OpenText (news, site) and SAP (news, site) -- who announced the release of Extended ECM just over a year ago -- have now announced the release of a number of upgrades to Extended that focus on enterprise collaboration and tighter integration between SAP applications and the ECM.

Combined, the upgrades will enable users access to shared workspaces from their preferred interface and more easily collaborate on content used in SAP business transactions.

Extended ECM

Just to recap on what Extended ECM is -- last October, OpenText and SAP signed another extension of the global reseller agreement. The upshot was that SAP would be able to resell Open Text Enterprise CMS under SAP branding.

The new, reseller-inspired name was the SAP Extended Enterprise Content Management (SAP Extended ECM) application by OpenText.

By working closely with SAP, we are able to give customers a way to manage all their vital information in a secure…way… We are entering into a new phase in the evolution of content management technology,” said John Shackleton, president and chief executive officer of OpenText. 

Extended ECM v9.8

Since then, there have been a number of upgrades that brought things like retention management, compliance and CRM elements into the mix.

With this release, v9.8 adds collaboration and social elements with an overall effect that will improve the integration of all content within business processes.

In practical terms -- users will automatically be given access to all content and documents related to a particular transaction instead of having to jump between a number of different applications. Some of the new features include:

Business Workspaces

This new feature manages business objects in SAP to relate content to SAP business processes. It provides consistent access to structured and unstructured data across applications for users working in applications with a different front end.

Workspaces provide consistent access to business data and unstructured content for users working in different applications with different front-ends.

OpenText Pulse

This is also a new release for Extended ECM and is a component of OpenText ECM Suite 2010. It consists of a dynamic interface that enables users to collaborate through micro blogging, status updates, activity feeds and content updates.

OpenText Case Management

This year there’s been a lot of talk of case management and with this release the integral case management abilities that come with SAP have been extended. New tools this time around include case lifecycle management, business relationship management and case file and document templates.

This upgrade of Extended ECM brings SAP and OpenText closer at both a channel and product level. The possibilities here enormous and are likely to present some interesting possibilities in the New Year. Watch and see.