EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the technical term for standardized exchange of digital information between two parties via their ERP, accounting or billing system. The most common form is the e-invoice but you can also exchange orders, receipts, contracts and more.
EDI is not a global format. In Europe, a standard called Edifact is used, while the United States uses ANSI X12.
Many different local formats and customizations have been developed, based on these standards, such as Svefaktura and Finvoice. The large variety of formats means that e-invoices often have to be converted, which in turn has made e-invoice management complex and expensive.
With the new European standard PEPPOL, e-invoicing will be easier as the public sector must comply with a new EU legislation, a driving force for their suppliers and other businesses to join.