Friday, April 23, 2010

Interesting EDI, e-Invoicing and Business Process Trends Reported

I read an interesting survey report from Fundtech Ltd. today about EDI, remittance, and electronic invoice presentment with the following results:
  • 60% of bank respondents think that combining data, including remittance data, EDI data and electronic invoice presentment, with payment processing is an important trend and a value-added service they should offer to their business clients.
  • Only 47% indicate their banks are already pursuing this strategy.
From this report it appears there is growing demand for these types of integrated and connected services.  I can attest from personal experience that e-Invoicing is a rapidly growing area, especially in Latin America and Europe.  I have personally worked on a number of e-Invoicing projects with Crossgate, a company that SAP co-owns.  Crossgate provides e-Invoicing services globally in a SaaS model that is operated in a cloud computing environment.

I spoke with the president of Crossgate, Scott Lewin, a few days ago about why e-Invoicing is a fast growing area, and he told me that companies are simply not able or willing to learn all the details of every country's electronic invoicing requirements.  Many countries in Europe and in Latin America (e.g. Brazil and Mexico) have very detailed business processes and tax authority mandated data formats that are hard to learn and support.  He said many multi-national companies have operations in dozens of countries, and it would take an army of staff to try to support all of the requirements for every country.  As a result, this seems to be a good area for BPO (business process outsourcing) services.

Nowadays companies like Crossgate are developing global e-Invoicing and other electronic business processing services for their clients in their central EDI/B2B exchange.  They have developed best practices for implementations and have global experts on staff to support e-Invoicing around the world.

Author: Kevin Benedict
Principal Consultant/Founder
SAP EDI Consultant, Mobile Industry Analyst and Web 2.0 Marketing Consultant
Netcentric Strategies LLC
***Full Disclosure: I am an independent consultant that has worked with and for many of the companies mentioned.

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