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Interoperation: fact and fiction

by Gary Benson 10. October 2011 06:35 AM

Interoperation is where two compliant e-Invoicing service providers formally agree to link their platforms. This allows suppliers to create their invoices with one service provider and have them delivered automatically to the buyer by the other service provider. This is also often known as the four-corner model.

Warming to the theme I picked up on in my last post, I want to compare our interoperating experiences over the past five years to some of the content I read and hear in various public forums.

Fiction: The lack of interoperation between e-Invoicing service providers is the single biggest factor delaying the adoption of B2B e-Invoicing in Europe.

Fact: Despite probably being one of the most widely interoperating e-Invoicing service provider in the world (we have 26 active agreements), we process more invoices in a couple of hours than we process through interoperation for an entire year.

Comment: There are reported hotspots for interoperation, such as the Nordics and to a lesser extent France. We deal with multiple service providers in both regions, but the number of suppliers who want or need to use interoperation to date has been less than 100. This is despite OB10 having successfully enrolled suppliers in these regions on behalf of our multi-national buyers in over 50 campaigns.

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