The vision of PEPPOL is that any company and, in particular SMEs, in the EU can communicate electronically with any European governmental institution for the entire procurement process.
The objective of the original PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line) project (www.peppol.eu) was to facilitate EU-wide interoperable public eProcurement.
The OpenPEPPOL Association was established on 1st September 2012, after successful completion of the PEPPOL project which saw PEPPOL specifications being implemented in several European countries, solving interoperability issues for electronic procurement.
PEPPOL enables trading partners to exchange standards-based electronic documents over the PEPPOL network. PEPPOL is not an eProcurement platform but instead provides a set of technical specifications that can be implemented in existing eProcurement solutions and services to make them interoperable across Europe.
PEPPOL is based on three major pillars:
- the network (PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure)
- the document specifications (PEPPOL Business Interoperability Specifications – BIS)
- the legal framework that defines the network governance (PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure Agreements)
PEPPOL enables access to its network through Access Points, which exchange standardised electronic documents based on the PEPPOL BIS.
As of December 2014, 86 PEPPOL Access Points have been established in 17 countries.
The eProcurement specifications (PEPPOL BIS) maintained by OpenPEPPOL build on the work of the CEN Workshop on Business Interoperability Interfaces for Public Procurement in Europe (CEN BII).
PEPPOL has not developed new standards but has used the CEN BII results to develop implementation guidelines, known as PEPPOL BIS, that can be embedded in eProcurement and eInvoicing systems, to support interoperability across Europe.
For more information about the PEPPOL elements and how CEN BII deliverables are used, please see: http://www.peppol.eu/peppol_elements