PEPPOL stands for Pan European Public Procurement On-Line. It entails a compilation of specifications designed to facilitate public procurement between businesses and administrations, regardless of where they are or the systems they use.
PEPPOL is becoming increasingly consolidated as a network with infrastructure and standards recommended by public bodies of these countries and uptake is growing, thanks to its effectiveness and the harmonization of communications between countries.
What is OpenPEPPOL?
OpenPEPPOL is an international non-profit responsible for the development and maintenance of PEPPOL specifications, promoting its implementation throughout Europe.
It has members from both the public and private spheres. The idea is to not only ensure interoperability in public procurement but in the B2B area as well. The ultimate aim is for PEPPOL to grow and contribute to the development of the Digital Single Market.
What are the objectives of PEPPOL?
Ending the interoperability issue in e-Procurement and promoting transparency.
Achieving a single digital market.
Automating business processes and workflows both for the public and private sector.
Helping businesses, and especially SMEs, be more globally competitive.
PEPPOL & NHS e-Procurement Strategy
Our certified NHS EDICOM PEPPOL Access Point makes it possible for both suppliers and hospitals to work in an automated, integrated way. We guarantee full interoperability with the NHS e-Procurement Strategy requirements and with private companies and governments across Europe.
Accreditation as an Access Point allows EDICOM to connect to the PEPPOL e-Procurement platform and the rest of the network access points. Through the platform, private companies and governments of countries across Europe can exchange e-documents of any kind: invoices, purchase orders, delivery notes, price catalogues, etc. These business processes are carried out in a standardised and interoperable manner.
Ongoing PEPPOL projects in Europe
NHS (British National Health Service)
The Department of Health in the UK establishes the mandatory use of e-Procurement for NHS organisations and all of its suppliers. The e-Procurement strategy makes it compulsory to use PEPPOL Access Point services and GS1 international standards to ensure interoperability among NHS suppliers.
Emilia-Romagna region in Italy
Healthcare entities and their suppliers in the Emilia-Romagna region must exchange orders and delivery notes in electronic format using PEPPOL since June 2016. Trading partners must use the UBL-PEPPOL format and exchange documents through an accredited Access Point.
e-Procurement in Norway
In Norway, e-Procurement infrastructure is designed around PEPPOL standards. Some 50 public hospitals exchange documents over the PEPPOL network toda
The Flemish region began using PEPPOL for e-Invoicing on January 1, 2017. The country’s platform is integrated with PEPPOL for billing in PEPPOL-BIS format.
The Polish government is working on a central e-Invoicing platform (PeF) similar to that up and running in countries such as Spain or France. Invoices will be sent to the public administrations through this platform in PEPPOL format and using PEPPOL Access Points.
Starting in November 2019, all public administrations must be registered in the PEPPOL network and it will be mandatory for them to receive electronic invoices. Therefore, any Swedish public entity must be connected to a PEPPOL Access Point.
The PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure system is implemented for electronic invoice with the federal government. Currently, roughly 5,000 users are authorized as PEPPOL recipients.
The national e-Invoicing platform is linked to PEPPOL so that foreign suppliers can exchange documents with Danish public institutions following the required standards.
PEPPOL is built on three basic pillars
01 The PEPPOL network (PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure)
The infrastructure links up the systems of public agencies for e-procurement using common and compatible standards. These are the components of the PEPPOL infrastructure:
Access Points (APs): Access Points must be certified by OpenPEPPOL. Standardised protocols and document formats are used. When using the PEPPOL infrastructure, communication can only take place between certified Access Points. Senders and receivers must have an AP to operate in the PEPPOL network.
Service Metadata Publisher (SMP): A decentralised registry providing information on the access points and types of messages that a PEPPOL recipient can receive. It may be internal or delegated to an SMP hub.These services contain the addresses and metadata available of users connected to the PEPPOL network. Everyone that is part of this network must be registered with an SMP.
Service Metadata Locator (SML): The EU central registry defines which SMP holds each partner's information in an electronic data interchange. Each partner has a unique ID in the form of a URL which is found in the SML. Through this identifier, Access Points locate the right SMP and the recipient Access Point.
02 PEPPOL Business Interoperability Specifications - BIS
PEPPOL has developed a series of interoperability specifications between companies to standardise the exchange of documents: e-catalogues, orders, despatch advice messages and e-invoices.
The standard message adopted by the PEPPOL network is called PEPPOL-UBL (Universal Business Language) and is a variant of XML.
These requirements are reflected in the PEPPOL-BIS (Business Interoperability Specifications) document, based on analyses by the CEN BII (CEN Workshop on Business Interoperability Interfaces).
03 PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure Agreements
Legal frameworks defining how the network operates. The agreements mainly guarantee that the parties involved in the network will act in a responsible and transparent way towards the community. They also ensure that the appropriate information will be enabled through SML and SMP so that any user can perform exchange processes correctly.
What are the benefits of PEPPOL?
Reduces economic costs. With the use of PEPPOL it’s not necessary to have different solutions to adapt to your partners’ technological specifications - and this represents a cost saving.
Connectivity with any partner in the PEPPOL network. Interconnections and document exchanges are possible with any business or public organisation. It also ensures data security.
Simplifies, streamlines and automates business processes. PEPPOL and EDI are an open door to automation. Sales and admin departments cut down on their workload and can spend their time on tasks that bring the firm added value.
Boosts overall business competitiveness. Businesses working with PEPPOL are able to seamlessly exchange data with partners in different countries. Once businesses take this technological leap they continue advancing towards other paperless processes.