Edisys Consulting is a Norwegian consultancy company that is vendor and technology independent, providing industry leading expertise in digitisation and standardised digital interoperability since 1993.
Standardisation for interoperability and harmonisation
Data and information are playing an increasingly important role for all organisations, as digitalisation initiatives drives change on business processes and IT systems.
We believe that organisations should have an awareness towards available and open standards, and strive for harmonisation of data, information and business processes as part of their enterprise architecture. Standardisation allows organisations to re-use and improve upon components and building blocks, improving governance of systems and implementations.
In our experience, engagement in international standardisation initiatives serves to safeguard that both national requirements and user needs are covered in developing international standards. In order to achieve this, we have chosen to engage in several standardisation organisations and initiatives in several sectors, like CEN, UN/CEFACT, ebIX, IEC/TC57, Standards Norway and Norstella. Our engagement has been both on behalf of our customers and for our own account
Edisys Consulting in the European energy market
The European Union has for more than two decades worked to develop a strategic policy to make a competitive, single European market for electricity and gas. The single European electricity and gas market is expected to be a free market and open to competition of Europe-wide companies.
The goals are to secure and expand supply of energy, develop a more competitive internal energy market, support environmental protection and develop clean and renewable energy sources.
The opening of the market to competition, i.e. the vertical unbundling of (regulated) transmission and distribution from (commercial) production and retailing in Europe, has led to splitting of companies, based on new defined roles, such as Energy Suppliers, Balance Responsible Parties and Metering companies. Further, these new roles may be merged into larger companies, often international companies with subsidiaries in different countries.
Edisys Consulting has been working with standardisation of data exchange within this environment since 1997. Among others, Edisys Consulting has been consultants and editor of Business Requirement Specifications (BRS), Business Information Models (BIM) and Implementation Guides (IG) for ebIX®. Edisys Consulting also participates in UN/CEFACT and IEC/TC57 working groups
What is ebIX®
ebIX®, European forum for energy Business Information eXchange, is a non-profit organisation aiming to advance, develop and standardise electronic information exchange in the European energy industry for gas and electricity. ebIX® is an independent organisation that works together with relevant organisations within the European energy industry, such as ENTSO-E, Eurelectric, EFET and USEF. ebIX® focusses on the interchange of administrative data for the internal European markets for electricity and gas, and on the harmonisation of data exchange for electricity and gas between the various roles in the liberalised European energy market(s).
ebIX® pursues this goal by using international and open standards for the creation of a technology independent model representing common generic data exchange processes, based on best practices that is suitable for implementation in energy data management software. Focusing on the processes between market parties handling business and administrative data, ebIX® will cover the needs for the retail market (downstream) and the interface to the wholesale market (upstream). ebIX® will follow the rules of the European Union where applicable.
ebIX® is currently working together with IEC/TC57 on mapping of the ebIX® information model to CIM, the IEC Common Information Model.
Business Requirement Specification
The ebIX® working groups makes and maintains a set of Business Requirement Specifications (BRS), based on UN/CEFACT Modelling Methodology (UMM). In a BRS, the working groups specify the process using “business language”, to make it understandable for the business people. Among others, Edisys Consulting has been involved in the development of the following BRSs:
Change of Supplier and end of supply
Alignment of Accounting Point (Metering Point) characteristics
Alignment of metering configuration characteristics
Upfront request for Accounting Point characteristics
Change of Balance Responsible Party and change of Shipper
Change and end of Metered Data Responsible
Administration of Customer consent (e.g. related to GDPR)
Business Requirements for energy flexibility services
Business Information Model
When a BRS is finalised, the requirements are transformed to Business Information Models, which shows the UMM “Business Collaboration View” and “Business Information View” as the basis for generation of syntax specific messages, such as XML.
The way the energy markets are regulated in the various European countries differs and there is little synchronisation between the countries when it comes to information exchange, where, from an EU perspective, harmonisation is the way forward. The ebIX® UML model for the European energy market with related Business Requirement Specifications and Business Information Models may be a framework to be used when implementing data exchange in a national energy market. The ebIX® member countries are in different stages of the deregulation process and have implemented different versions of the ebIX® model
The ebIX®, EFET and ENTSO-E Harmonised Role Model (HRM)
ebIX®, EFET and ENTSO-E have since 2007 joined forces in a common harmonisation group, where Edisys Consulting has acted as the secretary. The main deliverable from the harmonisation group is the harmonised European Electricity Market Role Model.
