SharePoint Conference 2014 kicked off this morning and the vendors are wasting no time announcing new releases. OpenText started the ball rolling with the release of OpenText Microsoft SharePoint Services (SPS) for Extended ECM for SAP Solutions. The combined solution brings together the worlds of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
The new release enables enterprises that have invested in SharePoint and SAP ERP to integrate their content across the two systems using OpenText’s news SPS product.
OpenText’s new SPS offering leverages the existing investments customers have already made in Microsoft SharePoint and SAP ERP to help them fully utilize enterprise content to drive their agenda of innovation and growth,” said Kevin Cochrane, Chief Marketing Officer at OpenText.
The release aims to deal with the problem of information governance, particularly information in SharePoint, as well as offering users a way of integrating that content into existing business processes.
Using the SPS solution with OpenText Extended ECM for SAP Solutions, users of SharePoint are able to address these issues by connecting their systems, which in turn offers a broader view and better control of the content in both applications.
OpenText, SAP and SharePoint
But let's take a step back. In 2009, SAP and OpenText, who had been working together for some time, signed a reseller agreement under which SAP was able to resell OpenText Enterprise CMS with SAP branding.
The new, reseller-inspired name was the SAP Extended Enterprise Content Management (SAP Extended ECM) application by OpenText.
The agreement was guided by the principle of helping customers to “increase business value with content-enriched business processes” and while there has been considerable developed of the SAP Extended ECM, the principal remains the same.
One of the other big issues at the moment is the number of enterprises that are using SharePoint as their ECM. A number of issues arise here that, as Joe Shepley pointed out recently, are problematic. Among some of the SharePoint shortcomings are:
- ERP archiving: Storing, managing and making accessible the documents associated with ERP-enabled processes (e.g. , procure to pay, order to cash, etc.)
- Employee Lifecycle Management: Storing, managing and making accessible the documents associated with the employee lifecycle (e.g., job descriptions, hiring materials, onboarding documents, performance review data, separation documents, etc.)
- Records Management: Being able to systematically manage paper and electronic records throughout their lifecycle, from creation to destruction.
AIIM figures from the middle of 2012 show that while only 14 percent of enterprises were using SharePoint as their main ECM, 70 percent of them were using it as a single point content management tool.
It also recently reported that governance and business scope extension are among the biggest challenges that SharePoint users face within an enterprise.
SharePoint and OpenText SharePoint Services
If the picture for SharePoint in the enterprises is considerably more complicated than that, especially with the rise of SharePoint Online, it still suggests a large amount of content, particularly business content that is also used across ERPs, is contained in and needs to be managed in SharePoint.
This is where the new release comes in. OpenText Extended ECM for SAP provides a full view into systems and eliminates the need for separate solutions for compliance reporting, archiving or records management. Add the new SPS into that and you get governance of business critical documents.
With this announcement, customers will have tools they need to link critical SharePoint documents with their company’s underlying SAP processes,” said Jeff Teper, corporate VP at Microsoft.
This is just the first of many information management announcements of what looks set to be an exciting few days in the SharePoint world. The new SPS solutions is on general release in nine languages now.