How to get started for Buyers
Step 1. Decide which of the PEPPOL elements your organisation plans to implement from the following list:
- eCatalogue (for use in the tendering process)
- Virtual Company Dossier (eAttestation used in the tendering process)
- eSignature Validation (can be used in the Pre and Post Award phases)
- eCatalogue (for use in the ordering process)
Note: All electronic documents in the Post-Award section must be exchanged between sending and receiving Access Points within the PEPPOL network.
Step 2. If Post-Award elements are being implemented, choose a PEPPOL Access Point provider from the following list:
A key benefit of the PEPPOL network is that a buyer can engage with one Access Point provider in any country and through that single provider, can reach any number of suppliers connected to the network through their respective Access Point providers (in any number of countries).
The terms of engagement and any cost considerations are entirely between the buyer and their chosen Access Point provider. The provider may offer a range of services including but not limited to: conversion of the buyer's data to or from the PEPPOL BIS format, various methods of communication for sending and receiving files, document archiving services, etc. .
Note: Some PEPPOL Access Point providers may offer simple web-based portals or templates where SME buyers can enter data directly into a form to create and transmit PEPPOL-compliant documents.
Alternatively, a buyer who has the technical expertise may decide to implement an Access Point for their organisation or may be engaged with a particular service provider who wishes to become a PEPPOL Access Point Provider. In either case, please see the information on how to become an Access Point (AP) or AP Provider.
Also please see the section on how to join OpenPEPPOL (membership is mandatory for Access Points and Access Point Providers).
Step 3. If the buyer’s supplier is already connected to the PEPPOL network through an Access Point provider, the next step is simply to ensure that both organisations agree on the type of documents to be exchanged (order, despatch advice, invoice, catalogue) and that the respective Access Point providers support those documents.
Step 4. Finally, a test file may be exchanged between all 4 parties (supplier, supplier’s Access Point, buyer and buyer’s Access Point) prior to sending/receiving documents in a live environment.
Note: If the buyer has other suppliers connected to the PEPPOL Network (through their respective Access Points), the buyer’s Access Point provider can ‘look up’ those suppliers listed in the PEPPOL directory and arrange to carry out the testing and implementation process with the remaining client list.
Alternatively, if the buyer is engaged with other suppliers who have not yet implemented PEPPOL, they can send their clients a link to: How to get started for Suppliers
Membership of OpenPEPPOL is optional for buyers, suppliers, and other ‘users’ of PEPPOL specifications, however, there are advantages to joining and shaping the future of the organisation.
User Story: eInvoicing in Norway, a story of success