Businesses have many choices today in the technology they use for efficient operations, especially when it’s for leveraging their content. How much technology we embrace has a definite effect on our bottom line. Gone are the days of isolated enterprise content management systems (ECM). While today’s businesses still need the core organizational functionality of ECMs, they also demand a way to integrate their content into digital workflows to ensure its value and accessibility. As such, ECM has evolved from content management to content services, adding an additional layer to ECM system functionality.
Chances are, you’ve already invested a considerable amount of time and money in an ECM solution to deliver your content services strategies. Even so, you probably still experience challenges integrating it with the wide variety of new information sources, channels, applications, and pathways available today. It’s critical to make the most of your investment by ensuring it is up to date for most efficient use and capability. This will allow you to get the most ROI from your current technology while you plan a long-term roadmap to augment and support your future goals.
SAP Extended ECM by OpenText (SAP xECM) accelerates that journey into the future of content services by amplifying the value of your critical content throughout its lifecycle, across multiple platforms and applications. It also empowers lead business systems such as SAP by providing content services features directly in the user’s existing application interface. Finally, it manages the lifecycle of your content and information as it flows through business processes, automatically applying centralized governance rules.
Having a strategy to maximize the value of your content is critical for every organization. SAP xECM is a tool that provides proven strategies, methodologies, and capability to process key organizational information throughout every data and content lifecycle.
Lifecycle of Content
So what is the lifecycle of content? All content has a period of usefulness, or value, but its value changes over time, until eventually its usefulness ends and it can become a liability. The lifecycle of at document has distinct phases in value and time:
- Template: At the point of document creation, value and time spent are zero.
- Draft: At this phase, documents aren’t particularly valuable. The draft is created and edits made until approvals are obtained.
- E-signatures: This is the stage where a document starts to gain value. Final versions are created and e-signatures are obtained making the document official. For contracts, this can be it’s peak value.
- Publication: For other documents such as whitepapers or sales sheets, this stage is where the document’s value can peak. The content is published and consumed, possibly convincing a prospect, partner, or client to take action.
- Archiving: After publication your document enters a less active Archiving stage, losing its value. It is no longer updated, and infrequently viewed or shared.
- Search: After archiving, the document’s value is realized during searches in reference to specific instances. Its value is linked to its ability to be found.
- Discovery: A document’s value can peak again when it’s requested for an audit or use for compliance issues (e.g. an IRS audit). It these cases, misplaced or omitted documentation can cause severe regulatory or legal consequences.
- Removal or Disposition: Eventually, every piece of content reaches a stage of maturity where it is no longer actively pertinent to your business. It can become a long-term storage cost, or even a liability adding unnecessary risk to the organization.
Benefits of SAP Extended ECM
SAP xECM can help you manage these complex content lifecycles. It is the “best-in-class” solution specifically designed to add value to your content and benefit your business in many ways. It provides you with an effective means to manage and integrate your documents, content, and company data with your business processes. It also:
- Integrates seamlessly with your existing applications to put your “content-in-context.” Easily access your content from any application you’re using. No switching between apps, difficulties with different versions of software, or untracked routing paths to hunt down and acquire Every document is accessible and available to permitted users, instantly.
- Centralizes your content with business data to eliminate information locked into disconnected information silos or fragmented across multiple insecure Eliminate the manual searches and delays required to locate and combine information required to resolve issues, and spend more time on more value-oriented activities.
- Provides immediate access to permission-enabled users inside the application, empowering them to complete their tasks efficiently without duplication of effort.
- Minimizes manual creation of content-related work. Once a document is created, it is easily found and available to all participants in the designated workflow.
- Allows sharing and collaboration between teams and departments working with different applications. Unite content from SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365 all within one working environment, from one central “source of truth.”
- Reduces the risk of fragmented or inconsistent information. This is especially important when you must ensure compliance with governmental regulations. Maintaining, collating, and managing essential documents is one of the most common and frustrating challenges across every industry. The associated costs in time are significant, as well as governmental penalties if any issues are found. SAP xECM can simplify this process with its machine learning capabilities and sophisticated automation functionality to substantially decrease these risks.
