Enterprise Content Management: A Pivotal Step to End-to-End Digitalization


Work patterns may have changed over the years, but surprisingly most workplaces have yet to make any meaningful progress toward becoming paperless. Is this resistance to content digitalization and integration holding businesses back from becoming resilient and sustainable enough to stay competitive?

While the concept of the paperless workplace is nothing new, the opportunity to achieve this vision is quickly approaching as businesses advance their transformation strategies. Over the past year, companies have invested in software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud-enabled systems, new methodologies such as process automation, and network-wide collaboration to keep employees productive, update suppliers, and deliver on customer expectations.

Now, some organizations are looking to go even further in their business transformation journey by digitalizing and integrating content with a comprehensive enterprise platform.

According to an IDC whitepaper sponsored by SAP and OpenText, “The Business Value of SAP Enterprise Content Management Solutions by OpenText in the Digital-First World,” implementing solutions ‒ such as SAP enterprise content management (ECM) solutions by OpenText ‒ can quickly yield a 288% three-year ROI. And at the center of this effective transformation is fast and efficient document migration, intake, processing, and auditing with fewer errors and higher productivity.

Capturing US$7 Million in Revenue Growth

The benefits of content digitalization, integration, and automation with enterprise content management can be combined to increase revenue by more than $7 million per year. By increasing efficiency, reducing errors, and accelerating processes, organizations surveyed by IDC reported an average gain of 4,794 productive hours each ‒ a 21% increase in gross user productivity.

This improvement allowed respondents to avoid the hiring of 2.6 full-time employees to accomplish equivalent workloads, resulting in approximately $178,000 in enhanced user productivity value per organization. Additionally, enhanced interdepartmental document sharing and the automation of manual processes boosted profitability even further by driving $3.82 million in savings per one million documents.

Migrating Documents with More Efficiency

Migrating millions of documents that have been created, managed, and stored on paper to digital is a daunting task during any change initiative, especially when moving to a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, such as SAP S/4HANA. However, document-related migration is not just a one-time effort; it’s a project that can happen as regularly as organizations continue to evolve throughout their digital transformation.

Interviewed organizations that use solutions for enterprise content management cited considerable migration efficiencies and cost reductions. For example, some respondents required 24% fewer full-time employees to complete migration projects, from 128.6 to 97.3 on average. The duration of the migration was also shortened from 12.2 months to only seven months, a 43% improvement. As a result of these efficiencies gain, the cost of document-related migration became 24% more affordable.

As one manufacturing executive noted, “Doing data migration is easier if you minimize the number of applications. SAP ECM solutions by OpenText helped us put building blocks in place. Our knowledge has increased, and the learning curve is less steep. We know more about what is required country to country.”

Decreasing Invoice Errors

When the volume of paper invoices increases, manual processes become too time-consuming and risk-prone to maintain. For one of the survey participants, the lack of history tracking, trend analysis, and currency distinction led to €300,000 lost on paying invoices because the organization missed out on receiving discounts upwards of two percent. And in some cases, IDC reported that many respondents also paid interest and penalties on late payments that they could have avoided.

After automating invoicing tasks with enterprise content management, organizations realized a 35% drop in delayed payments and paid 36% less on penalties and interest. The system immediately validates and approves incoming invoices, improving overall invoice performance and decreasing errors by 43% on average.

A participating executive from an industrial chemicals company remarked on the tremendous value of digitalizing invoice management: “From the moment the organization moved toward less touching, it saw a 70% improvement over paper.”

Boosting Organizational Efficiency

As digital transformation becomes synonymous with business growth, executives must consistently consider new capabilities and enhancements to improve their operations, employees’ lives, desired outcomes, and customer experiences. In fact, this mindset is bringing forth a new focus on business efficiency and resiliency.

From invoice intake and processing, accounts payable, and auditing teams to areas outside of finance, solutions for enterprise content management can have an impressive impact on organizational efficiency, ranging from 24% to 41%. This outcome is largely due to allowing multiple users to obtain documents with greater ease. Organizations can work independently of an office location and still have secure access to content from a single centralized environment.

In return, users who work from remote locations can work more effectively, which is a tremendous benefit for businesses with most of their workforce still working from home and in the field. Companies can support employees from more geographic regions and across all process streams and operational areas ‒ all without shuttling physical documents back and forth in e-mail.

In addition, since their content is archived and stored in a centralized process and database, organizations can stay compliant with regulatory and business requirements with minimal or no effort. A surveyed healthcare executive noted this advantage’s value: “We can see content now, whereas the older way we had to search. We can now look at transactional records, so compliance is handled on the schedule.”

Gaining the Full Potential of Content Management

The deeper companies transform into digital-first enterprises, the closer they get to operate at a level of efficiency, intelligence, and speed that rivals their competitors. And the first place to gain that edge is best found in digitalization through enterprise content management that removes the complexity of siloed information, spreadsheets, data extractions, and manipulations.

Explore the calculated cost savings and business benefits of SAP enterprise content management solutions by OpenText, which support enterprise content management. Read the IDC whitepaper, “The Business Value of SAP Enterprise Content Management Solutions by OpenText in the Digital-First World,” commissioned by SAP and Open Text.