Implementation of the Centralized Archiving Platform, SAP R/3 Data Archiving, Integration of Centralized Archiving Services into SIPO and PPS applications, and other projects provided our company with the groundwork for achieving fully electronic documents circulation in financial services of SP, a.s. Both the back-office and front-office of Slovenská pošta (Slovak Post) need this solution as a prerequisite for further efficient and secure data processing.Pavel Sulík Head, IT Strategy Department, SP, a.s.
Slovenská pošta, a.s. (Slovak Post) is a leading provider of modern communication, distribution, and payment services on the Slovak market with logistic conditions for business in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Slovak Post offers its services through its network of 1,500+ post offices. 6,797 mailboxes are available to its customers. Customers of the Slovak Post can use 20,678 post office counters.
Roots of the company reach back into 1874 when Hungary became founding member of the Universal Postal Union. After 1918, the postal service in the Slovak territory was managed by the Czechoslovak Postal Administration. During the First Slovak Republic, (1939 – 1945), the responsible authority was the Slovak Postal Administration. The Slovak Post was formed upon establishment of the Slovak Republic on January 1, 1993.
In connection with the successful development and expanding portfolio of offered products and services, Slovak Post was faced with the requirement of complex and central archiving of data and documents:
- SIPO = Consolidated Bill Payment System (for instance scanned images archiving, export/import of SIPO)
- PPS = Postal Payment System (for instance scanned images of post money orders, export of reports into pdf)
- APO.NET – front office system used at individual branches of the Slovak Post
- DMD – transport management system, selected data archiving, or SAP ERP system archiving (data objects, print reports, outgoing documents – invoices, etc.)
The requirement to create such a system came from the IT Strategy Department and clearly defined the need to minimize work with paper documents as a critical factor for increasing the efficiency of the whole company.
Following this definition, a system concept was developed which included:
- Secure archiving and recording electronic forms of documentation
- Management of physical and electronic archives and shredding
- Requirements for simple control
- Easy access to archived data and documents directly through the source application
The ultimate goal was to ensure archiving of the output data from all archived systems and simple user access to such archived data. Secondary goal consisted in centralized archive creation.
IXTENT implemented the solution for the Slovak Post in two separate projects.
The first project, which was implemented already in 2007, covered archiving of the non-SAP applications – SIPO and PPS. This project also included archiving of the legacy SAP systems.
The second project implemented at the end of 2009 / beginning of 2010 dealt with archiving of non-SAP applications APO.Net and DMD including complex archiving of SAP R/3 including print reports and outgoing documents.
SAP ERP data archiving is applied for:
Output Documents Archiving:
The implementation of this solution required retroactive generation of historic issued documents from 2006 until the implementation date. Newly issued documents are archived automatically. Six document types were selected for archiving (invoice, delivery note, job order, purchaser order, issue card, receipt card) and they are archived in PDF format.
Print Reports Archiving:
Also in this case, the historic print reports dating back to 2004 were retroactively generated during the implementation. New print reports are archived automatically (periodically) and selected print report types are archived manually. Outputs (print reports) from 83 reports in total were selected for archiving. The print reports are archived in ALF, TXT, and/or XLS formats.
SAP R/3 Data Archiving:
10 archiving objects were selected, which enable archiving of up to 85% of the archivable data volume. The objects archive data from FI, MM, and CO modules. Retention period has been chosen to be 24 months. Data since 2004 has been archived.
SIPO archiving is performed for:
Scanned images of SIPO vouchers
Data older than 180 days is archived for 5 years for the case of claims resolution. Every day, data in each processing center is processed by the archiving script and Open Text Document Pipeline tool into night queue for transfer into the central archive. Client application IS SIPO can retrieve this data from the central archive by HTTP calls when required.
SIPO Exports and Imports
This archiving is intended for the application solution of management and monitoring of the communication interface with Slovak Post’s key customers in the area of SIPO. Open Text Livelink ECM serves as the presentation layer. Data intended for archiving is copied from FTP server by daily batch, provided with metadata required for their classification at the DMS input using XML Object Importer tool, and subsequently archived by this tool. Open Text Livelink ECM manages their automatic storage on the archiving server.
Data is indexed within the Open Text Livelink environment so full-text search is possible.
PPS archiving ensured archiving of images of the postal payment orders, reports, and lists generated by the PPS application. The files are archived in PDF format.
Archiving from IS DMD application is the agenda belonging to the Slovak Post’s vehicle fleet. Print reports with invoices and refueling records have been chosen for archiving. This data is currently imported into SAP ERP. Archiving scripts take the files over from the exchange point once a month. The scenario is identical to that used in APO.Net, i.e., saved data and its presentation are managed by Open Text Livelink ECM. Data is transferred using the WebDAV protocol.
APO.NET application data archiving is used mainly for communication with citizens, securing of the processes performed at branches, and exchange of data from various applications. This is a centralized solution which enables automation of postal operations.
Open Text Livelink ECM
Open Text Livelink ECM serves as document viewer for the above-mentioned applications.
Full implementation of all options offered by Open Text Livelink ECM, which is planned in the Slovak Post, enables ergonomic extension of the workspace available to individual employees, centralized working environment for the entire organization, and also the virtual working environment for groups like project teams.
Users will be primarily offered the most frequently used functions. Additional functions will be available through adjustable context menus. Display of individual components will be adapted according to the area where the user will be located. Basic layout, however, remains constant.
Open Text Livelink ECM removes all the effort connected with business information sharing. Model of authorizations with nine levels implemented within Open Text Livelink ECM ensures that only users with relevant permit can access various company information. Secured repository with web access means that users anywhere in the world can access the information at any time using a standard web browser. Thanks to the web interface and open architecture, Open Text Livelink ECM can be implemented very quickly. Low maintenance costs then considerably reduce the overall operating costs.
Slovenská pošta, a.s. selected the right method for implementation of a centralized archiving platform from the global leader, company Open Text. It chose the most secure solution which fully covers the area of ECM for both SAP and non-SAP world.
As a proof of the right choice, the Slovak Post intends to use this solution for archiving of another Front Office application in the near future, followed by the Back Office and IT Infrastructure.
The plans focus in particular on:
- SAP (analysis of key processes, invoices circulation, agreements, purchase orders, etc.)
- Open Text Livelink ECM (HR documents, quality documents, guidelines etc., contracts management, approval of vacations, applications, and documents in general)
- Records Management – file service principles application on key documents/records, managed information lifecycle across the Slovak Post
- MS Exchange (archiving of e-mails as commercial documents, possible mail management)
This approach quickly demonstrates the practical output from deployment of the system, and allows verification of the right choice of software platforms and implementation partner and thus can continue successfully with further development of the overall solution.