Work in e-Invoicing pilot completed

07.07.2016

The aim of the e-SENS e-Invoicing pilot was to further enable the cross-border handling of invoices electronically over the e-SENS eDelivery infrastructure. Communication between national invoice handling systems in the post-award procurement phase has been successfully tested using the e-SENS profile of the AS4 protocol, meeting the requirements of cross-border communication between e-Government applications and Service Providers.

The e-Invoicing pilot scenario included interoperability tests between different types of access points based on solutions from different vendors, including  the exchange of large volume of documents and large files between competent authorities and businesses. The pilot aimed to check if the AS4 transport protocol of e-SENS would be a benefit for the e-Invoicing community. Technically the tests were successful but more conditions need to be met before the AS2 protocol, currently dominant in European e-Procurement and also used by OpenPEPPOL community, may be replaced.

Within the e-SENS pilot testing of the AS4 protocol, the service providers taking part in the pilot were expected to set up access points using AS4. The AS4 tests based on implementations from software providers Chasquis (Holodeck B2B), IBM and Flame included transfers of both large files up to 2Gb and bulk-load of files with more than 1000+ messages sent simulant to prove the e-Delivery with AS4 can be used efficiently. The existing infrastructure of OpenPEPPOL, which allows for multiple transport protocols, and the PEPPOL BIS profiles for eInvoicing were used in the pilot.

The pilot was successfully completed by Norway, Denmark, Greece, Slovenia and Austria. A Service Provider from the Czech Republic, not formally a participant in e-SENS but a member of OpenPEPPOL, also took part in successful testing with the other countries. Further work is now taking place to wrap up the pilot and provide detail reports and a roadmap for existing access points as well as to evaluate the pilot and document findings.

The first version of pilot report is available online here.