May 29, 2016 News

OpenPEPPOL signs agreement with the European Commission

OpenPEPPOL has recently signed an agreement with the European Commission for hosting a central service as part of the eDelivery Digital Service Infrastructure (DSI). The European Commission is in the process of establishing and operating a number of DSIs and their core services as part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom programme.


On May 5th, 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Brussels between the OpenPEPPOL AISBL, represented by the Secretary General André Hoddevik (left), and the European Commission (unit B.4 of DG DIGIT), represented by Angelo Tosetti.


Under the terms of the agreement, the European Commission will host a central service of the CEF eDelivery network – the Service Metadata Locator (SML) – which allows participants in the network to dynamically locate each other across Europe. The SML service is a central component of the PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure, managed to date by OpenPEPPOL.


The service is being used in production by more than 90 service providers and public administrations that have deployed Access Points using CEF eDelivery within the PEPPOL network. The agreement ensures technical maintenance of the eDelivery software sample implementations, whereas OpenPEPPOL will continue to manage the business-related governance of the network in the e-procurement domain.


The agreement includes a service-level agreement for the availability of the SML service to be provided by DG DIGIT, thereby ensuring and even increasing the reliability and robustness of the PEPPOL eDelivery network and the uninterrupted continuity of operations for all OpenPEPPOL members. The actual transfer of operations and related migration of the SML service is ongoing and will be completed within June 2015.


This agreement marks the first instance of the European Commission becoming directly involved in the hosting and support of a core service which originated in a Large Scale Project (in this case, PEPPOL) and it will operate under the provisions of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom Programme. It is a testament to the maturity of the service, which is currently used for millions of real business transactions, and paves the way for other services and building blocks from the eProcurement domain or other communities to be run as part of the CEF eDelivery digital service infrastructure (DSI).
– The agreement is an important milestone towards integration of PEPPOL results into CEF eDelivery DSI, harnessing the OpenPEPPOL governance model and strengthening long term sustainability of the PEPPOL network, says André Hoddevik, OpenPEPPOL Secretary General.


This development is a stepping stone on the sustainability roadmap of the PEPPOL infrastructure, operations and specifications.  Closer cooperation on other building blocks and services with the EC is under discussion and further steps will be taken in due course. The Connecting Europe Facility Programme will continue to support core services in the eProcurement domain and will also provide individual support though grants which will be open to public administrations and private providers within the eProcurement domain. A series of Calls for Proposals that will support Generic Services in eDelivery, eInvoicing and eCertis will be launched and concluded within 2015.


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