SAP integration with OpenText Extended ECM
OpenText invited IXTENT to join the OASIS project aimed at SAP integration with a document management system through OpenText Extended ECM software product. This project was executed for The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and it lasted for 18 months.
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is a financial institution established by OPEC member states in 1976 to help developing countries. OFID together with the international society of donors and partners from developing countries strive for stimulating economic growth and mitigating poverty in all disadvantages parts of the world. OFID’s seat is located in Vienna.
All OFID’s business processes produce numerous documents which are continuously used throughout the entire business process involving high number of independent users. The internal Document Management System is called “EDMS”. This system had to be integrated with SAP using the OpenText Extended ECM software (hereinafter only “xECM”).
One of the key concepts within xECM is the establishment of “business workspace” – it is possible to imagine this as a container which contains everything related to the particular business case. The container provides all users with 360° view of content relating to the business case information stored in both SAP and EDMS. This includes both structured and unstructured content. Users thus have all information relevant for the particular business case available at one place.
The following figure illustrates identified SAP business objects and their mutual links included as a part of the business case.
1) Project - the most important object within OFID business processes. It comprises the initial process of loans creation and later also payments to specific business partners.
2) Agreement/loan - is the second most important object within the framework of OFID business processes. It is intended for loans creation. These loans are associated to specific business cases. Multiple loans can be associated with a single project.
3) Business partner – loans creation and business partners play important roles in OFID’s business processes.
4) Financial operations/portfolio – a SAP TRM portfolio represents an organizational element for grouping various financial transactions and statuses for reporting purpose.
Creation (or updating) of any particular container is initiated by business object establishment (or updating) in SAP environment. A predefined directory structure relating to given business processes is created in each of these containers. These structures are then populated with various documents. This process can be manual, typically manual insertion by individual worker, or automated when corresponding container and structure are identified for the created document (for example for documents created during bulk printing in SAP environment).
Defined relations among individual SAP business objects were used to create relevant links also among individual containers. In practice, this gives the possibility of “jumping” from container intended for the particular business partner into container of an associated object (contract) by one click. This functionality is available in all environments through which the containers can be accessed.
Another important feature of the implemented solution is that it accessible not only from two standard environments (SAP and EDMS) but also from the third environment – MIS customer information system which is integrated to provide relevant links to EDMS containers.
Everything is covered by an authorization model based on the authorization concept. This concept has been designed to reflect the company’s organizational structure while working in EDMS (so that the personnel from various departments can access documents and information corresponding to their particular position).
A simple approval workflow has been introduced. It enables collection of comments and approval in EDMS (in one or two approval steps, one or two approvers / one or two approver groups).
Documents were migrated from three sources.
- Documents scanning (existing paper documents)
- Migration from directory structure (existing files and corresponding metadata)
- Migration of documents stored in EDMS. These are the documents that already existed in EDMS and had to be moved to new target directory structures (new containers for specific SAP business objects)
Extensive business processes and related documents and business information became transparent and sorted thanks to EDMS containers. These are accessible for the users through several systems and thus increase work efficiency.