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This Valentine's Day, take some time to remember one of the most neglected types of content: documents that support ERP transactions. This content is mission-critical and frequently sensitive, but many times organizations are not able to give it the attention it craves and deserves.
There are a couple avenues companies can pursue when considering an enterprise content management (ECM) strategy for content tied to SAP processes.
IT is likely to suggest archiving content as the SAP database fills up, and there are several reasons that this may appear to be a good idea. First and foremost, it is cost-effective. Regularly offloading unstructured data is necessary to the long-term health of the databases (and is even more urgent when it comes to HANA), and archiving is a supported and practical approach with limited upkeep and maintenance burden on the SAP team. But is that a proper way to show your gratitude?
In reality, archiving solutions serve only one constituency: IT. Archiving solutions helps keep line of business applications from getting too bloated, thus reducing performance. However, archiving provides no business value to the organization. Better information management, wider access and adoption, expanded application possibilities and better integration to other enterprise applications drive more value than archiving.
Enterprise content, and the information it contains, is one of the most valuable assets your business controls. But without access, that information serves no ongoing purpose. Is that the life you envision for such important information? Give it the home it deserves!
SAP is not an effective document management platform, as it lacks most of the capabilities you need to effectively manage this type of information. In addition, tying documents solely to transactional, structured content limits the accessibility of valuable business information. Leveraging SharePoint and Office 365 for content (with the help of a third-party add-on) improves general resource utilization in SAP, and has the added benefit of making the documents available for other business processes or for compliance purposes.
Compared to other leading ECM platforms and in-memory storage, SharePoint/Office 365 is much more open. Making SAP content actionable in SharePoint and Office 365 as an HTTP Content Server extends the reach of valuable information generated by or associated with SAP transactions throughout the enterprise, allowing this content to be re-purposed across a variety of use cases. By widening access to business critical content, you can build user- and document-centric digital workplaces that deliver better productivity and adoption, as well as delivering substantial incremental value on your Microsoft investment.
That's a solution anyone should love.