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Historically, the lack of interoperability amongst service providers has been blamed for the slow adoption of e-invoicing. Without agreements in place amongst competitive networks, suppliers are forced to double up on network membership fees negating many of the potential benefits. But the tide is turning and today two of the biggest networks in Europe have announced an interoperability arrangement that will hopefully further accelerate the acceptance of e-invoicing as a de facto B2B transaction method.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Financial Services Center (VAFSC) in the US has just become the latest government entity to mandate the use of electronic invoicing supporting the Improper Payment Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act signed by President Obama in January this year. Analysts and observers interested in e-invoicing have for some time been taking a close interest in developments in Latin America. Despite being relatively late into e-invoicing, the adoption rates in Mexico and Brazil are extremely high because governments have mandated its use. They’re mandating e-invoices because it allows the authorities more effectively to control and manage the collection of taxes.

Small business can be forgiven. When you start a business you want to get it right and there isn't always the time to understand why you do all things you do. You need a website. Why? Because you do. And a twitter account and a Facebook page.  And you need an office and a store with a shop window display and an accountant and letter-headed paper and business cards. Still don't quite know why but better safe than sorry. Big business should know better but despite having years of experience, industry expertise, resource and time to deliberate on what really makes sense for their business, many continue pointless practices and, in many cases, they don't even know why they do them. These are my top 4 pointless business practices

There remains a lot of gobbledygook talked and written about “Cloud” computing, as anyone who has been around the industry for any time is very well aware.  For the most part it is a species of marketing for a particular consumption model which does not pay enough (or sometimes any) attention to underlying business need. Larry Ellison and Richard Stallman made well known assaults on “Cloud” when the term first began to gain currency around 2008. Other veterans I met referred to it as IBM Bureau Computing reborn, Network Computing for the broadband age or, my favourite, from a gleeful representative of a well-known multinational, “outsourcing without service level agreements”. The early criticisms were valid in the context they were made and might have remained valid had something not changed. But something has changed, very rapidly.

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