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Accelerate engineering collaboration for capital projects

How integrations with Microsoft Office 365 and Teams can keep engineering reviews on schedule

Embracing modern work and investing in advanced information management solutions delivers many benefits to organizations, such as giving employees easy access to accurate, timely information to do their work, which increases productivity and reduces errors. Improved collaboration capabilities also help distributed teams solve challenges related to information siloes, content sprawl, and disjointed workflows.

Engineering environments often face additional challenges, including:

  • An aging workforce that struggles to adopt modern technologies at a rapid pace
  • Complex workflows that span outside the organization need context to keep workers informed and on track
  • Long-term projects with large complex file types that are not supported by popular collaboration tools

Bring real-time collaboration to your Engineering projects

Business applications drive critical business processes. That is why OpenText offers solutions that bring unstructured information into the context of business processes. Our strategic partnerships with organizations like SAP® and Salesforce® enable us to integrate information management with these key business applications.

With Microsoft® Teams being the recent tool of choice for team collaboration, the ability to use this application for collaboration within Engineering processes allows users to access the content in the context of the project in an easy-to-understand interface. By combining OpenText™ Extended ECM for Microsoft Office 365 with OpenText™ Extended ECM for Engineering, we have a strong integration with Teams to help streamline engineering project feedback cycles through real-time collaboration.

By clicking on the Team for the project, users have direct access to all business data, Engineering documents, transmittals, and advanced document technologies to work with 3D files. This not only centralizes information but also gives employees the ability to quickly collaborate on projects without having to switch back and forth between different applications.  

A screenshot showing how users can view non-office documents like CAD directly from Teams, using OpenText Extended ECM for Engineering with Extended ECM for Microsoft Office 365.
An example of how users can work with non-office documents like CAD directly from Teams, using OpenText Extended ECM for Engineering with Extended ECM for Microsoft Office 365.

Automate your business process collaboration

By automating business processes, organizations can also achieve significant cost reductions. With the automation capabilities introduced in OpenText™ Extended ECM Cloud Edition (CE) 22.2, you can reduce the amount of manual labor that comes with:

  • Creating new workspaces
  • Adding metadata
  • Inviting participants
  • Setting up review meetings

Extended ECM CE 22.2 automates this for you by applying best practices templates and enriching your content by inheriting the metadata from the business process that the content is part of. By automating repeatable and standardized actions, such as the creation of workspaces, document templates, and workflows, users can concentrate on the more impactful work at hand. Automation can also help reduce the burden on Administrators by creating the Teams needed for collaboration for these processes and capturing the Teams’ content once its purpose within the process is fulfilled.

A screenshot showing the centralized user interface with access to all project data and documents.
An example of the centralized user interface with access to all project data and documents.

Extend secure collaboration outside the organization

Your project, your data, your task to take care of it. Sounds easy when everything is stored in your system of record, but when this data is needed by external parties, such as external contractors, builders, document controllers, auditors, and environmental experts, collaboration becomes a significant challenge that can create process friction, adding unnecessary time to your project schedule.

Organizations don’t want to expose all this data from their system of record to all these external parties, which creates security risks and can also involve additional costs to provide licenses to all these parties. Uploading and downloading different versions of content is also an error-prone approach and can cause data loss, and version control challenges.

By combining Extended ECM for Engineering with the OpenText Extended ECM for Microsoft Office 365 integration, you can synchronize specific locations from the workspace to Teams channels, which removes the need to expose your system of record to the outside world. When content is added in Teams, it is automatically added back into the workspace.

A screenshot showing the Teams sync, which provides a secure information management experience.
An example of the Teams sync, which provides a secure information management experience.

Find the right balance for secure flexibility

This end-to-end managed process adds flexibility and control to your collaboration process and solves your day-to-day struggle to keep the right balance between keeping everything safe and secure versus exposing content for collaboration. It allows you to automatically synchronize a select set of content to Microsoft Teams and automatically bring it back into your system of record. When doing so, it applies the right metadata and permissions and allows post-processing for further use in the business process.

CE 22.2 strengthens these key integrations to provide the flexible collaboration that Engineering teams need to boost workflow efficiency and productivity. While maintaining the level of security needed to protect valuable business information, these integrations equip employees with the access and control they need to complete their daily tasks and at the same time, give organizations peace of mind knowing that the information fueling their Engineering workflows can be managed through a central repository with the capabilities needed to control access as needed.

Roel Gillesen

Roel is Program Manager for the OpenText Microsoft solutions with 17 years experience in Software Development Solutions and Enterprise Content Management Solutions. His education in Economics and Marketing give him a broad focus. Within the Microsoft Ecosystems team, he focuses on EMEA partnerships and technology. Roel writes about OpenText solutions for Microsoft and its technical aspects.

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