Conterra Integration with ERP (SAP Example)
Electronic document management efficiency strongly depends on the ability of a newly implemented ECM system to interact with other solutions and systems that are already used in the company.
ERP systems, used for successful dealing with a wide range of business tasks, are usually the first to be integrated. In most cases, such integration has an immediate and obvious quality effect. The priority purposes usually include eliminating duplicated processes, accelerating data processing and reports preparation.
The most common and vivid example to illustrate all integration features and functionalities is SAP R/3. With powerful Orienge technical solutions, the SAP ERP system can be tightly integrated with the Conterra ECM system, enabling efficient data interchange. That means that data is inputted in one system and can then be used in any of the integrated systems.
Integration Solution Features
Orienge technical solutions include the following integration features:
- synchronizing reference data between Orienge Conterra and SAP R/3 systems; interchanging data between the systems;
- linking SAP objects with Conterra documents and accessing Conterra documents linked to a SAP object;
- sending SAP objects, e.g. a budget request, using Conterra standard or non-standard routes;
- saving SAP documents and reports in the Conterra system;
- sending Conterra documents to the SAP system;
- accessing SAP object screens from Conterra.
Typical Integration Scenarios
Let’s look at three different examples illustrating how these integration solutions operate in practice.
The contract is a starting point for a great number of corporate business processes. For that reason, all contracts should be registered in the ERP system with full information on their validity periods, contractors, amounts and other terms. At the same time, there is no better place for storing contract’s content than Conterra. And, there is no better tool for approving contractual documents either.
In a company where SAP is integrated with Conterra, a contract approval process follows:
- A contract is created as a Conterra document comprising a text (content) and a card.
- The card contains a set of contract attributes such as its date, number, contractor, etc.
- The contract is sent for approval by a special Conterra standard route represented by a sequence of assignments (“jobs”) to approvers. In the process, the contract is either approved and signed or sent for revision.
- The approved contract can be sent to SAP, which means creating a record in the contracts table. By pressing the “Send to SAP” button, a user generates the record and all required attributes are filled in automatically using data from the related contract card in Conterra.
- The “Open in Conterra” button in the SAP contract card allows users to find all Conterra documents related to the contract.
This contract approval scenario gives examples of transmitting data from SAP R/3 to Orienge Conterra (synchronized contractor’s databook), transmitting data from Conterra to SAP (creating a contract record), and accessing Conterra documents linked to a SAP object.
Budget Request Registration and Approval
To track and timely fulfill a company’s financial obligations, budget requests are needed. A budget request is registered in the corporate ERP system (SAP); then linked to associated unstructured Conterra documents such as projects, research and analysis results, contracts, etc.; and, finally, sent for approval in the Conterra system.
In a company where SAP is integrated with Conterra, a budget request registration and approval process is the following:
- Departments’ requests for budgets for various goods and services are registered in a special table in the SAP system. Every budget request has such attributes as “Contractor”, “Purpose of Payment”, “Total Amount”, “Desired Payment Date”, “Actual Payment Date”, “Priority”, etc.
- When the request record is saved, the “Documents” and “Send” buttons are enabled.
- The “Documents” button opens a list of documents associated with the current request (the attribute “Budget Request Code” is filled in automatically by the current request code). Users can work with these documents as with any other Conterra document: open them, edit their content or cards, assign access rights, etc.
- When all required documents are attached, the request is sent for approval by pressing the “Send” button. A Conterra task and a document with SAP request attributes are created automatically.
This budget request registration and approval scenario gives examples of transmitting data from SAP R/3 to Orienge Conterra, accessing Conterra documents linked to a SAP object, and creating a Conterra task from the SAP system.
“Time Tracking” Report
One of other important tasks is saving existing reports from an ERP system to an ECM system. Approved and digitally signed reports become a reliable confirmation of company’s, its departments’ or employees’ performance. Complex reports can also be saved for quick further access.
The “Time Tracking” SAP report, showing how much time an employee has worked in a specified period, is saved in Conterra and can be accessed from both the Conterra system and the SAP system.
- A user selects the required parameters of the “Time Tracking” report: employee’s name, report period and characteristics (either saved from Conterra or calculated from SAP).
- A new generated report is shown on the screen and saved in Conterra as a text file. The report parameters are associated with the Conterra document by its unique name; in our case this will be “Time_Tracking_report_on_<Employee’s name>_from_<Start of period>_to_<End of period>”.
- To open a report that has been saved in Conterra, the system searches Conterra documents containing corresponding parameters in their names.
This scenario of saving an SAP report in the Conterra system gives examples of linking a Conterra document with any SAP data (in our case, linking with a report by a compound name). Report approval process is similar to that of a budget request.
Integration Solution Description
Integration between the Orienge Conterra ECM system and the SAP R/3 ERP system empowers a company with comprehensive business process automation.
All reference data is synchronized: saving a record in SAP automatically results in its creation or change in Conterra. For example, an organization created in SAP is automatically created in Conterra. The opposite synchronization is also supported (e.g. when a contract is approved and digitally signed in Conterra, a contract record is also created in SAP).
SAP objects can easily be linked to Conterra documents. It means that a contract in SAP can be linked, manually or automatically, to its associated Conterra electronic document. The Conterra document can be opened from the SAP contract card.
SAP modules can create Conterra tasks and send them using standard routes. With this feature, contracts or budget requests approval process requires much less effort.
An SAP report can be saved as a Conterra document. In Conterra, the document can be signed with a digital signature which guarantees its invariability. Users are able to view saved reports directly from the SAP interface.
Orienge integration solution allows you to:
- speed up data processing;
- eliminate duplicated processes;
- accelerate reports preparation.
SAP R/3 and Orienge Conterra integration ensures efficient and transparent work with objects located in any of the two systems. Such integration allows a company to make another big step towards creating a unified enterprise informational space.