Legally compliant transmission and automated processing.


The new NGDX format makes it possible. We asked Johann Deutinger and Dr. Rolf Fiedler from the Ferrari electronic board how the industry-independent standard changes digital communication and secures the competitive position of companies. 



What distinguishes Next Generation Document Exchange from faxing?

Deutinger: The question is not quite right. Both procedures are based on current ITU standards. It is important that faxes are often still connected to an external device from which faxes are sent or received as haptic documents, i.e. in paper form. However, we at Ferrari electronic have been dealing with computer faxes for decades, i.e. documents are sent and received using mail programs such as Outlook. Due to the change from ISDN to IP-based environments it was necessary to re-examine the area of fax.

Fiedler: True - the fax protocol is only a software stack. In the IP world, this technology now offers us even more possibilities. That's why we want to initiate a paradigm shift from fax to NGDX: legally compliant document exchange much faster, in colour - supplemented by hybrid formats such as archivable PDFs or ZUGFeRD 2.0-compatible invoices.

Why was it important to initiate this paradigm shift?

Fiedler:  The fax was put in an "old-fashioned" corner. However, the standardized end-to-end connection underlying the fax technology remains unique. When we are away from the black and white image, the classic fax, we automatically talk about modern document exchange servers. Because one thing is certain, companies will continue to exchange documents in the future. These documents very often have sensitive content or evidential value and it must be ensured during transmission that they arrive unchanged at the recipient. Therefore, nobody can tell me that Twitter & Co are suitable for sending business-critical processes, not to mention archivability or further processing. Why do companies endanger themselves by allowing such channels? The bottom line is that the most convenient or popular way of exchanging data via WhatsApp, for example, is not always the best way for business communication. The security risks are too high. There are also documents that must be kept for up to 10 years. Do you then leave them on such platforms?

Deutinger: In addition, industries are looking for solutions to send legally compliant documents and the market for isolated solutions is flourishing. None of these solutions has been successful to any degree, think of the beA or the eMedical letter. These isolated solutions usually have one common weakness: they use a client-server architecture with a central server. This must always be available, otherwise nobody can communicate. Even acknowledgements of receipt often do not come directly from the recipient, but the document is temporarily stored centrally once. If the server has a security problem, all communication is affected. Each of these solutions has an island character and cannot communicate with solutions in other industries. Is this what the future looks like? NGDX could become the standard for legally compliant document exchange because it can be used across all industries and can be integrated into automatic processes in which these documents can be further processed or archived. 

Dr. Rolf Fiedler

studied Electrical Engineering with a degree in Information Technology at the Chemnitz University of Technology and Electronic Engineering at the University of South Australia in Adelaide. He began his professional career in 1996 at Ferrari electronic AG, where he promoted the use of digital signal processing in the form of soft modems for fax. On 01. September 2014 he was appointed to the board of Ferrari electronic AG. Rolf Fiedler is responsible for hardware and software development as well as the production of unified communications products. He has extensive experience in the development of innovative technology products and is responsible for the further development of existing processes.

Dipl.-Inf. Johann Deutinger

studied electrical engineering at the College of the Höhere Technische Bundeslehranstalt (HTL) Salzburg and holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Magdeburg in 2005.. In 1988 he joined Ferrari electronic GmbH as a partner and managing director. There he initiated the development of the first intelligent computer fax card, with which the company developed from a service provider to a manufacturer. He retained his position as head of software development when he was appointed to the executive board in 1998 after the conversion to Ferrari electronic AG.



Which problems does NGDX solve?

Deutinger: NGDX offers a smooth and legally compliant exchange of documents in IP environments for industries such as health care,insurance, financial services, etc., i.e. those that handle sensitive, often personal data and are often even legally obliged to communicate in a legally compliant manner.

Fiedler: Or look at the public sector. By the end of 2020, the digital invoice format ZUGFeRD 2.0 will be fully implemented. Public authorities, but also companies that work with them, need a transmission route that not only supports this format, but also indicates receipt by ok note and fulfils compliance requirements. We can do that.

Where do you see the advantages and unique selling points of NGDX compared to other solutions on the market?

Fiedler: We create trust in digital processes and have therefore entered into a technological partnership with Cryptowerk to offer an optional integration of blockchain into NGDX. A hash value is calculated for a sent document and stored in the blockchain. If the hash value at the recipient of the document is identical, it is proven that no changes have been made to the document during transmission.

Deutinger: We can thus prove whether a document has been manipulated and thus create audit security. As far as I know, this technological combination of document exchange and blockchain makes us a pioneer on the market. And that has always been our credo, to be a pioneer.

Why should I use NGDX?

Fiedler: Let me put it this way - digitisation is both a curse and a blessing. Everything goes faster, becomes simpler, but there are too many openings for the misuse of data. E-mail, for example, transmits attachments in the worst case with viruses, Trojans, Ransomware or for phishing - e-mail was therefore always a security problem. So anyone who has not lost sight of the security aspect needs data transmission that is based on direct end-to-end communication with the remote peer, whose contents are checked and which is encrypted. This is what NGDX offers. If you want to exchange documents securely, you can't do without this technology.