At the recent OpenText Content Days, we only had time to touch briefly on the road map for OpenText ECM Suite for SAP Solutions (for more on the event, see “Unstoppable: The Rise of Enterprise 2.0”).
Luckily, Michael Cybala – OpenText’s director of program and product management for SAP solutions – agreed to sit down with SAP.info for a more in-depth discussion. In addition to a look at his company’s long-term goals, we talked about the innovations OpenText has planned for 2011 and 2012 in the following areas:
- SAP Archiving and SAP Document Access
- SAP Travel Receipts Management
- SAP Document Presentment
- SAP Extended Enterprise Content Management
- SAP Employee File Management
- SAP Invoice Management and the option for extended OCR
The basis: SAP Archiving and SAP Document Access
Cybala described OpenText’s product strategy as focusing on “out-of-the-box” systems: Most of its solutions are fully functional plug-and-play components that users can quickly adjust to their needs.
This modular concept requires a consistent solution platform, which is where SAP Archiving comes in. SAP Document Access also plays a role by facilitating a standardized view of data from SAP and third-party systems.
Full text search with ArchiveLink Plus
Set for release at the end of Q3 2011, ArchiveLink Plus will make it possible to apply various metadata (beyond the current limit of three) and carry out full text searches in information archives.
Handling expenses with SAP Travel Receipts Management
New in OpenText ECM Suite for SAP Solutions is SAP Travel Receipts Management, which is integrated into the SAP Travel Management application and processes travel expense receipts submitted by fax, barcode, scanner, e-mail, or smartphone. It also generates corresponding audit dashboards. Users can then transfer the data to an archive through SAP Document Access, and a self-service scenario (including thumbnails) is also available.
A function facilitating automated receipt classification and data entry, mobile receipt submission, and standardization of credit cards and electronic document buffers is planned for Q1 2012. In addition, OpenText wants to integrate full text searches into SAP Travel Receipts Management and enhance the application’s reporting. While the company also has designs on incorporating OCR to make text recognition possible during scanning, Cybala noted that the various forms of documents make doing so a complex affair.
Personalized documents with SAP Document Presentment
Since its acquisition of StreamServe, OpenText has been offering SAP Document Presentment, which enables users to personalize documents. As a result, mass documents – such as invoices – can become a channel for marketing and other forms of customer dialog.
Work directly from within SAP CRM
By the end of 2011, SAP Document Presentment is to feature interactive communication management functions and integration with OpenText Archive Server and SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM). This will make it possible to render reviews and approvals, drag and drop text fragments, and create personalized documents based on templates from within SAP CRM.
The flagship: SAP Extended ECM
SAP Extended ECM provides comprehensive content life-cycle management, including document management, collaboration tools, workflows, records management, and archiving. It supports integration into various SAP user interfaces and adds ECM functionality to SAP processes in project, quality, and enterprise asset management.
The application’s records management component, for example, helps companies manage their documents according to various archiving standards – including MoReq in continental Europe, DoD in the United States, and TNA in Great Britain.
Cybala considers SAP Extended ECM the flagship of OpenText ECM Suite and the element that ensures the ability to work in the context of SAP processes even outside of SAP applications. Through browsers and mobile devices, users can continue to access workflows and contribute to collaborative efforts.
Access to OpenText ECM Suite 10
At the moment, SAP Extended ECM uses an older release of OpenText ECM Suite – partly because SAP is not yet finished certifying the latest version. Since the widely used SAP CRM contains numerous document types, users are mainly looking for deeper integration and standardization in SAP Extended ECM. According to Cybala, this is the motivation behind his company’s effort to make its flagship application work with SAP CRM straight out of the box.
The road map for SAP Extended ECM foresees the application accessing OpenText Content Server, OpenText Enterprise Connect, and OpenText Everywhere from the current OpenText ECM Suite 10 by Q3 2011. Users can also look forward to integration with SAP NetWeaver Portal and OpenText Viewer.
Personnel files in SAP Employee File Management
For companies interested in transforming paper-based files into electronic documents, SAP Employee File Management 3.0 is already available today. The application continues to support in-system management of digital personnel files and also governs users’ access rights. Users can work from within SAP ERP Human Capital Management, and HR managers can call up data through a specific SAP interface.
SAP Employee File Management 3.0 also offers integration with SAP Shared Service Framework and SAP HCM Processes & Forms by Adobe – software that is seeing increasing use in standardizing SAP forms and documents. Meanwhile, SAP Shared Service Framework provides the necessary HR services which, combined with the digital documents shared services require, ensure that outsourcing makes economic sense.
Next page: VIM & what else is ahead
Paying the bills with OpenText Vendor Invoice Management
Before sending incoming invoices on to OpenText Vendor Service Management for processing, OpenText Invoice Capture Center transforms them into digital documents, with 80% of all users also utilizing its OCR function. This processing covers the requirements of local markets and transfers data to SAP ERP so that payments can proceed.
Shared Service Rollout
Cybala has noticed increasing demand for shared services in the area of invoicing. Here, a rollout that has already begun in support of SAP Shared Service Framework should be complete by mid-2011. Its goal is to optimize the management and automation of information and customer interaction processes, as well as incorporate back ends and OpenText software.
Meanwhile, Cybala also mentioned that OpenText’s implementation of analysis and reporting based on SAP BusinessObjects integration is running on the same timeline, as are mobile invoice processing through OpenText Everywhere and optimizations in financial planning.
What the future holds
The presentation accompanying OpenText’s road map charts out a number of long-term goals, such as the integration of Web content, document management, and collaboration with SAP NetWeaver Portal and enterprise workspaces.
According to Cybala, giving portal users more flexible means of managing content is key, which is why SAP-centric applications should be enhanced with more collaborative components. Increased integration with SAP Catalog Content Management will also play a role.
A new mobile platform
Regarding the use of mobile ECM, Cybala believes OpenText is on the right track. While one of the company’s general aims is to simplify its standard integration with SAP, its acquisition of weComm in March 2011 has brought a new mobility platform into the fold. OpenText will thus need to find a way to merge this new platform with its own, OpenText Everywhere.
For Cybala, the questions of what role SAP CRM will play in the cloud and what it means for ECM solutions will be essential to his company’s strategy. He sees SAP Business ByDesign offering an interesting approach, and SAP CRM and Travel Receipts Management onDemand with definite possibilities to establish themselves in the market.
SAP Extended ECM
Finally, OpenText’s plans include efforts to individualize this central application by optimizing it for the specific requirements of different industries.