The Role Model has been developed to facilitate the dialogue between the market participants from different countries through the designation of a single name for each role and domain that are prevalent within the electricity market. Its focus is essentially to enable a common terminology for IT development. The necessity for such a model arises from the possibility that a single party in the market may assume multiple roles. This implies that the roles need to be atomically decomposed where necessary to satisfy the minimal information flows for a given process required within the electricity market. ebIX® wishes to extend the model to the gas market. It is important to differentiate between the roles that can be found on a given marketplace and the parties that can play such roles. ebIX®, EFET and ENTSO-E have identified a given role whenever it has been found necessary to distinguish it in an information interchange process.
It also identifies the different domains that are necessary in the electricity market for information interchange. A domain represents a grouping of entities with common characteristics.
Electronic procurement in Europe
Edisys Consulting has been working with development of standards and technical building blocks within this environment since 2003 nationally as well as at Nordic, European and global level.
We have led and coordinated programs and projects, solved tasks for information and data architecture through assignments in working groups in initiatives such as the CEN workshop on Business Interoperability Interfaces on public procurement in Europe (CEN/WS BII) and PEPPOL/OpenPEPPOL.
We assisted Difi in their engagement in the PEPPOL project initiated in 2008 with the aim of simplifying electronic procurement across borders by providing guidance on the use of technology standards that could be implemented across all governments within Europe. The overall objective was to enable businesses to communicate electronically with any European government institution in the procurement process, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs. Since the completion of the PEPPOL-project in 2012, where the results were taken over by the OpenPEPPOL association, we have continued to support the initiative in a variety of activities ranging from development of different specifications to coordinating its agreement framework. Our most recent assignments include development of the PEPPOL Compliance Policy and responsibility for developing the new Agreement Framework as well as the more technical assignments related to the maintenance of various PEPPOL Business Interoperability Specifications and their associated validation artefacts.
During 2010-2013, we filled the role as project manager for the work in CEN/WS BII2. Responsibilities included management of the committee’s technical work, such as modelling of business processes (BPMN), information and data architecture, information security and establishing architecture for digital interoperability.
Later, in CEN/WS BII3, we provided advice and project management, including overall coordination and management of the technical work, responsible for co-ordinating use of software tools, establishment of a common business term vocabulary, a reference model (BPMN) for business functions, documentation of business rules (schematron) and documentation of information models.
Following upon our assignments in the BII initiative, we played an active role in CEN/TC 434 during the development of the European Standard in electronic invoicing (EN 16931) leading the initial effort in creating the basic semantic information model as well as providing technical expertise related to the application of UBL as messaging format. We still fill the role as chair of the working group that is responsible for the extension methodology and participate in its management committee.
Edisys Consulting is also leading CEN/TC 440 on public eProcurement, with overall responsibility for strategic planning and progress in the committee’s standardisation work. The committee was established in 2015 with a mandate to establish European standards for electronic messaging to support all phases of the public procurement process. These standards are expected to form the basis for establishing sector-specific Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) within the framework of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital).
A central premise for the committee’s work has been coordination with relevant activities in the EU program ISA2, and in particular its activities for the establishment of the joint architecture framework EIRA (European Interoperability Reference Architecture) and common concepts (Core Vocabularies).
The committee currently consists of 7 professionally oriented working groups, with members from 12 European countries, the EU Commission and several different interest groups
Through agreement on specifications for cross-border procurement processes, the PEPPOL project (2008-2012) and its successor OpenPEPPOL has contributed to the development of a pan-European, standards-based IT infrastructure.
PEPPOL has built upon the existing strengths of national eProcurement systems by using information and communication technologies to enable them to connect with each other.
PEPPOL enables access to its standards-based IT transport infrastructure through defined Access Points and provides services for eProcurement with standardised electronic document formats.
OpenPEPPOL has developed Business Interoperability Specifications (BIS) for common eProcurement processes such as eCatalogue, eOrders, and eInvoices in order to standardise electronic documents exchanged and validated through an open and secure network, between sending and receiving Access Points for public sector buyers and their suppliers across Europe. A Virtual Company Dossier was developed for suppliers to submit company information in a standardised ‘re‐usable’ format, an eCatalogue for use in the tendering process, and a pan‐European e‐signature validation service.
The PEPPOL ‘BIS’ implements the results of the CEN workshop on Business Interoperability Interfaces for Public Procurement in Europe (CEN/WS BII). Through PEPPOL and implementations in several European countries, results from CEN/WS BII have already been thoroughly tested and have proved their usefulness in practice.
The PEPPOL consortium was comprised of seventeen partners (mostly leading public eProcurement agencies) within 11 countries: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
At the end of August 2012, the PEPPOL project was finalised and its services and responsibilities were taken over by the non-profit association OpenPEPPOL, operating under Belgian law and consisting of both public sector and private members.
The purpose of OpenPEPPOL is to enable European businesses to easily deal electronically with any European public sector buyers in their procurement processes, thereby increasing opportunities for greater competition for government contracts and providing better value for tax payers’ money.