2 and AS4 transport protocols
  • Extensive documentation and guidelines on how to create support for and use the various business messages
  • A large eco system of service providers (Access Providers) that offer gateways into the PEPPOL network and added value services
  • Ongoing development in the OpenPEPPOL work groups to secure EU level compliance
  • and much more…

Mjukvarukraft + PEPPOL = True

Mjukvarukraft is best known as one of Sweden’s top systems integration consultancies. What is perhaps less known, is that we also possess a significant amount of knowledge related to PEPPOL. Here are some bragging points:

  • I (Anders Kingstedt) was the OpenPEPPOL Post Award leader for almost three years as part my assignment as a consultant at the Swedish Financial Management Authority (ESV). In my role as leader, I lead and actively participated in the work groups that developed the PEPPOL BIS guidelines. In fact, some of my work is still valid, for example the ”PEPPOL BIS  common text and introduction” found on the PEPPOL web site was mainly written by yours truly.
  • I’ve been contracted by the EU Agency INEA, to evaluate and assess proposals within the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding program (ref INEA and CEF) in the role as ”evaluation expert”. My experience span domains such as e-Delivery, e-Procurement and e-Invoicing.
  • Mjukvarukraft is currently assisting several clients in their efforts to integrate with PEPPOL, making sure that business messages such as Orders and Invoices are exchanged between our clients’ ERP systems and the PEPPOL platform. We’re using Microsoft BizTalk to build integration solutions that support the necessary information transformations and relevant e-Business processes.

So. Mjukvarukraft has the expertise and experience to guide your organization to a successful PEPPOL implemenation. We offer high level consultancy on e.g. how to start your PEPPOL journey, selecting the right Service Provider and/or implementing and integrating PEPPOL into your business. And in particular, we can help your organization going ”the last mile”, that is making sure that in- and outgoing business messages are securely and efficiently processed by your ERP systems, using built-in support for transformation, protocols and orchestrations found in the tools we’re employing.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. Let’s set up a Skype meeting. PEPPOL might very well be your organization’s best choice for efficient e-Business. And Mjukvarukraft might very well be the partner you need to successfully start using PEPPOL.