- Promotes informed decision-making. With centralized, all-compassing system analytics, executives have in-depth information available “at-a-glance”, empowering more informed decisions for departments, shareholders, partners, and customers. These detailed insights amplify the value of each piece of information and content your organization generates.
The Value of SAP Extended ECM by OpenText
SAP Extended ECM by OpenText bridges the gap between content silos and intelligently automated business processes to allow information to flow effortlessly across applications. It is an intuitive toolset to assist you in everything from document creation to compliance assurance. As a content services platform it has the ability to unify and share content and information across essential business applications including SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365, Oracle, and even applications developed by your own internal IT team. Its other benefits are:
- Cost-Effectiveness and Return on Investment (ROI): Forbes reports that companies who embrace some level of "intelligent automation" realize savings of 40% to 75%.
- Increase Sales Efficiency: SAP Extended ECM can streamline your sales workflows, increasing your sales team's productivity, and improve service quality, ensuring your customer has everything they need when they need it.
- Reduce Operating Costs: Automating workflows, avoiding compliance penalties, and reducing your content and data footprint reduces costs that will be quickly realized by shared operating budgets.
The Importance of Keeping SAP xECM Up to Date
As mentioned earlier, it’s critical to ensure your system is up-to-date for most efficient use and capability. SAP Extended ECM by OpenText has an active upgrade and release timeline that continually adds new features and capabilities to maximize the ROI of your system.
As such, performing technical upgrades to ensure your SAP xECM is up to date is critical for your business. Evolving security threats, system resource management improvements, and changing compliance regulations are just a few of the many reasons to evaluate your system to ensure it is up-to-date and in current support.
Optima Offers Solutions to Complex Content Challenges
It's necessary to have a clear content strategy matched to your essential business goals to get the most value possible from your content and SAP xECM platform. As with many solutions, the costs and associated savings derived from it depend on the level of integration and how focused your business is on your transformation goal.
Optima frequently recommends that companies take a departmentalized approach, implementing functionality for specific strategic teams, and then expanding those proven processes further into the company. This allows you to minimize the impact of the project, distribute costs over a controlled timeframe, and increase your use of the system at your own pace. For example, implementing xECM for SAP Procurement is a great start. You can also initiate a fully automated setup integrating your content across multiple applications (SAP, Salesforce, Office 365, etc.), providing you with one interface capable of handling the total content life cycle, version control, and workflow process.
At Optima, we offer a variety of solutions to help you get started on making the most out of your content environment.
- Digital Content Services Health Check: This is our tool that analyzes your current business processes and workflow and identifies the role your content plays. This blueprint will allow us to specifically identify any fragmented or isolated areas, or silos, of content, compliance risks, and current content use. After our evaluation, we can offer our recommendations, give you industry best practices and trends, and then start reimagining your content use and strategy to improve ROI.
- Roadmap Strategy Project: Optima can help you develop a clear guide to get you from where you are now to where you would like to be to transform your business. Without a roadmap, your strategy can get muddled and disorganized. We help you create operational policies and processes to keep your business on track to maintain your digital transformation.
- SAP xECM Starter Package: Our starter packages offer a proven set of critical services your business needs. This includes SAP xECM with options for additional solution packages specifically designed to solve critical issues not addressed in the core packages.
Content strategies and solutions will always be evolving. Optima is an industry leader in content-management solutions that leverage today’s emerging channels and technology to keep you ahead of your competitors. With the powerful SAP Extended ECM platform, we can help you maximize the value of your existing environment as you plan for future requirements. Our business process experts will help you reach your business goals by planning a customized, scalable content strategy and solution that delivers the most successful document process and workflow strategies in your industry. Accelerate your digital transformation journey by contacting Optima today.
To help plan your digital transformation journey efficiently, Optima developed a unique DCS Health Check – a low-cost, comprehensive evaluation of your current environment. Our proprietary methodology analyzes your current system to prepare you to get the most from RISE with SAP.
Learn more about our DCS Health Check below, and how it is a vital first step to get them most from your technology and start your transformation to an intelligent enterprise.