The below blog post comes from a white paper produced by ASUG and Gimmal: Cruising Along the Information Highway: Understanding your SAP EIM Environment. It discusses the results of a recent survey of the ASUG community surrounding information management best practice awareness.
The data is crystal clear: Almost everyone uses SharePoint. The near-optimal penetration of Microsoft Office 365 as a productivity suite means SharePoint is often the first line of defense when it comes to storing and retrieving documents. Those engaging in EIM would be foolish to ignore its role among most companies, especially those who run SAP technology. Any software solution provider with EIM support products would be wise to integrate well with SharePoint. After all, it’s much easier to leverage and optimize an already-existing product than to try and replace it with a new one, right?
Don't just use SharePoint: Use SharePoint Right
While SharePoint is a popular product that has evolved and expanded to accommodate as many business needs as possible, it can introduce major difficulties with properly storing and retrieving documents, especially within large companies with significant volumes of information. How should you handle this? In short, you can leverage EIM software integrations that can connect with SharePoint but automate certain steps to make document retrieval and management simpler. These solutions are designed to streamline SharePoint for those who use it as the default information discovery platform. They make things easy to find and act on. For example, by integrating SharePoint and SAP at the content level, the data level, and the workflow level, your organization can use SharePoint as an SAP HTTP Content Server, providing the simplest and widest access to unstructured content while retaining its association with SAP business processes.
Certain processes can also reduce human error if automated. For example, if two employees are working on the same document, being able to automate the retrieval and execution (e.g., only one employee working within a document at a time) will help eliminate possible issues with duplication. This means that your company’s people can collaborate (not duplicate) and work on the same document-centric processes without having to worry about platform constraints.
There are many benefits to running an EIM extension that complements SharePoint. Of the 94 percent of ASUG members who use SharePoint currently, however, only 36 percent employ a second EIM solution to optimize their processes. This may be due to lack of awareness rather than a conscious business decision.
To learn more about how SAP and SharePoint can work together to improve your organization's information flow, watch our September 5th webinar with ASUG: Building a Better Information Engine.
By Jude O'Neill