PEPPOL; A B2G stroke of genius revolutionizes B2B.

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You already send your invoices and purchase orders and other required messages via electronic data interchange. It is fast, it is reliable, it is clever, it is adjustable, customizable & you save a ton of money – it is brilliant.

But it has a few flaws

Because EDI is so customizable, it almost allows you to invent your very own format. You can also send your file to your receiver via any network type you desire. But if everyone is relying on their own customized language, it makes speaking with other business partners incredibly hard, because they customized their language too.

How does EDI work then? Well there are converters and adapters, which translates the information to allow it to be understood in both ends.

That’s great, but it takes a long time to map and suddenly you have a big job in keeping track on all the requirements of your partners, as well as your own.

The solution is called PEPPOL, and it was invented by the EU for cross boarder business to Government trade.

PEPPOL was introduced to resolve this complexity and many other issues, which makes EDI costly and complex.

What makes PEPPOL so exciting is that it is 100% standardised. That removes all the complexity, as everyone who uses PEPPOL is forced to adhere to the same regulations and rules. A mapping is predetermined, and that makes it quick to setup and maintain.

The network part is not to be overlooked either – with EDI you rely on multiple value added networks etc. to reach your partners. With PEPPOL, everyone is connected via just one.

Although PEPPOL was built for B2G, the potential is even bigger for B2B. When they introduced PEPPOL in Norway for B2G, it quickly revolutionized the B2B sector.

Let’s compare setting up to send an EDI document for the first time with Peppol for a moment.


  1. Determine what format to setup your document in
  2. Map out the layout of the document
  3. Uncover what format your receiver wants to receive the document in
  4. Map out the layout of the document, as the receiver needs to receive it
  5. Will you need a converter?
  6. Do you need an adapter?
  7. Find out what network you need in order to reach your receiver
  8. Setup and maintain a mailbox
  9. Hook up to the network required, add adapter and converter as needed.
  10. Carry out a successful test to check that the document goes through successfully.
  11. You are now ready to trade 1 specific document with 1 specific partner.


  1. Connect to a Peppol access point
  2. Register your GLN Number
  3. Find your receivers GLN number in the registry.
  4. Send your document in the required format and mapping.
  5. You can now reach any partner on PEPPOL, and send any document.

PEPPOL is cheaper, easier, and the only way forward. There will still be a need for EDI for special requirements, but there will be an inevitable shift to the standardised approach that PEPPOL offers.

For any further questions regarding this do not hesitate to contact me at Katrine.Jensen@ibm.com

Project Executive, Strategic Outsourcing

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