Although the initial use of edge computing was largely driven by the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and technologies, it is important to recognize that the capability has growing relevance – and value – for many other activities, including tax data management. This is especially the case in light of the impressive range of retail, e-commerce and payments-related innovations that so many resilient companies deployed in response to last year’s historic disruptions and business challenges.
The recent acquisition of edge-computing technology start-up Tellutax by Vertex reflects our belief in the capability, as well as our commitment to expanding our offerings into next-generation payment platforms.
Edge computing enables data to be processed closer to the point at which it is collected. While that may sound like a relatively minor change, the repercussions of this shift are potentially massive. Processing data where it is gathered eliminates latency issues that have hindered remote data-collection processes for decades; this ability also accelerates the automated responses and human decisions that those data analyses enable.
Edge computing can also mitigate risks and drive benefits in the realm of remote transactions and payments. Last year’s pandemic-driven B2B and B2C e-commerce-related innovations have produced entirely new forms and flavors of transactions. Companies increasingly purchase through marketplaces from sellers located in hundreds of different locations (and tax jurisdictions). More consumers buy online and pickup in store (BOPIS). And a rapidly growing collection of retailers – including home-improvement, grocers and liquor stores – are delivering goods to our doors after transactions occur in-store, via e-commerce sites and mobile apps, or on other channels.
The complexity of these transactions poses new tax compliance risks, which is where edge computing comes into play. It allows large amounts of transaction data to be processed where it is needed – at the point of sale on a doorstep, curbside, within a livestream or anywhere the transaction takes place. The technology also enables the optimization of tax content by limiting only data needed for specific locations, ultimately accelerating tax determination and reducing the footprint of the edge service.
Our acquisition of Tellutax will help us continue to mitigate tax compliance risks wherever they arise so that our customers can focus more time, resources and ingenuity on developing innovations for their own customers.
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