Universal ECM integration with Doxis4
Whether for strategic reasons or as a result of corporate development, many companies have diverse business software landscapes made up of a number of different systems made by various different vendors. Every single one of these software solutions produces its own type of data and documents. Companies then also receive additional data and documents from their business partners. As these data and documents are often related to one another no matter which application or process they originate from, it does not seem to make much sense to retain data from each application for such a large number of systems (ERP, accounting systems, CRM, HR, CAD, etc.). Doxis4 is a universal ECM platform that supports all types of business application, from a standard content repository, eRecords, task and business process Management (BPM), to knowledge management.
Doxis4 is an open ECM platform that supports vendor-dependent and vendor-independent interface standards for a range of different business applications. The advantage of using universal connectors for ERP, CRM, etc., is that you are able to customise them to meet the requirements of the interface in question and can carry on using them even if you replace one of your business applications. All you have to do is modify them to meet the new system requirements.
Thanks to the close integration between your business applications and the Doxis4 iECM Suite, you can get direct access to data in the Doxis4 Content Repository straight from your favourite business applications, like ERP, accounting, CRM, HR and CAD applications. This relationship also works in reverse enabling you to access data from your business applications in Doxis4.
Thanks to Doxis4, having to switch between systems, using various different media formats, receiving poor process support, maintaining redundant data pools and dealing with integration problems are now a thing of the past.
What it has to offer
- Universal standard connectors for all common business applications
- Complete Content Repository for records, documents and workflows
- Standard access from a number of different business applications
- Automatic transfer of data from business applications into Doxis4
Business applications and ECM
The “E” in “ECM” stands for enterprise, highlighting its importance for companies as a whole. Enterprise Content Management supports all areas of a company throughout every stage of their business processes. During their day-to-day business, companies process a whole host of electronic information. This information can be split into two different types: structured data (e.g. accounting entries) and unstructured data (e.g. documents and emails). Information related to a particular order, customer, employee or process is made up of both structured and unstructured data. Taking these circumstances as its basis, ECM complements data-based business applications by focusing more on your company's documents.
Business applications – ERP, CRM & friends
Structured data, e.g. master data, contract data or accounting data, is captured, processed and stored using specialist business applications such as ERP, accounting, and CRM systems and industry-specific applications. This structured data is based on a fixed data model, meaning that it can be processed and analysed in large batches. As soon as you start using documents in your processes (regardless of whether you created the document yourself or received it from someone else), structured processes often go out of the window. Documents are stored in chaotic file systems, sent back and forth by email or stay stuck on their own in the system used to create them, where they are out of reach from everyone who needs them.
Enterprise Content Management – ECM
Some of the most important information related to business processes is recorded and managed in unstructured formats, e.g. documents, emails, photos, video, etc. Unstructured data tends not to be based on a fixed data model. ECM systems use descriptive metadata to file and access unstructured data. Gateways to other business applications enable you to use and reference this data in other systems.
With the Doxis4 iECM Suite, you are able to capture both structured and unstructured information objects no matter what source they come from or what format they are in. You can then manage this data within its relevant format, store it in an audit-proof manner and access it again at any time.
ERP integration [examples]
- Infor ERP
- Microsoft Dynamics ERP
- Oracle JD Edwards Enterprise One
- Sage ERP X3
- SAP ERP
- Unit4 (formerly Agresso)
- . . .
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
A large number of companies use ERP systems for their business processes. For these processes, they require both the structured data within the ERP system as well as documents and folders. For example, an inbound purchase order is used to record the order data in the ERP system and is then used to issue the invoice. An inbound invoice is needed to make the accounting entry and approve the payment in the ERP system. Later along the line, these documents provide key support for business processes and help the company to fulfil legal requirements.
A lot of people will be able to tell you how difficult it is to carry out your day-to-day tasks if you can't integrate documents and records into your ERP system. Documents are stored in several places across the company, causing business processes to stall. In a worst case scenario, employees start to make errors that they wouldn't otherwise make if they had a full understanding of the matter.
ECM is therefore the perfect complement for any ERP system. Because the Doxis4 iECM Suite can be integrated with any standard ERP system, all your key corporate documents can now be managed within the context of the relevant business process. As a result, your business processes will become more efficient and economical, your overall risk levels will be lower, the performance of your ERP system will improve and, last but not least, your IT costs will fall. Users will be able to access their documents from their normal ERP environment, providing them with a real added benefit.
Typical uses of ERP integration:
Integration with accounting systems [examples]
- Diamant Software
- . . .
