Only six weeks after Open Text (news, site) and SAP (news, site) extended their partnership to include a reseller agreement for the SAP Extended ECM application by Open Text, the two have decided to beef up retention management, compliance and CRM elements.
While there are a number of components in the extended enterprise content management system that will gain from the upgrade, the overall effect is to improve the integration of all content with business processes.
In practical terms what this means is that users will be automatically given access to all content and documents related to a particular transaction as opposed to the situation now where they have to stop what they are doing to go looking for the documents they need.
Extended ECM Upgrades
With the new upgrades, business processes that are likely to improve include procurement, asset management, professional services, quality management and plant maintenance. In fact, any process that is document heavy will gain here.
Specifically the upgrades include improvements to:
- Global Shared Services and specifically Open Text’s Vendor Invoice Management that will enable users to set up service centres for accounts payable on a global scale. This means that companies can integrate back-end systems into one SAP deployment. OCR also comes as an integrated component.
- Automated document retention management and digital personnel file compliance for internal and external compliance with regulations in both the US and Europe. It is also integrated with manager and employee self-service giving each direct access to information according to rights.
- Integration of SAP’s CRM and Open Text’s Customer Information Management giving users quick access to all information relating to customers with document thumbnail and preview functions.
- An improved integrated Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) system that manages structured information within SAP whether that information originates in or outside the SAP solution using Open Text to make the bridge to non-SAP content.
SAP And Open Text
Last month’s announcement that the two companies were expanding their reseller agreement is the second major expansion of the original reseller agreement between SAP and Open Text. In this respect remember that SAP is already reselling Open Text’s Document Access and Archiving and Invoice Management products.
The new product -- SAP Extended ECM -- came with a number of features that greatly extend the business process management (BPM) abilities of both companies.
Apart from a comprehensive set of ECM applications for document and data management those features include:
- High and low volume image scanning including automatic metadata tagging and ability to recognize electronic forms.
- Access to SAP and non-SAP information from any business location depending on access rights.
- Archiving of any content in the ECM with easy and quick content discovery and production.
- Record lifecycle management according to internal policies and external compliance requirements.
Given that Patrick Barnert, Vice President of SAP Solutions at Open Text has been talking about “aggressive development” as one of the factors in the decision to extend the reseller agreement and upgrade some of its features, the betting is good that we’ll be hearing more about this partnership soon.