Having said how great Transcepta is with respect to helping the small guy, let’s quickly look at their accounts payable and accounts receivable products and services.
Accounts Payable (A/P) & Accounts Receivable (A/R) Automation
Once again, there are no surprises here with respect to Accounts Payable (A/P) integration. The target is the large company having an ERP system, i.e. your average Oracle (including PeopleSoft and JD Edwards) and SAP user with high transaction volumes and high number of suppliers (and customers).
However, its a different scenario at Accounts Receivable (A/R), where printer driver technology is used to extract data from supplier/vendor applications. This is what I called the secret weapon in my previous article. In the case of Transcepta, the translation from printer spool file to XML takes place at the hub. Whereas in the case of Accountis‘ ebPrinter, this takes place at client end. In the case of ebdex, this was supposed to have taken place at client end. Out of the two solutions, the cleanest is the solution from Transcepta. Different thought processes go into deciding where translation takes place, e.g. translation at client end means less resource utilisation at the hub end, but this also means potentially more things going wrong at client end.
Why not treat a company both as a Supplier/Vendor and Purchaser/Buyer?
This must be the ultimate goal of any e-invoicing and EIPP vendor, i.e. treat your customers both as a supplier/vendor and a purchaser/buyer. In a nutshell, integrate their accounts payable and accounts receivable systems, thereby increasing the transaction volumes and subsequent revenues. Here is a simple 3 step strategy of achieving this overall goal:
- Bring suppliers on board as web form/interface users – perhaps offer this as a free service. In one respect, you are going after the typical Freshbooks customer.
- Extract data from suppliers through printer driver technology – this is not as straight forward as one might thinks. You need to know how to read printer spool files and then translate this to XML (or similar) format for interpretation by the hub.
- Develop a direct interface between the Supplier’s application and the e-invoicing/EIPP hub.
On the other side (i.e. accounts payable end), you have no option but to integrate purchaser’s/buyer’s application with the e-invoicing/EIPP hub on Day 1, as the solution perceived will deliver maximum benefit first for the Buyer/Purchaser. As the Supplier/Vendor moves to stage 3 above, the value will start to increase.