Being able to access the documentation linked to your accounting entries and transactions straight from your accounting software makes your day-to-day tasks even easier. Once they have been scanned, inbound invoices (accounts receivable) can be processed digitally and can even be processed entirely automatically. And it's not only inbound documentation that can be digitalised, you can also automatically process outbound documents like journals, reminders, open item lists, account sheets, etc. They then run through a virtual print process and are stored securely in the Doxis4 Archive. As such, printer queues and filing are now a thing of the past.
Typical uses for integrating Doxis4 into your accounting system:
CRM integration [examples]
- Infor CRM
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM
- Oracle Siebel CRM
- Sage CRM
- SAP CRM
- . . .
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Anyone who believes in good customer service has to know who their customer really is. Structured customer data in your CRM systems is therefore extremely valuable but only makes up a small proportion of the information actually needed for this. The majority of CRM systems on the market are aimed at the areas of sales and marketing. Information and documents from tender management and order management on the other hand are captured and processed in ERP systems. Not all employees who need access to customer-related information own licenses to all systems and modules. Furthermore, not all employees are able to access all emails sent to particular customers as they are hidden away in personal mailboxes or filed in separate systems without reference to a particular business process.
Integrated Enterprise Content Management (iECM) with Doxis4 combines customer data in CRM systems with the relevant documents and emails across the entire company. Depending on the level of integration, users can not only access documents, records, process instances and work items in the Doxis4 Content Repository from their CRM system, they can also use data from their CRM system in Doxis4, for example on the cover sheet to their customer records.
Customer records can either be accessed from the CRM system or from Doxis4 clients. These records provide users with packages of information needed for work in sales, marketing and customer service departments. Comprehensive access to all customer-related information (provided the user has the correct access rights) is one of the key ingredients for excellent customer service and a successful business. Companies are even able to set up customer portals to provide their customers with particular documents from their records or information on products and services. Travelling sales reps can also access documents or take part in business processes thanks to the mobile Doxis4 client.
Typical uses of CRM integration:
Email & groupware integration [examples]
- IBM Notes (formerly Lotus)
- Microsoft Exchange
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Novell GroupWise
- . . .
Email & groupware
Email and groupware solutions are founded on the concepts of exchange and teamwork. These days, companies conduct most of their external correspondence via email. Within the company itself, the majority of employees also communicate by email and use groupware and collaboration platforms like SharePoint to share documents across departments. However, this solution is somewhat limited when it comes to exchanging data between different systems. For example, users only have partial access to incoming emails or documents and data from ERP systems. Incoming and outgoing emails are often only available in an individual mailbox or under group mailboxes, meaning that they cannot be accessed by other people involved in the relevant business process.
Doxis4 complements email and groupware solutions by adding key ECM functions that enable companies to integrate emails into business processes and fulfil retention obligations. Doxis4 enables you to assign context attributes to inbound and outbound emails which are then made available in the relevant records and process instances.
While working in their normal software environment, users can access additional, intuitive ECM functions to file, search for and display emails and documents within their business context. Being able to find relevant information quickly and easily is one of Doxis4's key strengths. It combines a metadata search and an error-tolerant fulltext search to use the company's entire Content Repository as a source of information.
Typical applications for email & groupware integration:
- Email management »
- Email archiving »
- Special solutions for Microsoft Outlook »
- Special solutions for Microsoft SharePoint »
- Special solutions for IBM Notes »
Overview of ECM integration with Doxis4
- Universal interfaces for standard ERP, HR and CRM systems via Universal ERP Connector
- Certified interfaces to SAP (ArchiveLink (BC-AL 6.20) / HTTP Content Server, Netweaver ILM (BC-ILM 2.0 / 3.0)
- Integrated module and interfaces for Microsoft Office, Outlook, SharePoint and Dynamics NAV/AX
- Standard connection to email, file and SharePoint servers via Doxis4 Gateway Service
- Further connectors for open, vendor-independent standards: CMIS, WebDAV, File Import, etc.
Client and portal integration
- Operation of Doxis4 clients from business applications via OLE, hotkeys or URL with comprehensive scripting
- Connection to database and ActiveX controls in Doxis4 winCube
- Mashup-compatible web components/URL access (as used for Google Maps)
- Integration of portlets into websites for Doxis4 templates and result lists
- Native Wiki integration with version management and editing functions in Doxis4
- Search function access from any application using shortcut to Doxis4
- Extraction and transfer of information into Doxis4 using screenscraper technology (e.g. for the terminal environment), without needing to program external business applications
- Reduced strain on databases and improved performance in operating systems
- Cross-platform applications and data storage
- Cross-platform user log-in via Kerberos
- Transferral of users/groups from Active Directory/LDAP