Knowledge Management at Mouseclick

April 29, 2009 by Steffen Frech, objective partner

Despite being a decisive factor for business success, knowledge is difficult to access in many companies. Text documents, e-mails, presentations, and image files are stored on various file servers, document management systems, and intranet applications. Employees in search of ordering processes, customer data, or technical specifications often have to scour all the possible sources – a time-consuming and laborious task.

Virtual rooms ease collaboration

The knowledge management functions in SAP NetWeaver Portal give users central, role-specific access to the information they need. Data is bundled in virtual collaboration rooms and made available to the individual target groups using a standardized interface.

Portal users can manage the data there in all the ways required – from enhanced search and navigation, creating and publishing documents, through team-based work on documents within discussion forums and direct dialog functions.

Predefined task sequences – known as workflows – simplify and speed up activities in the virtual rooms. Furthermore, they ensure better traceability and control of the interactions.

But configuration takes time

Creating virtual rooms in SAP NetWeaver Portal requires customer-specific input, for example, about how the data should be displayed, the folder structures, role and authorization concepts, and workflows. The questions companies most frequently ask themselves when creating virtual rooms include:

  1. How are new documents integrated and indexed in the collaboration room?
  2. How can employees find certain information?
  3. How does the approval process among team members work?
  4. How are their comments displayed?

Until recently, the required information had to be entered and created in the template in SAP NetWeaver Portal every single time a virtual room was set up. For companies with hundreds or even thousands of virtual rooms in SAP NetWeaver Portal, this entailed an enormous amount of configuration and administration work.

The solution – automation

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Rooms can be generated automatically, reducing this work to a mouse-click. In the future, each company only has to develop one template for its virtual rooms. This template maps all the required parameters for the desired structures, document management processes, and workflows once. It is then used to generate any number of further rooms, which can be created dynamically throughout the life of SAP NetWeaver Portal.

Deployed at GSW Immobilien

REload

is an integrated solution for customer management in the real estate industry. It enhances classic SAP ERP functions and is based on SAP NetWeaver Portal technology. With REload, all incident messages, questions about service cost settlement, claims management, and rentals can be managed in the portal using a process-driven approach and processed in SAP ERP. The solution is one of the first comprehensive business process portals with an industry focus.

SAP partner company objective partner implemented this innovative knowledge management concept for the first time in the real estate solution REload from consulting firm CEO. REload is already being successfully deployed at GSW Immobilien in Berlin. The new knowledge management functions are seamlessly integrated with SAP NetWeaver Portal using the open SAP interface.

GSW Immobilien has many different groups and a constant stream of new ones, all of which work with different information about houses and apartments. Setting up the required virtual rooms would have led to recurring configuration expenses for the company. With objective partner’s add-on, it became possible to generate all the required project rooms automatically at the touch of a button.

Furthermore, the same project enabled dynamic document storage, thus relieving users of routine administrative tasks.

The benefit – personnel and time savings

IT consultancy objective partner also supports companies in sectors other than real estate in enhancing the knowledge management standards for SAP NetWeaver. Automatic room generation makes sense for organizations with numerous project groups and roles in SAP NetWeaver Portal. As well as a company’s own employees, representatives from customer and partner firms often participate in virtual rooms, ensuring smooth cross-company collaboration. The members of a room receive information from the same sources and use the same documents when working together.

Some organizations even have a dedicated employee to set up and manage virtual project rooms, who is constantly engaged in filling out new SAP standard templates and adapting existing ones. “Automating this process based on a template that is created just once makes it possible to save personnel and time, and generate any number of new rooms in real time in SAP NetWeaver,” explains Norman Trapp, senior consultant at objective partner.

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