“PEPPOL is a rising star,” says Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Agenda for Europe, in a recent blog on the increased use of Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) - an IT infrastructure enabling businesses and government institutions to improve communication during procurement processes. Kroes goes on to say: “The efforts of […] early adopters of PEPPOL and GS1 [the organisation that develops and maintains measures for supply chains] standards will result in substantial savings, efficiency improvements, and greater supplier enablement. It is a big step forward for interoperable public-sector services.”
Since 2008, the platform has been developing technology standards to streamline electronic public procurement in Europe. In 2012, PEPPOL morphed into OpenPEPPOL, an international member association responsible for the development and maintenance of PEPPOL specifications, services and implementations. Today, use of the platform and other output from the association is steadily increasing: in Norway, over 2.7 million electronic invoices have been exchanged using PEPPOL, with 1.4 million within the first three months of 2014; Swedish partners are employing PEPPOL-based solutions in connecting Swedish organisations with European economic operators and public sector organisations; while in the United Kingdom, the Department of Health has included PEPPOL and GS1 standards within the National Health Service (NHS) e-procurement strategy.
With its foundation in the Digital Agenda for Europe, PEPPOL is part of a wider EU strategy on procurement. “PEPPOL and other EU digitisation programs have the power to unleash enormous opportunity for the entire region,” says Kroes. “Procurement will grow to be more transparent and connected, spawning collaborative innovation across supply chains on a European level. Some estimates peg the savings of e-procurement at €50 billion per year.”