Waterloo’s OpenText Corporation  has announced a series of enhancements to Extended ECM for use with SAP® solutions, also resold by SAP AG as the SAP Extended Enterprise Content Management (SAP Extended ECM) application by OpenText. The enhancements allow users to access shared workspaces from their preferred user interface and more easily and productively collaborate on content relating to SAP business transactions. Other enhancements include new social capabilities, including the ability to create user profiles and activity feeds, case management tools, increased security and tighter integration between ECM and SAP applications.
Since it began reselling SAP Extended ECM in October 2009, SAP has had great success reselling this and a number of other OpenText solutions for archiving, invoice management, digital asset management and most recently employee file management , as announced earlier this year.
“A year ago we called the Extended ECM solution a “game changer,” and that has certainly proven to be the case as more and more organizations are using it to connect business processes with information assets,” said Victor Szczerba, General Manager, Enterprise Information Management, SAP. “With the latest release, OpenText is adding a number of important advancements that will even further enhance the value this solution is bringing to SAP customers, specifically by helping to boost user collaboration and productivity.”
The latest Extended ECM solution introduces Business Workspaces to relate content to SAP business processes. These workspaces are managed together with business objects in SAP solutions such as customers, vendors, products or materials. The advantage of workspaces is that they provide consistent access to business data and unstructured content for users working in different applications with different front-ends, such as SAP GUI, the Web-based Extended ECM UI, desktop applications (Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office) and the SAP NetWeaver® Portal among others. Workspaces also incorporate productivity-boosting collaboration tools such as workflows, follow-ups, discussions and activity feeds. Workspaces give users an accurate and holistic view of SAP business processes without having to leave their preferred user environment.
Another new addition is OpenText Pulse, a component of OpenText ECM Suite 2010, that allows users to add photos and personas, engage in microblogging, share status updates and content updates, find subject matter experts, all in a dynamic interface that helps users collaborate and be productive. Activity feeds allow users to stay updated on projects, reducing dependence on email and improving relevance. By taking advantage of tight integration with SAP applications, Pulse gives customers a social networking solution that can be fully managed under compliance rules and business policies.
OpenText Case Management, which complements the case management capabilities provided by SAP and is now an integral part of Extended ECM, adds a powerful set of case management tools, including case lifecycle management, case file and document templates, and business relationships between cases and business objects in SAP solutions. It supports a full range of case-processing scenarios across collaborative case processing and transactional case processing. It also gives case workers full access to all related SAP data inside a case.
Additional enhancements include improved support for linking documents to business objects (so-called business references) and increased security through role and permission synchronization between SAP applications and the OpenText ECM Suite.
“It’s well proven that if you can remove obstacles that get in the way of people working together effectively, they actually do work better together,” said Patrick Barnert, Vice President of SAP Solutions at OpenText. “With this latest release of Extended ECM, a big part of our effort was around making it incredibly easy for users to access information from a comfortable environment tied to the SAP business context. Developing collaboration and social tools that help customers increase user productivity is a key area of focus for us.”
OpenText Extended ECM version 9.8 for use with SAP solutions is available now from OpenText or from SAP as SAP Extended ECM by OpenText.