According to the Old Testament, mankind has been struggling with the confusion caused by multiple languages since the Tower of Babel was built back in Genesis. (Gen 11,1-9). But what does this problem have to do with e-invoicing? Read on to find out:
The fact that the story of the tower of Babel does not have a happy ending is known even to those who do not read the Bible. After pride comes the fall, as we all know. Mankind was punished for its arrogance in building the tower with linguistic chaos. At a stroke, God mixed up their one common language into several different ones, so that no one understood each other. These insurmountable communication difficulties meant that the tower could not be completed. Mankind gave up and scattered all over the earth. Up until today, humankind has had to deal with the consequences of that megalomaniac skyscraper project and laboriously learn languages in order to be able to communicate globally, both privately and professionally.
For some, especially linguists, the Babylonian confusion of languages is heaven. They perceive the multitude and variety of languages as cultural enrichment. Indeed, a European Day of Languages has even been introduced to maintain and promote linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe and beyond. For many others, however, learning vocabulary, putting words into a grammatically-correct sentence and then pronouncing it all correctly still feels like a punishment from God. However, this jumble of languages does not only make life difficult for students and tourists.
Nowadays, machines and entire digital ecosystems also communicate via languages. However, as you may have guessed , humankind, plagued as it has been since biblical times, have also not been able to agree on a common language here. Even in the modern digital economy, the diversity of languages, e.g. in electronic messaging standards with their different syntax and semantics, causes considerable work and challenges, such as in e-invoicing. And this is where we, SEEBURGER, come into play.
E-Invoicing Standards For Better Comprehension
Digital multilingualism has meant that also e-invoices are submitted in different formats, not only within the EU, but worldwide. In Germany alone, for example, electronic invoices are submitted in formats including EDIFACT Standard Invoice, XRechnung, ZUGFeRD, IDoc. This plethora of different systems that trading partners have to deal with is compounded by bilateral, industry-specific and country-specific semantics and syntax. Today, humankind is almost as far away from a common automated invoicing standard as from the original, common pre-Babylonian language. Well, almost…
One bright spot on the horizon is Peppol. Peppol is an open e-procurement network for electronically submitting and receiving invoices and other procurement documents via what are known as access points. It enables the learning of vocabulary based on national standards such as XRechnung, transport protocols such as AS4 and facilitates a central user directory. Already supporting B2B and B2G transactions in many countries around the world, it is poised to play a key role in global e-invoicing.
Peppol Access Point Service For Global e-Invoicing And e-Procurement
SEEBURGER offers a “plug and play” cloud service for Peppol, through which you can submit and receive Peppol documents. To avoid language confusion and ensure smooth communication between the parties involved in the network, our services are completely independent of the ERP system used and include legally compliant archiving of invoices.
SEEBURGER Speaks e-Invoicing
We already speak e-invoicing languages and translate various input formats into the appropriate output format for you. The service can be easily docked to your ERP system and supports PDF, ZUGFeRD and XRechnung formats. Your outgoing invoice data is received by the SEEBURGER cloud in the appropriate format. The data is then automatically transmitted to your customer in ZUGFeRD, PDF or XRechnung format via e-mail with MFT download link, e-mail attachment and via Peppol.
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Written by: Rolf HolickiRolf Holicki, Director BU E-Invoicing, SAP&Web Process, is responsible for the SAP/WEB applications. He has more than 25 years of experience in e-invoicing, SAP, Workflow and business process automation. Rolf Holicki has been with SEEBURGER since 2005.