You get the impression sometimes that OpenText (news, site) and SAP (news, site) make so many agreements at both a business and technology level that they should just merge and get it over with. The latest agreement is one that will enable the SAP Travel Management application to work with a receipts management solution that OpenText has released.

The objective here, like most of the other SAP and OpenText agreements, aims to offer enterprises solutions that will cut costs and time. This one will be resold by SAP as the SAP Travel Receipts Management application by OpenText.

In effect, this is exactly what it does -- it manages travel receipts and cuts the time in their processing. According to a report from PayStream Advisors cited by SAP, it cuts the cost of processing a receipt from US$ 22.15 each to half that amount, a considerable saving annually for global companies that might be looking for an easy way to cut costs.

SAP Travel Management

SAP Travel Management comes with a set of tools to eliminate problems associated with processing paper receipts. It integrates with multi-function devices, scanning applications, fax machines and email to make it easier to capture images of receipts.

It also comes with mobile support so employees who are on the move can claim their travelling expenses as soon as they’ve bought a ticket. All that has to happen then is for the company to pay the expenses and everyone’s happy!

But there’s more to this than just travel receipts. For many enterprises, this would probably be considered a fairly low-level priority and document management function.

In a broader picture, it perhaps indicates that SAP and OpenText have covered so many of the bigger functionalities as integrated or partnered solutions that they can now turn to the smaller issues -- like travel receipts -- in much the way you might mop gravy.

And there’s a lot of gravy in the enterprise content management market.

SAP Travel Receipts Management is a great example of how ECM technology fully optimizes SAP solutions by integrating content -- in this case, travel receipts -- into SAP business processes…We continued to see strong demand…among customers for better ways to manage all forms of business content within the context of their SAP solution-based environments using OpenText solutions,” said Patrick Barnert, vice president, SAP Solutions at Open Text.

OpenText, SAP

And there is the real story here. OpenText is continuing to gain traction in the SAP marketplace. But it’s hardly surprising that this should be the case.

At the SAPPHIRE NOW conference for SAP customera this year, OpenText presented at no fewer than 20 sessions. It also went home with two of SAP’s Pinnacle prizes awarded to partners that SAP believes have contributed most to their own technology.

Recent agreements include one that enables SAP to resell OpenText Employee File Management, as well as others that offer OpenText solutions for document access, presentment, archiving and invoice management and digital asset management.

In the enterprise content management space, there is also the ongoing development of Extended ECM for SAP -- upgraded to v9.8 just before Christmas -- which saw the introduction of collaboration and social elements, improving the integration of content within business processes and built on the release of the rebranded SAP Extended Enterprise Content Management in October 2009.

If OpenText couldn’t get traction in the SAP space with this kind of teamwork, there would be something wrong with either of the products. Whether this new travel receipt software is something in passing while they devise bigger products for bigger partnership deals remains to be seen. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot more major that they could be doing.