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Electronic invoicing providers should solve interoperability issues

NewsAnna Bowsher, Reseacher06.09.2012 Comments (1)


Matthew Oakes, CEO and President of Direct Insite, a provider of on-demand solutions that simplify complex accounts payable and accounts receivable processes, has called for electronic invoicing providers to solve the interoperability issues between them.

In a blog posting on the company’s website, Oakes has said that electronic invoicing networks need to take a lesson from the mobile phone industry where users can call any other mobile phone user without having to worry about the network they are assigned to.

Oakes says, “Like those early cellular phone users, corporations are clamouring for open invoice networks. They want the ability to distribute and receive as many electronic invoices as possible, to and from as many companies as possible, without having to interface to a bunch of different networks.”

Oakes further claims that the end goal is not just about open networks, but rather the value-adding services that electronic invoicing providers can offer from being interoperable. He states that while open networks will help invoice distribution problems, they will not solve the problems businesses face internally – such as invoice processing, which is where, according to Oakes, accounts payable face their biggest challenges.

If service providers swiftly move towards truly open and interconnected networks, they can then focus on the ‘edge’ services that will add the most value to customers.

electronic invoicing, e-invoicing, einvoicing, interoperability, Direct Insite, open network, accounts payable

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Mairi Hayworth Celeris Limited 12.09.2012

What Mr. Oakes describes is similar to what the EU's PEPPOL Project has achieved in the B2G sphere and which is now opening up to the market with continued governance through the OpenPEPPOL Association. The PEPPOL transport infrastructure is based on an open exchange structure between Access Points where a supplier or buyer only needs to connect to their own Access Point provider (or they can develop their own Access Point if they choose) in order to exchange eInvoices (eOrders, eCatalogues, eAttestations etc.) with anyone else who is connected to a PEPPOL Access Point provider. This will eliminate the need for buyers and suppliers to enter into service or legal agreements with a myriad of providers in order to reach a wide range of business partners. An organisation can either adopt the PEPPOL specifications or continue to use their national or industry standard as long as their documents are translated into the PEPPOL BIS specification prior to being exchanged between Access Point providers. This is what makes PEPPOL just as viable for B2B activity. If you think about sending emails today - we don't have to think about who the ISP is on the recipient end - and we certainly don't have to sign an agreement with them. This is the future of eBusiness document exchange in my opinion. Check it out at: www.PEPPOL.eu