The adoption of electronic tendering within the European Union is with approx. 13% compared to the targeted 50% within the year 2010 still very low. A research paper from the Deutsche Bank beginning 2011 comes to the conclusion that between € 50 bn. and € 70 bn. could be saved within the EU each year if there would be a full transition to eProcurement. Nevertheless a full transition to eTendering without enabling interoperability would not do as there are already more than 330 platforms spread over Europe. While for contracting authorities (CAs) this is not a problem as they use only one platform an economic operator (EO) must learn to use all those 330 platforms to participate all call for tenders.
The goal of XVergabe is to create a sustainable basis for electronic interoperability between EOs and CAs. The result of the project makes it possible that from one bid client an EO can access all compatible eTendering platforms. Instead of learning 330 platforms the EO has to learn only one. This will lead not only to a much higher satisfaction on the side of an EO but also on the buyer's side.
The project hast two main targets to achieve this interoperability. The first one is to provide an interface for exchanging notices and the second one to communicate between a bid client and an eTendering platform. The following figure 1 depicts how the two targets play together.
Figure 1 - Overview of the Interfaces provided by XVergabe
The figure shows that an EO uses only one client to access all the platforms. In order to find all opportunities an XVergabe proxy is important. The proxy translates notices between two formats. In this example it retrieves it in the XVergabe format and translates it to the TED format. It can be accessed by all eTendering platforms. The notice interface has all relevant technical information to identify the procedure on a certain eTendering platform. The bidder interface covers all necessary process steps to enable full electronic communication. From subscription (eSubscription) of a certain procedure, downloading tender documents (eAccess), making question and answers (eEnquiry), submitting bids (eSubmission) up to awarding (eAwarding) are possible (see Figure 2).
Figure 2 - Processes covered