During SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, SAP announced it was strengthening its partnership of 25 years with OpenText by extending SAP Cloud Platform and providing enterprise-scale document management as a service with future integration into SAP S/4HANA Cloud and other SAP applications. We learned more about what that means for SAP customers during OpenText Enterprise World.

OpenText’s EVP of engineering, Muhi Majzoub, introduced a series of new solutions including OpenText Core Capture for SAP, OpenText Core for SAP SuccessFactors, and OpenText Extended ECM Documentum for SAP.

“We’re building key capabilities for our customers’ most complex digital challenges,” Majzoub said. “We are creating additional modes of secure collaboration, deepening automation, and providing practical AI solutions for information-intensive businesses. Release 16 offers a tool set to help companies transform their businesses and develop a sustained and competitive information advantage.”

The Information Advantage

Mark Barrenechea, OpenText’s CEO and CTO suggested the era of digital transformation is in fact in the rear view and, “We’ve moved beyond it. We are in a post ERP era and we’re now in the information era.”

So, what makes information so important and how does OpenText provide SAP customers access to the information they need to make better business decisions? What makes this partnership so unique is the fact that it is based on integration. OpenText extends its content-related capabilities into SAP’s product portfolio and it’s done seamlessly. With more than 5,000 shared customers, OpenText is SAP’s strategic digital content platform provider. All the document creation, processing, storage, and management for all of SAP is provided through OpenText, and they’re sold and supported as SAP products.

“That integration ultimately provides business value and an information advantage,” said Robert Thiele, senior director, ecosystem program manager for OpenText. “When you have a solution that isn’t integrated, then you have gaps in the process. But when it is integrated, then it makes it easier to digitize, innovate, and communicate. It makes it easier to have an intelligent enterprise.”

An Intelligent Enterprise Is Connected

SAP and OpenText work together to develop products that are aligned with SAP’s road map and release cycle. “I would say that OpenText is the SAP HANA for digital content documents,” Thiele said.

Throughout various breakout sessions, SAP customers discussed how using OpenText solutions helped simplify processes, added value to the business internally and externally, aided in data governance programs, or improved human resources operations.

ASUG member, Salt River Project, looked to OpenText Vendor Invoice Management (VIM) system during its SAP ECC 6.0 implementation to digitize its invoice management system. Senior Computer Analyst Elizabeth Mel Payne said, “We did everything manually in our old legacy system. We didn’t have any metrics we could use, and we couldn’t see the problems in our AP or procurement. We knew they were happening; we just couldn’t prove it or zone in on them.” Using VIM helped the company identify the issues and improve processes. “We’ve added more value into the business and the AP department than just acting as data entry,” Payne added.

The Unified Layer

The OpenText solution extensions work across all lines of business by digitizing and processing any inbound content that comes into an organization. “We bring a unified user experience where content is part of the daily work,” said Dr. Marcel Hoffmann, OpenText’s senior director of SAP ecosystems. “We also deliver content to internal and external actors, which means more than just sending an email. It means assembling the content, pulling data out of many systems, bringing it together, and this is all underpinned with a level of security, control features, and archiving capabilities to meet regulatory requirements.”

OpenText provides its own machine learning capabilities to understand and identify the document type—whether it’s audio, visual, text, or something else—and then place it where it should go. “We extract the data from the document, then we validate the document and look for any inconsistencies that may need checks or corrections, and we can do this right away without having to learn from 100,000 different scenarios,” said Dr. Marc Diefenbruch, OpenText’s director product management for enterprise applications.

Keeping the Connection Strong

SAP and OpenText will continue to strengthen their partnership and deliver on the announcements made during both conferences. In the near term, OpenText will work on completing its journey to move its existing portfolio into the cloud and expand applications solutions such as the one for SAP SuccessFactors.

“We will build out three different layers with SAP,” Thiele said. “We will provide standard services, premium applications, and then on top of that we will continue to build new applications.”

As for keeping in touch with ASUG members, Thiele said, “It’s very important to keep the connection going through community.” This is ultimately how both OpenText and SAP can continue to learn from their customers and develop solutions that will help keep businesses moving toward becoming an intelligent enterprises. For now, welcome to the information era, and enjoy the ride.

Interested in connecting with the latest ideas in enterprise information management? Join us on Oct. 28-30 in Minneapolis for ASUG Experience for Enterprise Information Management