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N°30  |  October   2008
Business cases

• Marine Nationale (France )
• Catalan Government (Spain)
• The State of New Jersey (United States)

Bull and Seres to introduce electronic billing between business and the Catalan government


  • The project – to be jointly implemented by the two companies under the technical direction of Seres – will deliver a common solution for all levels of the public sector in Catalonia: including town councils and other local government authorities
  • The solution – which can be accessed in various ways, includes mechanisms for generating and receiving electronic invoices addressed to public sector bodies
  • The system adopts the ‘facturae’ format stipulated by new Spanish legislation for contracts with the public sector.

 Bull and Seres, a company specializing in electronic billing, are being commissioned to implement the e-invoicing solution for Catalan public sector bodies including AOC Consortium, CATcert, Barcelona City Council, Catalan government (Generalitat de Cataluña) and the provincial council of Lleida, all of them being involved in the pilot project. This innovative project goes beyond the traditional e-billing platform, and offers the Catalan authorities a complete solution via a hub. Extra services can be added to this hub providing more widespread interoperability, services able to meet all the requirements and functionalities needed by the public sector bodies involved.   

The model, which will be rolled out over the coming months, adopts the new facturae format. It features an ‘in-box’ for incoming invoices and a hub, and provides services relating to the issue and tracking of invoices, as well as two-way message transmission. A search facility, previewing and printing of invoices, and facilities for managing e-billing addresses, will all be available via a Web portal.  

“The system is designed to provide interoperability and all the functionalities required by the e-billing market, both in the private and public sector,” explained Sergio Ruiz Mahillo, Sales and Marketing Director of Seres, “And the system will also be able to incorporate any new developments aiming at extending the services available and optimizing the exchange of electronic invoices.”

According to Alberto Retana, Bull Spain’s Sales Director for the Public Sector, Health and Education: “Bull is well aware of the changes which the public sector is facing. This is why, in line with recent regulations on the explosion of new technologies in the public sector, we are offering solutions combining the reliability provided by Bull in its role as a systems integrator and the expertise of Seres, a leader in electronic invoicing.”

“One of the key strategic avenues that the AOC Consortium (Administració Oberta Electrònica de Catalunya) is pursuing is to make shared e-government solutions available to all Catalonia’s public sector bodies. We are looking to achieve economies of scale and guarantee interoperability. This will mean that the public sector bodies involved will be able to offer to their citizens and businesses a consistent level of services, no matter what technical and financial resources they may have. In common with all the members of the consortium, AOC is evaluating the benefits that electronic invoicing can offer in the public sector, not only to improve the effectiveness of internal processes, but also to help the public sector play a more dynamic role in the country’s economy,” commented Joan A. Olivares Obis, President of the AOC Consortium.

The introduction of electronic invoicing will enable public sector bodies to improve their relationships with their suppliers as well as their own internal management. It will also help them to act as a catalyst for introducing new technologies into the business world, in particular for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to improve their dealings with each other as well as their relationships with the public sector. In addition, the introduction of the electronic invoicing will enable them to respond to the 2007 legislation relating to public sector contracts, which makes electronic invoicing a pre-requisite for all contracts with the public sector.  

About the AOC Consortium

logo AOC

The AOC Consortium (Administració Oberta Electrònica de Catalunya) was born out of a pact – to promote and develop the Information Society within the Catalan public sector – signed in front of the Catalan Government on 23 July 2001 by the leaders of all the parliamentary parties, the Catalan Government itself and the local authorities represented by Localret.
The role of the AOC Consortium is essentially to collaborate with Catalan public sector bodies with a view to improve the public sector with relevant initiatives. Its aim is also to improve the way publics services are managed through the intensive use of information and communications technologies.
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About Seres, the electronic invoicing company


Seres’ main business is to deliver solutions in the area of secure electronic exchange of commercial documents that have a legal value. Seres was established in 1984, and today over 30,000 businesses use its solutions. The company has operations in Europe, America and Asia. Seres is the owner of the e-FACTURA® brand, which it also sells and markets, and has positioned itself as a pioneer and leader in the area of electronic invoicing. Since 1996, Seres has also offered a remote billing solution approved by AEAT (the Spanish Ministry of Finance). The large range of solutions that make up Seres’ catalog are designed to enable efficient management of inter-business exchanges.
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