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PEPPOL: Belgian government chooses Babelway to implement wide-scale B2G invoicing campaign

By Mathieu Pasture
December 02, 2015

Fedict, the ICT Federal Public Service of Belgium, has selected Babelway to implement B2G invoicing with PEPPOL for public sector entities at all levels.

In its evaluation, Fedict ranked Babelway first, well ahead of the competition, on all selection criteria: quality and requirements matching, service levels, price, and implementation time.

This decision of the Belgian government follows from Directive 2014/55/EU, which mandates all Member States to accept electronic invoices compliant with a common semantic model by 2018. Optimizing invoicing flows would generate an estimated 240 billion Euros over 6 years at European level. In Belgium alone, this can represent 3,5 billion Euros per year.

The Belgian Federal government launched a pilot phase in December 2012, called Mercurius. Mercurius accepts supplier invoices in 2 ways:

  • Invoices based on open ePRIOR V2 developed by DIGIT, the IT Directorate General of the EU Commission. ePRIOR V2 is based on CEN BII v3, in turn based on UBL2.0.
  • Invoices manually submitted through a web portal, also developed by DIGIT and adapted to support authentication via the Belgian electronic identity card and only via this means.

This project demonstrated the feasibility of B2G e-invoicing. Public administrations can stimulate electronic invoicing adoption by requesting suppliers to send electronic invoices and by encouraging the development of enabling solutions. However, It also highlighted a number of issues in order to scale. Mercurius runs on the Fedict infrastructure. Fedict exploits the service with its own staff and budget. Moreover, on-boarding procedures associated with ePRIOR are too heavy to apply to the on-boarding of the 30,000 suppliers of the administration.

To enable the desired large scale expansion of B2G electronic invoicing, Fedict identified PEPPOL as the key enabling technology to easily onboard suppliers. PEPPOL is a set of technical specifications to ensure interoperability in electronic procurement. The purpose of PEPPOL is to enable European businesses to easily deal electronically with any European public sector buyers in their procurement processes. Fedict initiated a formal RFP process to identify a technology partner.

Babelway proposed and convinced Fedict to adopt its award-winning cloud-based B2B integration platform. The Babelway platform will be deployed to

  • Promote invoice reception based on the emerging PEPPOL standard
  • Allow manual invoice submission via a supplier portal
  • Support existing invoicing flows based on e-PRIOR during a transition period

The new solution’s objective is to cover all public levels (Federal, Regional, Local). This scope potentially represents tens of millions of invoices. According to the implementation timescales, the new solution will be available for large scale deployment towards mid-2016.

This contract rewards the quality of the Babelway technology that has been developed over the last few years. It is a cornerstone in the development of the young company and a recognition of its unwavering vision towards the cloud and B2B integration based on structured data, instead of paper or PDF.

About Babelway:

Babelway is an innovative provider of cloud-based B2B integration solutions. Babelway develops a unique platform that allows users to easily build automated document flows, using any data format and any communication protocol. Founded in 2007 in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, Babelway has offices in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Cairo, Egypt. Babelway has hundreds of customers exchanging tens of millions of documents with their B2B partners in many industries such as retail, automotive, logistics or fintech.

About Fedict:

As a federal public service, Fedict defines and implements the federal e-government strategy. It uses innovative information and communication technology (ICT) to help the various federal public services to improve their service portfolios and tailor them to meet the needs of the general public, businesses and civil servants. For example, Fedict is involved in building and developing the software for the electronic identity card (eID).Fedict also develops new online services aimed at the general public, businesses and civil servants, and made available through the federal portal.

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