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Dear PLM and OpenText community,

We as Product and Solution Management of SAP PLM and SAP Extended ECM (xECM) by OpenText are often confronted with myths and rumors on the capabilities and future of both solutions. When the partnership was established years back, we had agreed on a common positioning and working model and we would like to highlight the core value proposition of the two solutions to make sure, everyone in the community is aware of our current state and our joint offering alignment. We have teamed up to debunk some of the myths and provide an accurate overview of the compelling benefits of how both solutions complement one another:

When do I position SAP xECM by OpenText and when do I position SAP DMS?

Answer: Both SAP xECM by OpenText and SAP DMS are an integral part of the SAP Solution portfolio. SAP xECM by OpenText has its strengths in the management of unstructured information, especially managing business documentation and documents associated with SAP driven business processes. SAP DMS has its strengths when it comes to structured documents, but not limited to the engineering area. There is no black and white answer and the positioning needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis. We understood that further clarification is required by the community on the strengths of both solutions in the many possible business contexts. To better support you in the future, SAP and OpenText are publishing best practice business use cases to help guide our joint field constituents, customers and prospects on the aligned positioning along our value maps to establish guidelines and assistance in structuring the right solution based on engagement needs.

Does it make sense to position a combination of SAP xECM by OpenText and SAP DMS?

Answer: Yes. Both SAP xECM by OpenText and SAP DMS have unique capabilities that complement each other. SAP xECM by OpenText provides an enterprise-wide backbone for managing unstructured content across its lifecycle with a DoD 5015.2 certified Records Management and enables users to access content from a variety of user interfaces including Microsoft SharePoint® and Microsoft Office. SAP DMS provides capabilities for document control, updating bills of materials or the native integration with the SAP change management. Consequentially, many customers decide to implement integrated scenarios where, DMS documents are created, updated, and released in SAP DMS and then published in SAP xECM by OpenText so they are connect with other enterprise content and become accessible for other departments or external partners. To benefit from the capabilities of both products it is recommended to consider such integrated scenarios when documents are managed in SAP DMS already today.

I keep hearing rumors that SAP DMS is being discontinued in favor of SAP xECM by OpenText – is that true?

Answer: False. SAP DMS is part of the SAP ERP product and will receive standard support until 2025, as of current planning. We would like to correct this thinking as we have and will continue to provide you, our customers, with the solutions to make your company a best run company.

       

I have heard that SAP DMS is in maintenance mode only and it is not being further developed?

Answer: SAP DMS is a very mature solution with a very broad user base, a track record of delivering value and the solution continues to get regular development updates. Examples of the last years’ improvements include but are not limited to — the creation of a Webdynpro User interface, integration of the Visual Enterprise Viewer in both GUI and Web UI as well as an enhancement of the architecture with service-based interface layers. We have just finished a Customer Connection Cycle and  a second cycle of Customer Connection DMS is already running now.

SAP Easy DMS has an end of maintenance date December 31, 2017 in the product Availability Matrix – what does that mean?

Answer: SAP Easy DMS is also part of the Business Suite and thus will receive maintenance until 2025 as of today. Easy DMS as a frontend component depends on the underlying Operating system and the respective product version will be released for as long as the latest tested Windows Operating System Version is supported by Microsoft. When a new Windows version becomes available, easy Document Management gets tested and based on the results we will either create a new version or extend the support period accordingly.

Sincerely,

Garrett Miller                                                  Frank Spiegel                                                Patricia Nagle

VP LOB R&D/Engineering                             Product Manager PLM                                  Vice President

SAP Solution Management                           SAP Product Management                            OpenText

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9 Comments

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  1. Pramod Becharli Shankar

    Hi Garrett,

    Interesting blog.

    lately in the last 4 years or so, there have been tremendous innovations delivered from SAP. Surprising to know that yet there is no change in strategy about this topic since a very long time.

    If the customer has adopted such mixed solution portfolio, then how will the customer benefit from latest SAP innovations like HANA for unstructured data handling, HCP based document managed system et al ?

    May be 5 or 8 years ago, both these solutions had very complimenting features. But overtime, the DMS has adopted many competing features. So does it still make sense to position both the solutions ?

