CloudTrade and HubBroker unlock Public Sector Trading for SMB’s
In 2005 the Danish government banned paper invoicing from their suppliers as a measure to cut costs and improve public sector trading efficiencies.
This was achieved by a move to an electronic procurement system that only accepted invoices in an OIOUBL file format.
Actually saying OIOUBL is one challenge - but a far greater one requires Danish organisations to change their systems to produce the new invoicing file. They were either faced with the internal development costs, or had to outsource to a provider such as Evenex, one of the leading suppliers of digital “connections“ in Denmark. Evenex are able to take whatever flavour of XML or EDI the supplier can produce and translate the structure into OIOUBL - as a result, facilitating transactions with the government.
However, Jens Toke Lausen – an executive at Evenex at the time, recognised that although this was an excellent service for the larger organisation it was still beyond the reach and technical capabilities of the majority of Danish SMB’s. This realisation led him to establish HubBroker - an independent company, that provides solutions and services that can be easily utilized by the SMB market - where the resources or bandwidth needed to support EDI or OIOUBL, may not be readily available. As a cloud “Hub” service, HubBroker is able to easily transform, convert and exchange data generated by any business process i.e. catalogues, orders, invoices, into formats such as EDIFACT, XML, OIOUBL, CSV.
By adopting OIOUBL, the SMB market is able to trade with the government. But HubBroker wanted to make the process as simple as possible by offering its customers the ability to send invoices to the “Hub” in a way that will allow EVERY organisation to participate in e-invoicing initiatives.
Emailing PDF invoices is probably the easiest and most non disruptive way for any company to send business documents between trading partners, so Jens looked for a partner to add this functionality to the “Hub”.
Jens Toke comments “Our vision with HubBroker is to offer a totally integrated service to companies of all sizes, but predominantly to the SMB market where historically there has been barriers to Cloud or electronic invoicing. PDF’s are such a universal format, so we wanted to find a solution that could be seamlessly
integrated into our service to read and extract data from PDF’s. After extensive research of the market we chose CloudTrade.”
UK based CloudTrade has a unique technology that enables documents, in particular supplier invoices to be received as PDFs. Cloud Trade reads the data embedded within the PDF as created by the originating system and converts this into a format accepted by the recipient. In the case of the Danish government the output is OIOUBL. As no OCR is used, 100% data quality can be guaranteed.
Jens Toke continues “We have found CloudTrade very flexible and easy to work with and produce some very impressive response times. We look forward to a continued successful partnership with them and educating the Danish SMB market that there is now a way they can communicate with the big boys.”
As Cloud technology advances we will see the traditional barriers between off the shelf, legacy and roprietary systems dissolve. Similarly we have seen the communication between European countries evolve........but there will always be a need for a translator!