What to consider when choosing a PEPPOL Access Point provider
In the area of public-private sector relations, e-Procurement is developed through multiple roadmaps that each country drafts on the basis of a number of common objectives: optimizing B2G communications, improving business relations, and more. EDICOM is PEPPOL Access Point-certified, making it a benchmark technology partner for companies keen to enter the public-sector provisioning market. In Europe, PEPPOL is gaining ground as the infrastructure and standards network of choice for government agencies. For example, the NHS mandates use of PEPPOL Access Points to connect with trusts and suppliers.
The PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) network is shoring up its presence across Europe and in public procurement in countries such as the UK, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, and Italy (Emilia-Romagna).
The communication and exchange of PEPPOL messages can only be established from one access point (AP) to another. This means that issuers and recipients both need an AP to operate in the PEPPOL network.
The PEPPOL network can be used to send and receive orders, invoices, purchase orders, order confirmations, and credit notes, under common specifications and standards that encourage interoperability and therefore cross-border trade in Europe.
What does PEPPOL Access Point accreditation mean?
Being accredited as a PEPPOL Access Point means being able to connect with any other AP from the PEPPOL network, transforming documents to PEPPOL regulations and standards and deliver them to the recipients correctly. As an EDI services specialized provider and following our commitment with global interoperability, EDICOM was accredited as a PEPPOL Access Point or authorized third party by the OpenPEPPOL association in 2015.
Which key factors represent added value for customers when it comes to choosing a PEPPOL Access Point?
- Certifications. Besides the PEPPOL AP certification, EDICOM was also awarded a place in the CCS framework agreement for PEPPOL Access Points to work with the public sector. EDICOM signed up to the agreement, RM3784, in 2017, meaning it can work with any organization in the British public sector.
- SMP Server. Service Metadata Publisher (SMP) servers contain the available addresses and metadata of users connected to the PEPPOL network. Every stakeholder that forms part of the network must be registered in an SMP. EDICOM has the certification of its SMP server that allows it to manage its own identification infrastructure in the PEPPOL network connected to the SML (Service Metadata Locator).
- Server with AS connections. EDICOM has its own AS server, accessible to all customers who require stakeholder connections through this protocol. OpenPEPPOL and CEF have confirmed that the AS4 data exchange protocol introduction phase has been successfully completed . EDICOM recently obtained certification of its AS.x server (EAS Server) from the European Union, having complied with all specified approval requirements. At EDICOM we are ready to use the AS4 protocol with customers who want it or need it in communications with their partners.
- EDI experience. Long-term experience in international project management is key to facing electronic projects which can be expanded due to local legislations. EDICOM is engaged in a number of pioneering e-procurement projects being developed across Europe at present:
- NHS (British National Health Service). The Department of Health strategy in the UK establishes the mandatory use of e-procurement for NHS organizations and all of its suppliers. The e-procurement strategy makes it compulsory to use the PEPPOL and GS1 international standards. These standards, common around the world, ensure interoperability among NHS suppliers to facilitate data exchange between systems.
- In Italy, health organizations and their suppliers in the Emilia-Romagna region have had to exchange orders and delivery notes in an electronic format and with the PEPPOL standard since June 2016.
- In Norway, e-Procurement infrastructure is designed around PEPPOL standards. Some 50 public hospitals exchange documents over the PEPPOL network today.
- Scalability. Choose a partner that offers a solution scalable to other regions in the world and capable of being extended to B2B projects. EDICOM provides a comprehensive solution with different EDI, compliant e-Invoicing, and VAT compliance capabilities at the global level. Our customers access the different services and can apply them to their management in line with the company's needs.
- Centralization and interoperability. When faced with complex projects, enterprises need to subdivide them and task each area to a different supplier. However, it is advisable to seek a supplier capable of providing a comprehensive, flexible, and scalable solution to drive efficiency. One of the biggest advantages of a global supplier like EDICOM is that you can centralize all your electronic communications, even if your firm operates across different countries. An Italian company can engage in an e-Procurement competition in Spain, France, or any other European country using a single solution.
An EDI project can be expanded towards a more ambitious project thanks to a unique and flexible solution that can be scaled and prepped to exchange data through all the networks and standards on the market