    Lastly how will this partnership strategy continue in the age of S/4 HANA ? Someday all the customers will be on S/4 HANA.

    thnx,

    Pramod

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    1. Michael Gray

      Hi Pramod,

      As the Global Partner Manager for OpenText here at SAP I can address your S4HANA questions.

      Let me first say that this is NOT a mixed solution portfolio.  This is the SAP solution portfolio with over 4000 customers using the SAP solutions by OpenText.

      OpenText and SAP are 100% committed to S4HANA.  As you know S4HANA will have an on-premise version, a public cloud version and a managed cloud version.  We will support all three with both the current SAP solutions from OpenText plus new 100% pure cloud offerings.

      We already have the SAP Archiving by OpenText available on HANA and are actively working to get the entire SAP portfolio by OpenText on HANA so that customers will not need a mixed database environment.

      I’m not going to go thru the broader discussion of the values of having OpenText for an Enterprise Wide Document Management Strategy in this forum but you should take some time to learn more about OpenText and the value they bring to our customers with such solutions as SAP ILM, the SAP Business Network (Ariba), SuccessFactors, and hybirs and how they address complex customer business and compliance needs.

      Cheers,

      Michael

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    2. Kolusu Suresh Kumar

      Hi Pramod,

      So does it still make sense to position both the solutions ?

      • What is more interesting to see with xECM is – Capturing, Records Management, Archiving, Document-Centric Workflow, Collaboration and Content Access.

                  SAP DMS is more SAP context centric Document management with its own distinctiveness with more focus on version management of document using the Kpro.

      In case of xECM is RM (Version management with structured File Plan, Record Retention plan, Holds & Dispositions) + above all (collaboration with among SAP native & non SAP users with same user experience is great feature).

      So it always worth to position both with their own integrity’s .

      how will the customer benefit from latest SAP innovations like HANA for unstructured data handling, HCP based document managed system et al

      • Not sure if HCP DMS is aligned with business process

      Lastly how will this partnership strategy continue in the age of S/4 HANA ?

      • Just a tag on to Michael comments – There is VIM add-on available for HANA too.

        these are my two cents 🙂

      Thanks,

      Kolusu

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  2. Peter Demtschenko

    Hi Michael,

    i must agree with Pramod. For many of us in SAP this has been a confusing overlap of functionality that was never clearly defined and communicated. This is even more confusing for the customer. Even at our last show some folks at the OT booth were telling customers DMS was being replaced by OT. I had to stop by the booth and correct them. Let’s make sure this communication is public and be sure it gets to the OT sales teams.

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  3. Anand Kortikar

    True Michael and Pramod,

    I personally feel having good potential in this space, there isn’t clear messaging unlike others-DS/PTC/Siemens and it needs to be rightly articulated and spread in the community.

    Best Regards

    ANAND

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  4. LAMAIER AMOR

    Hello ,

    I want to know the characteristics of integration between SAP and Opentext and this characteristics do not exist in other ECM certify by SAP as IBMfilenet and OnBase,,.

    Best regards.

    Omar

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    1. Michael Gray

      Hi Omar,

      The key differences between SAP solutions from OpenText and other 3rd party vendors include:

      1. Sold and supported by SAP – single contract and single call for support
      2. Premium Qualification – The SAP OpenText products are tested and qualified to the same level as any other SAP products.  All other 3rd parties are simply certified that they don’t break SAP.  Qulification includes but not limited to:
        1. Secuity standards
        2. Single Sign On
        3. Language support
        4. Performance
        5. Accessibility
        6. Functinal correctness
      3. Integrated into the SAP roadmap
      4. Supported by SAP Development

      I know this is a very marketing type answer but the truth is you are comparing an SAP product (OpenText) to non-SAP products (ECM, Filenet…).

      A customer should expect a higher level of integration, support and strategic alignment when select any SAP supported solution vs. outside vendors.

      Cheers,

      Michael

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    1. Michael Gray

      Good question. We have many customers who want an integration between the two to support a single repository strategy while maintaining the integrity of keepng the contracts in Ariba tied to the Ariba business process.

      There are good reasons to add xECM to Ariba for records management but there is no way to have just one or the other if only because the Ariba contract repository is central to the legal compliance on the network while xECM address broader needs but cannot meet the legal requirements inside of the network.

      so you would add xECM when you want to replicate the contract in Ariba into a master content workspace where the entire library of a customers content would be stored and viewed and referenced together.

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