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What can Content Management do for you?

January 23, 2014 | BY: NeoSystems
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We often get the question “how much will it cost to configure Content Management?”  Of course, our response is the proverbial “it depends.”

Let’s start with the basics.  Content Management Integration (CMI) allows you to store a document in a Content Management System (CMS) and link that document to a specific transaction in a Costpoint application screen.  While Costpoint officially supports any Content Management System that conforms to the industry standard API, the majority of integrations are with Microsoft SharePoint.

The first step is to determine what you want to do with the document in your CMS (SharePoint).  Do you just want to use SharePoint as the file storage?  If so, that is relatively simple to setup and configure.  But that’s not much more than using a file share via Costpoint’s Alternate File Location feature.  Maybe you want to leverage some of SharePoint’s document management features?  Two examples that come to mind are SharePoint workflow and document retention.  Below is an example of a client that utilized both of these features:

The client had a regulatory requirement that each functional manager review their budget report on a monthly basis.  For audit reasons, the accounting department would print the report, the manager would sign it, and then accounting would file the report.  If you’re familiar with SharePoint, that might sound a lot like an approval workflow!  So the client started printing to a PDF, uploading to SharePoint, and manually starting a workflow.  Better, but with room for improvement.  One underutilized feature of Costpoint CMI is the ability to print directly to a SharePoint library.  The client SharePoint administrator setup a document library.  Monthly reports were then “printed” directly to the library.  The library was configured to initiate a workflow on any new document.  That workflow sent an email to the manager indicating they had a budget report to approve, with a hotlink to the document.  The manager just had to click the link to open the report, review, and approve right from Excel.  Much simpler with fewer steps don’t you think?   Since this was regulatory driven, the client also decided to use SharePoint’s document retention policies to ensure the approved reports were not accidentally deleted and thus available for audit.

That was an example of going from Costpoint to SharePoint.  How about an example where the data starts in SharePoint?  Many enterprise scanners have OCR capability and can scan a document directly to a SharePoint document library.   Configured correctly, you could scan an invoice.  The OCR then could populate data fields such as date, invoice number, vendor and amount.  This scanning could be performed by employees that don’t have Costpoint accounts.  Once scanned, the AP clerk can create a new voucher and use the attach button to attach the invoice document.  Here is the real magic – load the Costpoint record with the data scanned by the OCR avoiding having to type them in.  Want some more magic?  Configure all the voucher screens properly, and this scanned invoice link will follow the voucher and be available throughout the processing of the voucher.

We hope we have peaked your interest and got your creative juices flowing on what Content Management can do for you!

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