PEPPOL transactions involve the exchange of electronic documentation, such as electronic orders and invoices, between a sender (i.e. a public sector organisation) and a receiver. The sender and receiver must both connect to the PEPPOL Network via PEPPOL Access Points. The exchange of PEPPOL messages can only be established from one access point (AP) to another. Essentially this means that senders and recipients both need an AP to operate in the PEPPOL network.
There are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account for PEPPOL participants when selecting an AP provider:
APs who have been involved in PEPPOL from its infancy stages, and who are well versed in the technology, will have a deep understanding of – what can appear to a user – a potentially complex process, giving you peace of mind in selecting them as a provider.
PEPPOL adoption has been slow in Ireland and the UK, so there are very few providers native to these countries with this long-lasting presence, so it is important to take the time when considering an AP.
A major factor to consider when choosing an AP is the level of hands-on support they provide in the implementation process, and their response to subsequent user enquiries.
APs who deal with user queries in a timely and efficient manner are vital for a business who deals with a large volume of invoices/orders, and is bound by strict time schedules.
There are presently 192 Certified APs; these AP’s are companies that naturally come in all shapes and sizes and have varying core competencies.
Only some of these APs will have electronic trading experience dating back to before PEPPOL even existed, and for many of these APs PEPPOL is simply a secondary service that exists in the background.
APs who specialize in EDI (electronic data interchange) and place electronic trading at the forefront of their overall Business model, will have a plethora of experience in this field and have a customer service team and staff who are trained specifically to deal with queries related to this.
It is vital to clarify the AP’s reputation and reliability. How long has the company been in business? Are there testimonials on their website? Are they on any PEPPOL frameworks – for example the Crown Commercial Services Framework of APs registered to serve the NHS in the UK?
A scalable and customisable solution
The top APs are scalable in nature and integrate easily into your existing business processes. APs that ensure the electronic data will flow automatically into your ERP system (no matter what system you use) will enable you to reduce manual business processes and reduce the risk of errors caused by manual data entry – allowing you and your accounts team to focus energies elsewhere.
Being accredited as a PEPPOL Access Point means Celtrino can connect with any other AP from the PEPPOL network.
Celtrino are also a Service Metadata Publisher (SMP). SMPs contain the addresses and metadata of users connected to the PEPPOL network. Every participant of the PEPPOL network must be registered in an SMP. In a typical PEPPOL transaction, SMPs inform the sender’s access point of the relevant data and capabilities of the receiver, and the access point they use.
In early 2017 Celtrino were awarded a place on the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) framework agreement for PEPPOL Access Points to work with the NHS in the UK, to help NHS suppliers implement PEPPOL-based trading. Celtrino are the only Irish company on the framework.
Celtrino have 30 years’ experience in electronic trading and were the first PEPPOL access point provider in Ireland. Celtrino have contributed to the development of the PEPPOL standards, as founder members of the OpenPEPPOL association.