The hidden champion
SAP has a hidden champion: SAP Records Management. A German report from an independent research company highlighted just recently that SAP records management has become the secret king of document management in Germany. Without huge tenders and big projects many companies and organizations have already used the opportunity of SAP records management for their processes. Just one example from the public sector should illustrate this: Gebietsrechenzentrum Münster.
A closer look
In the current economic situation companies and organizations are thriving to streamline their processes and to get more efficient ones. Moreover many of them have already built up a pure document management solution without substantial workflows. That is exactly a situation SAP records management is designated for. Records Management is not only a document management system. Records Management supports business processes by offering a structured, integrated and unified presentation of all the information which is needed for a process. This includes not only scanned paper files and office documents but also business objects like SAP HR infotypes and transactions. Due to the process focus of SAP records management it is used in two ways in the SAP world: A lot of SAP applications like HR have integrated records management capabilities. But besides that records management is an open plattform based on service providers which you can use for your specific scenario.
What´s in for you?
For SAP experts therefore SAP records management offers a unique opportunity:
Here you can enter the game by analyzing the opportunities for SAP records management in your current projects and winning new work by proposing the use of SAP records management. Even if you are are not a records management technology expert today or if you are comming from the application side the good news is that SAP records management is much more about processes and building up models for records than about technical implementation details for SAP records management.
4 recommendations to jumpstart SAP records management
1. Make yourself familiar with the basics of SAP records management
Attending the training course for SAP records management would be a great start (BIT 614). If you are not able to attend the course you will find a lot of useful information on the service marketplace and in the upcomming SAP Press book for SAP records management.
2. Walk through your buildings
Just have a look at the current SAP processes in your implementation. Where do you find paper records on the desks of the employees which they need in order to process the tasks when you walk through the building? It is very likely that people do not like to type in all the data they need in the SAP system which they already have on paper. There are numerous areas where you can find suitable candidates. Just think of personnel records, claims records in insurance, patient records in healthcare, supplier records in automotive and many others.
3. Outline a process based on SAP records management
As your proposal needs to be convincing just outline the new process based on SAP records management. In most cases you will gain a lot of potential by just eliminating all the time needed today for searching paper documents and entering data which is already included in the paper documents.
4. Just think about the hidden champion’s complimentary solution
If SAP records management is the hidden champion SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe is the complimentary solution and the next step forward in many projects. By using these forms for the data entry you can get rid of a lot of paper documents up from the beginning and the need to scan it. The German Academic Exchange service has given an impressive presentation of their implementation which combines SAP records management and Interactive forms by Adobe. (Sorry for the German version)
I am looking forward to many successful SAP records management projects in 2009 and I bet that it will be another growth engine for the SAP community in addition to the Optimism in the SAP communities for 2009? Yes – Healthcare and higher education can help!. In the next blogs I will outline tips and tricks for succesful SAP records management projects based on my experiences in the last years.